A No-Tech Talk – A Hard Act to Follow

Photo by Gil Epshtein

Last July, at the ETAI English Teacher’s conference in Jerusalem, I gave my first completely no-tech talk.

I know I’m tooting my own horn here, but it was very well received. Discussing a strategy to get some learning done while relating to what is completely distracting your class (and has caused you to throw your lesson plan out the window) using only the whiteboard and a marker seemed to really resonate with teachers. The plain whiteboard seems to still be the most widely used tool in the classroom.

Pondering on teachers’ interest in utilizing the whiteboard, in addition to an audible sense of relief that not everything today requires tech, I toyed with the idea of being the teacher who is known for giving no-tech talks at the conferences.

I knew I had time to think about it till the next conference.

The proposal form for the upcoming summer conference has just arrived.

I haven’t used any new strategies for the whiteboard (still really like the old one!).

In addition, most of what I’ve been actively learning this year has had to do with utilizing tech tools for online homework.

Even if I abandon the idea of being the teacher who presents simple” take this home and try it” strategies, that require nothing more than a whiteboard (at no-tech talks) I’m hesitant to plan a talk on online homework. I discussed this with a friend who is a “regular” high-school English teacher and he said that there is no way a teacher with 6 classes of 40 pupils could possibly deal with online homework the way I do with my small special-ed classes. Furthermore, presenting a bunch of tech tool without a framework of why they are worth using (in my case, for the online homework tasks I give) is not the kind of talk I would want to attend myself!

So, at the moment I’m finding my own talk a difficult act to follow and have not yet filled in the presenters form. I’ve presented at the conference many times before but have not had this quandary till now.

Do you know what I mean?


4 thoughts on “A No-Tech Talk – A Hard Act to Follow”

  1. Hi Naomi,

    Tech can obviously allow us to do some amazing things, but I recently had a teacher on an inservice course who said she wanted to observe someone to find out how to teach WITHOUT an interactive whiteboard!

  2. Rachael!
    Thanks for stopping by!
    That’s exactly the issue! Teachers want tips they can use without worrying if they have the technologoy and whether or not it will work.
    By the way, my talk was about using a regular whiteboard – I’ve never used an interactive one.
    I’m still stumped about the topic of my talk though. Since I don’t teach in a regular classroom a lot of the things that I do that would interest a “regular” teacher inolve videos or a tech tool.

  3. That’s a tricky dilemma! Wonder if there’s a way to give a talk about tech without using it?!
    Maybe you could start with some interactive no tech activities to look at some of your main issues, and then use the tech to show the solutions?

    1. Rachael!
      Don’t have a reply yet but I do hope to see you at the summer ETAI conference!
      By then I’ll have figured something out!
      Thanks for the support!

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