As I sat down with my mentor teacher to fill out the tech in my placement survey, I was surprised to find out about all of the resources available to students at DSA. Within my mentor's classroom, technology is seldom used and if it is, it is often the teacher that is in charge of it. There are instances where students are permitted to use their netbooks during class, but technology is often seen in the form of a projector where the teacher is guiding students through a lecture. I was surprised to find out about all of the resources that can be checked out of the library, such as digital cameras, camcorders, laptop carts, headphones, scanners, and smartboards, because I do not interact with them much in my classroom. I am wondering if many teachers in the building take advantage of these resources. Perhaps they are not utilized because they are not readily available in a classroom, or perhaps it is because technology is simply not integrated into curriculum in a way that garners frequent use.
Throughout this process, I was also surprised to find out about the differences in resources between individual classrooms at DSA. There are four other teaching interns at DSA and we all seemed to have a different list of technology that was available in our classrooms. Some had smartboards and projectors while others did not. Additionally, we all seemed to have television sets in the classroom, yet some worked and others did not. I wonder if the discrepancy between available technology is based on content area (math vs. science), or if it is simply a matter of not replacing items once they are broken.
I found it interesting that the technology students interacted with most is in their own hands. Students at DSA are able to check out their own netbook at the beginning of the year and are responsible for it throughout the school year. Not all students choose to check out a netbook and I wonder what the motivation is to obtain one. We have used the netbooks for instructional purposes a few times in my classroom, yet some students use them for inappropriate purposes such as online shopping during class. I hope to incorporate the use of technology into my teaching so that students will be more motivated to use these devices for instructional purposes than for distractions. There are many resources at my school that I have yet to tap into. I hope I can take advantage of what is available to me and my students as I start to take over more classes this year.