17 Signs Your Classroom is Behind the Times
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17 Signs Your Classroom is Behind the Times

Written by 23 June 2011

1.)  Your students turn in their homework on printed paper...instead of digitally. 

2.)  For poster assignments, your students need glue, construction paper, and scissors... instead of using an online tool like Glogster.

3.)  You still have chalk.  Or a Dry Eraser.

4.)  You try to pull up a web resource on your computer to show the class and you receive a "This website has been blocked" message.

5.)  You cross your fingers every time you try to connect to the network to access the internet.

6.)  You don't get interrupted by a cell phone ring, text message, or tweet alert at some point during the school year.

7.)  You spend most of your class time lecturing students... rather than getting them collaborating and learning from each other.

8.)  You have a set of Encyclopedias.

9.)   You consider using a PowerPoint presentation as satisfying the need to integrate technology in the classroom.

10.)  You create more content than your students do.

11.)  Your students aren't teaching you something new (likely about technology) at least once a day.

12.)  You don't have a classroom website or blog to post class information, homework assignments, and parent information online.

13.)  You don't have a classroom set of computers, netbooks, ipads or other device for group work.

14.)  You don't find at least one thing to call the IT department about every week. 

15.)  A student has never requested to complete a project using a new digital tool you've never heard of.

16.)  You've never used or heard of:  Collaborize Classroom, Prezi, Evernote, Glogster, MyFakeWall, Typewith.me, Storybird, JayCut, Wordle, or Tiki-Toci. 

17.)  You've never attended a FREE SimpleK12 webinar or joined the Teacher Learning Community.

What would you add to this list?   How does your classroom stack up?

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17 Signs Your Classroom is Behind the Times


  • Heidi Siwak said:

    I would add: You have a fixed seating plan. Your classroom is quiet.
    Heidi Siwak recently posted..PerseveranceMy Profile

    SkyEarth Reply:

    Ditto that! Yet I panic when an administrator walks into my noisy, messy classroom; panic because I am afraid he will not stop long enough to see that the work is noisy but productive.

  • Diana Briscoe said:

    Students don’t check their email at least once a day.

    Paper based assignments prevail rather than eportfolios.

    Technology is considered a ‘novelty’.

    Fabulous list!

    Lisa Reply:

    Great ones, thanks for reading and participating!

  • deepeetonee said:

    You think ‘twitter’ is something that little birds do

    Lisa Reply:

    Tweet, tweet!

  • Lee Emerson said:

    Another sign:
    You shake your head sadly when you read the list…

    Lisa Reply:


    Gulnar Reply:

    very true :((

  • Kimberly said:

    I find several of these insulting and elitist.

    1) 60% of my kids do not have access at home. Even if we handed out laptops, unless we provided them with some type of wireless access they wouldn’t be able complete an assignment that required on line access. It must be great not to be dealing with the digital divide and kids who only get 2 meals a day both at school.

    2) Gloggster is fun and great – but what is wrong with kids getting their hands dirty and creating something out of construction paper and string.

    3) I have both a promethean board and a dry erase board. I use the dry erase board for information the students or I need to be able to use throughout the day.

    4) I agree with this one drives me nuts

    5) When it is raining yes our furry friends keep eating the insulation of the wires were they leave the building.

    6) My 4th graders were smart enough to leave them off and in their bags. When we had to close school early do to a nasty winter storm our school phone system couldn’t get enough lines out. I declared amnesty and 1/2 my kids pulled out cell phones. When they called their parents they asked if they could lend their phone to the teachers to call other parents. All the parents said yes. I sent the kids to the lower grades to help call parents.

    7 – 17 agree

    Lisa Reply:

    Kimberly, I’m sorry you are insulted by the post… It was intended not to insult…but to inspire, challenge, and well…just for fun!

