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Classroom Gadgets

| 3 Comments

In a recent Classroom Tech article, Kevin Bushweller looks at schools' policies on student use of iPods and other electronic devices in the classroom. He says that schools need to find ways to harness the learning potential of such technologies, but also know when to tell students to "turn it off."

What's your view? How can students' obsession with handheld electronic devices be put to educational use in schools? When is it a distraction? How do you strike a balance?

3 Comments

you really can't stop the gadgets so i'd fight a small screen with a much bigger one. nearly every classroom has a pull down white screen. this is equivalent to a 65" widescreen tv. use a cheap dvd player. hook it to an lcd player (there are usually several floating around school unused) with an s-video cable for deeper colors. you can also add a surround sound system with left-over retro gadgets. i had an old receiver and some speakers. i bought a couple more at a local swap meet (don't pay more than $10 or $15 per speaker).

for my 9th grade english clases i showed a lot of movies, all recently released on dvd, all with english subtitles (so they had to "read" the movie as well as watch it). big picture and big sound really dominates the room and does a pretty good job getting their attention. discipline problems are greatly reduced and you get special status for even knowing how to wire your speakers. it really helped that 9th grade standards were built thematically around "the play's the thing" (probably because of romeo and juliet). that alowed me to show screen plays (movies) which we read on the big screen. note: there are larger screens available if you want to go bigger (a 7 ft wide screen, not diagonal, would be better than the standard 5 ft screens we all have). try it.

Instead of gadgets it is better to hang the most popular and effective math chart on the wall so all the students can dry erasable marker to search for patterns. it is great to discover numerical patterns and geometric patterns. All the math activies can be found in this great chart it is "CIRCUS OF PATTERNS" more than thousands of patterns are on the chart to be discovered by the students Just look for "World's
Largest Mathematics Learning Chart" on the WEB.

While I appreciate the positive spin on technology's many blessings, I think a more objective approach would address cheating performed by text messaging, the arrangements of "class skips" thanks to text messaging, and the electronic game playing all contending with class instruction.

While I support technology, I think it is time for parents to assume some responsibility and tell their children to leave the phones in their lockers; more predictable, however, is the likelihood that parents will call their students during class time.

Teaching is a challenging career. Teachers need to be supported rather than competed.

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