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The Wild World of Twitter

This isn’t a specific tweet that was put out there, but I came across Layton McCann’s twitter today. If I was a parent, I would absolutely LOVE to follow this kind of a twitter. She’s constantly updating with statuses and pictures of what her kids are doing. She has great ideas for projects and as a student or parent, I would love to keep up with what’s going on in her class.


I liked this tweet because it’s from Thomas Jefferson Highschool…so it’s probably a twitter that a lot of parents follow. It constantly sends out updates on how to use things related to technology. This tweet showed how to use things related to google, which is extremely useful!

This is awesome! As an upcoming third grade teacher, this is a great way to send out updates to parents or contact one parent directly. It would be important to make all parents aware that this is an avenue of communication you’d be using. Super cool find!

5 Reasons to Allow Students to Use Cell Phones in Class

The first time I read through the article, my immediate reaction was to come up with something that contradicts each of the 5 reasons why students should be allowed to use cell phones. Then I re-read the article and tried to consider each point logically.

1. The majority of jobs use cell phones. Yes, most jobs use cell phones for something related to their job. It’s important to know how to use phones, but at the same time, when teaching students how to use them, teachers should also be teaching when there are inappropriate times to use cell phones. Students should also not let cell phones get in the way of their jobs. Just because they use a cell phone for work doesn’t mean they should be on it all the time when at work.

2. In times of tight budgets, why not use something students already have. I completely agree. If students have the technology in their back pocket, they might as well learn how to use it appropriately.

3. Teach 21st century skills. This was my main push-back against cell phones. Kids will use them to cheat. They will look up answers and they will use their originality. This point made me completely change my mind. Teachers should be coming up with better ways to “test” kids. Knowing that they can instantaneously look up answers, teachers should come up with new ways to assess students which makes them apply their knowledge, not just be able (or not) to spit out answers. We need to get used to the fact that kids don’t need to know “stuff” nearly as much as they need to learn to use that “stuff.”

4. Teachers use it why can’t the kids. Don’t agree with this at all. The kids can use the technology, just not while they are in class. I know people are saying that kids should be able to use cell phones to take notes, take pictures of notes, and what not. I’m still not totally for the idea, but I’m not as against it as I used to be. Just because administrators use ipads to take notes and assess the teacher shouldn’t be an automatic reason that kids should have them in their hands too.

5. Kids need to learn how to use technology safely. Completely agree. I don’t think we’re trying to keep technology out of the hands of kids, in fact, they’re getting their hands on it more and more. Because they are using it more, they need to learn how to use if safely.

I think students should be allowed to use cell phones in school, but there is a time and place for everything. I don’t think they should be allowed to use their cell phones at all times of the day. I think Ipads and Computers should be used first. If necessary, than cell phones can be used for certain things.


Speak Up 2013

I think it’s really interesting to see the different technology being used in grades K-12. I think over the next 5 years, the percentages of online textbooks as well as using mobile devices provided by the schools will increase. An increase in budget for schools will make technology much more available, whether it be through an increase of laptops available, or an increase of even ipads for student use. The statistics also make me want to create my own videos to use in class. This will come with an increased understanding of different applications that are available.

I didn’t even have a cell phone until I was in highschool and now kids are getting cell phones in elementary school! That’s just the way society is leaning, so it is important that teachers teach kids how to use their electronics appropriately. I personally hate electronic textbooks, but it’s because I grew up using paper texts. Now days, if teachers get students used to using technology, they will be prepared to use it more in the future.

I don’t find the statistics comparing boys and girls use of technology surprising at all. Even females my age are constantly checking Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc. trying to keep up with trends and keep up with the happenings of their social circles. The females are also more careful about what they post. With this knowledge, teachers should differentiate assignments. They should try to increase the male use of technology, but also give them multiple options to allow them to be successful with whatever method they are comfortable with.

I’m glad that there was information comparing students in title I schools compared to students in other schools. I will be teaching at a title I next year and I always wondered, how do I get kids using technology, when they have no technology to practice with at home? This means teachers need to expose students to different forms of technology, and the safe use of it, while they’re in school. I’ve seen a lot of different surveys sent out to elementary school parents inquiring about the kind of technology that is used at home. This allows the teachers to appropriately plan assignments based on what the students are able to use at home. I plan to do this the first week in my classroom as well.

I think there still need to be lessons taught where technology isn’t a factor. Students need to be know how to write, do math without a calculator, send a letter etc. but technology is the way of the future so there needs to be an appropriate balance in every class.

Education is Broken by Chris Lehmann

Loooooved this podcast!  Chris hit the nail on the head with this presentation. He discussed how students are learning things in school that they will never ever need. This is so true not only in elementary, middle and highschool, but in college as well. I took an intro math course and my professor said “You will never use this in your life, but I have to teach it to you anyways.” If we’re never going to use it, why are we learning it!?!? I get so fired up when I feel like my time is being wasted, and if we’re learning things we’re never going to use, why learn it!? We’re just wasting time…and brain space…that could be used on much more useful things. 

Once I began taking grad school classes in elementary education it finally hit me-I enjoy learning. I went back to school to pursue my masters because I ENJOY learning! Chris says that school should teach students HOW to learn, and students should be LEARNING to live. Schools should be teaching students how to be better at life. We should be teaching students things that are relevant to them, and that they can actually use. Not sure about you, but when have you ever used a boxplot or had to convert numerals into egyptian hyroglyphics to solve a problem in your everyday life? We should help kids to enjoy learning and teach them things that can help them become better people, whether it’s being nice to their friend, or helping them advance at a skill they can use.

