Teaching With Technology: John Brishcar

Written by Champions on May 22, 2012

Welcome to Teaching with Technology! This series of guest posts asks educators to share how they integrate technology in their classrooms. These posts are written by a very special group, CK-12 Foundation’s Champions.

Today’s guest post is by John Brishcar, a teacher at Warren County Middle School in Virginia.

How do you currently integrate technology in your classroom (e.g., products used, devices, etc.)?
Hardware: 25 Dell D600 laptops, 4 HP Laser printers, Moodle, and Server (Son’s old laptop from college), Wireless Router. Total cost: $19.95
Software: WinXP Pro (came with the laptops), Open Office, PDF-XChange, etc. Total cost: $0.00

What have been the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in the classroom?
Advantages:

  • Teach real world skills
  • Asequential learning – kids learn at their own pace.
  • Students can complete work from home, byod, smartphone…
  • Multiple modalities of information processing (visual, auditory, kinesthetic…)
  • All materials are mirrored on the web for student, parent and teacher access
  • No more copying worksheets, no more ‘lost’ papers as kids print off their own work
  • To make a change, simply change one document on the server.
  • Lesson plans are online and effortless.
  • Quizzes are presented and graded effortlessly with allowances for retakes and random questions from a test bank.
  • Homework is graded effortlessly with allowances for completion and corrections.

Disadvantages:

  • Without an internet connection, difficult to find content
  • Administrators that are tech-shy are reluctant to support efforts to change learning methods.
  • Department that is stuck in the book with worksheet mentality.
  • Incredible amount of prep work, done once.
  • Power outages.

How have your students benefited from technology?
I have students doing A/B work that have never passed a standardized test in their 6 years in school. High test scores and low classroom management issues.

If money were no object, what would you like to see happening in your classroom with respect to use of technology?
I just want an Internet connection.

We hear the phrase “21st Century Skills” often with respect to technology and education. What are “21st Century Skills?”
The ability to learn, to process that new learning, and present it in concert with others using the tools available to industry.

They video taped me at the National School Board Association meeting where I got the “20 to Watch with Technology” award. Six minutes of me! I speak of it more here

Describe the “classroom of 2040.” What’s different? What’s the same?
I don’t think it’s in a single place, during standard hours…or it might just be!