“Yeah, buts…..”

Have you ever noticed that when you start talking about technology in a staff meeting, the “yeah, buts” really start to fly.  Teachers can be very resistant to including technology in their lessons for a variety of reasons.  My favourite have been:

“Yeah, but I never can get into the computer lab.”

“Yeah, but how would this be used in  ________ (insert subject here)”

“Yeah, but what about safety and security.”

“Yeah, but I don’t know what I am doing.  How am I supposed to teach it”

“Yeah, but using technology takes too many periods.”

Today, I would like to focus on the last “YB.”  Too often educators feel like technology must be used for the culminating task in a unit and that using it will take away from the lessons “they must get to” or cover before reporting time.  This really isn’t so.

One website that I have focussed a great deal on with these YB’s is www.bitstripsforschools.com

  • summarizing the key points of an informational text reading  (instead of the usual comprehension questions)
  • show the results of a mathematics word problem
  • create a personal narrative of a specific event
  • make predictions on a book, movie or article
  • character sketch from the novel their are reading – illustrate and label the key character traits
  • create a timeline for a historical event
  • plot graph for a short story
  • create a comic for the student’s favourite reading comprehension strategies
  • demonstrate the differences between first, second and third person voice using a comic
  • illustrate a science concept – differences between abiotic and biotic, current vs. static electricity, how to conserve energy, etc.
  • illustrate the plot for an opera
  • give examples of ways to resist peer pressure with drugs and alcohol

These are all activities that can be completed very quickly using Bitstrips For Schools.  Before completing the assignments on the website, students should know what they are going to be doing and have completed the necessary reading/planning before starting their comic.

In coming posts I will look at other YB’s and how to find ways to make things possible in all classrooms.

j.

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3 thoughts on ““Yeah, buts…..”

  1. Jeff,
    Welcome back to blogging. I started a year ago, and use it as a way to record my most awesome moments (I’ve got a terrible memory).

    I love this post. We’ve all been there. It’s a rude awakening sometimes, when you actually talk to people f2f, you remember, “Oh yeah, not everyone outside of Twitter thinks like me”.

    Yes, tech projects do take some planning ahead and extra time, but the kids always buy into the lead-up lessons when they know the summative project is going to be awesome! I for one, was looking for something for a health project. I’m going to use your last example posted. Thanks for the tip! Keep blogging!

    • Heather,
      I appreciate the comment – you’re the first on my blog!
      Like you, I love using technology as a summative project. My hope is that my post (this one and future posts) gives a couple of shorter technology options for teachers to use that may seem more “accessible” than the longer options.

      Thanks again for the comment!
      j.

  2. I think that your ideas here provide nice entry points for teachers who are just starting to explore the benefits of technology in the classroom. Short projects with easy to conceptualize and easy to use technologies are good hooks for teachers who need to build their confidence before exploring more cutting edge applications.

    Also, short projects allow teachers and students to become acquainted with a variety of online tools without having to invest terribly large amounts of time.

    I’m excited to continue reading your blog!

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