Looking back…Week 10

I can’t believe that we are to the end of the term already.  Although terms seem so long when you are in the middle, somehow finals and the end sneak up on me every time!

I was very surprised when we started the beginning of this term.  I wasn’t expecting to read about copyright laws…why they are good, why they are bad, and some of the reasons they are indifferent.  From previous terms, I had a thought in my mind that I was “free” from copyright law and infringement.  I use the word free here loosely…What I mean is that I was under the impression that teachers are more exempt from these rules that the average Joe on the street.  NOT TRUE.  We have to be very careful of what we use in our classrooms…Honestly, it’s made me nervous to use things.  I am a little weary of looking on Google images to find a piece of clip art to include on a note home….I’m nervous  to use YouTube clips for fear that I’m doing something that’s illegal.  I think that some of these fears should not be there….but I think I’ve learned too much about people getting in trouble for things that they didn’t know were wrong.  That’s the part that scares me.

This goes right in hand with a big problem that I see with this whole copyright frenzy.  Number one, there are all these rules that people don’t really know about. Number 2, people are getting nailed for things that they don’t know are illegal.  Number 3, there are no “police” to really take care of the problem. This is problem because if there are no police, the problem never gets fixed… People just get mad (and confused) when they get busted…. All of this “infringement behavior” that is illegal, seems normal.  People don’t know what is right and what is wrong, so they just do what they normally do.  Then they get busted.  It’s a horrible system that really needs be revamped.  After it’s fixed, there needs to be ways to keep these things under control.  I’m not saying I want police watching everything that I do, but there needs to be some way to regulate the rules or nothing is ever going to be changed.

As an educator, this scares me.  My conscience knows that is right (or what I think is right) but the convenience of everything out there is hard to ignore.  It seems that now I can go on the internet and find pretty much anything that I want.  Sometimes I have to pay for it, sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I know it is legal to use, sometimes I don’t.  Even though this class has been very interesting, sometimes I wish I didn’t know now what I do!  I know it’s good that I know the rules now, but it makes me job a lot harder.  I am now careful of what I use and don’t use, and really try to follow copyright rules as best as I can.  I feel like I still have a lot more to learn, but I know a lot more now that I did a few months ago!

Surprisingly, I have been talking about this class and it’s content a lot more than I thought I would.  I find myself talking to my family and co workers about things that I’ve learned about copyright (something I thought I never would do)! It has caught my interest much more than I thought… I know now that I am much more aware of what is “ok” to use and what is not.  Hopefully, I can share that feeling with more people that I know and work with….Hopefully, these laws will be revised and revisited soon so that the laws that  be caught up with this 21st century. 


Week 9

To be quite honest, I had a very hard time reading this book. When I first started reading, I was afraid that I was not going to have any interest in the book at all. As I got a little further in, I started to keep up a bit. I felt way over my head when I first started. I don’t know if I was not focused, or if I was just not up for hearing yet another opinion on copyright laws! However, I did agree with what Yochai Benkler says in his book “The Wealth of Networks”.

Although there is much to say about the thinkings of Benkler, I want to focus on one specific point. I try not to quote often, but I think this is worthy of quoting: “…The result is that a good deal more that human beings value can now be done by individuals, who interact with each other socially, as human beings and as social beings, rather than as market actors through the price system.” (Location 142) I think this is the central problem of all the things that we have going on today. The law makers, and the actual users of copyrighted material think of things that are not even in the same realm of thinking. When I share a piece of copyrighted material, I’m not doing so to benefit myself, I’m doing it because I WANT to share what I have learned. I don’t want anything in return; it’s just what we do.

We are living in a society now where we share everything. I can do virtually anything I want from my iPhone, whenever I want. I can take pictures of something I saw and send it immediately to whomever I please. We are in such a connected world that these copyright laws do us no good. Really, the only thing that these laws are doing is making that information harder (or scarier, if the laws aren’t clear) about what we can or cannot share. I think that Boyle would agree. Our laws need to be caught up to what we are now living. We are living in the fast lane, but our copyright laws are stuck at a toll bridge. It’s time to do some revamping!

