…..it was not provoked, it was not premeditated, it was not said in anger or even in jest……it was just a casual conversation where suddenly I just opened my mouth and said what has been thought for a long time, often spoken about (in agreement at conferences), and something that needed to be said, but often left unsaid.
I said “Using a projector to display powerpoint is not using technology.”
The teacher did not jerk back in disbelief, look appalled, or eyes well up in tears.
The teacher did not jump to defend or begin to stammer out excuses.
The teacher nodded and agreed.
And then we started to talk about other possibilities of ways to use the projector in the classroom besides just displaying power points that held content that was already written in the books on the students desks.
We talked about the internet. We talked about her projecting her student work on the “white board” and then having peer editing. We talking about interactive maps and skype and blogs and email. We talked about her wireless keyboard/mouse and the opportunities if she began to pass it around her class. We talked about students creating presentations on chapters and project tests versus multiple choice tests.
We talked about turning off the projector and having conversations rather than just teacher led discussions. We talked about taking down the “mounted” projector and making it much more movable to a variety of locations. We talked about that if her projector was taken away, she could still continue as an effective teacher.
We talked about how having some professional development opportunities where our staff show ways they are using their projectors in their classroom might be helpful. We talked about asking “YOU” (my readers) how you might be using projectors in your classroom. We talked that perhaps using projectors just for powerpoint and for watching movies really is not a valid argument for having to have a projector.
We stood by her doorway and shared possibilities for 20 minutes today — because of the words I finally said out loud today.