During feedback this morning on an observed class a teacher reflected that a game which had been done on the IWB would probably have worked better using cards blue-tacked to the board or indeed, on the floor with cut-up cards. Observing the class I had come to the same conclusion: with young kids it took too long for them to manipulate the mouse / electronic pen so they obviously started losing interest and attention waned. What I thought very interesting, however, was that the comment came from the teacher, a teacher who was quite comfortable using technology in the classroom and had had no problem in developing the activity. It seems to me to be a real step forward if we are no longer, as trainers, worrying about teaching teachers how to use a program or IT tool but have advanced to the stage we can now analyze with teachers how best to use that tool and if and when it may be useful or not.
A recent article in El Páis deals with the same issue: we need to start being realistic about the use of technology in classrooms which is becoming easier as we move from initial euphoria and skepticism to a more balanced evaluation based on experience. Some statistics from eh article:
We cannot avoid technology in classrooms taking into account the vast majority of students will need to use technology in their future workplaces.
Nearly 90% of students have some access to computers and internet in their schools but only 4% use the computer in class an hour every week.
Nevertheless, a large percentage is asked to use technology including internet to complete homework. In other words, real, practical use of technology takes place at home.
All in all, teachers now seem more comfortable with technology on a technical level. What is missing is the pedagogical application.
Original article (in Spanish): http://tinyurl.com/7ndj8m4