What can technology do for your classroom management?
Technology can help you get organized. Technology can be used to help in planning lessons, keeping grades, creating inventory lists, and creating rubrics. Being organized is a must for a teacher. When we are disorganized our students are also disorganized. We must model what we want our students to be and do in our classrooms.
Seven Simple Secrets states that one key to an effective teacher is planning and over planning (Breaux, p. 2, 2006). A variety of software can be used to create lesson plans. The internet can also be used to search for lesson ideas. Computers can also be used for enrichment. It is sometimes hard to create enrichment for specific projects, the internet can help solve this problem. Generic research questions can be created in a worksheet format and could be used for any topic area.
Technology can also be useful for discipline. Primarily technology can be used to take a proactive approach to discipline. The proactive approach is the first step of discipline as stated in the book Seven Simple Secrets (Breaux, p. 36, 2006). Secondly, technology can be used to create lists or posters of the rules and procedures that should be in place in every teachers’classroom. Maybe this process could be a class activity. Each student could be given a specific topic and come up with the procedures that he or she feels need to be in place for the topic area. They could be printed out and discussed by the group before the final copy was approved for printing. Lastly, there are many different software packages available that are used to track discipline. Usually, the teacher enters the discipline in the computer and the principal is able to view the discipline and take further action if necessary.
What problems arise due to technology and how do we fix them?
There are a few new problems that arise with the use of technology. First, there is a large amount of inappropriate material on the internet. The answer to this is supervision. Filters usually do their job, but students are smart and can maneuver around them, so this leaves supervision. Teachers must walk around the classroom and check on what the students are doing at all times. A second problem comes in the form of electronic devices that can transfer information, these devices can be used by the students to cheat on tests. The answer to this issue is the same as the first issue, supervision. One option is to have students place all bags and purses at the front or back of the room on testing days. The final problem is time. The use of technology can mean more planning time, especially for new teachers. Now, the answer to this problem is to keep on planning. The next time you teach the lesson or skill it will be easier, and less planning will be needed. The answers to the problems that come up with technology can usually be answered by the same methods used for problems within the classroom without technology.
Breaux, A., Whitaker, T. (2006). Seven simple secrets: What the best teachers know and do. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education, Inc.