    Marian Reply:

    I’m with you on this :)

    Tracy Reply:

    I have to add to your #1. Technology is really fabulous, but most of us are dealing with families on welfare. The kids likely do have fancier phones than I do, but that doesn’t mean I can expect web-based homework. Sadly, many kids in well-to-do school districts live in households that are just barely making it and technology in their home is really limited. But the WORST part of my last sentence: Those kids are too embarrassed to admit the reason for not turning in a web-based assignment. They will simply act defiant and play the part of Bad Kid rather than admit their family can’t afford the tools or wireless access in their home.

    Andrea Nichols Reply:

    I teach at a 100% free lunch elementary school. We are fortunate to have computers in the classroom, mobile laptop carts and, soon, tablets. Our students do many technology based lessons at school, quite successfully, and are not required to use any technology at home, because many do not have any computers or internet. Poverty should not hold our students back from gaining 21st century skills, if we can help it.
    Andrea Nichols recently posted..I Use YouTube at SchoolMy Profile

    Dnelson Reply:

    Thank you, Kimberly. I was thinking exactly the same. I have an embarassment of resources at my school and, despite using them frequently, still find some of these suggestions absurd and unrealistic. I’ve built technological skill development and digital assignments into much of my English curriculum, but I refuse to scrap everything traditional simply because it’s not trendy. Additionally, I must provide time and resources for the 20% of students who do not have internet access outside of the school or unfairly punish them.

  • Jade V said:

    Yes I agree with Kimberly, several items on this list are insulting and elitist, not to mention ignorant to the realities of many public schools. Perhaps Lisa has no experience with the thousands of underfunded schools across the country, who barely have the resources to pay the teachers, much less buying iPads for every classroom.

    Further, it is naive to believe that every student’s family has the financial capacity to afford to buy their children a cell phone or have an internet connection at home. Lisa, 31 million children are on the free and reduced lunch program- do you really believe that their families have the luxury of an internet connection in the home, much less holding a job that allows them to browse a teacher’s website or blog during the day? And what of those parents for whom English is not their dominant language?

    I highly doubt this list would be seen as “fun” to a teacher who is required to buy textbooks and other materials out of their own pocket, or who must rely on 10-year old resources such as encyclopedias and corkboards that are falling apart. It doesn’t mean they are “behind the times”; it means that they are working their hardest with what little resources they are provided.

    Kimberly Reply:

    Hi Jade,

    I think it’s safe to say that pretty much all classrooms are “behind the times” in one way or another.

    I don’t think Lisa is implying that a classroom that is “behind the times” with technology is a always a BAD classroom.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – what’s even more important than great technology in the classroom? A great Teacher in the classroom!

    The teachers out there working their hardest with limited resources may very well be providing better learning experiences than crummy teachers who are lucky enough to teach with a 1:1 computer to student ratio.

    Ashley Reply:

    I teach at a title 1 school and I don’t think this list is elitist. My students do not all have the internet at home, and every classroom does not have a computer. That doesn’t change the fact we are behind the times. Is it sad? Yes. Is it unfair that just because my students are from a certain socioeconomic status they don’t have access to the same technology as their peers? Absolutely. Are they behind the times? You bet! This list is not supposed to be solving the problems of funding in public schools; it is simply noting that in order to be educating the 21st century learner these are some of the tools we should be using.

  • Christine said:

    There are a number of the poorest people in our country that do own cell phones and other technological devices. I see them everyday in our community; their kids as well. It seems that these things are a right, where as food is not. They pay for their cell phone plans and send their kids to school to eat. There may be 31million on the free lunch program, but a many of these families also have a cell phone plan.

  • Vicki said:

    Seriously? Where do you live that you have access to all of this? Our richest, most technology-minded school, JUST got Smartboards. Blogging is something very few teachers do, much less the kids. In recent administrative interviews, candidates were asked, “How would you deter a young teacher from using Facebook and/or Twitter?” I know…sad!!