Another point that Benkler makes is that some of us would take some less “efficient” information that we could use for free and how we please, instead of copyrighted material (Location 527). This is a same thought that I share. I find myself doing this when i am looking for materials for my classroom. Instead of paying a subscription to something, I will find something that may not be as good, but is free, instead. I think that many people, especially teacher, feel the same way. Even if it’s something that is not “free” but we feel that there is a chance of infringement, we will stay away. This takes away from the copyrighted authors, but we are just protecting ourselves. Benkler says that this kind of behavior will later turn into making people want to create and “get more people involved” that what our copyright laws are doing (location 527).

Most of the ideas in this book I share with Benkler. I was surprised by the amount of interest that this book rose in me! I will be looking at more of his work when have more free time!

“The Wealth of Networks” Yochai Benkler (2006)

“The Public Domain” James Boyle (2008)


Aufderheide- week 7

Throughout this term, I have had my agreements and disagreements with all of the authors we have read, some more than others. I have to say that I agree with Aufderheide more than any other I have thus far! I kept waiting for someone to say the things that she is saying now. I’m excited to continue my reading throughout this next week.

The first thing i read that really stuck out to me and grabbed my attention was this: ” Their conflict is an unwinnable and unnecessary battle-and it’s bad for the rest of us, who are neither big copyright holders nor bomb-throwers…” (Location 92) I think this is EXACTLY the problem. There are extremists on both sides, then those of us in the middle who just want to use what’s available, but we are not sure what is ok and what is not. The key word here is UNWINNABLE. This is a battle that has been going on for a very long time and without some serious change, it’s not going to get any better. In fact, it’s only going to get worse and worse.

Another point she brings up is that these copyrights weren’t always laws that extended to the extent that they do now. (Location 294) The problem is, that now, laws are extended so long that people can’t get their hands on materials, even if the people are willing to pay for it. When a copyright law lasts so long that it’s years and years past their death, there is no way to get permission to use or reproduce certian works. This is craziness to me, and I am sure that Aufderheide would agree.

I know I have used this example before (not sure if it was this class or a past) but I’m going to use it again because I think it’s worth the time. Because of copyright laws, there are many, many works that cannot be reproduced to put into a digital form. In my opinion, this is crazy. I think that if a library has a hard copy of a book, it should be available for read-only on the internet, through the library site. If there was a book at WOU’s library (Hamersly) that I wanted to read, but was no available online, I would be out of luck. To me, that is not fair. If another student and i are in the same class, but they lived in Monmouth and I didn’t, how is it right that she has access to more information than I do? It just doesn’t sit right with me. I understand the laws, but think they need to be changed.

I am very excited to see what else Aufderheide has to say about these issues. I haven’t read all of the book, but I’m sure there is many more intersting thoughts and points that will be made soon.

Note: I’m using the kindle app on my iPad, so I don’t have page numbers but instead locations.

Week 5-Levine

In the world that we live in now, it seems that everything is free… You can find music for free, movies for free, resources for free, and the list goes on.  As a consumer, it’s nice.  I appreciate all of the free things available on the net.  However, if I was on the other end of the spectrum, I’m not sure I would feel so good about all of this!

Levine makes some great points, but I think comes across a little harsh and hard.  He does bring up some good issues…. maybe I’m just not a fan of his tone. 

I am intrigued by the piracy issue that most people see as the basis for this whole problem we are facing now.  I have to disagree with this group of people  and take Levine’s side on this one. In his book “FREE RIDE: How Digital Parasites are Destroying the Culture…” Levine talks about how Piracy isn’t the issue here. (Location 89)  He talks about how so many things that are illegal are so easy to access and this is causing a huge problem! (Location 89) The more people use these “illegal” resources, the more other companies are going to struggle.

In my professional life, I tend to worry about what is going to happen later in my career.  Really, the only potential partial fix to this problem is to stop making everything so easily available.  I know this is going to be hard, if not impossible… but I’m not sure of any other options.  Things are just too easy to get to.  Too easy to access… I’m not saying that I want these changes, but I’m afraid they are going to happen in big ways.  I have already begun to see some of these things happen in sites that I use myself.  Some of my favorite educational websites are now charging for a membership.  Even though I’m sad this is happening  I think it might be the start to something new.  However, if all people don’t get on board with this, the charging sites or businesses are going to struggle.  Have I bought the membership?  No.  Why not?  I can find material somewhere else for free…. It’s probably not as good, but it’s something I can use.

