Teaching with Tech

You’re sitting in class, bored, so you reach for your phone, but immediately your teacher yells at you to put it away. They must hate technology, right? Maybe not. Here are 6 teachers unfiltered opinions on technology,

“I’m just as addicted as anyone else” Justin Whiteford, social studies teacher, said.

Whiteford said how easy it is to get sucked into your own world, even with adults. Math teacher Caitlyn Harmsen is on the opposite side of the spectrum.

“I don’t understand [technology] or maneuver with technology as well as I wish I could. I get called a grandma a lot when it comes to that.” Harmsen said. 

Every teacher’s policy on cell phones is different depending on class type. These are the rules in the handbook, compared to how teachers enforce them. 

“Students may carry cell phones and electronic devices in school, but these devices must not be a disruption to the school or learning environment. Cell phones and communicative devices may be used on campus before and after school, during passing periods, or for instructional purposes in class as directed by the teacher,” the GJHS handbook states. 

“Well, in my classroom I expect students to be engaged in choir rehearsal, so if I can see that their phone is distracting them for rehearsal, I simply ask them to put it on the piano or in the phone bucket,” Brad Hirsh, choir and advisory teacher, said.

Hirsh is trusting his students to know when to put the phones away. Teachers in the life science classrooms have a policy using rewards.

“I subtract 10 points, [from 100] and at the end of the semester if they get above seventy points then they can take full credit on one of their assignments,” Jen Campbell-Wilson, family and consumer science teacher, said. 

But with the downsides of technology, there are a lot of upsides. Teachers can use the Chromebooks or student’s personal phones to further the learning process.

“Oftentimes we are doing research issues about stuff from our standards and objectives for our class,” Mark Willson, social studies teacher, said. 

Madeline Ancell is a student at CMU, and a student-teacher in some of Willson’s classes.

“In college, we have our computers that we can take notes on, but generally what they do is they [teachers] are just lecturing and you are taking notes. So it’s really different from high school,” Ancell said. 

All the teachers use technology in their classes to some degree. It ranges from projector use for sight-reading in choir to fact-checking in honors global studies. 

“I think we should use them [cell phones] but use them intelligently,” Harmsen said