I am currently observing an English classroom at Beachwood High School. I observe three classes: English 4, AP Language and Literature, and Journalism. This allows me to observe students from all four high school grades.
Beachwood has a 1-to-1 Chrome Book policy, so there is a Chrome Book available for any student who wants to check one out in the library. However, most students bring their own laptops or tablets from home, so not many Chrome Books were utilized in the classes I observed. Students use this technology for two main purposes: work and pleasure. Many of the assignment that my mentor teacher gives them requires students to type up a paragraph response and then email him the paragraph or read something online that he will email them. Many students also take notes on their laptops through Google Drive. However, many students also go on Buzzfeed, Netflix, Youtube, and iChat during class because these applications are not blocked.
These technologies make it easier and more environmentally friendly for Mr. Davis to run his class. He is able to distribute and collect assignments quickly and easily without printing everything out. Collaboration between students is also simpler, because Google Drive is able to be used by multiple students at once. However, I have observed the vast majority of the students using the computers to watch Netflix or sports games instead of paying attention to the teacher. Mr. Davis does not do a good job in enforcing technology limits, so the students get away with playing games or texting during class. This impedes their learning process because they are not paying attention.
Mr. Davis mainly uses a projector, email, and Google Drive in his classroom. He has his own laptop connected to a projector at the front of the room, and he uses that to go through PowerPoints or point out certain articles that he wants them to read. The English 4 and Journalism classes do not have textbooks, so he uses online platforms and articles as textbooks. He finds something that he wants the students to work on, and then he emails them the link. Once the students are done, they will email their completed work back to Mr. Davis. Google Drive is another mode for this, and the students will share their completed work to Mr. Davis. For the journalism class, this is how the editing process is done. Once a reporter is finished with a story, they will share their Google Doc with the editor, who will do edits and then share the Doc with Mr. Davis.
The technologies that Mr. Davis uses to teach help to translate the information and are adequate for his classroom. However, the technologies that the students are allowed to use in his classroom do more harm than good. If Mr. Davis imposed strict guidelines to when they are allowed to use their phones or laptops, then I believe that this issue will be cut down. However, because he does not, the students are largely ignoring his lectures and are just on their technology for leisure.