I hate to admit it, but I’m a part of this problem….And I know I’m not alone.  I know some people will pay for the exact thing they want, but most of us would take something that’s a little less than what we want if it’s free.  

I think that Levine probably does not participate in things like Netflix and Hulu simply because they are distributors who benefit from other peoples’ work.  Is this brilliant? YES.  Is it making tons of money? YES.  Is it helping the individual producers of movies and tv shows?  I’m not sure.  I know that they can get paid from people watching their show through these businesses…. But how much does it benefit them?  Are they just going along with it to be able to make something?  Something is more than nothing right? I’m afraid that if we continue on this path, lots of creativity is going to be squashed.  People aren’t going to be motivated to create new things because there won’t be anything there to reward them.  We all have to make a living somehow.  (Ideas from Location 143)

There are some big challenges ahead and I think that we, consumers, need to be ready for some big changes. 


Week 3-Boyle

Although I am not nearly as far along as I would like to be in our reading for this week (Boyle), I am interested and intrigued by what this man has to say. It’s been a long week, so reading time as not come easy, don’t worry, I’ll be done by next weekend!

At the very beginning of this book, he had me hooked. He starts out by telling us exactly where he stands on his view of copyright (page 106 on kindle cloud reader). He tells us that he things copyright, or intellectual property, laws are outdated and that the whole policy is going in the wrong direction. If we don’t do something about it, it’s just going to get worse and worse. I had never really thought much about the long-term effects of such long copyright laws. To be quite honest with you, I had NO IDEA how long these rights lasted…70 plus years after the creator has passed away…Wow, that seems a little crazy, even for someone who doesn’t know much about these laws, like me!

Going right along with crazy long copyright laws, I had never thought about how this could damage a library, an electronic library. The point that he makes here is a good one. Many libraries today are making many of their books and articles available for reading via the internet. I did not know that if there is a copyright law in effect on a specific piece, and the creator is no longer alive to give permission to make it available, they can’t make it digital. This seems INSANE to me. Why would someone not want their work to go digital? I know a lot more people who use internet libraries that actually going to the library. Take me, for example. I live about four hours away from the campus of the university I attend. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t go to Hamersly Library to do some research. If I needed to see something that was available only in book form, I would be in trouble. I guess I just don’t see the point here. I think if a library has a book, it should be legal to make it digital. Obviously not for printing, but for viewing online only. (ideas from page 230, kindle cloud reader.)

Then Boyle talks about how we can fix the problem. I like that he actually thinks of some solutions to the problem, instead of just complaining about them. He talks about making the life of the copyright shorter, much shorter (5-10 years) and then having to purchase the extra years separately. I think this is absolutely brilliant. Most authors are going to get what they want from he piece they publish within that time frame. If they think there is more life left, go ahead and get some more time. There is no need for someone to have “rights” to a particular piece for more than 70 years after they are deceased. I’m sure there is more than meets the eye here…But, I think that the damage (think of the libraries) is going to very much outweigh the advantages of having such a long-terms. (page 305-316, kindle cloud reader.)

I am very excited to see how the rest of this book plays out. I think Boyle has some great ideas and I want to learn more about all of it. More next week!

Week 2- Lessig

When I first saw what I was going to be reading for the last two weeks, I was not thrilled. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Lessig goes into great detail about how the world we are living in is “illegal”, but not intentionally. Most of the kids growing up in this tech savvy world know how to do so many different types of remix and sharing that it is second nature. Some of them know it’s wrong, but it’s so easy to do that it doesn’t seem to matter. On page 881 (kindle cloud reader) in Chapter 4: RW, revived, Lessig talks about how kids are taught to site works in writing, but not as much in music and film. The question he asks is simple. He asks if all the rules should be the same for all kinds of media…? It’s a good question to think about. I think the problem here is that so many kids know how to do this so easily that it’s just what we do. People don’t think about making a video of their kid dancing and uploading it to YouTube. In our brains, that is not “copywriting” because it’s not for commercial use…There’s no money gain, so who cares? Another problem is that it’s not well-regulated, so there is not a threat of getting caught.

