Monday, July 2, 2012

The Fears

In the book, John Spencer brings up several examples of teachers' fears and hesitations in teaching in a 1:1 pencil/computer classroom. What were some concerns that you had as you heard about or prepared for your 1:1 computer classroom or what are some things you witnessed from your fellow teachers? How did you or other teachers deal with these concerns as you entered the reality of a 1:1 classroom? Or what are some concerns or roadblocks that still stand in your way?


  1. Some of the fears that I have hear are:
    ~I don't understand or work with technology much.
    ~The kids will know more that me.
    ~Are the kids going to be getting into sites they should not be in.
    ~Will they be using the technology to talk with others, share answers and test question.
    ~If technology keeps advancing soon teachers will be replaced with machines.
    ~Having the 1:1 is going to be just one more thing to deal with.
    ~What if they do not have their computer with them or are messing with them when they shouldn't.
    I believe the teachers will deal with these concerns by first attending workshops to increase their knowledge. Not being afraid to ask the kids for help. Most of all starting the years with good classroom management so their are not extra problems associated with the 1:1 in the classroom.

    1. I love that you included "The kids will know more than me" as a fear. I think that's a concern that a lot of people have. I also like that you said that teachers need to ask their students for help. What a great opportunity for the students to become the teacher and for the teacher to model lifelong learning.

  2. Both of you are correct. I have heard many of the same. Although our 1:1is only at the high school, I would love it at the middle school and I teach choir and 8th grade general music. We actually have a high school teacher who has the students place their tablets on their desk and will not allow them to be opened. He is afraid of what they will do and yet another teacher lets his students use them. He teaches from the front and never bothers with the students. A few are doing what everyone assumes the students will do, check e-mail, surf, etc. It will work if a teacher will work with it. It comes down to good classroom management as well as not being afraid to venture and try new approaches.
    Students will always find ways around the system. If they are going to cheat by texting then what is the diffence of copying the answers on their arms, etc. ? 1:1 is a different way of learning and just maybe we will succeed with a few more than before. Besides, for me it makes the teaching more exciting.

  3. We have spent the last year investigating one-to-one for our school and have spent a lot of time and energy dealing with teacher fears of the process. Our teachers voice all the things that Tom lists along with other things such as "who will pay" and "how will this improve our scores or enhance our curriculum"? Our approach to this has been to focus on technology as a tool in our teaching arsenal rather than a "fix". With any tool comes training. We are planning some major PD for our teachers before we roll out the one-to-one initiative with the goal of lessening fears and bolstering teacher confidence.

    As for how our students handle the technology... I believe that this will mirror teacher expectation. I have watched one teacher bring students to the computer lab with clear goals and expectations and these students work on task and do a good job. I have watched these same students come to the lab with other teachers who gave little direction/supervision and they were off task and got little done. It will up to the teachers to set and uphold high expectations.

    That said...we have to remember.. We are working with KIDS and they will want to play and have fun. I think that learning and enjoyment can be be seen in a balanced one-to-one classroom. It is up to the teacher to make this happen.

  4. Concerns that I have heard about are like many Tom encountered in his teacher's lounge...for instance when ever a teacher does something creative and out there other teachers criticize and chastise the teacher. I worry also that some teachers will still do what they have always done in the past and not try new things; they’ll stay in the past because it is easier. This will be a major roadblock.