Category Archives: A. Interview

Efficiency In Technology

Keywords: Connecting, Fluency, Time



For this interview, I spoke with Teacher R, a secondary math and science (Biology) teacher.  She went through the teacher education program in the mid 1990’s and, after taking some time off to start her family, she returned to the profession 7 years ago and has been at her current school for the past 3 years.  Her current teaching load includes math 8, science 8, science 10, and biology 11.  As well, she is nearing completion on her own Masters program in resource.  As she is a colleague and classroom neighbour of mine, the interview was conducted after school and in-person.  Through our 20 minute conversation regarding technology and technology in the classroom, a few main points arose.

Connecting through technology?

One of the topics that came up in our discussion was that of using technology to reduce the amount of work and time required to mark assessments and provide feedback to students.  Teacher R appreciated that technology can simplify her workload but was concerned that “… it wouldn’t be able to let you connect with the students.  […] And you wouldn’t want to let the computer keep you from personalizing [the teaching].”  The image of students learning, reviewing, and then being assessed all through the medium of technology could allow for teachers to take a reduced role in the classroom.  Teacher R’s comments serve to highlight that educators need to make an effort to not sit back and allow education to progress without them, but instead to adapt to their changing classroom to continue to provide students the optimal learning experience.

Technological fluency

This topic is one Teacher R felt strongly about was that despite all her intentions to plan and prepare a lesson that utilized technology, she still run into difficulties with connectivity issues.  She recounted a lesson in which she had intended on using Bluetooth to mirror her iPad onto her laptop connected to a digital projector.  When she was unable to connect her iPad to her laptop, she had to resort to delivering the instructions orally while the rest of the students work on their iPads.  She also noted that “it’s nice to have access to technology and all these apps, but you time to go through the app and to be able to explain it to the kids.  And then you need to be able to make sure it is working.”  This served to highlight the importance of not only technology use, but technology fluency.  In Teacher R’s case, having the right motivation and even having been given a short training session on the app she was to use in the classroom did not prepare her to troubleshoot problems with her devices.  Thus educators and administrators must be wary of not only the software being used in the classroom, but also the hardware and how all the devices interact.


The third point that came up multiple times in our conversation was that of time.  Early in the interview, when asked what she would like technology to do for her, she quickly laughed, “My marking?” While she did have ambitions for technology to do more for her (including making her lessons interactive and integrate all her presentation methods to be more seamless), the convenience factor that technology provides was one that she wanted.

Teacher R also noted, when discussing her connectivity issues mentioned above, that time was needed to allow her to become an expert in the technology.  It was not enough to be comfortable with the software, but she wanted to understand all the supporting technologies so that small problems would not disrupt the class.

Lastly, she also cited time as a constraint that prevented her from discovering new technologies.  She noted that “… in the future, we do need to spend more time on technology because that may be the only way to engage them.”  The difficulty she found with adding technology to the classroom was that there were simply too many options and not enough time to identify which would meet her needs.  The two pieces of software cited as examples during the interview (Doceri and ShowMe), “were recommended to me and I just set it up.”  So rather than actively sifting through the myriad of options, she took what was offered to her and made the most of it.


Overall, this was an insightful interview in that Teacher R helped to identify many of the factors that limited her ability to integrate technology into her teaching.  Certainly she has ambitions to include technology use, but it is clear that educators need support both in training and time in order to implement changes.  On the other side of the coin, it may serve as a reminder to software and hardware developers to continue to refine their offerings so that they become more seamless and easier to use.

The full transcript can be seen here.



Keywords: Potential, Enhance, Transform

I interviewed a colleague after school on Friday, January 20th, at school Steveston-London Secondary. The interviewee has been teaching Junior and Senior Sciences, as well as Junior Math, in the Richmond School District for approximately 9 years. In the context of the interview, we discussed aspects of digital technology in one of her current classes – Science 10.

The primary issues discussed were how technology is used in her classroom and the subsequent advantages and disadvantages to using them. The interviewee stated that she used technology on a “daily basis” but the “levels of degree” varied day to day. She typically uses PowerPoint presentations combined with pictures and videos to augment lessons and present “vital concepts and lecture.” The teacher also uses other forms of technology to enhance school material and this can take a variety of forms including: online simulations, formative assessment tools, devices for research projects or to fill in study guides and/or other programs to collect data or for graphing purposes.

The educator feels that technology has the potential to transform learning with its ability to “increase student interest” and “as a result, increase learning.” She feels that there are many benefits in using technology as it largely increases focus, motivation, and the interaction with the material. She does have some reservations in that technology alone does not necessarily promote “increased learning.”

In contrast, technology can also be a distraction to students. For educators, troubleshooting and the time required to develop and implement technology can be drawbacks. At times, the technology, particularly hardware, is also not always available to be used in the classroom with limited resources. In summary, the educator strongly believes that advanced technology is vital and inevitable to teaching materials in classrooms.







Interview Below:

  1. How do you implement or integrate technology into your classroom?

I use technology almost on a daily basis but to varying levels of degree each day. Minimally, I use a digital projector and present the vital concepts and lecture through PowerPoint presentations. These usually include pictures and other images to enhance the presentations. At times I also include videos or YouTube clips to further show or demonstrate science concepts.

Besides lecture presentations, how else do you use digital technology in the classroom?

Throughout the year and depending on the topic being covered we also digital technology for:

  • classroom homepage (to update students on homework)
  • using websites to find information and fill in study guides
  • (through the use of laptops and/or desktops)
  • formative assessment (e.g. online quizzes)
  • online simulations (earth science and physics unit)
  • graphing programs (physics unit)
  • data collection programs (physics unit)
  1. What are some positive learning experiences for students have you encountered by using technology? 

I feel that there are several positives to using digital technology:

  • Greater focus and motivation when using digital technology
  • Increased immersion with the material
  • Allows for greater interaction between the content being learning
  • In certain instances allows to complete material at their own pace
  • Greater immediacy with the material

What are some negative learning experiences?

  • At times, can be a distraction (with access to laptops and devices)
  • Troubleshooting apps, programs or even simply logging
  • Also, if sites are down or closed and lessons are based on them sometimes it’s hard to find a replacement or alternative site with the same information
  1. Do you feel that an increased implementation of technology in the classroom corresponds to increased learning?

I think it really depends on the specific material being taught at the time. Certain concepts or materials are more inclined to using technology.   Technology can certainly increase student interest in a particular concept and as a result, increase learning.   I’m not sure if technology alone is responsible for increased learning. If a student does an online quiz it doesn’t necessarily indicate more learning has occurred if the quiz was down on the overhead. In terms of ‘higher’ technology – perhaps more learning has occurred if a student has completed a simulation as opposed to simply reading a book.

  1. What limitations does technology impose on your classroom?

As much as I would like to increase the use of technology in the classroom, there are some limiting factors.