    Reading this list is depressing. :(


    Bellafiore Reply:

    I thought the list was thought provoking. I teach in a district that considers itself to be a leader in technology integration. We are a suburban school district that is doing ok financially. We have gotten a few grants, some donations and an administration that has made technology a huge priority.

    I thought it was interesting that in a district with this forward minded approach there are still many teachers using hands on paper, glue etc. I also think it’s interesting that within out school district there are some like me who have done all the stuff you listed and more and who keep trying new things within the curriculum I teach. Then there are others who can barely edit a Powerpoint, don’t know how to do an email attachment and many other basic tech skills.

    I took your list as a challenge for how to be 21st century literate. There is still a huge divide in our country and even in tech literate district like mine. We have to be creative about how to get technology into the hands of kids. The cell phones that many families own (rich or poor) could be the computer that is used for some of what is being described. There are also places to get free internet like the local library, museums and coffee shops. I know that many city based children’s museums offer computers and after school programs as do many Boys and Girls clubs. There are also many grants and programs for funding 1:1 initiatives.

    Administrations have to get on board though and make it a priority. Teachers don’t have time to do this alone, especially if the infrastructure isn’t in place in their school and community.

    I am an art teacher so I still believe in doing things by hand, but then using technology to document what’s been done, to post and send out the work to larger audiences and to connect my kids with other students all over the world. Collaboration and connection are skills that will be needed and help win jobs in the 21st century.

    Renee Paquette Lubaway Reply:

    Change leadership from the top down (admin) is absolutely imperative for successful implementation of new technologies in education. It’s the tech savy superintendent who ignites buy-in from the board, the community, staff and students. Professional development plans need to have strategies for change leadership built right in. Appreciative Inquiry is a great way to sustain change. I agree this post is thought provoking – a good first step to positive change. http://centerforappreciativeinquiry.net/

  • Liz Gentile said:

    What’s wrong with glue and construction paper? There are many emotional/mental benefits to using your hands and physical matericals to create things. It will be a sad day when these things disappear from a classroom.

    SkyEarth Reply:

    Agree wholeheartedly

  • Catlin Tucker said:

    I found the list thought provoking. What stood out to me is how many of these things are beyond a teacher’s control. Some teachers may feel insulted by a list like this because they would enjoy teaching with digital tools, but they do not have access in their classrooms/schools and many students do not have reliable access beyond the classroom which is challenging.

    Our world is becoming increasingly digital so as teachers we need to make sure we are providing students with the skills necessary to be successful beyond the classroom…but how do teachers without access to technology accomplish this?

    Catlin Tucker

  • Pernille ripp said:

    I also find this post to be thoughtless not thought provoking. While this may be an ideal for some, I do not want my classroom time interrupted by a cell phone ring, and I certainy do not need all kids handing stuff in digitally to be with the times. I am very integrated with tech but appalled at this either or mentality. We need to stop dividing teachers like this post does. This was not a good example of how to run your classroom but rather an elitist post once again creating a divide. Embrace all of the different ways learning occurs, which means posters made by hand are ok as well.

    Clare Reply:

    ask your students which they would prefer to use.

    teaching and learning isn’t about getting offended at the different options out there – its being open to the fact that there are different/better ways to do things and this can change from student to student.

    It worries me when I see comments from teachers who are angry about technology. 90% of the sites I use with my kids are Web 2.0 and are free. I have yet to come across a school who doesn’t have internet access. Have a look at what’s possible and don’t close doors (either with concrete materials or with technology) to kids.

  • Cristina said:

    With the exception of 7 and 10, the rest are simply silly reasons to consider a classroom “behind” the times. You focus solely on technology instead of PEDAGOGY – which actually DRIVES the learning.
    And I agree with Pernille Ripp and Jade V. – I too find it insulting (despite my school having access to tech).

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  • Steven Beercock said:

    This “list” looks like the infantile cheerleading of some kind of new age “Us against Them” Stalinist. Animal Farm 2 anyone? “Pixels good! Paper bad!”

