Monday, February 4, 2013

Going Wireless


What are your thoughts about the content of this article?
Going Wireless

13 comments:

Victoria W. said...

I thought the article was interesting. I think that it would be beneficial to give students iPods or Ipads for projects. The internet access on the buses could be a great idea if the internet is monitored. I think that blocking YouTube, Facebook, and other social media sites is important in order to make sure that each student stays on task. Allowing students to use this equipment may be a great way to get them engaged in the class material, but I think that the internet really needs to be monitored for each age group.
If certain projects rely on computers and the wireless connection is not functioning properly, what is the teacher supposed to do? In my senior year of high school I was in a creative writing class. We had lap tops and desk top computers available for our use. But, a lot of the lap tops did not work and the teacher worked on getting them fixed. He put in many requests to get the computers fixed, but it took some time to fix them all. Fortunately we were able to partner up on some projects which eliminated computer problems because everyone was able to use a desk top computer. But, what if the students are doing individual work and there is a wireless connection problem? Not every classroom has desk top computers, so I think that it is important to make sure that the wireless connection is functioning properly in each classroom.

LAN said...

Good reflection Victoria. One aspect of the issue you brought up requires tech support. To make school tech integration works, teachers need strong and timely IT support. It is not enough to only provide the hardware or software to use in school. It is equally important to have good tech support within school. In the case of your senior class, timeliness is important so that teachers can utilize technology without being stuck with tech problems.

Erica Vrkljan said...

I really enjoy how the article stresses the benefits of having wireless access available within schools. During my field placement last semester, I saw how having wireless access enhanced the overall learning experience for students. For instance, the article mentioned the use of Brain Pop, a popular favorite among my field placement's class. Brain Pop gives teachers access to short educational videos about a variety of topics. My students became more engaged in the lessons due to these humorous, eye-catching videos. In fact, my students would often ask me to replay the videos over again, and did not mind using them as a starting point for discussion. I find that capturing a student's interests makes it more likely that they will learn the material. Wireless access allows teachers a wider selection of media that they can use to capture the interests of their students, rather than a standard textbook. However, the article also mentioned that some schools were having difficulties with their students going onto youtube or other entertainment sites. I feel that this can largely be remedied by providing introductory to lessons to students of HOW and WHEN students can use the technology. It's possible that students aren't aware of the other educational tools available to them . A lesson like this would be particularly useful for students that do not have access to the technology at home.

Erica Vrkljan said...

Victoria, I think you brought up a good point about the problems that could occur when wireless connection fails. Personally, I've always felt that technology should be used more as an aid to the lesson or as supplemental material. I think that a lesson should use the advantages that technology can bring, but should not be entirely built around the technology. Therefore, if a lesson was designed in this manner, wireless interruptions wouldn't stop the teacher from teaching the content.If a wireless interruption completely hinders the teacher's ability to teach the lesson, it may be possible that the lesson was depending too much on the technology to begin with. These are just my personal thoughts on technology use with lessons.

Oprah said...

This article shows a lot of positive aspects of having wireless in the schools. Technology increasingly becomes more significant in our everyday lives and it is important to recognize that in education. Schools should utilize the resources that are available such as iPads and wireless internet. I feel it is important to use these resources, but they also must have some limitations to cater towards school curriculum. I think it is extremely important to monitor students when they are using iPads and wireless internet. Waverly-Shell Rock schools described their wireless network as having three parts, "the first is the guest and public WiFi, which blocks Facebook and YouTube...the second network is dedicated to iPads. All teachers and administrators have iPads, and many are used for observations. The third network is for laptops, which are located in a couple of labs and in some elementary schools. They are also used by many teachers and administrators,". Monitoring the wireless internet access is a must when using iPads and laptops in schools, but as the article mentioned, both the graduation rate and academic improvement has increased due to the iPod project in the Rown-Salisbury School. Schools are continually learning how to successfully integrate technology into the curriculum. It is all about trial and error and using resources as effectively as possible.

Lindsey Bakewell said...