One concern is the availability of hardware. Our department has 15 desktops and 15 laptops but as these are shared with around 10-11 science teachers sometimes the hardware is not always available to use. Further, with usually only around 15 devices per any one class, students often have to share equipment and are unable to use one for themselves.

Another factor is the time it takes to locate and/or develop lessons that use the technology. This can be a time-consuming process, especially with courses proceeding throughout the year.

In regards to the availability of hardware, how do you feel about the use of students bringing their own digital devices (cell phones, etc) to use in the classroom?

I think given certain conditions that I would allow students to bring and use their own

devices. It works particularly well for things like online quizzes (Kahoot) and occasionally for doing things like research. The one drawback is that it is difficult to sometimes monitor 30 students if they are all using their own devices but generally, it has worked well.

  1. How can technology transform learning? Do you have an example?

As I mentioned previously, technology allows students to fully interact with the material they are learning about. For example, during the Earth Science unit the class uses a PhET simulation to visualize and understand the Greenhouse Effect. They are able to control and manipulate different conditions and see an immediate transformation in the simulation. This is a very different learning experience from simply reading it out of the textbook and through a lecture.

  1. Can you share how your assessment of student learning has changed with the integration of digital technology into your math or science classroom?

I think different websites allow for more opportunities of formative assessment. Things like Kahoot allow students to see what they currently and immediately understand. Although there are the occasional technical issues (internet access at times, device availability), generally students greatly benefit from the technology.

  1. What are some challenges in the future for classrooms around technology?

As mentioned above, the availability of the technology in the classroom is one challenge. Another is the time it sometimes takes to locate, test, and implement the technology (whether it’s a device or program or app). I think also that even though there is a ‘push’ for increased technology in the classroom, it doesn’t always translate to increased learning and it’s important to recognize when technology should or shouldn’t be used.


Integration of Technology to Support the Mathematics Program in a Grade 5 Classroom-Pros and Cons

Abstract for Interview- Elementary Teacher Grade 5-Multi-Disciplinary Teacher-Interviewed Specifically about Math Programming 

Interview Length  22 minutes.  The teacher I interviewed is from a city of approximately  100, 000 people  in Northern Ontario, Canada. The interview took place during the lunch hour in the staff room in the elementary school where we both work.  The elementary school houses students from JK-8 and the school population is approximately 550 students. It is a relatively new school and it has several shared laptop carts, several shared I-Pad carts and an Interactive Whiteboard in every classroom. The interviewee is in her 40’s and has been teaching full time for for 5 years and had previously worked as an occassional teacher for 2 years. Prior to this she worked as an educational assistant for 7 years and prior to that worked as an early childhood educator for 12 years. She has taught grade 5, and worked as a primary planning teacher where she was responsible for teaching the music program from grades K-8.  She has a keen interest in technology tools. I asked questions specific to technology and her mathematics teaching.

Three themes came out of the interview:

  1. There is a need for teacher training and support in regards to technology

2. Technology is being used in the math program, but not to full effect

3. A BYOD (Bring your own device) strategic plan may alleviate some of the concerns about BYOD in the elementary school and        may provide students with more access to technology and more flexibility with the tools they are able to access and use in mathematics.

The integration of technology into the math programming in an elementary grade 5 classroom has many benefits but this also seems to go hand in hand with many issues. Most of these issues are around availability of technology, tech support and teacher training, but the risks inherant with students bringing their own devices to school was also apparent in the interview.

My colleague reported that she was incorporating technology in her math program across several of the elementary math strands including geometry, numeration, measurement and algebra. In addition, she reported enjoying incorporating the technology and a willingness to incorporate more as she learned about new applications. Although she mentioned that she often found out about new applications, websites etc through casual conversations in the school, she also noted that the training was lacking and that she felt that the training should be done in shorter sessions that concentrate on one topic or one tool to try instead of a longer session where too much information is given and teachers feel overwhelmed. She expressed that this type of training is often ineffective because either teachers don’t remember what they have learned or they do not have the proper technology or tools in order to practice what they have learned.

Although my colleague discussed the way she was incorporating technology in the math program, after reflecting on her comments I noticed that much of the technology use was for demonstration purposes or practice and review. If more training specifically focussed on ways that technology could be used for problem solving, creating or sharing and communicating amongst students perhaps this could also be explored in the classroom.

She also spoke about the BYOD (Bring your own device) situation in her classroom. Her concerns were around the students’ lack of responsibility when using technology, including inappropriate use and not thinking critically about their online behaviour. In addition, she was concerned about the students losing their devices and having both of these situations cause her to have to deal with issues that may get her into professional trouble.

The uniqueness of this interview lies in the fact that elementary educators are multidisciplinary educators yet in our school the science component is given to planning teachers to teach, so the homeroom teacher does not teach her own science. In this way, the integration of math/science/technology/engineering may happen less often. So the natural fit between STEM may be stifled. In addition, in the elementary school setting the educators are often the ones responsible for ensuring that the technology students bring to school is not lost, stolen or broken and if this happens the teacher often has to deal with this. This may be different in upper grades, a highschool setting and definitely in higher education settings. In addition, young students may not have an understanding of what it means to be a responsible digital citizen, and this should be explored along with technology so that the students can make informed and reasonable decisions about its use.

Transcript of Interview

Interviewer will be bolded throughout

How do currently utilize technology in your math program?

Well…I use the Smart Board regularly to demonstrate thinking and so that I can record their math strategies and so that we have a visual way to discuss them. I record number talk strategies as they are shared in class. I also use the I-Pads to, for example, practice elapsed time. Actually….I use the Porter website for that! I go on their website and pick a flight and then I tell the kids, “If I leave at 1:00 and land at 8:00 how much time has elapsed? They like that.
I also use the laptops and I-Pads for different games…I use “Math is Fun” and Prodigy.

So, when you are using these applications, are they aligned with the curriculum you are teaching?

Yes. So when we are doing multiplication the students went on “Grand Prix Auto” racing game for some reinforcing. I also use them for teaching concepts.

What are the differences in student engagement between using technology in math and not using technology?

Well….it depends on the student. Some think it is fun and some find it boring. I think overall they are more engaged.

Why do you think this is?

Well….I think they like the independence, and also the sounds, colors and action in the games.

Do you see any roadblocks to using technology in the math programming in your classroom?

Yes! Wifi is a big problem. The laptops themselves…well there’s not enough and when I sign them out a lot of them are broken.  They are hard to book as well. I prefer I-Pads for quick learning and laptops have certain applications that can’t be used properly on the I-Pads so the laptops are helpful then.
Also some students bring in a device and then it won’t work and I don’t have the know-how to troubleshoot and there is no tech support so the student gets upset. Then some devices get stolen and then I have a crying student on my hands and an angry parent.

How do you think technology could be integrated more fully in the math programming in our school?