Chapter 3, I was very interested in what Lessig had to say about iPods and all that they can do. Basically, he says that the iPod is going to become an access point of all that we do! It will serve as a camera, music player, note taker, and everything else that we need. I think he is right on the money here. We all(I use the word all very freely!) want iPhones because they can do everything that we need. I have one, and I use it for basically everything. I can make calls, take photo/video, text, surf the internet, mix music, edit photos… and the list goes on. I think the point he is making here is that with all these technologies, companies are driving themselves crazy to give the people what they want. When we get what we want, we will be doing things that are deemed “illegal”. These laws need to be changed in his opinion, and mine! (RO Extended “Recoding Us” page 764 on my kindle cloud)

I wanted to avoid direct quotes, but I don’t think I could say this one better: “We, as a society, can’t kill this now form of creativity. We can only criminalize it.” (Lessig 1709, remix section, kindle cloud reader) In this part of the book, Lessig is talking about how freely we mix and share different forms of media. I think that this type of lifestyle has taken over and I agree with Lessig. This isn’t something that we can just fix but keeping all the rules the same. There need to be some give on these laws. We need to figure out a way to give people the pay and credit they are due. It’s a big job, but it’s so important that it can’t be left undone. I wouldn’t be one to solve the problem, but I think Lessig has some great ideas and could get us to a much better place. We don’t want to raise “criminals”, we want people to be motivated to continue to create and share, so we need to change some laws around and make that possible! Let’s not over think this people. This is a big problem that needs a radical solution. Although it’s radical, not rocket science. Our world is changing…We need to be willing to change right along with it.

Week 10- Futures of Education

I was very interested in the videos and readings for this week, partly because I see some of it in the district I work for now. I haven’t seen the “admin” side of things, but i think we have the same thing going on in our district. We use the “Thin Clients” and “Blade PC’s”….or at least a form of them. I know that there are some computers within the district that don’t have an actual tower with them. There is a thin little device that it connects to. The only thing I’m not sure about is the fact that it connects to multiple monitors. Not all computers do this, but I know that there are groups of ones that do. Every computer in the district can be logged into either as individual teachers, students, or room numbers (in elementary school). Each high school student has their own login and password, but kids in elementary school just log in as their school and room number. I have never really thought about how cool this is, but the more I think about it, the more awesome it is.

There are a few downfalls that we have seen here. When i taught ELD last year in elementary school, we couldn’t use the “n-computing” grouped computers in my classroom. We could not use them because the system couldn’t run Rossetta Stone and log all the kids on individuality. I know there are always glitches, but that was the only one that I saw. I’m thinking this is the same type of technology that was talked about in readings this week.

I think this kind of technology hits a few NETS standards. The first one being NETS-S 6a: Understand and use technology systems. The second one being NETS-Tb: Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources. If students have constant access to their own “computer” they can always be working on their stuff at their level. They can be in different places all the time and work on their current projects.

I also find gesture-based learning very exciting! I have an iPhone 5 and love all the cool things it can do. I really think that this type of learning is going to become more and more vital in an educational setting, especially elementary age kids. If this stuff isn’t taught in elementary classes, they aren’t going to know how to use the technology as they should.

This type of technology is also already in my district. There are class sets of iPod touches in every classroom 3-5, and many more in other classrooms. (I use my personal iPad in my class to run my smart board… it cuts down on time for kids to get up and get to the board, they can just do it on the iPad as I walk around the room…it also keeps them engaged because they want a turn to use it!) Teachers write grants for these devices (and others) all the time, and many of them get the grants to purchase the items! I think that having these tools only enhances learning. yes, you have to monitor and be careful to make sure kids are doing what they are supposed to be doing. But, if they choose to use it inappropriately, it gets taken away! I love what mobile technology and gesture based devices are doing for education. I’m very excited (and a little nervous) to see where it takes us!

