Sunday, November 11, 2012

Project Tomorrow

Speak Up Report:

Incorporating social media and making use of students’ smartphones in classroom instruction benefits students and educators. The increasing support given by parents, schools, and districts to include mobile learning in classrooms is changing teacher practice as it is presents a critical challenge. Sharing the vision on how to personalize learning through mobile device use and social media is crucial for the future of education.
During my experience in clinical practice this semester I have come to know that students are incorporating social media and mobile device use in their learning already. Most of the students own a smartphone that they use to look up information to enhance their learning experience. It wasn’t surprising to me to read that students support technology use in education, based on my teaching experience this semester I find it essential for teachers to support this move as well to personalize learning for students. It did surprise me however to read that “87 percent of parents say that the effective implementation of technology within instruction is important to their child’s success (50 percent label it as extremely important)”, I was surprised because during parent conferences and meetings I saw many parents talking to their child about turning off his/her cellphone during class and discouraging them from the use of any type of mobile devices. I believe that cellphone use has to be incorporated with caution so it doesn’t turn to a distraction and take away from students’ learning. In my opinion, principal’s perspectives on cellphone policies as presented in the report are valid; network security, internet safety, and digital equity concerns are aspects that have to be considered. In my classroom, I encourage technology use through school devices while students ‘personal device use is kept to a minimal. Since some of my students don’t own a cellphone, I see that incorporating the use of students’ personal devices in learning during class as un-equitable. Also I fear that students will get distracted and search off-topic information. My hope is that schools will have the funds to provide more mobile devices to support the incorporation of social media in students’ learning; in that case students will be provided a safe and equal opportunity for success.

Speak Up Video:
In this video, 3 students are asked to present their opinion on the use of technology in the classroom. Students supported cell-phone use and shared the advantages of immediate “internet look up” during instruction; they emphasized that being able to learn in depth outside of book covers provides a greater opportunity for learning. They also said that looking information up when they are interested in it is way more effective than waiting until they get home, as they may forget or lose interest in the topic. The third student surprisingly disagreed on cellphone use; she stressed on the fact that students do get distracted while using their cellphones during class, and it would be much better if classroom had computers where students can use school provided devices to fulfill these needs.
It was very surprising to see how that last student discouraged cellphone use in the classroom, I believe her point is very valid; most students do get distracted when using their cellphones during class. The use of school devices is much more effective since schools provide a safe internet search where inappropriate websites are blocked, also the teacher can monitor students’ computers/iPads from her master device. Listening to students gave more confidence to trust their judgment and to include them in classroom decisions. Self-directed learning is the future of education; teachers have to support students’ interests and link them to the learning experience.

This program encourages students to explore the teaching career, it motivates students to explore math and science at an early age, and provides students with an opportunity to teach math and science lessons at an elementary school. As a result, students gain public speaking and presentation skills, develop relationships with mentors and educators, and learn about the teaching career before going to college or university. At my school site, I can implement a similar program by reaching to administrators and counseling staff; adding a career class as an elective or creating a career club can help students get a valuable career experience. This program will help students make informed decisions on what career they want to pursue after graduating high school. Creating an interest in math and science will play a vital role in our community; students can explore these fields and become interested in learning more about them. This will reflect on their college education and their career choice in the future.


  1. Noha,
    I agree with you on the use of technology in the classroom. I think that it is vitally important that education not stand in the way of progress, but I do wonder about if administrators and school officials are paying attention to the bigger picture. One of the biggest things I put in my blog was the fact that all of my teachers have I-pads in their classrooms, but they don't have the internet capacity to keep up with them, and yet the higher ups seem to think that just giving a teacher an I-pad is a cure all for a much bigger problem of capacity issues, most of the teachers at my site say that their I-pads make great paper waits, and that's about as useful as they can be in their classroom without the right equipment to make them work, so my one caution to using technology is that we need to step back as a community and really look at getting I-pads, smart boards, and I-phones in classrooms as a long term goal, well after we fix our bigger problems of aged infrastructure in each school site.

    I think your ideas for implementing a future educators club on your campus is a great idea. The idea of reaching out to your students and helping to mentor them as they go through high school is a great idea, because the most important thing these kids can take away from this experience is what they are really getting into. I know with my student teaching it has been quite an experience. being a good teacher is hard work, and its unrelenting, but if you really stick with it, it can be a great profession.

  2. I didn't watch the same video that you did, so I'm glad that I could learn about it from you. You present a balanced opinion. Personally, I have to say, I am conflicted about phone use in class. I have a smart phone, so I appreciate the fact that I can Google absolutely anything and find an answer in seconds. I can see how that would be useful for deepening my understanding of a topic during class. However, I also wonder, do I REALLY need to know what the capital of such-and-such place is, or what year XYZ was invented, etc. in order to understand the topic being discussed in class? Or, am I actually obsessed with fact-finding missions that taunt me until I can whip out my phone and find out a probably insignificant detail. My thought is, if it's not in the textbook, the lecture notes, or the teacher's brain, do I REALLY need to know *RIGHT NOW*? For the sake of understanding the big idea, I would argue that this is improbable. Another problem with phones is how highly distracting they are. Sure, I might pull out my phone for a fact-finding mission, but minutes later, as I am texting or checking Fantasy Football, am I really being productive? Probably not. And if I can't even regulate myself (which is why I don't take the phone out during class), can I really expect my students to?