Tag Archives: cell phone

eMINTS Conference: Session 2 (Friday)

Design Patterns 2.0

Our good friend Bernie Dodge presents on how the best WebQuests are those built around tasks that resemble the authentic work that people do outside of school. Design patterns provide us with a way to describe that work and make it easier to create WebQuests that better prepare our students for life. This session will be the world premier (since yesterday’s session) of a new set of design patterns that will kick lessons up a notch.

Journals, Blogs and Wikis to Enhance Reading and Writing

Presenter Denis Knight provides participants an opportunity to gain a better understanding of various web-based instructional opportunities to use to enhance reading and writing skills. Participants learn how to use online journals, blogs and wikis to develop innovative ways to not only communicate with students, but provide an avenue for creative written expression. Teachers can generate online journals for students to reflect on classroom activities; blogs for addressing constructive response questions and article reviews to address reading comprehension. Participants learn to create a classroom wiki to provide opportunities for interactive discussion and peer evaluation. When used with appropriate assessments, these online sources can give teachers the flexibility to use internet sites as a way to move from the paper and pencil past to a new and exciting learning experience.

Personalize Your PD

Presenter Stephanie Madlinger helps teachers expand and take ownership of professional learning by creating a PLN (Personal Learning Network). Having a PLN allows one to learn and share with others around the world, 24/7. A PLN is a reciprocal network created and based on your interests and needs. Generate multiple opportunities to learn from, connect with, gather information and resources, then create and share with people like you. Participants learn which online tools to use to personalize their own PD. They explore online learning communities like Google Groups and SchoolTown; social networks like Facebook and Twitter; and social bookmarking like Delicious and Diigo.

Put Some WOW into Your Website

Krissy Venosdale of Hillsboro R-3 School District helps teachers explore ways to use the classroom website to enhance the learning environment. Using various Web 2.0 tools, sprucing up certain areas of one’s site, and encouraging interaction on the classroom site will enhance learning both in and out of the classroom. Digital portfolios, online projects, and weekly contests can all be used to engage students in a site and most of all, in learning.

Class, get out your cell phones please for bellwork. Seriously!

Presenter Roger Brallier of Mexico Public Schools help participants learn how to use cell phone technology to add an extra spark to bell work or preassessment in the classroom. Roger demonstrates how to reduce “under the table texting” and unlock the power of the cell phone (which may be greater than some of our older computers). Additionally, participants learn the basics of “Poll Everywhere” – a free online tool that shows real time results using the texting feature of a cell phone. Even without a phone, one can still use a webpage link.

The Flipped Classroom Approach in an eMINTS Classroom

Presenter Melody Paige of Monett School District presents a¬†flipped classroom approach that entails “flipping” instruction in which students watch and listen to lectures for homework or at other non-instructional times. This gives learners control to pause or rewind lessons for understanding. Precious class time is then used for what typically was done as homework: tackling difficult problems, working in groups, creating, collaborating and researching. The concept is simple; but how does one make the “flipped” approach work in the real classroom? What software is needed? In this session, teachers watch videos of this concept in action and provide many resources for creating flipped content. There are many free completed lessons and videos ready for use in the classroom.

4ALL: When will we embrace the cell phone?

News hit the internet this week that the Flip video camera will be discontinued. Sadly, this development means that many schools looking for cheap ways to purchase digital video cameras will have to look elsewhere. The Flip was a unique combination of portability, functionality, and adaptability in an affordable package. However, with its demise, schools and media specialists must find a suitable alternative.

This is where the cell phone comes in. For many years, the cellular phone has been banned from schools. The worry is that student use the phones to text friends, make calls at inopportune times, or cause a general distraction. However, with the expansion in cell phone capabilities and the growing acceptance of cell phone use in about every conceivable context, these handheld devices may finally have their day in class. Especially when one considers that phones almost universally offer photo and video capabilities once only contained in digital cameras and Flips, it seems ill-advised not to encourage their presence in schools.

Bernie Dodge, the father of the WebQuest, has been pushing for a new kind of instructional approach involving mobile devices that he is calling “Mgagement.” The mobile device gives us the opportunity to take the learning out of the classroom, developing students’ sense of wonder. Through a grant with Qualcomm, Bernie is developing some pretty interesting instructional uses for mobile devices. Certainly, it’s a development on which to keep an eye.

The cell phone – smart or dumb – has become an indespensible tool in our personal, professional, and now educational lives. As the infographic from iStrategy below demonstrates, the cell phone is rapidly outpacing all other forms of technology in nearly every market in the world.

If we are preparing students for the 21st century as materials become scarce, it is time to embrace the cellular phone into our classrooms in one way or another. What are your thoughts on the place of mobile devices in schools? What are ways you have seen cell phones used in the classroom? Are you at a place where you are comfortable with cell phones being used in your class?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.