NETS-Sc: Troubleshoot systems and applications. When kids are using these devices daily, they learn how to “fix” it when needed. They will need to have this skill for the rest of their lives!
NETS-Sb. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats. Dealing with many different types of media will only help these kids learn how to talk with different audiences and use them to the best of their ability.

Flipped Classroom- Week 9

I originally intended for this post to be about elementary age students, but I have had a very hard time finding information about a flipped elementary classroom. I found an article about flipped classrooms in general, and I think it is going to suit us best. Here we go!

Title: Inventing the flipped classroom
Author(s): Glen Bull , Bill Ferster and Willy Kjellstrom
Source: Learning & Leading with Technology. 40.1 (Aug. 2012): p10.

The article begins with a simple definiton of what a flipped classroom is: “A flipped classroom dedicates more class time to hands-on learning, replacing lectures with supplemental materials, such as screencasts and videos, that students can view outside of class.”(paragraph 1) This is a new strategy that has many teachers thinking that this would be a good switch for them. Flipped classrooms are places where kids get to “learn” or at least get a feel for what is going to be learned outside of class and then they to come to class for the practice time. In theory, it sounds pretty great, however there are some things that teachers need to be cautious about before jumping in with two feet. These are in my opinion and not stated in the article: 1-internet access, 2-computer access, 3-self-motivated learners. Some teachers may not agree with the self-motivated learners point, and that’s ok. However, Daphne Koller, a Stanford professor experimenting with the flipped classroom found that classroom attendance doubled when she used class time for group problem-solving sessions instead of lectures.”(Bull 1) I think that maybe kids would feel that class is a much better value if they were spending their time talking with their teacher and getting the help they all complain that they don’t have. I think that flipped classrooms could help kids get deeper understandings of content that they are trying to learn.

The article talks about how flipped classrooms give informtaion in much shorter chunks of time. Instead of listening to a 50 minute lecture, students would only listen to 5 to 10 mintues of video, podcast, or other medium, and then come to school to really get the concept. I think it’s a great idea for older kids!

To bring it down to where I teach, I am not sold on the flipped classroom, but very excited about the thought of blended classrooms. They aren’t mentioned in this article, but when I was searching around for flipped classroom stuff, I came acroos the idea. These are classrooms that are a little of both. Video, and technology is infused in the learning, but not completely flipped (NETS-T5b: Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, particpating in shard decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others. Blended classrooms cut down on teacher talk and give students more of a chance to explore, begin to find out things on their own, and use the teacher as a resource. I think there needs to be a happy medium here, especially in younger aged classrooms. I think this addresses NETS-T 4b: Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to apropriate digital tools and resources.

One thought from the article that I thought was really good was the idea of assessment. This part of the article is talking about using videos and online work to do most of the “teaching”, the the class time for help and practice… “Use of the medium in this way will permit instructors to conduct assessments with greater granularity. Teachers can embed questions throughout materials to determine when and where students begin to struggle, rather than waiting for an assessment at the end of a unit.”(paragraph 12) I think this ties in nicely with NETS-t 2d: Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with the content and technology standards and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching. I think lots of teachers struggle with assessments, and embeding them in our teaching might be a good idea! I think flipped classrooms have a huge potential, and variations of flipped classrooms even more!


The Flipped Classroom-week 8

This week, I chose to study the flipped classroom.  I am focusing on k-5, but this article talks about the flipped classroom in general… I’ll make connections to k-5 as we go along.

