The post I decided to read about in relation to mobile learning was “Schools and Students Clash Over Use of Technology” by Katrina Schwartz.
My reaction to this post at first reminded me of what I thought about before on technology in the classroom compared to now. At first, I thought cell phones would be a huge distraction as well as any other mobile device brought from home. Students would have access to emailing, texting, chatting, playing games, or doing something else that wasn’t related to what was going on in the classroom. However, now, I think that allowing them to bring in devices isn’t such a bad idea. Teachers should monitor what it is they are doing just like they would if they were doing something in their desk or writing notes to someone else in the class in a traditional classroom. Teachers should also explain to students the consequences of not doing what you are supposed to with your device for learning purposes. I also think about the fact that if we were able to allow all students to bring devices for learning purposes, they would be learning to make decisions on what they should be doing or not, which is a skill they have to learn and hold on to for the rest of their life. If we let them make decisions now, how much more decision making experience would they have by the time they even got to high school.
Just like a flipped classroom technique doesn’t have to be used all the time, I think it’s the same for having access to mobile devices. There should be time for different types of learning and students shouldn’t all miss out on the benefits of a traditional classroom as well. I think it’s great that parents seem like they are supportive of having mobile devices in the classroom so that their children are more interested in learning. However, I’m interested in what type of survey they did, what backgrounds of parents were they doing this survey on, and what was the percentage of different types of incomes the parents had. The reason for this is that I don’t agree when the post says “parents from across income categories were willing to buy devices for their children in order to increase their interest and engagement in learning.” Why don’t I agree? Many parents are working two jobs to provide for their families with their basic needs like shelter, food, and water. If this is on their mind and they are already short money at the end of the month, buying an I-pad or a phone is what they are least thinking of. That they would love to buy one of these mobile devices for their children, they would. What parent doesn’t want to give their children anything they are able to in order for their child to be more interested in school? However, there are priorities.
The first two tweets I re-tweeted on twitter were “The Tech Detective: Students Take Ownership of Technology” by Brad Currie who is a vice principal at Black River Middle School and “250 Million Children Can’t read, write, or count well even those with at least four years in school” (picture shared by globaleducationfirst.org). The third tweet I found and tweeted was “5 Unique Uses of Twitter in the Classroom” by Ryan Lytle.
The first article I read, Tech detectives, was an incredible article to read. Even though I’m not all for using technology 100% of the time in the classroom, but rather there be a balance, I was all for having tech detectives at schools. These tech detectives are students from within the school who are called to help teachers when needed. It gets them ready for a career they may be interested in, they are always learning new things in this club, they are being of help to teachers who need it, and there is a community involvement (administration, parents, teachers, and students). This is such a great idea I might take up in my classroom, if permitted.
The second tweet I looked at was a picture describing 4 things we need in order to improve education throughout the world. It supports the fact that millions of children who finish school do not have basic literacy and numeracy skills. What I really liked about this picture was that is used more visuals to explain what we need with a short description, making it easier for the reader to read and capture the information. One of the needs I had not thought about, which I think is needed was improved material in the students language but in both traditional and digital methods.
The last article I found was related to twitter itself. It explained 5 reasons as to how you could use twitter in the classroom. I was able to connect this idea to when I first got a twitter for another education course. I really didn’t want one, but when I realized it was all education related, I learned I now had another source for teaching. Kids can think of twitter as only social media, but when we teach them that we can use it for different things to learn about, that just makes them a more powerful learner.
Reaction to Speak Up 2013 Survey and I how I would implement it during instruction
– When looking at the results where it lists personal access to electronic devices from kindergarten through senior year of high school, it didn’t really surprise me that high school students were using their phones more than the younger grades. It makes sense since they are older and most teenagers now a days have phones to located or for an emergency. What did surprise me was that starting from kindergarten student through second graders, almost half of all students are having access to laptops or tablets. I think this is a good thing because they are already being exposed to a device that could be used in the classroom or serve as homework, but what about those students who don’t have these devices at home or whose parents don’t believe in the use of technology at such a young age?
Another thing that amazed me in this survey was the focus on middle school students and how they are doing their own learning outside of school as well. Even though they weren’t using for example twitter as much to learn about something, they were still using other things that were available like games, videos, and even websites. I was surprised at the number of these three things. I think it’s beneficial for them to do this learning even though they are not at school. In addition, it shows adults and teachers how much thirst for knowledge our teens actually have. Could it be the internet that is craving this sense of thirst or hunger for knowledge?
For my own instruction, this survey really helped me see in reality what kids are using and how much of something they are using too. Even with our Title I schools we are seeing the effort of more devices being brought out to these areas where students may not have the privilege of having them at home. I would definitely make sure that all my students have devices of some sort if I wanted to assign homework for them on a given nights. For example, all my students have computers and they ALSO know how to log on to blackboard or MyOn (where they can read books online) so I know I can assign this and go back and check who read at least something.
This lesson is a math lesson for 3rd grade students. This would just be the first lesson to less than, greater than, or equal to since I start off with basic comparing and then comparing two digit numbers. For the next day, we would learn about comparing bigger numbers, including three digit numbers (since that’s what that standard encompasses on). I also had a small mistake towards the end of the video where I corrected myself in the video and thought of taking out. However, the reason I didn’t was because I thought it would be a good teachable moment for the next day to tell kids that everyone does mistakes and that’s okay. 🙂 At the end I had a little bit of music to show the student that he/she is finally done with the lesson! 🙂
– The two TED talks I decided to watch were “Math class needs a makeover” and “Education is broken.”
The TED talk that stood out to me the most was “education is broken.” The reason I think this talk got more of my attention was because I had more of a connection to the way of thinking Chris Lehmann had. Even though I agree with Dan Meyer as well about how we only give students problems not letting them formulate their own questions and actually letting them observe/think about how math effects everything around us, I just felt more intrigued in what Chris had to say about how high school really does stink. Not only do the kids, but the administration and staff get accustom to this routine of bell after bell and telling the kids that they need to learn certain things in class for the tests or for later in life. I agree that we do need to teach our students how to live and how to learn and how everything they are learning is for now. Why later? What good does that serve everyone? I think it’s interesting how some teachers don’t know all the answers as well. It’s not only the students. However, somehow we have also gotten use to the saying “lets see who can research it tonight and tell us what they found out tomorrow.” Why not think critically with the students and accept there is more then one right answer? I also absolutely love the idea of sharing their work, but I feel as my students teacher I have to check with each student first to make sure they are okay with it too.
– I think I would consider podcasts as professional learning in the future. Education, I think, is not just about learning, but learning new things in different methods that serve best for each student. Differentiated learning in the classroom is really important and if having students learn about podcasts and using them for a project helps them have a better understanding of what it is they want to know about, why not give them the opportunity to do so? I would be robbing them of their learning experience if I didn’t and that would be unfair to them, on my behalf, their teacher.