I read the report, “"Learning in the 21st Century Mobile Devices + Social Media = Personalized Learning." I wasn’t necessarily surprised that 50% of high school students have smart phones, but I was surprised that almost a quarter of high school students (21%) have tablets! I believe that using technology in the classroom is incredibly important, and I am not surprised that most parents, teachers, and administrators feel the same way. However, while I do believe it is important to include technology in the classroom, I don’t necessarily think buying thousands of students iPads is the way to go. I definitely think that teachers need to be trained in how to use their new technology, because the gadgets are useless if they do not know how to use them. Once teachers are trained, they can then train the students as well. I will probably administer a survey in my class to see how many students have smart phones and how many have access to the internet at home. The survey will then influence how I choose to use technology in the classroom. I really like the idea of using cell phones as academic tools in class rather than outlawing them, but it will be difficult to make sure that other students in class do not feel left out.
I tend to agree with Aubrey when she says that she doesn’t necessarily agree that cell phones are the best way to go about using technology in class. I want to try various methods for using cell phones in class, but I also think that they are a huge distraction. I know from personal experience how distracting it is to have my phone in my hand while in class. I know how tempting it is to text a friend or go on Facebook when I should be participating. As Aubrey mentions, I agree that it is incredibly important for students to have access to the internet in the classroom, so I think that all classrooms should have computers or some sort of internet access.
My school site has a grant for an afterschool program called ASSETS. Various clubs run each day afterschool for students, and each club has a different purpose. A “Future Teachers” organization would be an excellent club to ad to the program. I think the idea of learning and creating lessons to teach to elementary school students is great! Actually teaching younger students will help high school students to reinforce their own learning and make them feel like “real” teachers. Even if students decide that teaching is not the right career for them they will have gained valuable experience and will have access to resources that will help them in finding a college and taking the correct steps towards achieving their next professional goal.