Title: To flip or not to flip?
Source: Learning & Leading with Technology. 39.8 (June-July 2012): p6.
Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2012 International Society for Technology in Educationhttp://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Publications/LL/L_L.htm
I chose to look at the flipped classroom because as an elementary teacher, it’s not talked about much.  This seems like a method of teaching that high school level and above would use, but these authors say that it is used at all ages. A flipped classroom is one where the students get an introductory lesson of some sort at home (or some place other than their classroom), and then get practice time at school.  I have had some college classes like this.  You have to have had done your previous work, or at least attempt, to have an idea of what class is going to be about.  I think this is hard to do in certain types of schools (I will talk about later) but other schools I think it would work great.  You really have to know your status of students and know about their lives before you can even attempt to completely flip a classroom.  The huge benefit is that the kids get the time that they really need with their teacher!  We all know that we have gotten home before and then had questions about how to do your homework.  In a flipped classroom, your homework time is when you are with your teacher.  I think it’s an interesting idea, but I think it is asking quite a bit of students.  It’s hard enough to get them there on time, but have them do it on their own at first (watch a video or read something) that it may be a struggle.  Maybe I would be wrong, I’m just not completely sold on it yet.
The article does talk about some downfalls of a flipped classroom, all of which I agree with.  The authors talk about how you have to have internet access to students at home for this to work.  In a flipped classroom, you use the internet to do the primary part of the lesson, then practice time is in the classroom.  This would be great for driven, self-motivated students.  These students not only have to have internet access, but they also have to have a device to use the internet on.  If there was a way to get all students equipt with all the things they needed, I think this would be a great idea.
When I think about the flipped classroom in an elementary school, I think of a classroom where the teacher doesn’t talk all the time!  There would be time for kids to work through things and figure them out for themselves.  The teachers would be there to facilitate and lead kids in the right direction, but there needs to be some time for kids to just work it out.  I think this is especially true for upper elementary students.  I think elementary education is headed in this direction, and that excites me!
When I think about a flipped classroom, I think a few NETS standards are addressed.  The first of these standards being NETS-T 5c: Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources to support student learning.  The whole focus of a flipped classroom is on the student learning.  If you are not researching, and using judgement on what are the best types of tools for your students to be using during these learning times, you are not doing your job! I also think that NETS-T 1a is addressed: Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.  Kids need the opportunity to do things themselves and take learning into their own hands.  With the flipped classroom, this is all possible!  Other standards can be connected, i just think that these two are the most applicable.
Flipped classrooms are an interesting idea that I feel like have many barriers and hurdles to jump over.  I’m am anxious to find out more about them next week.

Resources for mobile technology in the k-5 classroom: week 6

1) I was actually looking for an article to review when I found this one.  I think it can be an amazing resource for anyone who has iPods or iPads in class.  It’s on the Gale data base though WOU.

Title: Less than a class set: just a few iPads in a classroom can support and enhance learning and facilitate individualized instruction

Author: Kristin Redington Bennett


I love this source because it give specific ideas of how to implement these devices in your classroom.  The article talks about how many people who have or want to have these devices in their classrooms worry about the number that they would be able to get.  Obviously, the ideal situation would be to have a whole class set, but for most of us, that will not be an option.  This source gives you ideas on how to use the devices if you have only a few, or even just one.

My favorite part is that it gives you a list of apps that would be helpful for you to have…On top of that, it tells you the ones that are free! (I will be heading to my iPad in the new few minutes!)

NETS-T aa: Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.  This standard is addressed because teachers will have to do all of these things when finding apps and incorporating them into your lessons.  The “interactiveness” and individualism of iPads helps kids be creative and do their best work.

NETS-T 2a: Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity. Adapting lessons is so important, what a better way to do that than to have individualized practice/learning time on iPads or iPods.  You will be able to keep high and low kids engaged in the same lesson!

NETS-S 6c: Troubleshoot systems and applications.  If students are going to be using mobile devices, they are going to run into issue.  Students will learn how to fix this the more practice they have!

NETS-S 5b: Exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.  The more kids use this type of learning, the more they are going to appreciate it.  They will get a better attitude, although there may be a few that you have to “find the right app for”.

2) This is a very cool resource that I stumbled upon!  This would be a great place for an educator to go who has just decided to get an iPad for the classroom, or someone who is looking to incorporate the iPad into their classroom.  It has basic diagrams that show you the parts of the device, and also has instructions on how to use it.  It goes from basic to more in detail.  There are many different pages to look at on this site, and i think they all have something great to offer!  I love that they share videos and photos of kids using the device so you can actually see it in action. NETS-T 3a: Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.  We need to be able to work all different kinds of technologies… This is a good place to start!

Probably one of my favorite parts of this site is the list of apps that they think are great for elementary classrooms.  I know that lots of people (including myself) get overwhelmed when thinking about apps.  There are SO MANY to choose from.  It’s hard to know which ones are good or bad… It tells you how much these apps are as well.

