I remember when I thought using technology meant I was teaching with a powerpoint. Sometimes, just briefly, I long for those days when using technology just meant preparation on my part and the time spent in class was only used for actually using Powerpoint to teach the lesson. Now, when I think about using technology in the classroom Powerpoint is the last thing that comes to mind! Technology is time consuming!!!!
Last week I had my students work on a mind map of nouns and now that project which I thought would take a day and a half is stretching to three days. I have my students working on a Civil War webquest and I thought that assignment would take 2 weeks and now it is easily stretching into 3 weeks and may continue on to 4! My students are proficient with technology it is just using the tools that is taking so long for the students to use.
I am still trying to figure out what is so time consuming and I am coming to the conclusion that it is because the students are actually learning the material and not just memorizing the material. The students are interacting with the material on a real basis and not just memorizing what they think will be on a test! The only issue with that is then I get behind in what I am expected to cover. In the world of standardized testing and cramming as much as possible in a school year, using technology seriously gets me behind! I think the trick to overcoming that problem will be to combine standards and lessons to cover more information in one project – really embracing the project based learning and integration across subjects of curriculum. The one bright side of the conundrum is that the students are learning the material and therefore, will score higher on the standardized tests than if they were just memorizing the information.
All of that said, it is not enough to convince me not to use technology in the classroom and maybe eventually I will get to the point where I can properly determine the amount of time one project will take!