Well first of all training. Hands-on training in small steps. I have started inviting people to my class after school on Tuesdays for 30 minutes tops. They try some new technology and then get a chance to use it. When you throw everything at someone in one big course it is too overwhelming. Tech needs to be available when they are learning and the applications need to be available to teachers if they are being trained in their use.

Do you think ideas about how to use technology tools are being shared with the staff?

Well, I am open to learning anything new about technology. I love it. I don’t have anyone sharing with me, or if it is shared it is shared one-on-one informally…like in a hallway or over the lunch hour. Then I will try these “tips” out. But for many people it is in one ear and out the other because they don’t even know where to start.

Why did you take the initiative to voluntarily invite staff to technology training in your classroom after school?

Well…my friend (colleague) didn’t know how to use the Smart Board and I knew that I could be helpful. I’m excited about using technology in my classroom!

Do you allow students in your class to bring their own devices to school?  

I haven’t started that yet. I usually wait until after Christmas.

Is there a reason that you wait and what are some of the perceived drawbacks of BYOD?

Well one time a kid in my class went on porn at home, saved it and then shared it at school. Also one student took a picture of another student and posted it on Facebook and then I got in trouble. The students need to learn responsibility and be held accountable which is hard to control.

What strands of math do you currently support with technology?

Geometry-looking at shapes and building 3-D objects and viewing these objects virtually.
Patterning-I use the “Patterns to Algebra” program on the Smart Board. It is found in the Smart Notebook program.
Number Sense-We use Grand Prix Auto
Measurement- I like using the Smart Board tools for this. The ruler that shouts out numbers is great!
I use the Smartboard for teaching and I use the I-Pad more for practice and consolidation.

Are the students using any of this math technology at home?

Well, I use the e-learning website to link to websites at home, but this year there are far more students not even accessing the e-learning.

Why do you think this is?   

I think parents and kids are just too busy.

How do you see technology tools in the math program being of assistance to students who are struggling?

I really like “Prodigy” for that. It can be set up for the whole class or individualized for the grade level of the student. Two students I had last year, “A” and “D” were performing math below grade level so I used the I-Pad or laptop and they could practice math at their level.

Thank you for the interview! There are some really good discussion points here!
Interview Ended

Keywords: Collaboration, Gender Engagement, Risk Taking


“Brianna” has been teaching a variety of subjects for 14 years, including junior Science, senior Biology, P.E., “Reconnecting Youth” (a program for at-risk students) and Yearbook.  Presently, she is teaching Science 9 and Biology 12 at a large high school. As Brianna and I have young children at home, and she teaches at a different high school than mine, I conducted the interview via Google Hangouts, at 9 p.m., January 18. (This was a less than ideal time to interview—both of us were exhausted!) I asked Brianna to be my subject for two reasons.  1. There is only one other person in Math or Science at my school who uses any technology and she was spread so thin this week, you could see through her. 2. Bri and I have worked together for 13 years, but last year, she was bumped to another school due to seniority. This summer, I gave her a Google Classroom 101 class in my kitchen, so I was eager to see how she was coming along!


When prompted to respond about current technology enhanced processes she uses, the commonality to every response was sharing information between groups of people.

“Assignments, so I created an assignment, for example we did this thing like the Genius Hour, but not—  we did this project and I had it set up into three parts and so each part we did a check-in so that I could see what they were doing and when they decided to work in groups then they would share that with their group members so that all 3 of us could look at it. And with teachers, we are working on, well there’s 3 of us working on a brand new Biology 12 lab and so we have the Doc at the same time each doing different parts and seeing what the other people are working on, and adding feedback and comments and stuff like that.”

“I think that one of the things is about group projects…  one student was sick and the other student was upset because they weren’t there doing their part.  But they were able to talk using the comments on the Docs, right on the document.”

“I don’t have to worry about the TOC because I can post everything on there and the kids know exactly what they are supposed to do and I can come up with something on the fly and stick it up for them to do.  Just attaching it from the Drive, without worrying about photocopying or where it is on my desk— I just stick it on the Classroom.”

Gender Engagement

Noticing that girls have been excelling academically over the boys, Brianna was not yet at a point in her experience with technology to be able to definitively say that technology is bringing boys back into the academic arena. (She has only been using Google Classroom for one semester.)

“I do have some boys in my Science 9 class who are at a lower level, and they definitely like using Slides and being able to create that… because it is almost all boys— but they definitely enjoy using the technology a lot. As far as data, to say that it has increased their learning?  Well… they are interested in using it.”

Risk Taking

Brianna provided me with two “wow moments” in this interview.  The first came from her anecdote about a student who was so anxious about using the Google Classroom platform for assignments, that the student brought herself to tears.  Identifying this student in the first week of class, via a digital Interest Inventory on Google Forms was critical. Brianna’s limited experience with this platform, was balanced by her many years in the classroom, so she knew to address this student’s concerns immediately and with compassion. Allowing the student an alternative to the technology would have validated the student’s fears, thereby strengthening those fears. Instead, Brianna provided her with a safe and scaffolded process, that demystified the technology for the student, and the student went on to a successful and enjoyable semester.

“an interesting one with a student who was really anti-technology and her like misconception about technology she was only thinking about it as like using a cell phone all the time— so she was really scared and was in tears…. throughout the semester, she ends up adapting to the technology and once she adapted, she got over the fear of using it.”

And lastly, when asked to give advice to teachers who have yet to jump into a more technology enhanced delivery model:

“As teachers, we always want things to be organized and planned.  But this is not going to be perfect, and you just have to jump in.  We want our kids to take chances and be brave, so you have to take chances and be brave.”

 Although I need to work on my interview skills (at times, I was so awkward, that I wanted to go into the fetal position!), Brianna’s last quote is absolute gold. How can we, as teachers, as parents, as just plain people, preach to others, to act a certain way, or think a certain way, if we, ourselves, are not prepared to do so?  (side note: Kids pick up on adult hypocrisy all of the time. Perhaps we should actually listen to them, when they call us on our …. !)

Link to my transcript is here.

Wide and varied views on Technology in Math and Science

Key Words: Apathy, Coding and Life Long Learning

For this activity, I actually ended up interviewing four teachers. Teacher C was a male eighth-grade math and science teacher (he has been teaching for 13 years), Teacher S is a retiring grade seven teacher who teaches math but no science (she has been teaching for 28 years), Teacher S2 is a 3/4 grade teacher who teaches both math and science (she has been teaching for 15 years) and finally Teacher T is a tech consultant.

What I found interesting first off with two of the three teachers was just the general apathy about technology. They used it mostly to show a video or have kids play a game. They seemed to think they were using technology well and had no real interest in investing their own time to learn more. If the school board provided opportunities during the school day then they would be interested. Neither of these teachers had invested any of their own money for training or equipment (not a judgement just a fact as the other two interviewees has spent money on their own equipment).

