SOL 2016 Day 9: The Joy of Technology

Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge 2016
This March, more than 300 teachers have committed to daily writing. If you’d like to read more “slices” (from other teachers and even students), visit:

I just ended a Zoom call with two of my friends. The amazing thing is that one of them lives in Southern California and one of them in Australia. Since I live in Northern California, this call was the only way we could see each other's lovely faces. How fun! 

I've Zoomed several times now, once with nine people. With each of us in our little square, we looked like we were on Hollywood Squares or the beginning of The Brady Bunch (I'm dating myself here. Those of you too young to know these, Google them!) 

Many teachers and parents bemoan the fact that young people seem to be glued to their phones or text each other while sitting right next to each other. I worry about that too. I also worry about all the parents I see walking with their small children while talking on their cell phones. What about talking to the kids, pointing out things around them? I wonder what will happen to those children without that kind of interaction.

Because we humans can be a gloomy lot when it comes to change, every new technological innovation seems to portend doom for "civilization as we've known it." And of course many technological "advances" have been horrific: the atom bomb, nerve gas just to name a couple. 

But then there is the technology that lets me Zoom call with my friends from far away. Then this blog post going out to hundreds of people I've never met. And the blog posts I will read and respond to tonight. These advances I am happy I've got.

Daly City? Where's That?

The other day I went to the Apple Store in Burlingame, CA. There at the Genius Bar were a group of school children along with their teachers (or camp counselors) all wearing blue tee shirts working on laptops.  I couldn't quite see what they were working on - maybe iMovies.  That doesn't really matter. What matters is that they all had the opportunity to work together using modern technology.  I'm happy for those students; what a wonderful experience for them.  But it made me think of my own students in Daly City (Check your map - this is a suburb just south of San Francisco).  


When our after school program, Citizen Schools begged for funding from several Silicon Valley companies, no one would give them the money they needed.  The result?  The program was forced to leave our school to go work with other students somewhere else.  What is it about Daly City?  Our community seems to be forgotten.  Our school district isn't like the large San Francisco district to the north of us or the more affluent districts to the south of us in Silicon Valley.  We aren't the richest or the poorest, but rather basically a working class community.  I guess that means we aren't glamorous enough to get the kind of funding other districts get.  The result: my students lose out.