I was a middle school Spanish teacher until ten years ago when I decided to stay home to raise my family and I can not believe how much technology has changed and shaped the classroom in the past decade. Last night I attended my daughter's open house at the middle school and it was an eye opening experience.
Upon arriving I had to register for the parental portal - an electronic communication system for parents where teachers post grades. Now when a student says, "I don't know I got on my test in Science today," a parent can quickly log into their account and have access to their child's grades.
Long gone are the days of making dittos, writing on chalkboards, or using overhead machines with transparencies - now classrooms are equipped with Smartboards - an interactive internet board. Technology has gone way beyond computer class and instead it is integrated into every class. For example, in music class students learn to play the piano and then they listen to the music they composed by using the GarageBand by Apple application.
School supplies have changed over the years too. In addition to the necessary paper and pencils, a USB drive was on the list. I expect to see my personal favorite added to the list soon - an e-reader!
When I return to the classroom as a teacher I will have my homework cut out for me - simply getting up to speed in all these advancements in technology.
Technology in the classroom is extremely important because it is the future.