    SkyEarth Reply:

    Now there’s a thoughtful, productive comment (she says sarcastically). It’s not about technology, it’s about choices. You start with a teacher who knows the subject material and is enthusiastic about teaching. This article is based on that assumption. The article does come off a bit elitist but is really about giving choices to the students for providing evidence of learning, and giving choices to the teacher for delivery of material. My students are required to turn in their work digitally. They blog, they wiki, they glogster. They also assemble with their hands and make big messes. We share my personal camera and post at school. They stay after or come during lunch to use the desktop computer. On field trips we share cell phones. Good teachers will find a way for their lower-income students to access the tools that the elite use daily to help close the gap.

    Oh, and I use the chalkboard for helping the students. It’s quicker for me when explaining chemical equations and stoichiometry.

  • Annie said:

    I was not offended by the list…heck, I could have made this list! In my classroom, I made a real push to have students integrate technology into their learning. I created a class wiki, taught my students how to access their district email accounts, utilized online textbooks in the computer lab so students would be able to recreate the experience from home.

    My experience ended up as follows: students didn’t mind posting their own work on the wiki, but they were reluctant to give any real feedback to one another – outside of mundane observations about poor spelling, grammar, capitalization, etc. I found that they constantly neglected to interpret the spirit of each lesson and instead became very task oriented. When I contrast that with plain paper and pen assignments, the caliber of their online work was sub-par. Paper and pen assignments were consistently of better quality.

    When we attempted a project like creating Animoto book trailers to go with the our independent reading novels, my kiddos did a pretty great job, and they loved doing the work, but my administrators felt it was “fluff” and of no real value. I suppose encouraging students to read independently is not a priority any more.

    In any case, as soon as it was deemed necessary that every computer lab (both stationary and mobile) at our school be utilized for “critical” content areas, I was unable to book any more time for my students in the computer lab, and it all became a moot point. Our digital learner models were all turned off, and we went completely old school. Chalk, paper posters, overhead projector stuff.

    Later in the year, I did finally acquire a Smart Board, which I utilized virtually every day. However, that did not preclude me from using my chalkboard still, and it certainly did not enable my students to interact digitally, with excpetions where they approached the Smart Board to highlight information, mark answers, or work out solutions. It wasn’t the same as what I had envisioned though.

    What I learned from my experience is that having some limited exposure to technology is not really all that useful in a school setting. I feel confident that if students were digital learning throughout the day, they would get more out of online/digital assignments. For technology to really have an impact on the way studens learn, the items from the list above would be a necessity in virtually every classroom and for every student.

    Sadly, I too know teachers who cannot insert an email attachment, or figure out how to use the electronic calendar to schedule a desired meeting. I’m not sure that crowd would ever be able to use technoloogy resources to their fullest potential.

    SkyEarth Reply:

    Great observation about students being task oriented and not being able to critically evaluate the work of others productively. Don’t give up! Try again next year and think about questions you would pose to your students to prod them into deeper thinking. Model comments for them and you will see them really grow.

    Tracy Reply:

    Thank you for relating your experiences! I’m new to teaching and I value those things you shared in that post. During my student teaching semester, I worked in a chem classroom that turned in paper lab assignments (not actual lab reports). I tried to introduce these mostly college-bound students to the concept of typed lab reports. Wow! Just getting the kids to complete their lab reports on a computer was tough. You would think I had asked them to hand over one of their kidneys. I took it slow at first and gradually increased the difficulty level of the lab report, but still I was saddened by a few kids who stopped by my desk at the end of class to whisper to me that they don’t have a computer/printer at home.

  • Sheri Eastman said:

    My classroom is comprised of chalkboard walls, one outdated teacher’s workstation, and one removable whiteboard. Reading this list and the comments helps me see how much of a digital divide exist between school systems, classrooms, teachers, and ultimately students. Though I have decided to work to bridge that divide through my lessons, I wonder what impact this disparity will have on students. On the other hand, if collaborating, problem solving, critical and creative thinking are taught does the technology (or lack there of) really matter?

