” CELL PHONES IN THE CL A SSROOM: A BOON OR BLIGHT?
It’s a question many educators are facing these days. The Common Core State Standards call for students to develop digital media and technology skills. One way to help them reach that goal: incorporate gadgets they’re already familiar with — cell phones, tablets, and smartphones — into their learning environment. “The big potential with mobile is that it really is the primary portal for social communication right now,” says Mimi Ito, a cultural anthropologist in the departments of anthropology and informatics at the University of
California Irvine and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation chair in Digital Media and Learning. “Young people learn best when it’s relevant to them, when there’s social connection tied to it, and when they actually have a personal interest.” ”
See on http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/10/teacher-guide-mobile-devices-classroom.html
Kayleen Browning teaches 6th grade Social Studies at Yukon Middle School. This year, she asked her students to identify a word which summarized things they had studied and learned about the 9/11 attacks in 2001 by al-Qaeda on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Mrs. Browning recently heard about the free iPad app and website AudioBoo, and the idea of helping students create “narrated art” using the program. She taught her students how to photograph a drawing they had made or upload a photo they found online, and then read a short essay they wrote about their 9/11 reflection using AudioBoo. This is a two minute video interview with Mrs. Browning recorded today in her classroom, in which she describes the assignment and its connection to the Common Core State Standards which Oklahoma is transitioning to now. This is a great example of how YPS teachers are integrating writing assignments across the curriculum, helping students practice practice their oral communication skills, and helping students safely publish their work in digital forms online.
See on www.speedofcreativity.org
In a blog post, Chris Dede, a professor in learning technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, advocates the use of mobile devices in education. The devices, which allow students to learn any time and anywhere, expand instructional time beyond the classroom and the teacher and help increase students’ motivation to learn, Dede writes. NBC.com/Education Nation blog
by Jeff Utecht
This coming year though I have a feeling we’re not going to see a lot of new technologies but rather the integration of technologies and a continued move to the mobile platform. Much like 2009 we will go deeper into finding ways the technology that already exists can and will effect our lives and education.
Mobile journalism is not what it once was. No longer do journalists have to buy heavy laptops and expensive equipment. Thanks to the quality of Apple’s mobile hardware and the quality of apps, your iPhone and/or iPad may be enough for many journalists.
Read More and see the list, CLICK HERE
They have a website AND AN APP! download the app now for FREE. I paid $1.99, so I assume it will be a paid app again soon. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id364906378
“MOBL21 is a powerful, yet simple application that allows educators and learners to create learning material that can then be made available in any mobile environment. As part of the mobile learning community, we will be exploring the latest developments in the mobile technology world as and when they happen. And more importantly, how these technologies can be used to overcome today’s challenges in education.”
Steven Anderson (http://twitter.com/web20classroom/) posted a tweet about a post on the Mobl21 Blog; 6 Ways to use mobile learning in your class. Some excellent ideas here. Check it out Mobl21 and their blog is http://www.mobl21.com/blog/. You can find Steve Anderson’s blog at: http://web20classroom.blogspot.com/. Steve returned in January, 2010, to Clemmons Middle School as the Instructional Technologist, working with teachers and students on technology integration. Most recently he was selected to be a panelist at the #140 Conference in Los Angeles, organized by Vonage founder, Jeff Pulver, where he discusses the impact of Twitter and other social media on education. As part of the conference he was one of the first recipient of the NOW Award, recognizing the “Movers and Shakers” in the world of Social Media. He will return to the #140 Conference in 2010 as a featured speaker, this time in New York City. Also in 2009 Steven was voted the Most Influential Tweeter as part of the Annual Edublog awards and was a co-recipent of the Most Influential Series of Tweets for his part in helping to create #edchat, a weekly education discussion on Twitter that boosts over 500 weekly participants.
by Juan Antonio Lizama & Jeremy Slaton Richmond Time-Dispatch
RICHMOND, Va. While Richard Ridpath went from desk to desk checking homework, his sixth-grade students watched a video on the Battle of Yorktown – on hand-held electronic devices.
“I teach the lesson and the iPod supports what I taught the previous day,” said Ridpath, a Colonial Heights Middle School teacher.
“This is their generation; this is aimed at their generation,” Ridpath said. “They are a cell phone, iPod, Xbox generation. This is just meeting [students] where they are.”
Area educators see laptops and computers remaining a fixture in the classroom, and they are taking advantage of students’ interest in innovative hand-held devices to engage them in learning.
Henrico County schools Superintendent Patrick Russo said that learning anywhere and anytime is “the next wave.”
“As technology evolves, I think you will see iPhones and other mobile devices . . . be part of the teaching process as well as a communication process between teachers and students,” he said.
While some schools embrace smart phones, iPods and other hand-held devices for instruction, educators are wary of students’ improper use of the technology and their exposure to the perils of the Internet.
In addition to Colonial Heights Middle students using iPods, several elementary schools in Richmond have been using Palm hand-helds for four years to learn phonics, spelling, letter recognition and writing.
