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"Normally if a student uses his or her cell phone while in class it could get them in trouble. But now one Japanese university is actually giving its students Iphones to enhance the learning experience"
Check this school in Japan
One fifth-grade teacher from New York started a blog with a similar observation. He asks why teachers turn their phones off and students put their phones in their lockers when the bell rings. In the real world we use it for information all the time. Why not in school?
As a way to invite technology into classrooms. He started an open Google doc where teachers can read and post ideas involving technology that students and others can use.
Check out his blog:
I completely agree that children these days are "wired" differently and that we do need to meet them half way. There needs to be a balance between traditional teaching methods and the use of 21st century tools to entice and encourage students to take more pride and interest in their own learning!
Students have such a wonderful resource in their pocket with smart phones I hate to seem them going to waste. I teach Social Studies and in my History classes students have to take notes. I have opened my classroom up to mobile learning and I allow students to use Notebook features on these phones to type their class notes. I have founds students go much faster and are learning to write what I am saying not simply what is on the screen (which is a wonderful tool to learn before college). I know many teachers discourage the use of phones in class and worry about students sending texts. I am not naive enough to believe this never happens, however, I have not found this to be a continuous problem. A majority of students are doing exactly what they should be doing. I even have some students who do not take notes in other classes that require paper and pen participate in my class, which I attribute to this flexibility. I have just found it hard to understand forcing students to move back in technological time in order to comply with school/classroom rules. Why not let them take advantage of their tech skills?
I think this is a wonderful example of a teacher taking advantage of the skills that our students have already to assist their learning. Have you run into any arguments with fellow teacher or admin about your classroom practice?
Bravo to you!
Thank you for posting this, Angela. I just read (in this presentation) about the GFlash app for things like vocab drilling and Google Forms formatted for the iPod (and I assume iPhone) platform. Enough of my students have these and other smartphones (few have just "regular" cell phones), and I agree using them in class can really engage them by letting them use their skill set. If using something direct like a Google Form, teachers would know if students were off task, I assume, because we wouldn't get the responses. I also found this site from keeping up with my PLN on Twitter and Google Reader: it contains student reviews of education apps.
Just a little tip on managing any class set of Ipods/iPads you may have.
Set up Gmail accounts for each Ipod and add your email address in the contacts so it is easy for your students to email any work or photos they have taken to your email address.
Also it's a good idea to label each iPod and create a wallpaper which has a large colorful number on it so students can easily use the same one they have saved a picture or work on.