Six months later…
Back in January I started a post:
After years of trying to incorporate more technology into my teaching, I find myself having to rethink everything. In my current position, I have access to very little technology and my students have access to even less.
I am looking forward to the challenge. How can I adapt my teaching to this new environment? How can I help my students meet their goals of obtaining their GEDs? I am very fortunate to have some excellent colleagues to learn from and to bounce ideas off of.
I actually look forward to going to work each day! What a change!
I never posted it — probably by accident. It seems finished to me now, but maybe I had something else in mind then. But things have changed a little since January, I think.
I am still not able to use blogs or wikis or webquests or any of the other technology that I tried to use regularly in my previous positions. My students have no access to the internet at all. But I have managed to incorporate a little more technology, and that makes me happy.
I have started building the use of Microsoft Office products into my Adult Basic Education class. I am lucky to teach it in a computer lab and, rather than just use the limited educational software we have, I have started to expose my students to something that they may find useful in the future. We type and save essays rather than writing them by hand. We did surveys and created spreadsheets to record the results, and we created graphs to share the results in a visual format. I have big plans for doing more of this as we go along.
Of course, as a proponent of open source alternatives to Microsoft products, I have some mixed feelings about this. But I am realistic enough to know that my students are much more likely to use Microsoft products on a regular basis than they are to use Linux Mint or LibreOffice or other alternatives. And I believe my job is to prepare them for the future. So we start with what we have where we are, knowing they will always be able to build on that in the future if they want to.
All in all, I am happy with the changes I am making to my class. And my students seem to be, too!