Friday, October 8, 2010

10/7 - Meetings and Movies and Drills, Oh My!

We began watching a movie in GM that will take a couple of days.  Those who compete in international whistling competitions tend to be pretty weird people — weird people with an amazing skill.

During the last class, the fire alarm went off.  We went outside and found out that this was one of the monthly fire drills (they don't tell teachers when they'll be).  There was a hitch, though.  Some miscommunication occurred between the school and the fire department, so when the alarm was pulled, the department sent a truck.  Thanks to procedural rules, we had to wait for the department to check the building before we could return to class.  Smooth, eh?

We also attended this odd faculty meeting after school during which we were shown a demonstration of a not-Smart Board® smart board and a couple other things.  The demonstration revealed almost nothing but how cumbersome and time-wasting these boards can be.  There was also this ritual of giving carnations (dyed with a school color) to people who did something laudable recently, and Mrs. D took the opportunity to introduce me to everyone and give me a flower.  That was sweet.

Technology............can provide one with tools that make teaching more effective.  I recently was in a college class that had a presenter do a very good job of showing us examples of technology being used to accomplish an educational goal more effectively than the non-tech alternative.  However, these smart boards just don't yet do the trick.  Maybe for a subject or two in a lesson or two, but not as any sort of universal "now we can teach better" magic wand.  Fundamentally, it takes longer to demonstrate something on one of those boards than it does to use markers or chalk, thus nullifying their value.

Ti Na Na - Clifton Jenkins

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