Why I’m not suffering from ‘Technostress’

I was reading an article in  TechnologyEd (part of Australian Teacher magazine) about ‘Technostress’.

Screenshot 2015-03-09 09.08.13

Here is the workflow of my Year 9 lesson on Friday (note: we are a 1:1 laptop school).

Prior to class updated class page on LMS (Learning Management System) to let students know what was happening for the class. Loaded a YouTube link in the collaborative space (social stream) on the class page to spark discussion for the start of class. 

Start of class. Linked my screen to IWB using the Apple TV (we have put them in all classrooms to eliminate need for cabling and to provide a method for mirroring that will enable devices to connect regardless of ports they have – Air Parrot helps us to connect PCs via the Apple TV)

Opened LMS class page – showed the YouTube video. See below. 

Sparked a great discussion about sexualisation of young girls and entrepreneurship. Not specific to what we are focused on at the moment, but I’m a great believer in starting class with something that prompts thinking and sets the climate right for the rest of the lesson. Brain juices were flowing. 

Last student group were presenting a project. Opened my Hapara Teacher Dashboard and went to the student grid view – found the student’s Google Slide presentation and opened it so it was viewable to the class. 

After presentation, opened my Google Drive to create a collaborative doc that students could work on to provide feedback about what elements were necessary for an effective presentation. Pasted link in LMS class page so all students could access it quickly and begin offering their thoughts. Advised them to write their name in the doc so that they could ‘pin’ a place in the doc for their input. 

Had the doc viewable on the screen so that we could all see the doc forming. Set a time limit to encourage them to get ideas down quickly. 

Students identified elements of effective presentations and explained their choices. We then did some verbal analysis of the presentations they had been delivering in previous sessions and identified what they did well and what could have been done better. 

Sent them to the LMS class page to click on the link to another page developed to support our Pecha Kucha task  – they were just being introduced to the idea. A link to the Pecha Kucha site was on the page. We looked at the page together and played a couple from the most viewed section to learn about the technique. 

Class ended. Students were reminded to add comments to the Social Stream on the class page in response to the Tree House Dolls video and to add anything there they see that they think may be worth us looking at as a class. 

While I understand that there are teachers who feel stressed by the introduction of computing into classrooms and our constant availability when online spaces become the norm and expected practice in your school, I think some of us who have adapted would find it more stressful to have the technology removed.

Personally, I can’t imagine working differently from the way I’ve described above. I’m not sure my students want to work any differently either.

But I do want to qualify this: our school has strategically provided the systems we need to enable a workflow like mine to be possible. Teachers need support to understand how systems can work to complement one another enabling technology to become normalised practice within a classroom.

I’d recommend a read of the TechnologyEd edition. They do make some good points about the use of email in schools and the changing expectations of school community members when we are contactable 24/7. There was a suggestion teachers might want to delete their Twitter account – not happening here anytime soon!

Normalisation

I had one of those moments in my Language of our Times class today when you know technology has become normalised within your classroom.

Poet Alicia Sometimes was visiting, running a workshop to help my students gain insight into how to begin writing Spoken Word poetry. After watching a couple of examples from YouTube and discussing how they might get started, they launched into groups to begin the writing process.

What happened next?

Google Drives were opened, members of the class created a Doc and shared it with others in their group and the writing process began.

Just like that. No prompting. No suggestion that Google Docs would be a good way to collaborate. Nothing.

Normalisation of technology use.

Technology as facilitator for learning.

As it should be.