Teachers’ Use of Technology at Milton
by The Milton Measure on Friday, December 9th, 2011
Technology is, without a doubt, an underlying, vital and ever-growing aspect of the Milton experience. Every year, the technological opportunities in the classroom become more prevalent, although not all teachers choose to take advantage of these opportunities. Teachers like Mr. Kernohan and Mr. Lou use this technology to enhance their ability to reach students and convey critical concepts .
Just as our society adapts to the various opportunities presented by a growing and improving technological presence, our school grasps these opportunities with heed. The most obvious example of these opportunities lies in the SMART board.
These boards can already be found in many classrooms, and it is very likely that they will outnumber whiteboards and chalkboards in the near future. The board’s role as a projector incorporates the possibility of a computer-based curriculum as well as eliminating the need for the purchase of chalk, markers and even cleaning utilities.
This relatively new facility expands the inherent capabilities of any teacher: the vast knowledge of the web resides in an instantly presentable manner at the teacher’s fingertips; and even the ability to take notes, save them and then post them to FirstClass, frees students from dividing their attention between taking notes and observing the lesson on hand.
Science teacher Jim Kernohan utilizes this type of technology in class every day. Using handsets to answer questions, students can participate in a class discussion and not feel pressured to submit their answer in front of the entire class. Mr. Kernohan mentions that even if a student submits an incorrect answer “they’re not embarrassed, but they know that they need extra help.”
The clicker questions not only provide students with the opportunity to assess their knowledge of the material but also instill an interactive, game-like atmosphere within the bounds of the class curriculum.
Similarly, history teacher Michael Lou, a first-year SMART board user, has found the device to be versatile and thought-provoking, saying that “it’s all at my fingertips… and it also helps with the classroom conversation, because there are so many easily accessible peripherals right there.”
As the experiences of these teachers demonstrate, this particular technology allows teachers to group information from the far reaches of any database and present them in a clear and comprehensive manner, which enables them to forgo any wasted time spent searching through texts.
Despite this increase in efficiency, some students feel as though the electronics now used in class – and the money spent on them – has not been used to its fullest potential. Nicholas Jiang (III) mentioned that in general “teachers should use technology more often.” In addition to Nick’s comments, Geoff Owens (III) stated that “although the SMART board could be put to more effective uses, [teachers] use what they have well.”
While this utilization of technology has proven useful, students still believe that there is more to be discovered in the capacity of the equipment we have at Milton.
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