Sol, there can be some really amazing perks to utilizing technology in the language classroom. It’s great to be able to show students authentic language via Youtube videos. It’s great to be able to create a class wiki where students can interact in English outside of class. It’s great to be able to create a link where students can see what their homework is for the week. There are many great things about using technology. However, it is easy to forget how dependent upon these tools one might become.
The office printer/copier has been malfunctioning this week, so all the teachers in the office have to use a couple backup printers that are far less functional than the broken printer used to be. With some patience, we’ve all managed to get by so far, for the most part. This morning the backup printer/copier started jamming like a band from the 60’s and I inadvertently printed like 50 copies of the handout I was trying to copy. Then, when I finally thought I had it under control, the machine developed some kind of phantom jam in which no paper was actually jammed.
I felt like I was in a scene from Office Space.
Needless to say, the experience got me thinking about how dependent upon technology I have become in my teaching. Could I teach a class entirely paper free? Could I teach a class entirely technology free? Perhaps I should consider contingency plans a little more fully before putting all my eggs into the technology basket.