Lab Sessions: Integrating Technology?

For the first time I’m using a virtual campus and a lab on a regular basis. This is a new situation. Even though I’ve been using the web as part of my classes for almost 4 years, I have no experience at all with live online activities with students.

Soon I had to admit I was taking too many things for granted, which made the class a bit messy.

I assumed I controlled the contents I created. 

But then I saw that the school has copyright over the campus.

Solution: first I publish the activities under creative common license, then I copy them on the campus and attribute them to myself. Yes, more work, but I don’t want someone else to own what they’re not paying for.

I assumed students could follow written instructions. 

Well, most of them can’t. As they work at their own pace, the result was I ended up repeating individual instructions over and over again.

Solution: I use the projector to go over the whole activity before we start.

I assumed students would follow my instructions even when they implied new practices. But old practices rule. 

For example, they are supposed to search copyleft images, I give them the link to flickrcc and they use Google image search. Or they have to write using a campus application or a google doc and they use word.

Solution: No solution. Insisting and waiting, maybe.

I had to face a bigger problem. No. I mean, I’m facing a bigger problem.

I believe technology should be part of a class. Twitter, a piece of chalk, google search, delicious, a text book, a Cd, a blog, a sheet of paper, a wiki, a pencil… So, the thing is, how can a once in a month lab session (scheduled by someone else) be part of my classes?

I haven’t been able to work that out. In fact, I don’t want to work it out. Any solution to this would be a hoax. I could lie, lie to you, to the institution and even to myself and publish a list of the wonderful activities my students are developing. Well, some are wonderful, not doubt. Yet, they are not embedded in the classes.


Photo Credit: So Many Ways by Furryscaly


2 Comments to “Lab Sessions: Integrating Technology?”

  1. Your post deserves opening blogger and write out a response/extension of this conversation.

    Although I have little time between lessons, I want to point out just one reflection.

    This is the kind of analysis and outline of the variety and complexity of issues teachers face when “integrating technology”.

    It spans from copyright translated as respect to the beliefs that tech is as oxygen -as Chris Lehmann would put it.

    It is far from simple. The scenario only gets cloudier when a school believes that tech is bought and then you use and show it. The idea of education new technologies can enable and foster is the tip of the iceberg of an educational reform much needed before the wide adoption of blogs and social networks.

    In the meantime, blog on. Please.

    • Cloudier, yes.
      I’d been waiting for institutions to embrace technology for so long… Though I don’t have much faith in institutions, I cannot avoid feeling deceited. (Maybe deluded by my own enthusiasm/optimism) I still believe in people, but we are run-down, fearful; at least this is the way I see my close environment. Everybody complains, and still go on doing exactly the same.
      Institutions disregard people (in some cases even their customers). They sense they have to change; and they change, so that nothing changes.

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