Sunday, February 15, 2009

Get Away from that Computer!

A colleague writes:

What can we all do to get students to think for themselves and become more physically active in their daily life? I know that I am almost lost now without the tablet in front of me when I am working on assignments. Also, I need to force myself to get up, do something physically exerting because I am sitting way too long behind some digital tool.

In my own experience, the ease-of-use technology offers actually presents me with the opportunity both to be more productive as a teacher and at the same time have more time get out and do the other things that make life fun.

For example, a relatively simple thing like Google Images saves me hours of prep-time for my AP Art History class. In college, I worked for a professor who taught a Roman History survey. He paid me to go to the slide registry at the library and collect hundreds of images for his class presentations. It took weeks to complete that work. Now, using Google, I could put together a comparable project in a few hours' time.

Which leaves me more time to get out and enjoy some sun.


  1. YES! Thanks for posting this good comment. We gotta use the computer to help use enjoy the other non-digital parts of life. I think of it as a means, not an end.

    There is the risk, of course, that the "ease of use" would also enable an addiction: after the Art History slides come together so quickly, you'll let yourself find something else online. Play on Facebook, etc. In this case, instead of the technology enabling more time for sunshine, it just sucks away time.

  2. I like the means, not an end point. Technology is not the end. The end is good writing, quality research, and on and on. The means, in my eyes, has improved and made things quicker and sometimes easier.

    There are many things you can do in a classroom to exercise. Look into Yoga Calm ( or Brain Gym ( These are great for transitions between activities and refocusing students.


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