I remember High School somewhat well. Â Heck, I only graduated from it 7 years ago. Â I remember thinking that everything was a huge deal socially, and put a lot of stress on myself. Â Even though I was taking some Accelerated and Advanced Placement classes, I didn’t really stress that much on my work. Â Most of my issues were social, and because of which, I had decent enough grades.
The last two weeks I have been subbing again, and it has been a nice breath into what High School is like. Â I am working for the same district that I graduated from, and because of which, there are a lot of the same cultures in place, but a lot has also changed.
The first thing that I noticed when I started working here was the use of technology. Â All students have mini-laptops that are powered by Google, called ChromeBooks. Â When I started working for this district a couple years ago, only the Freshmen and Sophomores had them, as they were in the process of integrating them. Â Now, almost everything has transitioned to the cloud, and every teacher maintains a classroom website. Â This has many advantages, but also can cause a lot of problems.
Today I was subbing some classes, and the students had assignments that they had to do on their ChromeBooks. Â This is nice, as the teacher who is out can prepare a lesson online and have the students access it. Â He can remotely make sure the students are doing their work without actually being there themselves. Â However, while going around the room monitoring students and making sure they were understanding their assignment, I found almost a third of the class on Facebook or Netflix. Â Having this much access to technology makes it hard to judge if the students are using it for the appropriate things.
The other thing that I noticed was how lenient the school has become on the use of cell phones. Â When I was in school, I couldn’t even have my phone out in the cafeteria, as it would get taken away. Â I remember getting a detention for taking my phone out for a quick second to check the time once. Â The first iPhone also came out when I was in High School, so having a smartphone was a new concept for a lot of people. Â Now, I have to remind the students to take their earbuds out to hear me. Â Before, I would have gotten that phone taken away so fast that I wouldn’t have even seen the teacher coming. Â Now, often times teachers find themselves in a battle with taking the phones away. Â Students are fighting back more, and parents feel that taking a phone away is somehow violating their students rights.
A lot has changed, and I am unsure if it is completely for the better. Â As someone who uses technology quite frequently, I see it’s uses. Â However, by introducing too much too fast, we are running into some issues.