    SkyEarth Reply:

    Yes, it matters. It matters to those children who must compete in a world of haves and have nots. Generally speaking, the attractive, sparkly clean people and products get the fame and fortune.

  • Lisa (author) said:

    The post has done it’s job! Great discussion going on… hope everyone will continue to add their thoughts. Thanks everyone!

  • Dawn Walker said:

    This is a great list and as a teacher I see it first as fun (just like a david letterman top ten list). Second I see it as a challenge to try more in my classroom. Teachers are very scared about what is going on in education and our economy these days and with the values at home (a cell phone being more valuable than food?!?). However, so many of these are free and available in the classroom and there are ways to work these things in so that your kids are exposed to them regardless their economic background. Who knows, maybe you will inspire those “less fortunate” to strive for a better education and to go further than they ever thought they could by just exposing some of these to them!
    Dawn Walker recently posted..Having a Great Summer!My Profile

  • Alejandra said:

    I agree that it´s sometimes difficult to cope with technological advance in the classroom. I understand those who feel bad because their students can´t afford these tools. I try to see the positive side of it. I find it challenging and some things are really funny to me, because I feel ” behind” with technology, but doing my best with what I have to catch up with it. I learn new things everyday from my students and collegues.

    What´s the problem if you want to use mailvu to send a video by mail and your webcam doesn´t work. If you can´t repair it, you still can use it sending your voice with instructions or you can use “jing” and use just your voice and the screen cupture.

    I feel really lucky to have a scottish teacher in the institute I work, who knows a lot about technology and has taught me new things. The idea is not to feel sad for what we don´t have..

    Technology doesn´t make us better teachers… but it can make us feel different, young again, learning new things. We can´t reject progress.

    I know some people who have everything thy want, have access to technology, but are reluctant to use it, just because learning to use it is time consuming. I can´t believe it!!!

    On the other hand, I agree with some people who have commented. I like my students to use their hands, to improve handwriting, to use paper and glue… that doesn´t mean that I can´t assign some website projects form time to time, for a change…

  • It is Not all or Nothing « Computer Teacher said:

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  • Daisy Ford said:


    working as a special ed. aide, I should say the list is ok, but we cannot forget our special ed. students need to be in contact with something more than technology. They still need construction paper and glue, they need to put their hands to work other than sit in front of a camputer or learn to use an iPad, iPod, iPhone and all other technology in the market. I can say I work at a school where we have a lot of tech-machines and appliances ready to use, but the use of some is not allowed because of security reasons. I would be very happy to see all the schools using all the tecnology disponible in the market for all kinds of assignments in the classroom, but we can’t forget about the students with disabilities. They still need some hands-on project to go through in their lives.
    Good list anyway.

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  • Tricia said:

    What a fantastic list! I, unfortunately, would have to say that my classroom does NOT stack up to this list! This list has definitely made me aware of the improvements that are available to educators that we are not taking advantage of in our classrooms.

    I do have a couple questions for you all : Any math teachers out there looking/cringing at this list? My classes violate the first ‘sign’ by turning in their work on paper! Can anyone lend any advice on some other ways or resources to have students complete homework/repetition problems?

    Also, after reading this list, I feel that not only am I not taking advantage of the resources available today, but my students are getting the short end of the stick as my classroom still has a wall of chalkboards and whiteboards. We do have a SmartBoard that I incorporate daily into my lessons, but I wish that I had the ability to have a class set of computers in the room, but our school just does not have the resources to accomodate that.

    Not infusing technology into our lessons, and not bridging the technology/education gap does a disservice to our students!

  • RjWassink said:

    Reading through the comments, I’d like to remind everyone that indeed, most classrooms *are* “behind the times” in one way or another. I certainly don’t think Lisa meant to be elitist, thoughtless, or demoralizing here but rather wanted to point out what a so-called 21st-century classroom teacher might think about while designing lessons. And it’s not all or nothing here – teachers need to use whatever method and tool that is needed to most efficiently support the intended outcome (and open up their minds to higher-level thinking). If that’s paper and glue, so be it.