The third classroom teacher had self-initiated learning technology and had attended several workshops on their own time and at their own expense. They were most frustrated by the red tape that is needed to use any sort of technology not approved by the board and had spent a lot of time with paper work to unblock sites or add drivers only to be denied by the board office. This teacher mentioned how she invested in a device to add to an iPad to be able to save student work. The driver needed to be added to the iPads so that it could be used. It was not allowed by the board, and she expressed exasperation at the fact that her students continue to be frustrated by lost work.

All three teachers felt that there was not enough training by the board to implement technology and that they were frustrated by blocked sites and inaccessibility to apps. While the board has been investing in hardware there is no training to go along with this. The staff have all been given Chromebooks but no in-servicing. One teacher used hers, of the other two one was locked in a drawer, the other had been leant to an Educational Assistant to use. All agreed they knew the Chromebook could be a powerful tool but they had no idea how to use it effectively.

Note: In terms of the interview questions I had prepared I found myself adjusting these as the interviews took place, teachers answers often covered more than one of my questions and repeating it as another question seemed redundant.

The fourth interviewee Teacher T is the interview I will share here, (the other three interviews will be available on my e-profile later this week). I specifically chose to interview this Teacher because of their own evolution of technology use, as well as, the opportunities that they make available to the staff of their school district.

Teacher T Interview

Teacher T has been teaching for about 15 years in the Edmonton School System. She spent several years as a classroom teacher and then a teacher in a designated special needs room. She has spent the last two years as an Emerging Technology Constultant and loves the job. I met teacher T through the MET program. We have collaborated on several projects and keep in touch outside of the MET forum. Teacher T was an enthusiastic participant in the interview. The interview took place over Google Hangouts (we screen videoed the session and used Google Docs with voice typing to keep track of the notes). The interview took place at 9pm Ontario time on a Thursday evening.

What prompted you to begin integrating digital technology into your classroom and how has your use of digital technology developed since you began?

Okay, so actually this one’s a really important one because I was one of those stereotypical teachers that was terrified of technology.
I really didn’t use it other than when I was forced to check my email and I would like Google stuff to find out the answer. What I mean is I could use the internet that was about it. All of that changed because about eight years ago I moved from the regular class to a severe special needs program. It was a group of 14 students at a time and grades 4 5 and 6 chronologically but academically about K to grade 1 and I went in the room and tried to teach you like you teach anybody. Let’s shove intervention down their throats, you know keep giving them more books and more practice and more worksheets and I was feeling miserable and at the time I was pregnant. Thank goodness I was going on maternity leave. I really struggled with that classroom and what was interesting was while I was gone on mat leave they had installed a smart board without even telling me and I cried because I realized I was one of those who teachers didn’t have a clue what I was doing to do.

That was the 180 change in me, I decided I was going to actively integrate technology purposefully in this class. It really felt like this was going to be the linchpin that could be the Difference Maker to these kids. So I did a ton of research and really looked at how I could do a different program. I realized nobody around me was doing it differently, if I was going to do this I had to be really going to war with it.

I started with Twitter because if there’s any place to find up to the minute information about how to use technology it was going to be there and in the back channels I found this thing called a Raspberry Pi and I thought okay okay I can do this. You build your own computer and learn to code and finally, I convinced myself I’m going to do this so I went to a teacher’s convention session on Raspberry Pi and I made my husband who’s a teacher come with me because I didn’t want to go alone. When we arrived the speaker pulled me aside and said you know this if for Raspberry Pi I think you are in the wrong room. And I said no I’m here for Raspberry Pi and when I turned around I realized I was the only girl in the room in a sea of male high school science teachers. I just decided to try my best so I went in that room and I was the first person to build my computer was the first person to unpack the new software and it was a changing point for me. I decided no more being afraid and so I dug into coding and using a physical computer with the Raspberry Pi, it was perfect because while I was teaching my students I was learning it so my student really transformed they started to build a computer. I had a student who couldn’t spell his name right and yet he built a computer and maybe he couldn’t write a story but damn if couldn’t put together some awesome graphics. My students went from being terrified, terrified of death by Papercut to computer builders. From there we moved on to Minecraft, to the Makey Makey we started hacking things for a classroom to make a night vision camera to discover what nocturnal animals do at night. We made our guinea pig take selfies using tin foil and some celery and you know the Makers Space and robotics meeting changed them and changed me and I never looked back so from there. I love building computers, I honestly just got a Raspberry Pi 3 today. I work with emerging technology every day and it excites me.

If you were to focus on learning and integrating one new program or application related to math or science, which program/application would you recommend in terms of having the most impact on student learning within the classroom?

2. Up and down my number 1 answer without even thinking about it is coding. it’s one of those things that’s quickly becoming a new leader, see it’s becoming our way of life, it is a language we all need to learn to speak and is foundational to mathematics and science literacy. All of it regardless of whether you are four years old or you’re in high school and coding is easily accessible by anyone, anywhere. The best place to start is The Hour of Code website they, have it broken down where you can filter subject area, grade level, ability level, device type and they will filter for you what apps or web-based programs work for you. It contains tutorials so that the teacher doesn’t have to feel like they need to be the expert. What is fantastic is they will learn along with the kids. You know it starts with simple things like Anna and Elsa from Frozen and they create snowflakes in the ice and what’s really amazing is that you are learning measurements, learning angles, you are learning all of this mathematics. I actually had a teacher well you’re not supposed to learn angles until grade 6, that’s in our grade 6 program of studies here in Alberta and I thought let this kid use angles! Coding is just one of those powerful, powerful foundations that you can use across anything. You have to code, code, code!

Can you share how your assessment of student learning has changed with the integration of digital technology into your math or science classroom?

3. Yeah! 100% if we’re going to move to using digital Technologies in math and science we cannot just take the learning or even the teaching of it using new digital Technologies and then completely rely upon the traditional assessment. We have got to move away from paper-based assessments. To really capture the base level Knowledge and Skills only with paper in math and science isn’t going to work. Why do we give a kid a list of 30 questions? If they could do it after 5 we know they can do it. You know what we’ve done is sucked the love of learning out of our students in math and science. It should be those two subjects that we love because it’s real life learning, it’s Hands-On learning, it’s problem-solving and we have reduced it down to a fill in the blank answer on the line. If we’re going to use digital technology then we need to use it properly and assess properly and there’s no better way than just plain and simple documentation. Video and images, capturing contextual concepts in the moment. In the moment learning and it’s so simple to do whether that’s a simple screen capture of something that they have done, or using an app say show me what you know. Have them going through a demonstration or whether you’re using a Chromebook and you’ve installed the extension screencastify and it’s them explaining, hey teacher here is how I do this and I’m moving manipulatives. This can be done for higher-level projects, they can also be done to demonstrate everyday learning instead of filling in the blanks on this worksheet let them play the game online and record themselves using screencastify and then talk about it. Higher level thinking cannot be reduced to a fill in the blank

What do you see as a barrier to teacher education in technology?

