Being a student is a lot easier than it used to be. If class gets a little boring, you can just check your email, text someone, or surf the Internet. It's also easier to not get bored because you can check out sites and information the teacher discusses. At least, that's how it was for me this week when I was a student at the Etech (Ohio Educational Technology) Conference.
In every session I attended, participants were on their laptop, IPad, or smart phone. I did see one or two note takers with their legal pad, but they stuck out. A lot of sessions were interactive and presenters made it a point to share links and involve attendees. Sessions were obviously planned by the presenters to encourage the use of technology.
Admittedly, as a student, I haven't always been attentive and have been challenged with being a little too hyper to sit in class for very long. One of my goals when I started teaching was to shut up, keep students busy, and let them learn through their own hard work. I have always hated classes where the teacher stands in front of the class and talks and talks and talks and talks.
I couldn't help but think about how different adults are treated than kids. Maybe it's about having a captive audience with our students. Imagine how involved they would be if everything they did was interactive. Imagine how different teachers would be if their students could start texting or surfing the net when they got bored. It might not be totally a good thing, but it would sure liven up some classes.
The best part of an opportunity like the Etech Conference is the chance to hear about what other teachers are doing and what is working in their classes. This year's conference had a lot of excellent sessions and ideas for the classroom. I am anxious to try them in the Reading Workshop classes.