Teaching with Tech

A school transitions from old, slow Windows PCs to Chromebooks.  The IT person sets up all the new Chromebooks and removes all the old Windows PCs.  The teachers get the Chromebooks in the kids hands, get them their user names and passwords, and.....

In the good ol' days, anything you wanted the kids to do was right there on the desktop.  Software programs the school bought and downloaded on each PC.  The content was always the same.  You knew exactly what was going on.  The software publisher took all the responsibility for the quality of the educational content.  Then you took responsibility for choosing them over anyone else.  Very similar to buying text books.

Fast forward to present year, software is now coming from subscriptions to internet-based content, is included with textbook purchases, or involves websites that are somehow making money, even when you don't pay for a subscription.  Additional classroom management programs to control the internet or devices can be confusing, too.  They add a layer of management to a teacher's work life that was already filled overfull.    

The basic programs like Google Drive, Classroom, and Docs are great platforms for learning, but they are not software.  They do not come filled with gripping literature, intriguing facts, or formative assessments.  They are simply an empty classroom, filing cabinet, and sheet of paper.  While the arena for creativity is boundless, so can be the pressure or expectation to make a riveting lesson.  And so is the pressure on the student to visit a site they shouldn't.  Desire, my great enemy.

Let's stay positive and take a look at some free, paid, and made materials and lesson options.