4. Teacher education whether in pre-service training or in-service training is like the idea of the murder on the Orient Express.The whole idea of that was there were many different facets that that came together to cause this problem. I see the number one factor is we rely on this lovely excuse of “well I did not learn that in my teacher preparation courses, therefore I will never need to use this in the class” and we put everything on teacher preparation. I call that out because especially in the realm of Technology with the speed at which technology is changing there’s no possible way that we can expect it to be part of our teacher preparation courses. Because by the time you graduate it is no longer relevant. What’s more important is the technology pedagogy. Those big things we need to look at like digital citizenship. We need to look at a representation of learning. We need to look at technology thinking in all of those student teachers. The actual technology it is going to change, is going to change, is going to change… because that is the nature of technology.

What about your role as a tech consultant?
I’m an emerging technology consultant I’m part of a team of 5 for 90 schools 40 000 students, 3000 teachers and I have to make sure how I cover my bases for my learners. I offer professional develop workshops, I make sure I cover the cost of Subs are coming into class and workshops, I create online resource materials that are always posted and available. I have a YouTube video channel where I’m posting weekly lessons and ideas. I have to make sure that I’m providing those learning opportunities for teachers Teachers need to take ownership of that which they need to learn but I can’t take a horse to water and make them drink. I need to make sure that we are promoting and we are not apologizing that we need to have 21st Century Learning in our classrooms. That technology is not an inconvenience or optional or block four on Friday. This is part of our everyday learning and if we create those options then we will draw in more teachers. I have to make sure that we really are reframing professional development. That’s been a goal of mine this year but number one with this is going to come down to the leadership and administration. I am going into this school tomorrow to do a Google workshops following up from PD that I did and the principal is providing internal coverage so that two teachers at a time can come and ask me anything they want about Google based on where they’re at in their learning. We also make sure that we provide schools for half-day sub release cost. In Alberta Thursday afternoons are considered professional development time, we don’t have students so we go into schools and we put on workshops are we hosting big District workshops at those times as well. I go into schools for drop-in sessions and I am getting a completely different demographic of participants. This is the one that my teachers are coming to, the ones that you know don’t really open up the doors of their classrooms. And it was really interesting to see the different people because this is a safe and smaller way to get them support. On the other hand I know that there’s some people I will never reach that way so I have something called do-it-yourself learning where I have a lot of hyperdocs where I create a digital materials and I am always adding to it and people who want to be a self-learner but don’t have to go through the Google search for finding the resources. I have created and filtered and put them together and our do-it-yourself site and our YouTube series is incredibly popular. I am doing these weekly webcasts so people can watch me a hundred times but they can also play me while they’re on their computer doing what I’m saying and push repeat and push pause and go back and so that has been a real plus.

What is your most important message to teachers?

I always try to get across the idea of “why is learning tech optional”? Our boards take on new programs and new initiatives and whether they like it or not teachers do it because they are expected to. Why is learning tech optional? In Alberta, part of our teacher mandate is to be life-long learners. The mission statement doesn’t say to do what we have always done, it states to be life-long learners. We need staff to embrace this and learn tech. If someone doesn’t know where to start it is easy to follow the ISTE standards for students and the ISTE standards for staff. Take one step and suddenly you will realize this isn’t something that will go away. We need to learn tech to be effective educators.


Interviews – Elementary (Grade 5/6) and Secondary (Senior Sciences)

I conducted two interviews, as I was interested to see the differences between the uses of digital technology in elementary and secondary classrooms.

Key words: accommodation, accountability, communication, collaboration, engagement.

Abstract for Interview #1 (Teacher T, Secondary, Senior Sciences):

Interview #1 (Interview length: 21 minutes 12 seconds): Teacher T is a teacher in a small town in northwestern British Columbia (population between 5500-6000). The interview with Teacher T took place in the afternoon, after students had been dismissed, in Teacher T’s classroom. Teacher T is a secondary science teacher who is teaching Biology 11&12, Chemistry 11&12, and Science 10 this school year. Teacher T has been teaching for twenty-five years and considers herself seven years away from retirement. Teacher T did not review the interview questions ahead of time.

In the interview with Teacher T, three significant themes emerged: The ability to accommodate learners who lead lives that include travel (i.e., extracurricular sports, vacations) or who are ill and are unable to attend class, and at the same time increase accountability in her learners; the importance of decreasing anxiety and providing review for students outside the classroom; and the opportunity digital technology provides for the teacher to move more freely around the classroom in order to assess learning, as well as misconceptions, during class time, rather than waiting for a submitted work assignment or test.

Teacher T began using technology when some of her students, who were on the school wrestling team, were going to be absent in the week leading up to a provincial exam, and would be “missing some crucial lessons.” In order to provide the students with the lessons, the teacher recorded and uploaded the lessons, sending them via a link to enable the students to prepare for their exam during their absence. From there, Teacher T’s use of technology to provide recorded lessons for students to access away from the classroom has grown to include the Camtasia program, Moodle and YouTube platforms, a class set of iPads (through a $10,000 grant), and lessons delivered in a Flipped Classroom style. With the posting of lessons online, Teacher T is able to accommodate learners during absences. In addition to this, Teacher T points out, “it keeps them accountable because often they’ll say, “Well, I wasn’t here” but the lesson was loaded…So that’s not really an excuse anymore and for those kids, you know, that are doing those extracurriculars…they don’t get quite as stressed because they know the lesson’s there.” Today, Teacher T records most lessons and uploads them to YouTube, then posts the link on her class Moodle site for students to access. The addition of a YouTube link allows students to access lessons using their phones from anywhere with internet service. Students without internet access can download lessons to a stick (using KeepVid) prior to leaving school, so accommodations are made for students without internet access.

As Teacher T teaches primarily senior science classes, many students deal with stress and anxiety around learning concepts, or being absent and getting behind quickly. However, with the lessons posted online, students are able to access the information needed from the day’s class. “Kids will come back after being sick and they’ve already watched the lesson, so I don’t have to reteach; I just get to help them with it.” Teacher T has also developed Moodle lessons which provide practice questions online that students can watch and pause, as they work through the questions and answers, step-by-step, outside the classroom “…they’re hearing me, and they’re hearing what I want, they’re hearing what I want to see.” Students receive the review they need, and class expectations are reinforced as well. As Teacher T pointed out, “the kids enjoy it. They don’t panic as much when they’re missing classes. They rewatch them too. Especially those who are really anxious students.” Teacher T has also integrated a Flipped Classroom approach into some of her more difficult lessons, allowing students more time to prepare for classes dealing with challenging concepts. For example, students might be given three to four days to prepare at home by watching lessons and taking notes before a lesson on a particularly difficult concept, “Because it’s a difficult concept, so they’ve had time to look at the words and be familiar with them and then have a major discussion.”