I thought this article was very interesting. It seems like many schools have seen benefits from integrating technology into the classroom. The schools have pinpointed many of the troubles that arise with this new technology, such as the possibility of students getting on to unrelated sites like Facebook and the importance of having a reliable network for the entire school. Although I agree that integrating technology into classrooms can be very rewarding, I think there are several issues that this article doesn't take into account. Having access to such technologies can be expensive and many schools may not have the budget to get these kinds of luxuries. Not only is purchasing the technology expensive, but paying for the set up of a reliable network can get costly as well. The increase cost of internet usage would be a financial burden as well. It would be ideal to have iPads/laptops available for all students in a school, but for some schools it would make more sense to use extra budgets on necessities, such as desks or textbooks. Although grants and donations can be used to aid with this issue, I think that it is important to look at the financial burden that integrating technology might bring to a school. For schools that can afford such resources I believe the benefits outweigh the negatives by far, but I don't think such integration would benefit all schools.

Lindsey Bakewell said...

Erica, I really liked your idea of providing a class to students about the appropriate times to use technology. I agree that students don't know about some of the educational tools and resources that are available to them. I think it would helpful to have a technology of the week where the teacher highlights the benefits of a specific technology, resource, or app. This would give students an opportunity to explore different technologies and the benefits of each.

Anonymous said...

Brady Olson:

I was actually extremely surprised by this article. The schools who have implemented wireless into their districts seem to be vastly improving which is absolutely wonderful. Any time graduation rates go up is a huge deal, and in the case of the Rowan-Salisbury school system, wireless seems to be positively affecting this number.
But at the same time I remain skeptical. The pictures in the article captured something that scared me. The young children do appear engaged in the activities on the computer, and yet, they seem to be engaged in only the activities in the computer. Very little human interaction can be viewed in the pictures. I understand that this article is pro-technology and is trying to illustrate how engaged the students are. At the same time, I have this fear that technology in the classroom can be overdone. I feel it is fair to say that teachers want well-rounded students who know how to use a variety of technologies, I just hope that this implementation of technology does not overshadow basic communication between human beings.

Anonymous said...

Brady Olson:
I definitely agree with Erica and Lindsay on multiple points. Erica described a scenario in which the students were taught when and how to use different forms of technology. I feel this is an approach that utilizes technology to its fullest without abusing it or turning students into extremely technology dependent individuals. Providing students with a knowledge of when to use certain forms of technology (or when using technology is superfluous) is almost as important as learning how to use the technology itself.
Lindsay discussed one of the greatest limitations to almost any sort of improvement in schools. Finance issues are a very real and extremely important topic when discussing technology. Should a school be focusing on obtaining iPads for every student? Or is actually having desks that are not falling apart and textbooks that haven’t been re-bound five times more important? Personally, I feel a school providing text and notebooks to its students would be much more affective than every student having a laptop that connects to the school’s wireless.

Tara Drazner said...

I agree with Brady's concern about technology in the classroom. I think technology is a wonderful resource that has given us a huge advantage in the education system, but we must make sure that students are not working individually all the time. Interaction between students and students as well as teachers and students is a crucial skill that students must become familiar with. There are ways to interactive using technology such as a class blog, but I still feel human interaction and discussions are a necessary part of the classroom experience. As a future educator it is important to have a balance between technology and human interaction both are resources that should be utilized in classrooms.

Matt Conrad said...

This was a very interesting article. The use of iPod’s in this school was very beneficial. As the article states, graduation rate and academic improvement increased after the project was launched. When the athletic teams traveled to far away games for conference, they could use the iPod’s on the bus more easily than a textbook. The staff has a large amount of necessary control on how these children use the iPod’s, citing their ability to protect students from password locking them or use them for something other than school (such as Facebook). This project also gives schools the ability to more easily turn to a student-centered pedagogy where the students learn for themselves rather than a teacher-centered pedagogy where the students are forced to listen to their teachers lecture. The students are becoming more involved, which has a huge impact on the success of their learning process.

Matt Conrad said...

I also agree with Brady. A good balance between human interaction and technology is crucial to the learning process. It can be shown by the article how many advantages are present in the going wireless schools, however a very important part of learning and growing as people in our world is the social aspect, which would be nonexistent if we relied on strictly technology.

Brady Olson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.