Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wasted Technology

There were times I would attend a conference, casually talk to other teachers, or whatever and hear about all this technology that they had available to them, but weren't using. The reason was usually that they weren't trained and therefore didn't know how to integrate the tools available.

I also remember a few of my resourceful teachers who made do without a projector. Instead they used scan converters, but with one TV - that's not always a good choice. These teachers took it one step further. I told you, they were resourceful. They went to stores and begged for older TV's that were no longer the hot seller or somehow damaged on the outside (dent, marks) and wouldn't sell right, went to garage sales, and any other places they could think of to get cheap TVs. They then connected NOT one TV, but several to the scan converter and scattered them around the room. One science teacher had a TV in each corner and one on each side (total of 6) that showed her monitor. It was really cool and the students loved it! Everyone could see.

So it upsets me when I see wasted technology. I'm not talking about the iPods that sit in a display window, because those usually get sold at some point. I'm talking about the ring of TVs in Houston Airport in Terminal E that are only used for aesthetics and show blue, red and then images on each of the 50+ monitors. Instead, sponsor some art materials or an art scholarship and have the students create a visual for that space. Donate the TV's to the school. The Mall of Millennium has a couple of really neat monitors that are used for fashion designs and other images. I guess that one shouldn't bother me so much, but it does.

I understand that some of the technology is there for entertainment or advertisement purposes. Not all is a total waste. I'll give that. But that ring of TV's just really bother me. The images were not that great, and all it did was cause people to stop, look around, shake their head and ask "What's the point?"

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