Finally, the use of digital technology has allowed Teacher T the opportunity to move around the classroom to check students’ comprehension and misconceptions. Because most lessons are recorded and Teacher T now has some backup lessons, there are days that she can have students listen to a pre-recorded lesson (each student or partnership has access to an iPad and headphones) while she goes around to each student individually to discuss their understanding and answer any questions, providing her with valuable one-on-one time with her students. This has also provided her with the opportunity to work with small groups on practice questions, diagrams on whiteboards, and so on, to check and assess learning and comprehension, “So they’re still getting that lesson, but they’re getting more group time…”

Full interview transcript for Interview #1: Interview 1 – Teacher T – interview transcript


Abstract for Interview #2 (Teacher A, Elementary, Grade 5/6 split class, French Immersion):

Interview #2 (Interview length: 19 minutes 27 seconds): Teacher A is also a teacher in a small town in northwestern British Columbia (population between 5500-6000). The interview with Teacher A took place during Teacher A’s lunch hour in a learning support room in the school where Teacher A works. Teacher A is in her 30’s and has been teaching for eight years (with some time away in between due to maternity leaves). She originally trained as a secondary science teacher, but has taught in classrooms as young as kindergarten. She is currently employed as a full-time French Immersion teacher in a K-7, dual-track school (French/English), teaching in a grade 5/6 split class. Teacher A requested, and was given, questions ahead of time in order to prepare some notes for the interview.

There were three significant themes that I felt came out in my interview with Teacher A: Enhanced learning experiences for students (which included increased engagement); the opportunity to engage with peers to collaborate in group project environments; and an increased ability to communicate with parents, and to include parents in their child’s learning.

Teacher A began our interview by referencing a quote (uncited) that she had heard, “…about teaching kids nowadays for a future that doesn’t technically exist yet…so you’ve got to teach them the skills to be able to work in a future that doesn’t exist.” In order to do this, Teacher A ensures that her students have access to a variety of technologies and programs, such as iPads, iMovie, Scratch, Plickers, Mr. Naussbaum (math games), math manipulatives games, YouTube, and [Class]Dojo. She also emphasized that she uses her digital projector and document camera daily and considers those two pieces of equipment the “two top technologies” for her classroom. Teacher A pointed out that today, “…education isn’t just about memorizing facts and vocabulary words. It’s about solving complex problems and being able to collaborate with others. So working using that technology as that piece to collaborate with others and how am I going to teach them to use those tools that don’t exist yet.”

To collaborate with others, students are given many options to complete group assignments as assessments of learning. For example, students are currently completing culminating projects for their French verbs, with groups completing iMovies (“How do you teach French verbs to make it fun? You make an iMovie, right?” ~ Teacher A), posters, songs, and so on. Teacher A keeps only six student iPads in her room, which ensures that students learn to share and work collaboratively to complete assignments and projects.

To communicate with parents and increase parents’ ability to connect with her classroom and stay informed about what students are learning, Teacher A uses both Facebook and FreshGrade on an ongoing basis. At the beginning of each week, Teacher A lets parents know what key concepts will be covered, as well as posting spelling words, major school events, and so on. In addition to this, videos of activities or projects taken during the week may be posted as well. Teacher A attempted to create a class blog (first two months of this school year), but found Facebook “…way more accessible for parents because not a lot of people check a blog… Everybody checks Facebook and so it’s just, it’s an easy way to communicate with parents…and students.” While Teacher A admits that FreshGrade is time consuming, she says it has been “a good way to communicate” with parents and has allowed her to see which parents are accessing their children’s work through the system. In addition to this, these platforms have allowed parents to provide comments and feedback regarding class activities and student work.

Full interview transcript for Interview #2: Interview 2 – Teacher A – interview transcript

Elementary Interviews – Time, Training, Troubleshooting


I interviewed two elementary school teachers who work in my school, one in primary and the other in the junior division. I work in the intermediate division so this gave a good cross section for discussion around the use of technology in the math and science classes we teach. The interview was held informally in my classroom after school. Every classroom in the school has a mounted Smartboard and projector, a document camera, and laptop. For clarity, our age range is from 46-56, so we are not digital natives as most technology has been developed after we had completed our education.

The first teacher TM, teaches a grade 2/3 split class and has been teaching for 15 years in the primary division. She is not quite a technophobe, but she admits to not being totally comfortable with technology and often requires a lot of support to integrate it into her classroom.  She is fairly comfortable using her Smartboard, but in limited ways to show videos and use pre-selected programs. She uses her document camera extensively to moderate student work and to show examples.

The second teacher TC, is a long term occasional teacher in a grade 6/7 classroom, and has been teaching on a supply basis for five years. This is her second full year as an LTO at our school. As a more recent graduate from teacher’s college, she is more aware of different programs that are available for education. She also uses the Smartboard consistently as a screen to showcase programs, videos, or games, but does not use the Smart Notebook as a tool. The hovercam is also a tool that she uses on a regular basis.

To add to the mix, I teach grade 7 and have been teaching for 15 years also. I use my Smartboard every day incorporating a lot of the Smart Notebook lessons into my day, as a screen to show videos or internet sites, as the platform for our Classcraft activities, and as a place to show the students what has been entered into Edmodo or Google Classroom. I also have the use of a document camera as a way to moderate student work, take up work and show examples in real time.

One of the overarching themes that came through in the discussion was the lack of training to integrate technology into the classroom, whether it was for new teachers in teacher’s college or established teachers attempting to use it in the classroom. Both teachers felt that there was a big push for teachers to use different types of technology in the classroom, but that there was no real training to back up the initiative. Any knowledge or skills acquired were usually done on the initiative of the teacher themselves or it was a one off PD session with no follow up or time to practice. TM noted that “any pursuit of professional development must be on your own time, you must seek it out on your own” and TC echoed that with “it is not available in the school and we are not given enough time to practice and apply our new knowledge.”  I added that any real knowledge or understanding of the technology that I use in my classroom has come from my own initiative, finding courses online, or seeking out courses offered through the Board of Ed or my union. All of us agreed that if there were better training and time given to practice and apply the knowledge, there would be a greater integration of technology into all the subjects at a higher order level than just using them for typing or research.  It was also felt that this would give more established teachers a higher comfort level using technology as it does not come naturally to us, it is not our culture so there is a higher learning curve for many of us.

Tying in with this was the idea of being an expert in using technology is necessary for it to be used effectively in the classroom. Both teachers disagreed with this, but added that it helps. TM stated that it is not necessary but it helps, the less expertise you have in the technology, the more time consuming it is to use it and therefore prohibitive to teachers under a curriculum time constraint.”  This underlines the idea seen in some of the videos that some programs are too time consuming to institute effectively in the classroom and teachers do not feel they have the time to devote to it. TC added that many established teachers have an issue with students being more competent and knowledgeable around technology and viewed it as a weakness on their part.”

