Teacher A: Male, teaching Grade 8 (Math, Science, French) in a Middle School, has been teaching for 12 years. The interview took place after school in the Learning Commons of the Middle School.
3 summary key points:
Change in Thinking
Teacher A believes that technology enhances the classroom and his teaching experience. However, “My students have access to the Internet which is full of information, not knowledge. They need to change their thinking to take the information and make it into something or apply it in some way”. Students are not longer looking for a right or wrong answer. His students are encouraged to take this information and change it into knowledge of some form. They would be able to communicate their understanding in a new dimension, or using different platforms to represent what they have learned.
Availability (and Plan B) – The Ugly Reality
The physical availability of technology in our Middle School. With close to 1000 students, there is not enough technology to go around. Teacher A exhibits frustration with having planned an engaging lesson utilizing technology, only to find that the booking system glitched, another teacher taking the tech, or having to spend time running around our school to find the carts when they were not returned. Teacher A is also located in a portable that does not have a ramp, so students have to carry the tech in (often in the rain). Problems with Wi-Fi and teachers’ inability to problem-solve technical issues as much of it is controlled at the District level, and not the school level, also add to his frustration. If he had access to the technology, he could plan which Apps to use and ask students for their input as to which ones to use. Teacher A also expressed how tired he was of often having to organize a “Plan B” and preparing for worst-case scenarios – no tech.
Even with his current frustration with technology at school, Teacher A is still willing and open to try something new and incorporate technology in his classes. He enjoys the flexibility that technology allows, the opportunities for students to show their learning in different ways, and to learn and apply skills that “they will use more in the next 20 years”.