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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mrs. T goes techno- she wishes!


I teach in a building that turned 100 4 years ago. It's been beautifully renovated. There is a Civil War monument in the center of the street in front of it. Though not part of the main building, we also have another, smaller building that was the original school- a boarding school built in 1868. It's amazing- there are still fireplaces in the hallway and the lockers are wooden. In fact, a lot of the lockers in the main building were wooden, too, until a few years ago. We have gorgeous terrazo floors. Most of the original woodwork and doors were done away with, they basically gutted the place to bring it up to speed. We love it, the custodial staff takes excellent care of it, the kids seem to respect it as well.

But.

Just because I teach in an old building shouldn't mean that I am stuck in the past, technology-wise. I just found out that my department was denied a technology grant to purchase a media cart for the 4th time. The media cart would be shared between 7 people. It would have the ability to project from a computer onto a screen. It would have an ELMO kind of device. We would have a classroom set of "clickers". We would also receive training on how to use said equipment. We are constantly being told to incorporate technology into our classrooms. We have 1 computer lab available to us- not just to the foreign language department, but one that has to be shared with English, Science and Social Studies. Our school has 1600 students. That computer lab looks like Bagdad most days. The chairs are all stretched out of shape, the mice have no balls, there are usually 5 -8 computers that don't work at all. My other option is to use the computers in the library, which are not all clustered together, making the experience a bit hard to manage if the class is at all wiley.
Business Ed. has their own computers,Art has their own and we have an APEX room that has some as well.
So, I ask you, how am I supposed to incorporate technology into my classroom? I have one computer. I have a television, DVD player and VCR, since our out-dated textbook series has videos to accompany the chapters. Unfortunately, one of my videos got stuck in the VCR, rendering it completely useless. Lucky for me, one of my students said he had a spare at home and would sell it to me for 10 bucks. I took him up on it- VCRs are not so easy to find these days. I also have a CD player, but had to fight tooth and nail to get it. I have an overhead projector whose bulb will no doubt crap out on me at some crucial point in time. I have one white board that has the top 12 inches blank because I am not tall enough to write that high. I have no smart board. I have no Blackboard. I have no laptop, no projector to hook up to the absent laptop.
I realize I have more than many, I truly do. However, others in my building have received media carts through local monies. I feel like Sally ~Charlie Brown's little sister~ "All I want is what I have coming! All I want is my fair share!"
Me too.
PS: Anyone have any advice on scouting out a technology grant? Obviously the local people don't want to give this to us, but there must be someone out there willing to fund our measly $2000 request.

4 Comments:

Blogger MsAbcMom said...

Have you tried donorschoose.org? I haven't tried it but I hear that teacehrs get granted all kinds of stuff for their room. It couldn't hurt!

11/22/2008 9:35 PM  
Blogger Adeline said...

I got a grant, my first grant i ever wrote (meaning I had no idea what I was doing) from http://www.neafoundation.org/

I can hear sally now. We just watched the video.

all i can say is this: the only time i ever swore under my breath in class was when I dealing with the sorry cobbled together technology I had to deal with. what makes it all more beautiful is that when you/if you go to look for another job they will ask you about what cool thing you are doing with technology, and while I know there are phobes out there, most of us who aren't phobes can only talk in hypotheticals of "what we would do if..."
furthermore, the interviewers will have little more to offer technology-wise than wherever you are currently at.

don't give up on the grant thing.

11/23/2008 3:41 AM  
Blogger HappyChyck said...

I was going to suggest donorschoose.org, too. Many teachers at my school have used it for smaller things, like classroom sets of books, and our department was able to raise some funds for prizes in our poetry slam. I don't think a $2000 would be too much to request.

Your situation is just plain WRONG. Indeed, how can you use more technology when it's not there?

11/23/2008 4:31 PM  
Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Mrs. T!

11/27/2008 11:40 AM  

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