Monday, September 22, 2008

Technology in the English Classroom

Unfortunately, I did not use much technology at all while in school and neither did my teachers. My school was not equipped with computers in the classrooms. Once in a while, one of my teachers would use an overhead projector, but that was about it. I even graduated before they replaced all the chalk boards with white boards! I never had a computer class in school and I was allowed to drop typing class to take ROTC instead. I had no desire to punch a keyboard, which is ironic when thinking about my love for English class and writing!! I did manage to type my final research paper for my honors English class my senior year, but I remember having lots of problems with using the computer for this. I didn't discover the internet or e-mail until I started college. I really despised computers at that time, and only used them to type papers. Another ironic thing is that I ended up marrying a software engineering major! It is a good thing though because he has taught me much about computers and helped me to overcome some of my computer phobias. I now rely on the computer daily, and I feel that I am slowly finding my way into today's technologically reliant society.
I am excited about using technology in my classroom. The internet provides students with so many resources for research and writing, and PowerPoint presentations and WebQuests provide more interesting way to distribute information and assignments. There are also many full text literature resources available on the web and my class can become less reliant on the textbook. I like the idea of giving assignments via the web as well as class assignments. E-mail also makes me available to my students when class is not in session. English classes have had a bad reputation for being boring, and I think that technology can make my class more fun and interesting. With a focus on communication, my students will be able to create brochures, newspaper articles, and other materials in place of the standard book report or research paper. Sudents will be able to present their research or information in other formats, but I will still be able to grade for the usual requirements such as grammar, mechanics, etc.
There are so many thaings that technology can do for the English classroom and I think that many teachers have yet to catch on. I hope that I can be part of the new wave of English teachers that create a classroom environment that welcomes and encourages technology use.

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