Students need to be given things they can use. So many schools and teachers give benchmark tests, but does that really give an accurate representation of what the student knows? Chris mentions that students should be given benchmark projects where they have to demonstrate what they’ve learned by putting their knowledge to use by constructing some kind of project. So true! I recently took a statistics class and took a benchmark test and absolutely bombed it. I then had to do a project using the same equations to organize data related to IQ scores of males and females. I actually found the project interesting, and I was able to accurately use the information I had learned in class to put together a project on the IQ scores. Got an A. I know every person learns differently, but I think projects are a better representation of what students know. 


Why is it that we constantly say that school (elementary, middle and high) are preparing students for the future/college? Why aren’t we preparing them for today? College was a chance for me to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I understand that you aren’t going to know what your ultimate career is when you’re in 1st grade, and if you do, you’ll probably change your mind a time or two, but students should start exploring their interests way earlier in life. Yes I think there should be some required courses, but students should be given more electives, starting at younger ages. 


Work shouldn’t just be between the student and the teacher. Students should create works they can share with their friends, parents, and the rest of the world. Why do you think kids love band, art, sports, etc? Because they SHARE it with someone. They have band concerts where their friends and family come and watch them perform. Their artwork is hung on the walls for the entire school to see. Some of their artwork is entered into contests. Teachers need to be doing more to have their students share their work with a wider audience. If they are sharing it with others, they take more pride in their work and they tend to do a better job. 


Everyone should watch this when they get a chance. I want to write all my lessons to be relevant and exciting for students. I want my lessons to relate to their everyday life. “If it doesn’t matter to the learner, it doesn’t matter.” 

“Graduation Starts With Kindergarten.”

EdReach. What an awesome site full of podcasts with great insights. I listened to the article entitled “I want you to save a date.” I recently spoke with my mom about how important it is for parents to be involved in their child’s lives as they’re growing up, so when I saw this, I figured it could relate to our previous conversation, and sure enough it did. 

Graduation starts with Kindergarten. This is something all teachers need to keep in mind. No grade is “not important”. All teachers need to look at their students as graduates going on to college, no matter what grade that teacher may be teaching. Parents need to think this way as well. It’s not “just kindergarten”, it’s their first step to graduating and going on to college. Parents, teachers and students need to take every year of school seriously. 

Children look up to their parents starting at a young age. If parents don’t set a good example for their child, they have no role models to mimic. Even if the parent has to work 3 jobs to make ends meet, that shows the child dedication, hard work, and persistence. As we discussed tonight, not all parents are able to read with their child every night, or help their child with homework, but the parent should be distributing some kind of positive qualities the child can follow. I also think that no matter what, parents should show their child that they are proud of them and that they support them. No child wants to disappoint their parent, so if a parent shows their support, the child will want to make their parent proud on graduation day. 

Parent support is not something that all students and teachers have. The school I will be working in next year has a lack of parent support and I am constantly trying to think of ways to try to get more parent involvement. I want those students to have encouragement and support in class but at home as well. If I could go to every student’s graduation, I would. 




Photostory is a link we used in class to create our digital story. Initially, we put a storyboard for our story together in powerpoint. Photostory allowed us to download each slide individually and put them into a presentation individually. If we still needed to make edits to the images, we could. What I liked about Photostory more than other programs I have used, it allowed us to record the voice per slide. I have used other programs where we had to record the entire script in one sitting. If we messed up, we had to go back and re-record the entire thing. Photostory also allows you to add music and extra details to your presentation. I would absolutely use it again. The creators need to develop a Photostory for Macs as it is only available for PCs. 

“High-tech vs. no-tech: D.C. area schools take opposite approached to education”

When I first began reading this article,in relation to Nina Jenkins, my first reaction was “That’s great, they’re teaching students how to utilize resources that would be available to them in real world situations.” In the working world, when people encounter an issue, or question, the first thing they do (maybe the second thing) is turn to the internet. They google topics, or watch tutorial videos on youtube to get quick answers. It’s great that teachers are starting to teach students how to do this appropriately at younger ages. It’s not realistic that when someone encounters a problem that they will have no resources to help them solve it. As I continued reading, I was really torn between the situations of the two Ninas.


In the situation of Nina Auslander, what’s so bad about the oldschool way of learning? Natalie Adams mentioned that with all the technology, students aren’t being taught to embrace the world. I really like the quote by Michael Rich when he said, “Sometimes the answer is that an iPad is great, but does it really do a better job than a hunk of clay or paper?” I think there should be a mix of teaching, it shouldn’t be a 100% switch to technology. Sometimes hands on experiences, or writing a letter on a piece of paper is way more affective than watching a tutorial or whatever on Youtube. I didn’t get a cell phone until Highschool and I didn’t have my own laptop until college. I spent 99.9% playing games and playing outside. I think I had a great education, and I turned out just find without technology around me 24-7.


The article also mentioned that in some school that allow technology, the teachers see students Iming while the teacher is lecturing. My questions is, are they really paying attention. Giving the students more freedom does allow them to take accountability for their own actions, but I am still hesitant because I don’t know how much advantage students will take of that freedom.


I think it is important to give students control and put learning in their own hands. With that, I think it is still important for the teacher to ensure that students are staying on track. I’m still not 100% on board with the abundance of technology, but I’m not completely against it either. I think there should be a good balance in class, and technology should only be used when it enhances a lesson. It shouldn’t be used to replace one.