Help Teachers Decide if the Computer Classroom is Right for Them
Plan to devote an early (if not the first) training session to the
pros and cons of the computer classroom. Teachers sometimes have unrealistic expectations
and concerns about how the computer classroom might change their teaching. We’ve learned
that talking through the perceived advantages and disadvantages, as well as the specific
concerns that teachers have about this teaching environment, can help teachers decide if
the computer classroom is right for them.
For example, in our most recent training session, teachers
needed to talk about how the computer classroom environment changes the focus on the teacher.
Some teachers wanted the classroom to eliminate any focal role for the teacher; other teachers
were concerned that the teacher would be pushed too much into the background. As we talked
about the various ways teachers can define their roles and responsibilities in the computer
classroom and contrasted those with traditional classroom settings, teachers began to understand
more fully how they can adapt the setting for their teaching style and preferences.
Without this discussion, though, some teachers might have decided that the computer classroom
wouldn’t work for them when it can. Other teachers decided that the computer classroom would
not be a comfortable teaching environment and so they elected to stay in the traditional classroom.