Monday, November 12, 2012

EDSS 521 Blog Post #4: Project Tomorrow

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.


  1. Hi Callie!
    I agree with what you said about the "future teachers" organization and the value in creating lessons to teach elementary school students. This kind of experience is not something that we got until undergrad and even then, maybe some people didn't. I also thought that this program would be a very great way to get more people interesteed in teaching early on!

  2. Hi Callie,

    You bring up a good point about the technology piece. I don't think going out and buying a bunch of iPads without properly training teachers on how to have students use them is useful. There are certainly many possibilities with this type of technology but I fear the distraction they represent. There is so much content available through this type of technology, especially cell phones, that is entertaining and doesn't require any thought or energy. Learning, however, is a challenge and many students find this to be a less attractive option. I still have not seen a convincing argument or model for how to use this technology in a way that doesn't just provide students with a distraction. However, I am hopeful that opportunities to use this technology to teachers' benefit will come along, hopefully sooner rather than later!