Teachers shouldnât dismiss new technology without first asking the students. The students who attended Alan Novemberâs technology presentation said that some of his ideas seemed helpful, but most students heard nothing about him or heard negative reports. Students who were there said that many teachers were so dismissive that they sat in the back of the room checking e-mails and shopping online.
The faculty should be more encouraging of technological advances. Weâre not asking to replace the classroom with the Internet, just to have more supplementary educational materials online. Marlborough, Phillips Exeter Academy and Milken Community High School all have better online resources than we do. Donât let us get left behind without asking our opinion.
Many simple advances could improve the classroom experience for students and, no doubt, for teachers, who would appreciate the better-prepared students. Just having teacher schedules and class notes online would be a great help. Novemberâs suggestions â that we should have podcasts, blogs, wikis and global communication in the classroom â seem like in some cases they could be exceedingly helpful.
For Honors Chemistry, science teacher Stephen Marsden puts lecture notes online along with labs and handouts. He even has videos of AP Chemistry labs online. Latin teacher Paul Chenier actively takes part in Moodle, the schoolâs online forum. He has his students post translations gone over in class. Students find these resources immensely helpful. It is baffling that progressive teachers like Marsden and Chenier are in the minority.
Donât fight the technology. Letâs modernize. Of course not everything November talked about applies to every class, but teachers shouldnât dismiss everything behind closed doors. Let students be part of the decision.