I NEED Technology: A Love/Hate Relationship

When I interned in 2009, I was fortunate enough to have a Coop that had a Smartboard and projector, something that was not common back then! I planned everything using the technology and visuals.

I was hooked! For my first teaching position I was placed in an elementary classroom with no projector. I could not teach like this. I ended up buying my own projector to use for my first two years of teaching.

Twelve years later, technology is part of just about every aspect of my life. I wake up, to an alarm on my phone, and will check my phone before leaving work (Facebook or Twitter). I exercise using a fitness app on my phone. I get to school and immediately turn on my projector so I can display each class’s agenda (on Word) for the day.

All lessons start with a Powerpoint or Word document for reference, most lessons include a Youtube video, all reviews include a Quizizz (virtual quiz) to help study, students are allowed to use the Quizlet App to make virtual cue cards, and all class materials are posted to MS Teams daily. Also, students use a variety of programs (Powerpoint, Canva, etc.) to write up “photo labs” for my science classes.

Communication between students and families is also all virtual. If it is not by email, it’s a message on the Remind App or on Teams messenger.

Once at home, communication for my children’s school is also via technology, either through email or Seesaw. Their teachers frequently send messages and videos about the day’s events through the Seesaw App. Even the softball coaches use an App to keep a schedule and communicate messages!

I rely on my phone for my alarm clock, my calendar, my grocery lists, communication with family, friends, kid’s activities organizations and of course sharing on social media! I am addicted to technology, it is an amazing thing BUT I also am very aware and cautious about the time I spend on my phone, especially with/around my children.

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13 Responses to I NEED Technology: A Love/Hate Relationship

  1. Matthew Fehr says:

    Wow Nicole, it seems like you’ve deeply integrated technology into your daily routines as well as teaching. It’s interesting that you mentioned the regulation of screen time around your children as a semester or two ago I spent a bit of time reading through a literature review on the effects of screen time on early childhood learning achievement. It is worth a look if you search for journal articles with the keywords “digital screen viewing”, “screen time” and “student achievement.”

    I have never used MS teams, do you use it exclusively with your students, or do you use it for collaboration with your fellow teachers as well?

    • Nicole Romanow says:

      Hey Matthew,
      Yes, the amount of screen time is already scaring me! My oldest has access to computers in her classroom (1:1 ratio) and lots of the homework is through Seesaw. If you find that lit review you should send it my way! Thank you.

      As for MS Teams, I use it for both students and teacher collaborating. For example we have a “Team” for our TRC committee and for our Science department. It’s a great place to save meeting minutes, share resources, and send announcements.

  2. Hey Nicole! I don’t know if you remember me but I worked with you briefly at Sacred Heart during my first year post-convocation.

    I admire your positive outlook and explanation with tech but also that you mentioned the awareness and attempt to not be on your phone as much around your children. I have a toddler and even now I am conscious about not letting it pull my (or her) attention away from other learning and life opportunities for her…which can be a challenge for both of us sometimes, as I’m sure you can relate.

    I’m curious: what are “photo labs”?

    • Also I didn’t realize I have a very similar blog title to you with the love/hate idea. I promise I truly did not see this until after I’d posted mine! Apologies 🙂

    • Nicole Romanow says:

      Hey Christina!

      Yes, I remember you from Sacred Heart! I am glad our paths crossed again!

      I can very much relate to the distractions of technology and kids! And I don’t know what the right answer is. And I am worried about the future and when my children will get phones (the 9 year old already wants one).

      Photo labs are what students hand in instead of a written lab report. During the lab activity students take pictures of the procedures and results so they can add them to their digital write up to aid as visuals and their observations. It has been a great addition to the science classroom!

  3. Alyssa Johnson says:

    Hi Nicole!

    Thank you for your sharing your tech experiences on your blog, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts!

    It is really wild to think of how long ago our internship was and how far we have come now with our teaching careers, additionally with the use of technology within it! Good on you for actually going out to purchase a data projector for your first years of teaching, I cannot even imagine having to go without one! I hope you got reimbursed for some of cost, as I know that are not cheap!