The major hurdle or challenge for these teachers was accessibility, of the devices and of training or assistance. Devices in the school have to be signed out through the library and are often not available when it is an optimum time for them to be used. TM explained that there are no teachable moments when we can just turn and use the technology in a seamless way as they would have needed to be signed out a week in advance, and I don’t have ESP to be able to know exactly when something like that will occur in the class.” It is difficult to know where you will be in your pacing of subjects to be able to determine when it will be the best time to sign them out. It is impossible to use them in the way they should be integrated as they are used in real life applications. TC added that when the devices freeze or crash there is a lot of lost time trying to fix it, or reboot it, and we lose the class’ attention while they wait. Often it is something we can’t fix and it takes days or weeks before someone from the board will take care of it.” , essentially making the technology inaccessible to the classroom while we are waiting for it to be functional.

We concluded that in order for us to move forward with more seamless integration of technology in the math and science subjects, or in the classroom culture overall, there would need to be more deliberate and ongoing training for teachers in up-to-date software and new hardware offered by the Board within the school day much as the math and language initiatives have been over the years. That students and teachers need to be immersed in the subject with the devices to be able to use them seamlessly and to a higher order level  in order to transform learning.

My colleagues and I thought it would be interesting to take the discussion and put it into a word cloud to see what popped out the most.

To see the questions and transcription of my interviews, please check them out on my efolio webpage at


Limitations of Technology



The interviewee I worked with is in her fourth year of teaching and is currently teaching Kindergarten in British Columbia, BC. The interview took place in the late afternoon of her classroom. Three aspects of the interview stood out to me. First, her limited use of technology (i.e. document camera, videos, and projector). Most uses of technology were used mainly for her teaching. Students had no interaction with the technologies. Second, the differential experience with technology her and her teacher education classmates had regarding Smart Boards. She did not feel that her teacher program prepared her for integrating technology but she also felt that her classmates “definitely felt differential in terms of technology coming out of the program.” Another aspect I found interesting was her limitations regarding integrating technology. From the start, she noted how her teaching partner does not use technology, which seems to have some influence on her as she says that “her teacher partner does not want to use technology with kindergarten students” and therefore she is “not currently using technology” in the classroom. Other limitations she mentions include the unreliability of technology based on its durability and wifi connectivity issues. Furthermore, she goes into detail about the inconvenience of the sharing aspect of technology. She says, “some schools have computer labs, which are shared between all classroom classes and resource classes. There are sometimes iPad cards that hold about 20 iPads, but again, shared between all classes. On top of that, teachers have to physically go somewhere else in the school to sign those out, sometimes finding out that the time they wanted use the iPads is already booked.” Though my interviewee currently does not use technology in teaching the math and sciences, she has shared her perspective about the limitations behind its use.


Interview Transcript


Tell me about your teaching experience.


Currently i am a kindergarten teacher in BC, but I’ve taught k-3 in the past


What is your experience of integrating technology in the math and sciences?


Because i’m in a temporary job share position, and my teaching partner does not want to use technology with kindergarten students, I am not currently using technology in my class. However, in the past I have. I had a projector and document camera in my class that was super helpful. I used it almost every time we met at the carpet. But specifically for math and science, I loved showing videos for students to have a deeper understanding on concepts and when I did science experiments, I could show it easily on the document camera instead of having kids crowd my table.


How well do you think your teacher education program prepared you for integrating technology?


I had one-off workshop that introduced Smart Boards and how to use it, but I wouldn’t say my program really prepared me for integrating technology. I do have some friends that did their practicum in a school that had smart boards in every class, so they definitely felt differently in terms of technology coming out of the program.


What are some ways you believe technology can help students understand math and science concepts?


I see technology as an extension to face-to-face teaching. If I can’t reach certain students using the methods i know, technology would be something to try.


Do you believe there are some limitations with regards to integrating technology in the math and sciences?


It can break, wifi at the school is wonky sometimes, it’s not reliable, some teachers don’t really know how to use it. Also, in my experience, there is not a lot of technology to go around. For example, some schools have computer labs, which are shared between all classroom classes and resource classes. There are sometimes iPad carts that hold about 30 ipads, but again, shared between all classes. On top of that, teachers have to physically go somewhere else in the school to sign those out, sometimes finding out that the time they wanted to use the iPads is already booked.


What are some challenges in the future for classrooms around technology?


In my opinion, getting technology permanently in all classrooms. If it’s in the class, teachers are more likely to use it. But of course, it’s expensive and technology may or may not be the priority in school districts.

Interview Help with Google Docs

If you haven’t done your interviews yet I have a couple of suggestions to help you make life easier. If you have any tricks I would love to hear them.
I just did a google hangouts video interview and screen recorded it. (Permission form already signed and ready to go), but also used another feature that is really helpful. We tried it for this video chat and it worked great. If you use GAFE’s you can open a google doc and under tools click voice typing. It does (or at least in this case) it did a great job of transcribing the voice interview into a typed google document. It doesn’t catch the punctuation in fluid speech but it certainly saves time transcribing the notes.
If there are any sections that I am unsure of I have the video to go back to.
Hope someone finds this helpful.

Informal learning, Teacher training, Deliberate use of technology



The Interviewee, “Mr. A.”, is a male teacher of caucasian descent in his mid 30’s. He has 9 years teaching experience solely within the Alberta public school system. His current teaching context is a mid-sized k-8 school where he teaches grade 6 homeroom and physical education. The school is well funded by an active parent booster group that views technology in the classroom very positively and has aided the school in numerous large technology purchases. The school district as a whole is very diverse and covers both rural and urban settings. School sites are spread across a significant geographic area and Mr. A’s school is located roughly an hour away from the division’s central office.


The interview took place in the teacher’s classroom during the lunch break. There are a few students in the room having lunch or doing work. A laptop cart is open against the wall and a number of ipads are visible on the students’ tables. There is a smartboard mounted to the front wall of the classroom.



Three central themes emerged from the interview. Firstly, Mr. A viewed technology as an integral part of not only a student’s school education, but that technological skills would be necessary in their adult lives. It was clear from his comment ”… technology is not going away and we need integrate it more into the lives of the students that are going to be using it” that Mr. A sees technology as not only a pedagogical tool but as a necessary end in its self. This was directly reflected in his statement that  “… they [Alberta Education] should build computer science in to the curriculum. I think programming is going to be the way of the future and I that programming is going to be a need for every single kid going forward.”.  He felt so strongly about this matter that he proposed that curriculum designers should ” Take out one of the health classes and put in computer science, programming, where you have a programming expert in every classroom, in every school, starting at about grade 5 or grade 6”.


