Tag Archives: technology

I will always be the first to say, when it comes to anything having to deal with technology, whether it be my iPhone, laptop, or even some social media sites, I am not the best.  I would even say at times that I am “technologically challenged”.  This can be extremely frustrating, especially when using various databases to do research for a big assignment.  I always find someway to make more work for myself when researching.  When I am finding my scholarly sources, I find myself opening ten different tabs, with all of my sources and search engines, because I am afraid of losing them, and never finding them again.  That problem is now a thing of the past, thanks to this new app, “Start.me“.

“Start. me” is an app that allows you to save your scholarly articles and links as you are researching.  This is a great tool to use so you do not have to have ten different tabs open, and make researching more complicated than it needs to be.  With the utilization of “Start.me”, you are able to go back to all of your sources and easily compile a works cited page.  Also included in this app, is the ability to embed any webpage/source into the program by pasting the url.  Saving sources for research just became that much easier with “Smart.com”, especially for individuals, such as myself who are “technologically challenged”.

Before today, there was a time where writing could only be done with a pen or pencil and a piece of paper.  The art of writing has changed drastically, and can now be done with such ease on a computer or any other device.  This process of writing has not only become evident in many home environment’s, but it has also made its way into our local school communities and environments.  In Nancie Atwell’s own blog post, responding to Troy Hick’s article, “Inquiry Live in the Classroom“, students are now able to use and experience word processors and the resources that come with it, such as dictionaries and thesauruses.  This a great aspect of how technology can be used in a positive manner in the classroom.  This article is related to an article that one of my classmates tweeted about how technology is being used in the classroom to teach and expand learning.

The word “technology” does not only refer to computers and other electronic devices.  Technology has been around for centuries and one of the first pieces of technology that were introduced into the classrooms were typewriters.  Technology is also apart of professional development.  In order for the piece of technology, such as the typewriter or computer, to be used properly in order to portray lessons, teachers and other educators need to be properly educated on how to utilize these pieces of technology in order to guide their students’ overall success inside and outside the classroom.

Education and the methods of teaching are changing at a fast pace, and they have change majorly since I have been in elementary school.  I never had the types of technology that young students have today. Technology in the classroom is supposed to provide more student engagement and the motivation to learn, but it can also provide a distraction from learning, because the technology being used, such as iPads, are also used in many of their home environments, for entertainment purposes.  Personally, I have been in the classroom where iPads are being used for helping students read, and for this class it is working, where there are limited distractions.  This type of new found technology in the classroom is not only for the students, but also for the teachers and faculty members in the use of utilizing social media in the classroom.  According to Dian Schaffhauser, in her article, “Classroom Tech, Professional Development Top List of Faculty Concerns“, many teachers and faculty members have utilized the concept of social media in order to “provide social development and opportunities for teachers to collaborate with colleagues”.  Social media is being used as a resource in order to communicate and also find inspiration for their lesson plans and correlating activities.  According to this article’s research, social media will not be seen as a “distraction”, and it will be seen as a resource in order for students and teachers to be successful.

This weekend instead of going out to Halloween parties I decided to drive home from school (only 30 minutes) to babysit and make some extra money. I’ve been babysitting this family since I was a freshman in high school so i’m extremely close and familiar with the kids (four boys) and the parents. The mom Stacy and I got to talking and somehow it came up that her son Brandon who’s in 7th grades’ entire school has switched from textbooks to iPads. She said that all he comes home with in his bag is a planner and an iPad.

I thought she might be pleased with the change. I know my back wouldn’t be half as messed up as it is now if I didn’t have to carry all my books in middle and high school. I was surprised when she told me she absolutely hated the change and wanted them to switch back to books. She told me that he brandon and his friends constantly get in trouble for playing games and facetiming each other in class. While she doesn’t stand up for his actions, she knows Brandon is not the only one who is participating in these activities and wonders why they wouldn’t disable downloading games and facetiming and make sure it was only used for educational purposes?

I definitely agree with Stacy on this matter and was also confused as to why they wouldn’t disable these functions when giving iPads to middle schoolers. Another disturbing thing she mentioned was that the homeroom teachers allow them to play games, or at least turn the other cheek. I became best friends with people in my homeroom class in middle school and then on to high school so this concerns me. If I had a shiny device in front of my face I definitely wouldn’t make an effort to make conversation with people I barely knew.

I thought this was important to discuss because this is really where our classrooms are heading: full on technological. And according to this mom, the iPad idea definitely has a few kinks to work out.