In my survey, I tested teachers around the country and at my school. I did this for 2 reasons. The first is that I would like to see what teachers in my school are doing in terms of technology integration in their classes. Secondly, I wanted to see what teachers around the country are doing so that I could determine if there was a certain technology that teachers find useful that we aren't implementing in our school.
Of the teachers that completed my survey, about 90% had either a SmartBoard or Mimeo strips in their classrooms. Our school purchased Mimeo strips for all of the classes in my school, so we seem to be on trend here. In the poll, teachers at my school, however, felt that they needed more training and time with the Mimeo strips to make them more effective. Also, almost all teachers had a ceiling mounted LCD projector. We also have these and teachers seem comfortable in using them in their classes.
The biggest concern at by teachers at my school is the lack of consistency when it comes to the availability of resources (this also seems to be a concern for teachers around the country as well). Our computer lab doubles as our library, computer classroom, and Accelerated math classroom. By the time specials are scheduled, there is about 1 day's worth of computer time to split between 11 classes. It is very difficult to get into the computer lab for whole class lessons. In addition to inadequate lab space, we frequently experience internet outages and server crashes. After speaking with our priest, it sounds as though the school will be upgrading the server and increasing bandwidth over the summer, so hopefully this will solve some of these issues. Our school also received a large donation, so we are looking into adding an extra computer lab and possibly a cart of laptops sometime this summer.
In terms of professional development, teachers around the country were most interested in training in using their SmartBoards/Mimeo strips. At my school, teachers are also interested in Mimeo training, as well as the Discovery Science Techbook. We first implemented the Techbook last year and attended a few webinars, but hands-on, in-person training would probably be more successful and meaningful. I am attending the Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute next month, so I am hoping to learn more about what other teachers are doing with the techbook in their classrooms. I am sure I will come back with tons of great ideas to share with the teachers at my school.
After looking at the data, I'm left wondering how teachers at my school envision using the Techbook in their classes. I, for one, would prefer total integration. Is this what the other teachers want, or are they looking to use it as pick-and-choose resource? Would they be open to total integration if they knew all that the Techbook has to offer? Perhaps after my trip I will have to dig deeper into the expectations my fellow teachers.
I'm Edie - wife, mom, teacher, instructional designer, home renovator,
and lover of nature, travel, technology, and vintage campers!