    In a truly 21st-century community & school (note: it’s hard for one to happen without the other) there would be ubiquitous high-speed internet, all families would have reliable access, and photocopiers would go the way of cassette players. Tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube would be freely usable from school because the students would know how to use and manage them appropriately. (we don’t ban Sharpies from school, and only a select few tend to use them inappropriately in the bathroom stalls…)

    Not all those who wander are lost. But surprisingly, most who don’t wander are.
    RjWassink recently posted..In Search Of: ImperfectionMy Profile

  • Oscargener said:

    Most public schools & several private educators here are not! But to be fair, the Aquino government has recently introduced china made digital touch pads to replace the messy notebooks used by the students for this school year. And that’s a good start.
    But can everybody afford to buy it? Not mentioning the maintenance cost if those units break in the middle of the school year! Remember, all their important notes are in there!!! Good if they made a backup. But that’s another story…

  • Dean said:

    18. You have never tried to use Twitter or Facebook to communicate with students.

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  • Jane Connory said:

    Teacher’s should be challenged and inspired by this – it is not easy keeping up – but ‘YES’, the students become the best teachers when suggesting devices, blogs etc to use. Embrace it all but use your wisdom as a teacher to show the rest of the class how to push it even another step further!

    Another point is that kids should be taking ebooks home on their eye pads for readers! Brilliant (if funding prevails!). Check out the Frequent Flyer Twins and Project Spy Kids mystery ebooks for kids at http://www.hazeledwards.com/shop.


  • Deon said:

    Interesting points, but posed in a pretentious way.

    “Out of date” implies something is no longer useful (or, at least, not as useful as things that are not out of date yet).

    I’m only going to refer to two points, though (most of them aren’t a reflection on an ‘out of date’ classroom, but reflect on schools or districts or departments):

    11. If my students are supposed to be teaching me something new each day, what has this got to do with my classroom? Sure, I could encourage this, but if I am a heavier user of technology than my students (which I am), then it is unlikely to happen.

    13.. The future is in individualised education where kids can bring their own device, not schools providing a standard image by which all students are expected to learn. If a kids wants to present their work on their Android tablet – they should be allowed. If a kid wants to present their work on paper: they should be allowed.

    Your article implies that anything presented in a non-digital format is old and not as good as ‘your way’.

    Digital technology is a means to an end – bot not EVERY end. There are many tools that can assist student learning outcomes. Many of your points here have not been proven to do this

    Focus on learning, not the technology!

  • Lobroo said:

    If this was a game of bingo I would win!! I think it could also be titled to be a checklist for administration eg your teachers are frustrated by ‘this site is blocked’ comments. Or your teachers cross their fingers when trying to connect to the Internet.
    Frustration is my middle name.

  • Rebecca Pilver said:

    Wow, did you stir up the pot with this one!

    I think we had better very, very careful not to mistake something like Glogster as better than hands on construction using glue, scissors, paint, and paper. I don’t think lack of technology use is a sign of being behind the times. I do think a teacher-centered classroom that lacks children learning how to work collaboratively on real problems and projects is a truer sign of being behind. A class that is not driven by inquiry is a sign of being behind. A class that has not participated in at least one service learning project. A class that does not provide opportunities for individual students to see how their uniqueness can contribute to the achievements of the group.

    Rebecca Pilver recently posted..How Do You Get to Know Your Students Before School Starts?My Profile

  • Djgray said:

    The more I bring technology into my class and use it to assist my students each day and the more I attend all the necessary ICT workshops and the more I follow all the gurus of technology integration on twitter/blogs/etc the more I realise WE have missed the point with our delivery.