The last thin that I think i like the most is in the resource page.  There is a section that tells you about more apps, BUT, they are in a blooms taxonomy organization style!  You can decide which kind of apps you want your kids to do (according to bloom’s,) and go to that app list and they are all laid out for you! FABULOUS! This is perfect fon NETS-T 2c: Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources. You can really personalize this and find exactly what you need!


3) This site talks about using student cell phones in class for educational use.  Many schools do not have the money and resources to have all kinds of awesome technology, so this website gives you ideas on how to use those cell phones in class!  One concern I have is that not all kids have cell phones, so how do you work with that?  Well, since we are talking about elementary students (probably upper) i think it would be more than ok to have the kids work in partners.  i think lots of teachers get upset because their districts don’t have the time or money to put out for “techy” devices, but we need to look at the resources that we do have an hone in on those.  MANY of these cool programs that are designed for educational use are free!  All you have to do is set up an account!!! There are sites where you can actually set up quizzes and the students can take them from their phone! The students log on to the sight (using wifi, which most schools now have) and take the quiz.  It’s great for instant feedback on how your class is doing on one thing or another. This goes right with NETS-T 1c: Promote student reflection using collaborative tools to reveal and clarify students’ conceptual understanding and thinking, planning, and creative process.  If you were to use something like this in your class, you would get instant feedback (in a different way that kids will like) and know what you need to do from there!

Another great idea that this site has is using students’ personal phones to make podcasts and then submit them as assignments.  I think lots of kids are more comfortable using their own technologies…. and most of them love to talk… Why not let them use their stuff?!? I think kids will really enjoy this! They are proud of their own stuff! I think this is a great link to NETS-T1a: Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness…We have to think outside the box!


If you go to the homepage there are also lots of really cool things… I just wanted to tell you about the cell phones in the classroom part!

4)I found this article and thought it was worth sharing.  Although it’s not a list  of apps and how-to’s for iPads and iPods, it is a success story of how technology is revolutionizing education in Jordan.  A type of mobile technology, netbooks, were given to older kids (7th grade) to change the way they were going to be taught.  At first, people didn’t think it would change the way things went to much.  But as time went on, these 7th grade girls were creating online lessons for younger girls.  We all know that when you teach something to someone else, you really have to know the material.  Well, because these girls had access to the internet all the time, they were able to do some things that they never thought possible.  I think this addresses NETS-T1b: Create original works as a means of personal or group expression.  These girls are using their tools and creating things for themselves and younger kids.  What a great thing to happen!  These younger girls now have built a connection with someone older than them that could influence their lives later on! This also deals with NETS-S 2a: Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.  Without these tools, there’s no way that these girls could ever make the projects that they have made.

My last note about this story is that the teachers learned a lot from this project as well.  Their teaching went from lecturing on a blackboard to asking questions that kids could research and find out their own answers to…Most of us learn better when we find the answers for ourselves, here’s proof! NETS-S 4c: Collect and analyze date to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.


5) This last resource seems a little to obvious, but at the same time I think it’s one that most of us wouldn’t think to look at.  It’s at apple itself.  Apple seems to be the company that is revitalizing things right now, so why not go to the source and see what they were thinking anyway!

The first thing I saw on this site was the list of seminars you can attend online.  Some of them have certian times, but most of the ones I looked at were on-demand.  There are all different topics from “learning on the iPad” to “deploying and managing OSX in education”.  I love that these are very specific topics that can be done from your home or as a part of a professional development time at school.  Lots of teachers are not able to go to these awesome seminars, so I love that they put these online to be viewed at any time that you want.  I think this addresses NETS-T5c: Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning.  Never stop learning!

There are even sections on the web site that show you top apps to use, e-textbooks, and even a part for special education.  i think technology can be a very powerful tool for special education, it just needs to be done right.  I think it’s important to make sure we look at the makers’ point of view to get the best idea of what we can do for our kids. This addresses NETS-T4b: Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies and providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources.  For us to incorporate all these great strategies, we need to learn about them.  Apple has lots to show us, we just need to take a look.

Aside from the advice part, there are all different kinds of products that you can look at and decide if it might be a good fit for you own classroom!  Go to apple, they have lots to offer!