Reading through the last learning path that talked about the IWB and technology we may encounter in our professional experience classroom bought back memories on my first prac, as Leslie wrote of in her blog. This classrooms only claim to technology was a projector (which I am not even sure is classed as an ICT?). The teacher could book time in the computer lab but due to the nature of the class (many students with behavioural or learning disabilities) extra help was always needed but not always available.
The reason for the lack of technology in this classroom was not something intentional but due to funding. This class was put together at the last minute due to an influx of special needs students, be it behaviour, autism, etc, being placed in the school. There simply was no more funds left for this class. And you know what – it did not matter. This teacher was simply amazing – he had those students engaged in learning and they all respected and listened to him-I was really lucky to have been placed there. I am sure he would of loved to have additional ICTs if it would of been available!
David mentions in the learning path that’ It’s not the technology that impacts learning, its how we teach and use it that can make a difference’ and I fully agree with that.What I witnessed is discussed on this site written by a teacher talking about the use of computers at times in classrooms; ‘ Education is much more complex than that. It is about the trust and bond between a teacher and young person (and parents) that creates the environment where learning can occur and grow. Virtual learning simply cannot do that. I would argue that in a world now where young people are retreating more and more into virtual unreality, the teaching profession is more important than it ever was. It is teaching that keeps it real – teaching that keeps young people alive. In short, teachers and the profession will never die’.
While she is not putting down the value of ICTs in our classrooms, just the way we sometimes use them. She further stated this about her time as a teacher and I think it is something to remember.
“In almost 40 years as an educator, I cannot think of one single occasion when someone has stopped me to recall fondly about an inspirational and influential piece of computer software. And yet I get letters from former students eulogising over a teacher who changed the direction of their lives and without whom they would not be in the position they are today. That is the result of trust, about a relationship between the teacher and the child.”
While I may not totally agree this really did get me thinking.