Well today I began my practicum. As all other EDC3100 students I met my class and mentor teacher. I am lucky as I have met with her before. I have a Year One class. The students seem very good and my mentor teacher seems to be very supportive. Her timetable and program do seem to be rather fixed due to the set-up of the school and its policies. The classroom does have an interactive whiteboard which is displayed on a TV touch screem. The IWB’s interactivity frequently is lost and then the teacher or student has to use the computer keyboard and mouse which is some distance from the IWB. There are a set of iPads which I have no experience with. I thought I was at a disadvantage, but then I read Maree Constantinou’s blog, ‘It’s Gonna Be a Hard Drive!’ Poor Maree! I thought my practicum was going to be a tricky one as my classroom has an IWB which loses its interactivity on a frequent basis, there are no PCs, there is a set of iPad which I have never used.
Maree wrote in her blog that she is ‘going to make mistakes, yes it is going to be hard, but I will get there – it won’t be for lack of trying!’ I think I also all into this frame of mind!
In her blog Maree cites a blog post about schools which deliberately choose not to have ICTs in the classrooms. The schools have a controversial pedagogical approach. The post is about a controversial teaching pedagogy known as ‘The Waldorf method’ which is nearly a century old, and does not allow computers or any other type of technology or ICT into the school, instead only includes resources such as pens, paper and knitting needles. One parent from a school which follows this pedagogy wrote: “I fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in grammar school, the idea that an app on an iPad can better teach my kids to read or do arithmetic, that’s ridiculous.”
I found the blog interesting. How can a schoolactively discourage something which is so important for its students’ futures?