Now that I am at a school where I actually have some technology, I use an LCD projector and document camera. The document camera allows me to demonstrate, show student work and just overall show the class anything I want. I also try to use video as much as possible in my classroom. I think that often something cannot really be experienced except on video. I use film versions of books I teach to provide my students with the setting. I also use background videos, such as from YouTube, to give my students extensive information quickly and visually.
Such great posts here.
I have used technology over the years as it was available: which until recently was limited.
Computers FOR TEACHERS in every classroom is new, with a direct feed to a large screen TV. I never have had the chance to learn to use a White Board, but they are in short supply.
Computer writing labs need to be signed out months in advance. Carts with laptops for the kids are available, but often in use and/or often not working.
The overhead is a big help for teaching and review. It's not exciting, but I gave up the idea of trying to compete with Disney a long time ago. The world may use these things, but not to entertain as much as to instruct or make money.
As mentioned, the "old-fashioned" way usually does not break down, and power outages only hurt with the overhead. Sometimes, I just learn to tap dance a little faster.
(In our district, I know that elementary and middle schools have more equipment so by the time the kids reach us, they are better versed in the new technologies that we haven't seen yet....hmmmm.)
In the district where I live, there is technology from elementary through high school. It provides an unleveled playing field for those of us who teach in "poorer" districts, I'm afraid.
During my short time in the classroom I only had an overhead projector. It was such a pain because the students always complained they couldn't see, and plus the projector was old and didn't have the best lighting.
Would I would love is an LCD projector or Smartboard. Setting up a blog or website is also in my plan.
If the classroom has reliable computers, I'd set up Webquests, Scavenger Hunts, and use other sites such as Brainpop.
Connecting traditional concepts with modern is one use for technology. For instance, after students read a number of short stories, they were given the assignment to retell the story using another medium of the fine arts--pictorial, music, etc. Since the school has a moving computer lab, the students could all use laptops in class for a couple of days, thus affording supervision and consultation with the teacher.
Nearly every student became engaged in this activity which afforded them an avenue for originality and personal expression. Some of the presentations were amazingly professional!
Technology seems to be the wave of the future. My district requires that all teachers become proficient in the use of technology in the classroom as a condition of continuing certification. I use it in a number of ways, primarily Power Points for Smart Board presentations and also by using Streaming Video. For my Advanced Placement classes, all assignments and my own notes (rather than lecture) are placed on a class web site which allows students to access class materials online and email homework, etc. to me. This eliiminates a tremendous amount of paper work. I have recently began using a classroom blog which allows for continuing discussion online. A wonderful site for this type activity is www.edmodo.com, specifically designed for use by classroom teachers. I highly recommend it.
I enjoy technology and I am very frustrated by it. We also have wireless LCD projectors in our classroom. Unfortunately only our laptops are able to connect to them. So I have to remember to put my information, notes, powerpoints, etc. on the laptop instead of my main computer. But I wouldn't go back. I enjoy the LCD projector quite a bit. I like to put quizzes, trivia review questions, quotes, illustrations--all sorts of things on the LCD that I would have never been able to do before.
I have an Elmo, though, just sitting in my room. It took a tech guy a half a day to set it up in my old room, but now that I have moved rooms, no one has had the time to set it up again. It should be a plug and play type of thing, but it has been anything but. So, there it is. A waste only because we don't have the know-how to deal with it. What happened to the old opaque projectors?
Speaking of old equipment--each teacher also has a dinosaur of a tv in his/her classroom. They don't work, are not hooked to anything, but evidently it takes an act of congress to remove them.
Now, we are going to I-Respond--the automatic clickers that supposedly give instant feed-back for student responses. I'm going for training tomorrow. It sounds good, but there's always such a learning curve.
I have observed in classrooms where the use of technology really enhanced the learning process and I have also seen it be a great hindrance to the learning process. As someone else has said it is dependent on the user of the technology to incorporate it properly into the lesson.
My district has recently made a big upgrade in technology -- they have installed wireless LCD projectors into a the ceiling of each classroom that we can then use with our school issued laptop computer. It is wonderful to be able to quickly show a video clip from a streaming internet site or to project a scan of a document that they have on paper. I probably don't use it enough, but I am still old school and like to write on the board! I try to use technolgy in small doses -- I will never believe that kids are MORE engaged because the teacher is using technology. Good teaching is about the person, not the "stuff."
For me, not much. My school doesn't have a lot to spend on technology. I'm happy when I can get a projector so that I can show images from my computer up on the wall.
For me, I use technology to find images, video clips, etc that will enrich my lessons. When I am able to, I like to show things like that so as to be able to do something other than just talking. One of the drawbacks of teaching in a poor, rural district, I guess.