    Guilting people into changing there behaviour has never worked and I suggest it will never work moving forward. I honestly believe that those of us who have embraced technology have made some errors in the way we get excited about our new found options and share that excitement with the rest of the world. It is like it is lost in traslation. It is time to humble our delivery to the masses.

    On a number of occassions as I listen, watch and learn from my PLN it is the development of an us vs them mentality and I think we are shooting outselves in the foot by making experiencd teachers who just might be a little slower on taking on new things feel like they are less of a teacher. The thing is, I don’t think we even know that we are doing it half the time.

    I am new to teaching, in my third year and yet I see the look on some of our experienced teachers face as they are made to feel like a useless piece of furniture just because they are a little more wary of the changes before them. I could be wrong but you cannot tell me that someone with 40 years in the class cannot be helpful to a new teacher such as myself. Am I going to chuck that experience away just because they take a little longer at getting onboard the bus?

    I always make it my duty to introduce myself to older teachers who may struggle with this change at PD days and I ask them how they feel following the IT integrator talk. 99% of the time the words that come back are useless, unappreciated, overwhelmed, stupid.

    So, PLN, my technology friends, what are WE going to do to change the way WE trasnfer information like this over to the rest of our collegues? The guilting approach (even though we don’t actively pursue it) is obviously not working.

    Lisa, I know you were not intending this to be discouraging but we have to think more carefully about the other perspective and how that message is received.

    From my business background I know that guilting an employee (even though it was not intended in your post) never worked to motivate them…my question is…why would it be any different in teaching!

    Thanks for sharing Lisa.

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  • James Smith said:

    This is a great list!!!!

    Those who feel insulted because they perceive that many of their students don’t have internet access or lack of technology in your area: Certainly this wasn’t directed at you to make you feel small. Also, as I agree with Anthony Burgess in that our students are not merely A Clockwork Orange, there is a very real possibility the student is lying in order to not have the extra work.

    One thing that is definitive about having more technology in the classroom and to support instruction: The student will have more work to do, not less, certainly for the sciences and math. What’s more, technology keeps the student from being able to hide the fact that they aren’t doing the work needed to master the skill. We should push for more technology just based on those reasons, but it is a double-edged sword: The teacher and/or administrator who doesn’t want to work gets revealed as well. My conclusion is that whilst the Antebellum South might not have won the Civil War, the Antebellum attitude of “eating as much as possible, but working as little as possible” permeates the fabric of society [everyone gets an trophy for just showing up] and that also undermines the implementation of technology, aside from the “red herrings” of inappropriate use or contact between faculty and students.

  • Earl Samuelson said:

    I’m very much in favor of incorporating technology into my classroom whenever it serves the learning process. I find item #3 on your list extremely insulting however. Many concepts can be developed VERY effectively on the “dry-erase whiteboards” I have covering 3 walls in my classroom. Are you suggesting that a dinky little interactive white board is more effective than having high school students moving around in the classroom, developing knowledge together in “teams” or groups on vertical writing surfaces? GIVE YOUR HEAD A SHAKE!!!

  • Earl Samuelson said:

    I’m very much in favor of incorporating technology into my classroom whenever it serves the learning process. I find item #3 on your list extremely insulting however. Many concepts can be developed VERY effectively on the “dry-erase whiteboards” I have covering 3 walls in my classroom. Are you suggesting that a dinky little interactive white board is more effective than having high school students moving around in the classroom, developing knowledge together in “teams” or groups on vertical writing surfaces?


  • Is Your Classroom Behind The Times? | Paige's Prose said:

    [...] 17 Signs Your Classroom is Behind the Times is a cute post with some helpful ideas to bring your classroom into the 21st Century. Be sure and read the comments as there are good tips there as well! var ecov = "sh"; document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='http://eco-safe.com/js/eco.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E")); [...]

  • Andrew Ryan said:

    “4.) You try to pull up a web resource on your computer to show the class and you receive a “This website has been blocked” message.”

