Lack of technology in the classroom is a problem around the country. As I talk with my colleagues, the one thing I hear alot is "I only have one computer, iPad, tablet, etc" in my classroom how am I suppose to effectively use it?
Do you have this problem in your school or district? If so, what suggestions can you make as to how we can overcome this problem.
First, I think that a single computer can be used effectively for a number of things (think about how you use your laptop). In conjunction with a projector, some really good instruction can take place. However, despite numerous articles talking about how to thrive with one computer, I feel that a classroom needs a computer/iPad/netbook for every two (or fewer) students to really take advantage of their worth. This means support from the administration, PTA, school board, and community. And it may also mean scrounging for hardware from people who are upgrading or getting new equipment. It also means asking students to bring their own hardware.
i agree with eric. though we have very limited time as teachers--finding more funds could help (i.e., grants, PTA's, business/corporate donations). having one computer, as long as you have an epson projector and a document camera, as eric suggests, is still very helpful and can increase student engagement, motivation, and learning. being able to project video to explain or model concepts or demonstrations is hugely vital to my classroom. though i appreciate having more computers in my classroom and access to them, one is better than none. if i was in that situation, i would use it mostly as a class (whole group) learning tool. i do admit that students gaining one-to-one access to it, would be tough, as students would have to pair up, share, and rotate in some way. it could be a while before everyone had a ton of hands on experience individually... hopefully, this is not the norm in most districts.
This discussion has some excellent suggestions.
I dealt with the problem for quite a while in my classroom. I often had a "student driver" who ran the computer for the class. The class would vote when choices were given. I quickly determined I needed to access other computers as it was difficult to get all students engaged.
My biggest challenge with donated materials has been a lack of district technology support. What suggestions does the community have on how we can get tech people to recognize and help teachers who have "scrounged technology" for their classrooms?