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    Friday, 13 March 2009

    Me VS School Technology

    As a teacher, I am constantly being urged by the "Powers That Be" (or PTBs, thanks Angel) to integrate technology into my lessons on a regular basis. The thinking behind this is sound - we are living in an increasingly technological age and teachers need to prepare students for this to the best of their abilities.

    On the face of it, I have no problems with this - I agree with the general concept and I can even do the following exceptionally technological things:
    1) Send e-mail and attach things to email (there was a half day training session on this, no joke)
    2) Make PowerPoint presentations that use photos and sounds AND videos
    3) Write a blog (bonus points at my school for knowing what that is)
    4) Make/listen to a podcast and/or make/watch a vodcast (more bonus points)

    I also know what Twitter is (ULTRA bonus points!!), have a Facebook account and know where to find myspace... although all that's ever gotten me is a severe epileptic fit from those fucking crazy wallpapers everyone always uses. Seriously people, what the fuck?! (For another blog, perhaps)

    I know, I know. Right now you're thinking, "Holy fucking shit! Is this guy Captain Computer or what?!" Be calm, mere mortal. We cannot all tread amidst such lofty heights. Though your mind may be blown by my amazingness, do your best to cram it back in and carry on reading.

    So anyway, I know about quite a bit of "cutting edge" technology and this week I decided to be uber technological and make a few lessons extra special. Here's what happened:

    1) Could not show students videos relevant to their learning because youtube is blocked, even to teachers.
    2) Could not access Microsoft's free online learning tools because they require a hotmail address. Hotmail is blocked.
    3) Internet explorer crashes every time I try to access sites such as and others
    4) Tried to make a crossword online. Internet explorer crashed after I'd typed in 30 question/answers ... and didn't save any of it.
    5) Half the computers in any given computer room don't work.
    6) Websites requiring Flash player don't run.
    7) Students drafting assignments at home on new versions of MS Office can't open them at school, because school has the 2003 version... I don't have the admin privileges to install software.

    None of this is an exaggeration and all of this happened this week. The truly funny thing is that's not even half of the fun I had with technology this week.

    Upon reflection, it is clear that God was trying to teach me a lesson and I think I've finally figured it out. From now on, it's worksheets all the way, baby.

    Until the photocopier breaks down again.......


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