Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Students Using Cell Phones to Learn

Using Cell Phones

This article discusses that research has finally been published about students and their cell phones. Amongst the other statistics released, the article claims that 1 in 4 students use their cell phones on homework assignments weekly.
Let's be honest, students have cell phones on them when they go to school. Even when students my age were in high school, cell phones were ubiquitous. I find it extremely refreshing that there is finally research that shows a positive side to students having cell phones. It's time for teachers to use what is essentially a given as an advantage. There are dangers; students have to know that any inappropriate use of cell phones will result in a consequence. Other than that, I see only advantages to teachers embracing the use of cell phones in the classroom.

Differentiating Technology

Deven Black is a 7th grade social studies teacher. He put nine activities on a board that could be completed in two weeks. He then assigned these activities nine different spots in the classroom and told the students to go to the spot in which the activity seemed most interesting. There were three spots that were empty and all of the groups were about even. He then let the groups work on their project. He said he walked around and was available for help, but no one needed it.

I think these open ended projects really get students involved in their work. In this case, the students were even able to choose the project that they wanted to do. I think that this gives students motivation to do their work. They can be as creative as they want and since they chose the project, it must be something that they actually like to do. In the end, Mr. Black gave the students time to reflect on the projects and what they learned overall. The students did learn a lot about the colonies, but they also learned a lot about cooperation in group work. I think that this type of instruction could be very valuable in the classroom.  It assesses a student’s knowledge on a topic, but it also allows students to work with and learn from others.