Why teachers should embrace technology

From an article I read in class, these are the top ten reasons why students should use cell phones in the classroom:

Information from: http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2008/05/value-of-using-cell-phones-to-enhance.html

  1. 1. Student response polling or pop quizzes (no need to invest in additional devices)
  2. Use sms to find definitions, currency conversion, math equations, translation and more
  3. Use as an internet browser to access endless information
  4. Research
  5. Read news articles and current events
  6. Read books
  7. Download and use education programs such as Google Maps and use as GPS
  8. Use as a digital or video camera to accompany school projects, publishing, etc.
  9. Educate students on appropriate and acceptable social use
  10. Use the voice technology to share engaging lectures or lessons

With these ideas in mind there is no doubt that cell phones can really engage students in classrooms. By using mobile devices students will become excited for the lesson because they get to use their “forbidden” cell phones in class. This excitement is an easy way for a teacher to get students involved in lessons that they typically would not engage in. Cells are the fastest and most efficient way to get information in today’s society, although teachers have to be careful to teach their students how to learn what information is correct on the internet.

There are some concerns that come to mind with students using their cell phones in class. One of the biggest issues is  cheating. Cell phones make it easier to cheat on tests and assignments, but teachers are not suppose to be teaching students to memorize answers they can just look up on the internet, and instead be teaching students how to apply their knowledge of a subject on tests. Another problem deals with safety issues. Students could potentially use cell phones for fighting and drug relate activities, but students could also do that by passing notes and the idea of forbidding paper in school is obscene.

In another article I read in calls, Eutopia, it deals with a lot of the issues that pertain to technology in the classroom and good websites, apps, and devices for each grade level.

I want to teach upper elementary school which means that my students will have pretty fair function on most technology devices, but may not be able to maneuver through the web on their own. There are lots of great learning apps out on the market for tablets and smart phones. Many learning games for children which can be very beneficial  in the long run. Apps like, Motion Math and Puppet Pals are both great apps that promote fun and learning at the same time. As far as devices go upper elementary students would have a great time using a computer to Skype with a professional to ask them questions about different subjects. Podcast are another great idea for upper elementary students. They can listen, record, and create their own podcast to really gain a better understanding of a subject.

Continuing on Podcast a few examples of ways that a teacher can incorporate podcast into their classroom are, first subscribing to a podcast and have the children listen to the podcast weekly/daily to learn about something new. There are multiple kid friendly podcast that children will enjoy. Another idea is to have students record their own history podcast. The students can reenact a historical scene or tell a story. Finally another great idea to have students use podcast for is to make observations on science experiments. When the students record the observations the whole class will be able to hear what happened in the experiment.

Using Multimedia in the Classroom

Based on an article I read call, Blogs, Wiki, and Podcasts mult. for ED 270, I learn a lot about how multimedia is being used in the classroom. There are four main types of multimedia that the article talked about: podcasting, video, screen casting, and live streaming. All four can be used in every grade level, though some are better for specific ages.

Podcasting is a way for students to record audio and create something out of it. Students can also listen to other podcasts to learn something from them. Podcasts are easy to use, so elementary school students can have a lot of fun when using podcasts. A neat idea to use in the classroom is to subscribe to a podcast and listen to it daily or weekly and have the class write summaries about what they learned that day, and maybe listening to the podcast will inspire them to make their own at the end of the year.

Video and Screen casting are another great multimedia tool. This is a more advance tool, so middle and high students will be more inclined to use it. Making videos is a great way for students to learn about certain subjects that they are focusing on. Students can also share their findings to their classmates and everyone can learn about the topic.

Live streaming is a great way for students to meet with professionals and learn from them any sort of subject. Having a featured speaker of the week is a neat idea to get students passionate about what they are learning. Or having a steam with the same professional is a great way for students to get to know deeper and ask more questions to the professional. This is an easy and cost efficient way to change up the learning environment for students.

Here are some additional articles talking about multimedia in classrooms:

Why should you use multimedia in the classroom

Here is a blog that talks about multimedia in the classroom, http://multimediainclassroom.blogspot.com/

This website is designed for teachers to help them gain the knowledge they need to use multimedia in their classrooms, http://edtechteacher.org/tools/multimedia/