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.

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