Mobile Learning

I read an interesting article titled “Schools and Students Clash Over Use of Technology”.

This article discusses the differences between what schools and students want in terms of technology. More specifically having access to personal technology (smart phones) and access to social media sites. This article states that if given access, students would use social media as a tool to collaborate with classmates on projects. 

I do think that some access is a good idea, but there would have to be strict rules. Technology in the classroom should be treated as a privilege, not a right.  Students who abuse using technology in the classroom should have to face repercussions. 

I personally would never have used social media in high school in a way that the schools would deem appropriate for learning. I would have just gone on freinds profiles and looked at all their pictures. I would have messaged them about something not related to class. I think most high schoolers would have a problem keeping the social media use during school educational. 


Influential Tweets

I follow Edutopia on Twitter and really enjoy a lot of what they share. 


The first article that I read was about showing students some example texts before an essay is due.  Before this article, I always thought it was a good idea to give examples but struggled with the thought that students would just copy it.  The author gives good examples on how to prevent this from occurring. One technique is to point out the features that make the example a solid piece of writing… the sentence variety, title, introduction, use of metaphors, etc.  This way students are more likely to feel confident in their writing and less likely to copy. 

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This tweet led me to a great article with tips on how to feel prepared your first day back to school. These tips will definitely come in handy when I start teaching.  1. Be organized. 2. have too much and too many of everything. 3. overplan the lesson. 4. rehearse. 5. be ready for anything and everything. 6. start learning names immediately.  I have always thought it is better to be over prepared and this is a good reminder just how important it is… especially as a teacher!

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This tweet led to a great youtube video about how to engage students through game-based learning. Creative role play is one of the areas that I don’t feel as strong in and this was really helpful.  The students really seemed to enjoy the activity the teacher planned. 



I recently watched a Frontline Documentary called Digital_Nation (  The first chapter discusses how students at MIT (and all around the world) multitask all day long.  The MIT students that were interviewed do not believe that multitasking affects their performance, however their professors do.  I completely agree with the professors.  A student that is playing on their computer, texting, and taking notes, will not do as well as the student whose sole focus is on taking notes. 


The question becomes how do we get students to focus on one task at a time?  and honestly, I have no clue. In the younger grades the students may actually still be able to focus on one task, but once students reach middle and high school they have become so used to multitasking that they will want to look at their phones, play games, text, etc. all while working on schoolwork.  Even if the students don’t peek at their phones during class, they most likely will at home while completing the homework.  I know from experience that when I have facebook up, and am texting while working on homework, it adds another hour of time spent “working” on the assignment.  Some students may not be effected as badly, but I know that, like me, many are.  When I really need to get an assignment done I put my phone out of reach and use my best self control to keep the websites educational. 


I don’t think an educator can force a child to focus on one thing alone. It really has to come from within the student. They have to make a conscious decision to put the distractions away. I hope that people around the world wake up and realize that multitasking is not the best way to get thing done. 


Flipped Classroom


I had so much fun making this flipped classroom lesson. It covers Science SOL 1.4 a – The student will investigate and understand that plants have basic life needs and functional parts and can be classified according to certain key characteristics. Concepts include:  plants need nutrients, air, water, light, and a place to grow.  Enjoy! 




Speak Up 2013

I really enjoyed reading the Speak up 2013 article.  The part that I found the most interesting was when students, digital learning, and their future career choices were correlated.  “The combination of student technology skill assessment and gender results in a clear picture on the genesis of one of the key issues facing our national economy, the lack of girls’ interest in STEM careers”.  As girls grow older they seem to rate themselves much lower in technology skills.  It seems that they lack the self confidence in themselves and lose interest. Schools need to do a better job getting the girls feeling confident in their tech skills. 

On the other hand, maybe technology has nothing to do with girls in STEM careers. After all, correlation does NOT mean causation.  I saw this commercial recently. 

I think this is a good reminder that maybe the answer to the lack in females interested in STEM careers may be as simple as the things they are brought up hearing. 

I also really love this one:

I think a lot of girls are only exposed to princesses and baby dolls. This looks fun! and I know I would have enjoyed it when I was younger! Parents need to get out of the pink girl aisle and start looking for toys that will inspire an interest in STEM!




Education Podcast

I listened to the podcast Mission Monday #034: “Lightbulb Moments” and other cliches you shouldn’t use Mark and Sam talk about the cliches they hear during interviews and how to set yourself apart when answering questions. They recommend telling your story and giving real examples rather than saying “I just love kids”.

Are podcasts something you would consider for professional learning in the future?

I was not impressed by this podcast at all. The first five minutes were spend talking about nonsense that wasn’t even related to education. When they finally got to the content, it was very drawn out. I would have enjoyed reading about this in a 2 paragraph article, rather than listening for 30 minutes. I am not opposed to the idea of learning from podcasts, but I think I would need to search for a different one. I wasn’t a fan of “Mission Monday.”