When I first became a teacher I didn’t have a computer. It is hard to imagine now writing all of the planning by hand each week and cutting and pasting on reports couldn’t happen. Was it better?
I think there were a few advantages – you couldn’t get a him or her or another child’s name left on a report. You couldn’t have a power failure that meant no computer and interactive whiteboard in the middle of a lesson observation.
There were a lot more disadvantages. Life has been revolutionised by cut and paste. Planning now looks neater as type is standardised. Reports don’t have to be completely rewritten when you make a silly spelling mistake. Search engines enable us to get up to the minute information and other people’s resources at the click of a button. All singing and dancing lessons are relatively easily organised on interactive whiteboards whilst the same piece of equipment could equally well produce a talk and chalk type lesson if that was required.
When we first started using computers with the children in school they were a novelty. On teaching practice I watched a 7 year old girl move the mouse to locate the arrow and then pick up the mouse, point it at the screen and click in the same way that she would her TV controller at home. Nowadays there are not many children who come into school who can’t use a mouse or touchpad quite easily even if it takes them a few minutes to realise that our computers aren’t touchscreen ones!
There are other problems with computers – internet safety, cyber bullying to name a couple. Children knowing more, being more confident and more adventurous than we are can also cause problems but we need to embrace the challenge!
Would I go back to no computer? No thank you!