New Teacher Laptops and Peripherals Boost Classroom Learning
Aldine ISD educators received new Chromebooks to use with their classes this year. Previously, another teacher and I shared a set of 25 laptops for our lessons. We alternated the days we used the computers; for example, she had them on Monday and Wednesday, I had them on Tuesday and Thursday, and we rotated every other Friday.
Now it’s so convenient to work with students, who have also received devices from the school in response to remote learning and the pandemic. Because students can do so much homework online, my room is less cluttered with papers. Parents also like being able to log in and see their students’ grades on the computer in real time, rather than waiting for a paper report.
I like being able to see when my students are online and the apps are constantly updating. As a reading teacher, I love finding ways to engage everyone, even when working digitally.
In addition to Chromebooks, the school gave us headphones and computer mice. These extras really help us as teachers.
Professional development needs are holding teachers back
I hope some class devices are old enough and the school can update them soon. One of the biggest challenges, however, is when new technology is brought into classrooms without any training. This can be especially challenging for less tech-savvy teachers who may not learn technology as intuitively.
When needed, I was brought to different classrooms last year, along with a few other tech teachers, to help with new apps or devices. The 2020-2021 school year was already crazy because everything was new, and nobody knew what was going on. Catching up takes time; it is important that we give a lot of grace to teachers when it comes to learning new technologies. We need to teach people how to use technology and not just say, “Get this, hurry up and learn it.”
READ MORE: Professional development supports digital transformation in K-12 districts.
Overall, the IT managers at Aldine ISD support everyone very well with the new computers.
When I have problems with the old technology in my class, I contact the IT help desk. It can be difficult not having an IT person on every district campus, especially when some campuses have more issues with technology.