For this week’s assignments we were asked to explore some new technologies and see how others have implemented them in the classroom. I really enjoyed browsing all the things students can do with technology to enhance learning, but I especially benefited from the phone usage sites. I currently am a substitute teacher and the amount of times that I either catch students using their phones in class, or get asked if they can listen to music on their phones, is more than I could count. Whether or not they have permission, students will find a way to use their phones during school hours. While this is a problem because students today are not being raised with proper phone etiquette, it shouldn’t be an issue that is just ignored (Nefer, 2010). I agree that instead of just creating the idea that all use of phones in school is bad, altering the teaching so that apps and other tools can be used in learning (Kolb, 2007).
For example, when I was tutoring some calculus students on trigonometric limits, one of the first things I recommended was that students download the unit circle app. This is an app for a smartphone that gives the unit circle, as well as other basic identities. I found that when the app was on their phones, the students were more likely to reference it and use it to solve the problems without getting immediately discouraged. There are countless math apps that are free to download on a smartphone or tablet device that would be great to use in the classroom. We just recently discovered how even apps like Google Earth can be used to teach real world applications of mathematics.
The technology introduced this week is just an added bonus, this entire semester has introduced me to new tools that I never imagined being able to use in the classroom. Regardless of which technology tool is used, I think it is important for educators to start implementing more into the curriculum. The students in the classroom now have been brought up in a technological world, and refusing them the right to use that to their strengths in the classroom shouldn’t happen. While there are some technologies I am a little skeptical about, such as the “6th sense” tool that allows you to interact with your environment, I still think the benefits of technology are well worth exploring in the classroom (Maes, 2009).
Maes, P. (Photographer). (2009). Pattie maes and pranav mistry demo sixthsense. [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html
Kolb, L. (Photographer). (2007). K12 cell phones as learning tools. [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8oD8IlzZD8
Nefer, B. (2010, September 02). Cell phone etiquette for kids. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/213147-cell-phone-etiquette-for-kids/