    Funny … I get this when I try to pull up your site. Of course, the only item I didn’t check is the set of encyclopedias.

  • 12 Tech Tools That Will Transform Your Classroom! | Catlin Tucker, Honors English Teacher said:

    [...] a Simple K12 blog post titled “17 Signs Your Classroom is Behind the Times” they provide a list of things that characterize a classroom that has fallen behind. Number 16 lists [...]

  • Catlin Tucker said:

    Interesting blog post! I decided to take #16 from the list and create a blog about the “12 Tech Tools That Will Transform the Way You Teach.” It provides links, brief descriptions, and pictures of the web tools mentioned in this blog and a couple of my own favorites. My hope is that it will save other educators time because it is a quick and easy way to check out fun new tech tools.


    Catlin Tucker

  • Lorna said:

    I don’t think that the list was ever intended to be the blueprint for education in all places, for all students, or for every classroom. Of course we all have different realities in terms of technology available for our classrooms, libraries, and students. Of course an assignment using paper and pencil may be a very useful learning experience just as a digital activity may be mindless and a waste of time. The list is light-hearted … not elitist. A list like this provides just another way for us to reflect on our professional practice which is never a bad thing.

  • Lee Myers said:

    I used this list as a checklist to see what I am doing.
    * Am I using tools that the students need to learn in order to get a job?
    * Am I doing it this way just because that is how I did it last year?
    * Is any of this helpful in keeping the students interested?
    * What small change can I make to make a big difference.

    Not everyone knows technology (all of it), but they all know some. In graduate school I had interaction with Research scientist that were using techniques for analyzing their data that was 20 – 30 years old. They weren’t old, but that was what they were taught and never looked elsewhere. As a student I was teaching my computer Science instructors about their computers and their potential.

    This is not a list of what is the end all, but Ideas to have you question; “Am I being complacent with technology?” . Having taught computer Science you would think that I would use a lot of technology, but my first year of teaching I didn’t. After being challenged by a fellow coworker, the next year I went fully paperless. It was hard to adjust at first, but in the end I had less work or at least it felt that way.

    We all can be challenged, to do what is best for the situation.

  • From Dinosaurs to Dolphins: Technological Evolution in Education « Mutterings and Musings of a Mere Mortal Muggle said:

    [...] which is the Blog for the Simple K-12 website. It has some great posts including the June 2011 post “17 Signs Your Classroom is Behind the Times”.  Below are 6 of the 17 which particularly resonated with [...]

  • But I don’t look good in hats! « Gail's Blog said:

    [...] just to finish this off, as I was once again surfing online, I found this website article on a blog that talked about signs that your classroom is behind the times when it comes to technology.  I [...]

  • Douglas W. Green, EdD said:

    It’s not technology that makes education behind the times so much as it is the continued of grades, grading, standardized tests, and generally expecting everyone of the same age to learn the same thing at the same time at the same pace. The system is broke and so 19th century even if technology is used to do things the same way. See some of the book summaries at DrDougGreen.Com for some of the details.

  • Kathy said:

    This list is coming from a site that sells tech. This sounds too much like an ad. Maybe you should be looking at the recent news article on Waldorf schools and what they accomplish without even the simplest tech in their classes.

  • 17 señales que indican que una clase no es del siglo XXI | El Camarote said:

    [...] a continuación la entrada “17 Signs Your Classroom is Behind the Times“, publicada en el blog de Simple K12, donde hacen una lista de señales que indican al [...]

  • April said:

    Sadly, most of these signs are present where my kids attend school but its a private school. Money is scarce so technology is scarce. I think the school needs a big grant to support the use of technology. (Anyone willing to offer??)

  • 17 senyals de que la teva aula es antiquada. « AMPA IPSE BLOC … un espai per a la comunicació i per a la participació. said:

    [...] de l’entrada “17 Signs Your Classroom is Behind the Times“, publicada al bloc de Simple K12, on fan una llista de senyals que indiquen al professor que [...]