Technosceptic

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and I know I was very emotional about the whole teaching thing.  Since my last post, I am still feeling the stress and have been keeping away from commenting on blogs and twitter because I felt that reading about what I should be as a teacher was adding immense pressure to that which I already feel.

I went to the TESOL Spain Conference in Madrid a few weeks ago.  It was a great weekend and I found it very interesting.  I came back with a cold and didn’t feel much like writing.  I made copious notes and I have to prepare a presentation about it.  20 minutes to talk about .  The irony is that although I “present” for 4 or 5 hours every day, I find myself daunted by the prospect of talking for 20 minutes in front of my colleagues and boss.  I’ve no idea what I’m supposed to say!  I guess I’ll talk about my ideas and try to get some intereactive whiteboard games from the Internet to show my colleagues what is available.  I’ve tried getting my head around ebeam without much success other than the basic whiteboard functions.  I spend about 20 minutes a week messing with it but I have no idea how to do basic functions like hide and reveal.  I’ve looked at the “Help” section, but it’s not all that helpful.

I’ll use this blog as a sound board to express what I’m thinking about each and every talk I went to, and perhaps that will help my thoughts come together.

Technology is not a strong point of mine this year.  I have a netbook, which makes any resource design near impossible, since it TINY and I have to scroll a lot, which is tiring.  Plus I have Microsoft Works, not nearly as useful as its cousin, Microsoft Office.  I have no printer here in Spain, only the work printer.  In work there is one computer for six teachers apart from the one that is permanently attached to the ebeam.  If I do any printing, it is squeezed into my breaks or the compulsory 30 mins before class starts.  The centre is open three mornings a week, but since I work evenings, and I’m half an hour’s walk away, forgive me for not being devoted enough to make that extra journey every day.  So any research is done during stolen moments when my tutees don’t turn up for their half hour Friday tutorial.

Moan over.  I just hope those teachers on my circuit who spend lots of time making materials and using technology will understand that it’s not always easy compared to Post-it notes and paper and pens.

 

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4 Responses to “Technosceptic”

  1. David Warr Says:

    There’s your talk… “Post it notes. Teaching without technology”.

  2. crazykites Says:

    I think that one´s already been done, David! I remember reading in Teaching Unplugged how Post’its are invaluable, and I’d already been using them for weeks! I need to start reclycling I’ve used that many. Contrary to the title of this post, I’m not against technology per se. In fact there’s defo a place for it in an ideal scenario. I just think we should be given training by our employers because the alternative is racking my brains. The SMART board looked far easier to use than ebeam, Do you have an opinion on this? You must be quite knowledgeable on these things! I think the problem with ebeam is all the hidden tools. I like things to be more obvious to the eye. ebeams tools are quite neat but hidden away.

    Also since I don’t have basic functions on my little netbook, I can’t make decent resources or print things out at home, so it’s quite tricky. I think some people think making your own materials is the be all and end all, but I’m not so sure. If someone has already invented some great things before, why should I turn my nose up at it and give my students second rate things that I knocked up on Microsoft Works?

  3. Carole Says:

    We had something similar to this e-beam in a school I worked in – it was cheap so every faculty got one. Sadly the actual take up of using the thing was a bit of a let down after the evangelical manner in which the salesperson had waxed on about it in the sales presentation. They tended to fester on the tops of shelves and the school went on to install Smartboards in all classrooms. Ah! Those halcyon days when governments invested in schools!

    Post its are excellent…but rather limited on their own. I suggest dices (or di!), number fans, mini whiteboards and pens. Do you have to use a projector with the ebeam? Then you could make use of video, fun electronic countdowns, the much maligned PowerPoint (which can be used quite creatively. And I know you have lots of ideas for games which enliven proceedings.

    You could do with a few more facilities. At least one proper interactive whiteboard – I am thinking the brand leaders, Smart or Promethean, though there are probably others. Every classroom, if not every teacher should have a computer in their room, be it a laptop or desktop. Staff should have a staffroom with at least a couple of computers for preparation – especially since the work life of a TEFL teacher is often a transient affair with only temporary contracts so having the entire home office is impractical. There also ought to be printing facilities, paper trimmers and laminators on site…IMHO

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