Are computers in your classroom up-to-date?'s Teacher Poll of the Week
Are computers in your classroom up-to-date?

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It's roughly a sixty-forty ratio for teachers responding that they believe the computers in their classrooms are not up-to-date. The term up-to-date is open to interpretation as well. Unless you purchase and set up a new computer at least every year there are likely to be advances that are available on the market that aren't in our homes and schools. Technology changes so quickly that it is difficult to keep up both mentally and financially.

The fact that the majority of teachers feel their students do not have access to up-to-date equipment is discouraging. Computers play such a major role in so many aspects of society from work to recreation that it is important for children to have access to relevant hardware and software. Some schools have computer labs where new equipment is installed fairly regularly, at least every few years or so. The older model computers are then moved to the classrooms for teacher and student use. This means that even if computers in the classrooms are not the latest models, students still have access to newer equipment in a more centralized location.

For the more than half of teachers who feel their classroom computers are outdated, this is an area of concern. How can we expect our students to learn at an optimum level when they perform research on clunky old dinosaurs still running operating systems over ten years old? The answer is, we can't. Students may not require the absolute newest thing out there, but they at least need equipment that is relevant and usable.

This being the case, we again run into the ugly truth of funding realities. When school districts are struggling to present balanced budgets, putting money aside for technological expenditures is difficult. Parent fundraising is one solution but not a universally accepted one. School districts maintain all computers throughout their district and because of this they like all the schools to be standardized with regard to the age of the hardware and software that is utilized. Not only that, but schools in less affluent areas have a more difficult time fundraising which means they fall even farther behind other schools.

School districts and individual schools and teachers will continue to do their best to provide students with the best education possible. It just might make the job easier if there was more money to throw around.