Teacher talk: How I've seen the Internet change K-12 instruction
Just the other day, I mentioned to my teaching partner, "How did we ever teach before the Internet?" As she laughed and shrugged her shoulders, we started to reminisce how things used to be.
I embarked on my teaching career in 1998, before the Internet was so vastly used. I planned my lessons by agonizing over teaching resources, visiting the public library, and staying up all hours of the night pondering how to make the next day's lessons effective, engaging, and with purpose. I would communicate with my students' parents by printing out a memo and hoping that they would make it home in several 10-year-old's backpacks.
Grades were recorded in a spiral bound notebook and if it was misplaced my world seemed to come to a sudden halt as panic overtook my every breath. Upon the end of each grading quarter, my math skills were put to the test as I averaged grades in my grade book and recorded them onto each report card with a sigh of relief that I had completed hours of endless, tiring work.
Now, I'm not going to say that teaching is a piece of cake with the advancement of the Internet, but it has certainly molded me into a more effective teacher. I am able to search lessons (or should I say, Google them?) and I have teacher-made-and-tested exercises at my finger tips. Many teachers now take advantage of readily made available lessons and evolve them into magical and meaningful experiences for students.
I am able to communicate with parents on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis with e-mail transmitting a message in the matter of seconds and I no longer have to rely on students as couriers between the classroom and homes. I also have the ability to scan and send lengthy assignments via e-mail as well so that the parents are constantly connected to their child's classroom. Grades are entered into an online grade book and parents have access to them 24/7 so grades at the end of each quarter are no longer a mystery, and no longer dependent on my occasionally questionable math skills.
About the Author:
Christi Wilson is a credentialed teacher of highly-gifted students in Northern Nevada. She has 11 years of classroom teaching experience, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in education leadership, and has even taught K-12 education online. A mother of three busy boys, she knows how important it is to keep students engaged in the classroom and interested in a lifetime of learning.