Friday, February 14, 2014

Fighting classroom boredom?

For the past two months, we have been battling the "curse of the projector" at one of my campuses. Projectors would turn on and then, turn off. We tried everything. Since our system is electronic (each classroom has a wall panel touch screen that controls to projector), we rebooted the system, updated the software, replaced projectors, and more. However, a few days ago, a sub came to us about a non-related issue concerning students. And, on happenstance, she mentioned that the "kids were saying they were turning off the projectors with their phones." At this particular campus, we knew that was 100% the case.

And, that made me think - yes, they should not be doing that as it can cause other problems with the projector. However, on the same note - are they so bored with the learning (or lack thereof) going on in class that they are looking for "challenges." Sadly, in many cases, it is the latter. The students look for challenges to test their technical ability and, oftentimes, that results in punishable behavior.

But, what if it didn't? What if we could channel that need to test their abilities in a positive manner? What if all teachers used technology as a regular part of their class instead of for rewards? In many classes where I've seen this behavior, teachers have given me the "I'm too old" or "I'm too busy" to learn technology. Isn't that doing students a disservice? Isn't that setting up a chain of negative behaviors? If students were engaged and were being challenged in a positive way, would we see as large of a need to "test their abilities"?

No solution is 100% effective, but I would like to test out this theory. In another campus where students are actively engaged and technology is just a regular part of the day, we have had ZERO instances of misuse of technology with over 500 students. Whereas, in other campuses, they get multiple reports a day....

Food for thought.

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