While Mr. A clearly embracing technology as a welcome necessity, he made it clear that it was only one tool among many in his classroom. He identified specifically the grade 4 science unit on things that move as an area where he did not want them to be using computers. He “… wanted them to build things hands on. And even wheels and levers, [He] wanted the kids to build trebuchets to see how the lever works instead of watching it on a computer they actually build it with their hands and manipulate it.”. Mr. A noted that there is an intrinsic attraction between his students and technology. So much so that “…students would rather work on the computer almost all the time but they need to have a little more hands on experience with these things like how to use a calculator or in science how to build a bridge or something with their hands.” Mr. A found that he had to take measures to ensure students were exposed to a variety of learning tools and not just computer technologies.


Mr. A also acknowledged frequently the difficulty of getting teachers the training they need to successfully integrate technology into their math and science classrooms. He noted that “You can ask for an expert to come out and help you with these things but it’s really hard because of all schools across the school division and only a couple of experts to come and help you. You’ve got to book the pretty far in advance.”. He identified that most of the effective technology learning happening in his context was a result of informal learning from colleagues. This seemed to be both a convenience for teachers and a necessity born of limited training staff as supported by his comment “If a teacher knows how to do something, we would go to that teacher because lots of times with the district it’s hard for them to come out and teach you…”.


Interview Transcript:


Interviewer: Already Mr. Anonymous, what do you see as the benefits of using technology in the maths and sciences classrooms



Interviewee: Well, technology is not going away and we need integrate it more into the lives of the students that are going to be using it. The sciences, for sure, where I think we’re going to a little bit more of a coding and coding will be part of science going forward. The more interactions students have with that the better. It also allows them to experience more things that are happening around the world through videos and multimedia with that. For Math, I see it as a tool to help enhance student learning. If you get the right app, instead of worksheets, works with their hands and pencils. They can do it as more of an extension of learning.


Interviewer: Excellent. Can you explain some of the challenges of using technology in teaching and learning as it applies to your context, in your classroom.


Interviewee: Some of the challenges is that students would rather work on the computer almost all the time but they need to have a little more hands on experience with these things like how to use a calculator or in science how to build a bridge or something with their hands.


Interviewer: So, you are saying it is one of a diversity of tools?


Interviewee:  Yeah, you need to have a combination of both. You need to have… need to know how to use a computer for both math and science but they also need to be able to use their hands.


Interviewer: Alright, so what are some of the things influence how and what kinds of technologies you chose to use?


Interviewee: Availability is a big thing. What is available to us.


Interviewer: Ok, so what are some examples of things that are available to you?


Interviewee: So, for us, we’re doing flight. We would really like a wind tunnel. It would help out a lot with certain things but budget constraints and the fact that wind tunnels can be very expensive and hard to build. That’s a big constraint for us. I don’t won’t the kids to become technology dependent. So, that’s one of the big things I do in my classroom is to not have them use technology all the time.


Interviewer: So it’s a conscious choice to use or not use technology?


Interviewee: Yes, exactly


Interviewer: So, are there any specific situations where you definitely would not want to use technology? Can you think of a topic maybe?


Interviewee: Yes, Grade 4 building things that move. I did not want them to be using computers. I wanted them to build things hands on. And even wheels and levers, I wanted the kids to build trebuchets to see how the lever works instead of watching it on a computer they actually build it with their hands and manipulate it.


Interviewer: So, you had the option of possibly some simulations but you felt that that was a better way to go is to do it hands on?


Interviewee: Exactly, and then the trial and error basis was the way to do it from there.


Interviewer: Mhm, more possible things that can go wrong than what’s been programmed into the computer.


Interviewee: Exactly, yup


Interviewer: So, do you see any differences between how newer math and science teachers are using technology versus more established teachers?


Interviewee: Yes! More established teachers seemed a little bit more… apprehensive and sometimes even afraid of technology because they don’t understand it or use it as often.


Interviewer: okay.


Interviewee: So, the newer ones have grown up with using the computer or grown up with using a cell phone, so they know how to manipulate it, they know how to find it, they teach with it, whereas older teachers might not have grown up with it and its harder for them to catch on.


Interviewer: Ok. So, I can certainly understand how they would have grown up with it. How do you think they came to understand how to teach with these tools versus the older teachers?


Interviewee: Well….I don’t know. When I was going through university, you used the computer for everything. And once you get used to using that computer you want to use it and introduce it into your everyday life because you’re using it anyways. So, you find things on their that would motivate the kids that you think are cool and the kids think its cool too. So, you would use it more often.


Interviewer: So, there’s maybe a little less of a gender gap


Interviewee: Yup


Interviewer: Sorry, gender gap…generation gap


Interviewee: yeah


Interviewer: alright, so, can you describe some of the supports you get from your organization in using technology in the classroom. Be that your school or your district….


Interviewee: Uhh [long pause]….. the district [long pause] …. Is not as great at helping us out. Its more teacher helping teacher. If a teacher knows how to do something, we would go to that teacher because lots of times with the district it’s hard for them to come out and teach you when you can go to the teacher next door that knows how to do it just as well as the expert. There are some experts that will come and help you set up a web page or a moodle site or something like that but the stuff the you would use actually in the classrooms…more other teachers are the support.


Interviewer: So, you’re finding maybe a lot of the practical stuff is coming from peer mentors?


Interviewee: Yes.


Interviewer: So, is there any space that the district if maybe helping build in. Is there any time within your schedule to seek out these teacher mentors or anything like that?


Interviewee: Mostly on community of practice days. Those are self-directed professional days. You can ask for an expert to come out and help you with these things but it’s really hard because of all schools across the school division and only a couple of experts to come and help you. You’ve got to book the pretty far in advance.


Interviewer: So, there’s some space and time but there might be a lack of experts and training available?


Interviewee: yes


Interviewer: Alright. So, if there was something right now that was most needed to help get support for science and technology …or science and math technology in classrooms, umm, what do you think we need right now in terms of that?


Interviewee: I think they should build computer science in to the curriculum. I think programming is going to be the way of the future and I that programming is going to be a need for every single kid going forward.


Interviewer: So, when you say into the curriculum, do you mean a specific subject or just in general that it should be infused in everything…?


Interviewee: I think it should be almost like a new subject. Take out one of the health classes and put in computer science, programming, where you have a programming expert in every classroom, in every school, starting at about grade 5 or grade 6 when kids are getting pretty…pretty inept [sic. {adept?}]with computers….or not inept, but pretty good at computers and have them learning how to program from then on. And start it for about 3 years and then in grade 8 or grade 9 have it as an option if they want to keep going forward with it.


Interviewer:  So, have you ever had experience teaching in a school that had a computer class? I’ve heard that they used to happen some times?


Interviewee: When I was in high school, they had a computer class but now it seems to be…there’s not really a computer expert. Every teacher needs to be a computer expert but there’s just like a mechanics teacher, I think we should have a computer science teacher. Somebody to be able to teach these kids to program.


Interviewer: Alright, well thank you very much for your time.


Interviewee: Thank you.