In Chesterfield County, the School Board approved a five-year technology plan in December that includes $3 million for a mobile technology pilot program for students. The money will come from the district’s capital improvement plan.
A committee of administrators, teachers and students has been looking at the feasibility of using cell phones, iPod Touches and netbooks in the classroom, said Dallas Dance, Chesterfield’s director of school improvement, who is leading the committee.
“This is what [students are] using at home and have heard a lot about, but we, the school systems, have not been stepping up,” he said. “Our primary goal is to increase student achievement, and we want to increase it by engaging students through these 21st-century tools.”
Dallas said the committee would be taking proposals from teachers to implement the mobile-learning pilot program. Those proposals would have to include ways to measure the impact of the devices on student achievement, he said. The committee visited schools in Waynesboro, Henrico and Newport News to look at the their laptop, iPod Touch and cell-phone initiatives.
“We have to at least explore the potential of the use of these technology tools, said Chesterfield schools Superintendent Marcus J. Newsome, who is part of the committee. “At this point, I don’t see that there will be a wholesale implementation of anything with our students, but I think we need to investigate in terms of some pilots.”
The Virginia Department of Education launched Learning without Boundaries two years ago. The initiative, in cooperation with Virginia Tech and Radford University, is studying the potential benefits of wireless hand-held technologies in schools.
Gary Sarkozi, director of technology at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Education, said he believes that these new mobile devices will not have a lasting place in the classroom. He recalled piloting a program with a teacher in Hanover County using Palm hand-helds in early 2000 when the gadgets were popular, he said.
“While it was interesting to work with the Palm Pilots, kids said, ‘Well, it’s OK, but it’s not going to serve all my needs,’” he said, adding that the program ran out of funding.
Sarkozi added that today’s devices complement students’ 21st-century collaboration, communication and problem-solving skills.
“If properly used, mobile devices are an effective tool,” he said. “But it is not the silver bullet that everybody wants.”
Sarkozi said he believes that iPod Touches and iPhones will not be the tools associated with mobile learning, as computers and laptops are associated with digital instruction.
“Certainly, I would say that some type of mobile learning is coming,” he said. “Is it going to be the iPod Touch? I don’t think so. I think it’s going to be something in the next generation.”
When school districts buy these new gadgets, they still have to deal with students’ improper use of that technology and the perils of the Internet, Sarkozi said.
Cell phones have been the subject of controversy in schools across the country, with “sexting,” cheating and distractions in the classroom. As a result, most districts ban cell phones.
“It the past, it seems as though [the cell phone] has been a tool that’s been disruptive to the teaching and learning process, but if there’s a way to turn it around to our advantage, we need to investigate,” Newsome said.
Students in Colonial Heights aren’t allowed to remove the iPod Touches from the school. Social-networking sites are inaccessible for students. The devices are filtered for inappropriate content, and they are protected by the school system’s security network.
Liz Kolb, author of “Toys to Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education,” said she worries about the stringent restrictions school officials place on the devices.
“That takes away the responsibility of students to have to use [the devices] in a responsible manner, and it disconnects them to the use of the real world,” she said.
Schools have a responsibility to teach students how to use the mobile devices productively, she said.
“These tools just aren’t for entertainment,” she said. “They’re important in today’s society for getting jobs and for being a good citizen.”
As a way to get around funding issues, Kolb said she encourages educators to use what students already have, whether it is cell phones, iPods or MP3 players. But area educators see this as too much of a risk.
Newsome said owning the technology devices gives school districts control, and that’s what he is envisioning for the pilot program, which he hopes to implement until 2011.
“When the instrument belongs to the school division, you can have a lot more autonomy over its use than you do when a child brings in his own to school,” he said. “At this point, I don’t see Chesterfield schools using students’ personal cell phones to be used in the classroom, but technology changes.”
The iPod Touches used at Colonial Heights Middle School were bought with a federal grant and are the property of the school division.
Richmond owns the Palm hand-helds used in 16 elementary schools. The devices were purchased with a federal Reading First grant. The school district is working on a technology plan that includes phasing in the Palm program in all schools, starting with high schools, said Chief Academic Officer Victoria Oakley.
Jennifer Hacker, a teacher at Woodville Elementary School in Richmond, said she uses the Palm hand-helds at least once a week in her class.
“It’s hands-on learning,” she said. “[Students are] not just sitting at their desk.”
Colonial Heights Middle, sixth-graders Marilyn Hekrdle, Stuart Crinkley and Alexis Page said that when they watch the videos or listen to songs, it helps them recall the material they are learning, especially during tests.
“I remember [the information] better,” Alexis said. “I think more clearly and I get pictures in my mind.”
Tami Schoepflin, who has three sons in Chesterfield schools, said she would favor netbooks and laptops in the classroom over cell phones.
“I think that would be a huge distraction to the classroom and to the teacher,” she said. “If the technology assists in the learning process and assists the teacher, I am all for it. If the technology is an attempt by the school system to be cool, then forget it.”
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DetailsI am a faculty member and the Education Technology Integration Coordinator for the College of Education at KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY. To learn more, click on About Cyndi. Check out my website: http://theedtechplace.info.
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