As a response to the question about convenience, I can only say it depends on the person. There are many people who are "teachers" and some that work as a teacher for a job. A true teacher will always put the student first and do what is best for the student. Yes I feel I do what is best for the student, but I am limited by little resources, out of date technology, and evaluators who aren't trained to educate.
There are a variety of things that we can use to integrate technology into our classrooms. The problem is who's going to pay for it? It seems that the taxpayers need to pay for, but it should be the private district. They are creating new jobs, so they should be responsible for giving the public schools the funds to provide the best education, which includes paying for technology in the classroom. With the correct funding, we can be more efficient as teachers and more effective. The integration of technology includes software, hardware, and skills to integrate and use them.
The average tax payer doesn't directly benefit from public education that utilizes technology. Some retired folks here in Florida never get anything from the portion of taxes they pay that funds education. Since they are retired, their children have gone through school, and they themselves don't use technology on a regular basis, their money is wasted. These unfortunate people are forced to pay for others to benefit from our current students education. For them a school is a landmark rather than something that fits into their daily life. As for our current parents, they need public schools, and just because they can't afford to pay for their child's education or help fund for technology that is now essential, the classroom suffers. If the private district was held more accountable, we could have much better funding. It's a cycle, a business creates a new product, we learn how to use it in school (or integrate it's use in the classroom), we buy products, and the business profits from it.
There is a huge variety of choices that school districts have to improve a classroom. The use of technology to assist in the education process is now a key factor in allowing students to learn for their future careers. We need computers, and not just one or two that barely work, but a mini-lab to accommodate at least 25% of a class roster at a time. This allows for effective teaching. We can use these computers and the vast variety of computer software to remediate, maintain and enrich students through software that instantly adjusts to the students needs. It actually is better than what human can do, as that is one reason why computers are used. This is, to do things faster and better than a human being can. Today's classroom needs to have up to date and instant access to students’ performance. Key advanced technology devices such items as "Smartboards" with student interface devices, and a centralized computer for the teacher to use is a key part of a current classroom. Sure it's easy to use the same lesson each period, or for a few years. Those of us that are real "teachers" constantly change what we are doing. Using technology makes the process faster. As the textbook talks about the differences in our current students we need make constant changes to accommodate a diverse classroom. Using something as simple as a PowerPoint slideshow to review for a test can reach out and grab the new learners that fill the chairs of our classrooms. Students should be using flash drives, to save their work that they do in the computer lab. The work I think of is using word processing to help the student improve their writing when learning to write. Also, creating presentations using PowerPoint to present a topic, instead of just standing in front of the class and reading an essay. We need to use current devices, software, social networks, and blogs to engage students in learning. Some students could sit at home in front of their computer, use the virtual world, and never come to school, only to perform better than those who wasted their day sitting in class.
There is a viewpoint no matter what the situation is. I think many teachers are viewed as lazy and doing what is most convenient. As with any profession the media glamorizes the negative "news" and creates a label of a profession. If a doctor gets arrested for being inappropriate towards patients, all doctors are then treated as molesters and need to have a "chaperone" in the room. Most people outside of the daily classroom see teachers as doing what is most convenient, but how many people know what the right way to teach a student is? We have parents, not trained as teachers, politicians, who have no idea what a teacher's job is and administrators that haven't been in a classroom except the few minute to see if the teacher is doing the right thing. Now all these people need to be in the classroom and actually teach, more than just once, and on a regular basis. They need to see that as teachers we battle for lack of supplies, technology, support staff, time, support from parents, and motivation from students. It is only the teacher who is motivated to show gains with "data", as this is our life and career, for a student it's just another test.
As a closing statement doing what is convenient can only be truly measured by the person teaching. Outside observers aren't equipped to evaluate in some cases and an explanation can easily make a terrible idea look innovative. I think the question posed on Dr. Mcleod's website is for those who may be burnt out, because I know if I had the access to current technology I could make vast leaps in student gains, and do what is best for each student.
Dr. Scott McLeod, (2007), Well? What's your answer?. Retrieved from: May 1, 2007. http://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/2007/05/well_whats_your.html