After some discussions in my 3250 course around classroom management, is it possible to have advanced technology in the classroom?
I remember being 15 in math class and using a graphing calculator – the coolest piece of technology outside of computer class, and the kids who figured it out, discovered that there were games on these fancy calculators As a high school teacher, I remember there needing to be a lot of micro managing to put a stop to the gaming. Only allowing calculators to be out at specific times and other rules like this.
I was in high school right around the time that more and more students had e-mails, social media profiles like MySpace and more students than not, had cell phones. They didn’t do much other than text and make phone calls back then but we all had an obsession with texting each other in class – passing notes just got an upgrade.
Now its 2014 and technology has advanced, the examples I listed above are in a pedagogy learning environment so how do we manage our classrooms full of adults in 2014? Can we? Are we baby sitters?
It’s important to treat adults like adults and I would think the best way to put a the ownership of their learning is by stating at the beginning of the course a few ground rules and allowing the group to establish them as well. Adults own their learning and to “babysit” them is disrespectful.
The next challenge we face is of the students that choose to break the rules – for what ever reason but sometimes the adults in our classroom may act like children! Just because they are acting like children, we still need to treat them like adults – is this simple? no! but it can be done.
I have recently experienced this “adults acting like children” in my classroom and I can admit, I did not discuss it with them like adults. I’ve made it my mission to be aware of when an adult is acting like a child, dealing with the situation in an adult-adult way.
Some advice I received on this is to ask questions! Starting the conversation with something like “I need your help with something” allowing the students to be more open to hear what you want to say. Explain the situation that you are facing in your classroom and ask what they think should happen. Let them come up with the solution and you don’t call anyone out individually. You come to a conclusion together as adults, establishing and maintaining respect levels.