    I also really appreciate your comment on being mindful of screen time around your family. As you know, I am not a mother yet, but I am one who loves to live in the moment and be present with those around me. And, I truly find that in order to that, I need to put my phone down and just simply “be there.” I recognize that recording videos and capturing photos of a lot of precious moments are great memories to look back on. However, sometimes I just more appreciate to take it all in without a screen in front of me! I am certain that your sweet girls so appreciate their special time with you! 🙂

  4. Amanpreet says:

    Hi Nicole. I loved the title of your blog. Also your blog reminded me of my childhood days when my teachers use to teach though projectors and there was only one projector in whole school. We use to go to that hall ones in a week to watch a sci-fi movie. Also, the use of PowerPoint or some other app of Microsoft has made our life easier and I do not even remember when was the last time I made notes in the notebook. I note everything on Google doc or Slides as they automatically gets saved and I work without any stress of saving the data.

    Indeed technology has made our life easier but as you said- we should wisely spend time on technology as there are negative aspects of everything.

    • Nicole says:

      Thank you for your comment Amanpreet!

      Yes, I also use Google Drive to save all of my work. But I also like to make pen and paper notes. So really, I just have a ton of information/work everywhere…
      I love your story about your memories of going to watch movies at school. Isn’t it interesting what memories we hold on to?

  5. Britney Savage says:

    Nicole your post is so relatable to my experiences and integration of technology. I find that sometimes I get down a rabbit hole looking for resources as I find new tools daily. Although it is great to discover these new tools to integrate into the classroom I find that this is very time consuming and easily chews through a hour of my evening.
    I admire you for all the different platforms you have brought into your classroom, and I particularly think photo labs are such an amazing idea! I have never heard of them until I read your blog, so thank you for the share.

    As with anything there are negatives and positives, and depending on how we limit ourselves and technology use the effects can be very negative. I love that I can switch the style of learning up easily with technology, also allowing for students to be on their toes. With the everchanging platforms and more and more ways of communicating on these platforms do you think the teaching profession feels busier in the sense of keeping up on all platforms? I feel the shift as I receive messages on Teams, email, Edsby and Blackboard, and from time to time this can be overwhelming.

    • Nicole says:

      Thank you for the comment Britney and Yes!
      Our math/science department are constantly having discussions about the everchanging platforms! In the beginning I started with a Weebly and refused to get a ‘Moodle’ page or a ‘Portal’ page…. because our division would keep adding/changing platforms. During COVID I switched to using Teams and now I am enjoying it. I do find it difficult at times when messages are coming in from Teams, email and Remind… I have been thinking of getting rid of the Remind App and only using Teams and email. We will see what Fall 2022 brings!

  6. Kelly Ziegler says:

    How time flies! It’s so crazy that we were in high school together, then again a bit in university (although not all that closely because of the different programs), and then our paths cross once again in our Master’s courses. What a small world Regina can be, that’s for sure! I look forward to working with you again and learning from you. Your positive outlook in the class is definitely appreciated!

  7. Debate #2- technology has lead to a more equitable society- I disagree
    Article One: A social media weapon for good. The attacks highlighted in this article and the students speaking out on social media is evident that there are greater problems for youth. They are speaking out on social media. This reflects a strong voice for the youth involved in this attack. It also speaks to the injustice of people in the world, from terror attacks, mental health terrorist attacks. This article also highlights the gaping holes and missing solutions to effectively address these fundamental issues.
    These articles were an interesting view of Technology and the need for restructuring, greater vision and solutions to create an equitable situation for all. Thank you for your input and great debate

  8. Debate#1
    Debate #1 -Technology in the classroom enhances learning – I Agree
    that technology has advance our society, but it is used by choice in daily lives. With Internet Censoring, it is allowed unless by request. The article quote: ” Internet is a powerful engine of focus” which is dependent on the individual. It is their choice to use the power of the search engine to aid in their learning. Overall it creates a vast learning environment if everyone follows the rules and makes the important decision to learn. For persons with inequitable situations or disabilities it can change their lives with assistive technology, they are able to self pace and learn.

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