Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cell Phones in the Classroom

I had the chance to read the blog 5 Reasons to Allow Students to Use Cell Phones in Class and I agreed with all of the points that the author made. I used to think that cell phones could be very distracting in the classroom because the students would be constantly texting their friends or looking on Facebook. However, when I was teaching last semester I saw a few of my students scan a document with their Iphone or take a picture of their notes for further reference. Once I saw how they were actually using their phone for educational use I couldn't ask them to put their phone away. I think that it is more of a distraction having to constantly ask students to put their phones away than to allow them to have them out. I also completely agree with the blogs reasoning that it is better to educate our children on how to use technology safely instead of refusing to acknowledge its existence. Students are constantly on social media sites and they need to understand how to safely use the site and how to protect their persona. I also really enjoyed the quote at the end of the blog from Harry Potter which said,"Children, put away your wands. You won't be needing them."  Cell phones are the wands of our society. We need to teach our children how to use them for learning and allow them to teach us something about technology.  


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My group and I did a podcast on Pinterest. It is a great site where you can find great ideas for your classroom. Here is our podcast.

PowerPoint in the Classroom

I listened to the NPR recording of Educators Question PowerPoint Usage. I thought that both sides of the argument had some good points. The teacher in Texas explained how her students thought of great ideas to use PowerPoint and how they integrated their voices into PowerPoint. I think that PowerPoint is great for this reason. As long as the students do not rely on PowerPoint to have a good presentation and instead use PowerPoint to enhance an already solid presentation I it should still be used in schools. I do understand how PowerPoint can hurt a person’s education. I agree with a few of the people on the blog when they said that having only a few bullet points that tells the students what to remember about a book can hurt their education. PowerPoint can enable students to feel content only knowing a little bit about a subject instead of wanting to learn more about a time period in history or the book they are reading in English class. Overall, I think that PowerPoint can still be used in the classroom as long as it is not the basis for the student’s presentation. 

Who are you online?

I looked at a great lesson for high school students on commonsensemedia.org. The lesson was entitled Who Are You Online and was part of the Self-Expression and Identity Unit. The lesson begins with the teacher showing the students a video of a teen talking about what it means to real and fake online and how it can damage your self esteem and your reputation. The students will then reflect on their own persona online and think about how it differs from their real life persona. They will also discuss the risks and benefits of having a different persona online. I think that this is a great lesson plan. I think that it should be used in every high school classroom at the beginning of the year. These days so many students live half of their lives online and they need to understand the repercussions of what they do online and how having a different personal online can be dangerous, hurt your chances of getting into college and can lead to bullying. I plan on using this lesson in the beginning of the school year.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Great Blog

I went back to the ilearn technology blog and came across a lot of interesting blog posts. One that really caught my attention was a post on how to use You Tube in the classroom without having the children become very distracted. I taught at T. C Williams High school last year and all of the students had laptops. However, You Tube was blocked on their laptops because of how distracting it can be. This post explained a multitude of ways that you can have your students use You Tube without being distracted by all of the ads and without being able to look up music videos and other distracting videos. This way I can have the students learn so much from watching newsreels, education videos and more without having to worry that they are not doing their work. I look forwarded to using these ideas when I teach.