Smart Phones in the classroom?

ImageI read this article about using cell phones in the classroom:  http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2012/07/5-reasons-to-allow-students-to-use-cell.html

I can honestly say that before reading this, the main thing I could think of as to why a student shouldn’t use it is because they would not use it for what it is intended (playing, texting).  This article took everything I thought that may be a reason and gave arguments as to why they are wrong.  There is nothing I can argue with this article.  She is so right!  I especially like the point she made about how we are preparing students for the future, so we should allow them to use the tools they will use in the future.  I think students would love being able to use their phones.  They may play a little bit.  But the teacher would need to monitor that and make them accountable for assignments to ensure they are on task.  I also agree with the fact about budgets not allowing for some technology and teachers have a wealth of technology that could be used right in most students’ pockets.  What a great way of looking at it!  The only negative I can think is that some students may not have access to smart phones.  They may not be able to afford it.  This could lead to parents complaining that their child doesn’t have the same resources and can’t be as successful as other students.  Maybe the school would have some available for student use and allow others to use their own?  That would be the only tricky part I can think of.  Does any part of this picture look like it isn’t educational??



Andrew Blum: What is the Internet, really?

I enjoyed listening to this talk about this internet.  It was funny listening to this talk.  He asked the question “what is the internet made of, and what is it, really?”  He kept talking about it being this “little black box” which is exactly what I thought when the internet first started out (for me at least).  I couldn’t grasp how this little box or computer could generate the things they were talking about.  Honestly, I still find it kind of fascinating.  How can this cable or box literally connect me to the world?  It really made me think about it when he said “life goes in on one side of the ocean and comes through the cable and out on the other side of the ocean”.  What an amazing thing!  I never really even connected that there is cables under the ocean?  Really?  It truly is incredible to be able to instantly communicate with people across the world.  I really experienced this when I studied abroad in Ireland.  I could talk to my family and friends and even see them instantly.  I don’t know if I will ever understand it, but technology is amazing!  This talk really got me thinking deeper about what really is the “internet. To remember using encyclopedias and books to do research…and now all of that and MORE is right at my fingertips with a push of a button.  Incredible.


Ted Ed Assignment

The things I am introduced to in this class amaze me every week!  I can’t believe all of this stuff is out there and I’ve never even heard of it.  I wonder how many teachers use these resources? 

After exploring and competing a couple lessons on TedEd. I read the blog “To flip or not to flip”. This teacher is a major “to flip” advocate. This teacher comments how technology has brought compassion back to the classroom.  I liked this statement.  The author comments how most think that the use technology makes the lesson less personal, or the students become disconnected from the teacher.  I love how this teacher shows us that this isn’t true. We can use technology in positive ways. This teacher is using technology and feels that they are more connected with their students.  The more I keep learning about uses of technology, the more I can’t wait to start teaching! 



I listened to “Digging deeper into Mooresville: preparing for a connectED future”. I had never listened to a podcast before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.  In my head,  I was thinking I would be watching a video.  So I was a little surprised that I was kind of listening to a radio station. The podcast featured a county in North Carolina that is going digital.  The district has done away with text books and gave lap tops to all students beginning in fourth grade.  The teachers were interviewed and reported that it has been very effective. One teacher described it as always having that “big hook” you need to engage students in your lesson.  The teachers also liked how they could easily reach all students with computers (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners).  The administrators also found the technology transfer to be long term more cost effective. I thought it was quite interesting that their success rates have increased and discipline issues have decreased.  Maybe this is the future! 

This is my first experience with a podcast. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.  I think it would be more interesting with graphics or video…. But then maybe it wouldn’t be a podcast? I think it’s easy to let your mind wander and not stay focused when you’re”just listening” (for me anyways! ). But I can see the podcast as something useful in a classroom.  I think students would be engaged in creating one.  I like the ideas in the article we read. I especially liked the idea of being news reporters and going back in time and reporting. I think students would really get into that.  They could create background noise and effects too. I think kids would really get creative with this!


Something “Pinteresting”

Check it out: http://pinterest.com/pin/292311832034678915/ 

I’m always looking at new ideas for things to use in the classroom.  I especially love interesting and exciting ways to get children excited about reading.  When I was teaching, I incorporated books on tape as often as possible (especially when they hold the book themselves and follow along).  I found that on this Barnes and Noble website, there is an online story time.  Authors and celebrities have “story times” and read books aloud!  I think this is neat because it’s almost like a book on tape, but slightly different.  I think that students would really enjoy this!  I would do this as a special activity that they would probably do individually or with a partner.


Nuts & Bolts

I think this teacher has some really great ideas.  It’s nice to hear about some of the new (new to me at least!) technology being used in a classroom (google docs).  I love learning about these things, but often wonder what resources will be available to me in my classroom.  Will I be able to have an ample amount of computers to use?  Are their website restrictions?  Do I have to schedule the computer lab? 

I love that this teacher is letting the students do most of the work.  I feel that it is our job to create the possibilities for students.  It is our job to motivate and inspire.  If the students are happily researching on their own…SCORE!  This gives them a sense of responsibility for their learning.  I would be much more inclined to do something that I felt like I was self motivated to do versus a teacher telling me to research, read, etc.



Wordle: Untitled

I think that Wordle is a pretty interesting tool.  I made my own about technology!  I think this would be something neat to use with students.  The first thing that came to mind is a “getting to know you activity”.  The students could create their own wordle to tell the class about themselves.  This is helpful for the teacher too because it helps to relate to the students.  I can find out what their likes and interests are and as a result, teach them more effectively. 

I also think that this resource can be used for many other activities in a classroom.  You could make a wordle using rhyming words, words about a particular topic (wars, science experiments…).  Wow…the possibilities are endless!