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Texting in the Classroom: Not Just a Distraction

Texting in the Classroom: Not Just a Distraction
The Pew Research Center released new data this week on Americans' text-messaging habits. According to Pew, 83 percent of American adults now own cell phones and almost three-quarters (73 percent) send and receive text messages. The research only looks at adults' usage of text-messaging, but it does find that younger adults are much more active texters than older age groups. The Pew study doesn't look at the texting habits of those under age 18, but a study released last year by Nielsen found that those cellphone users in the 13 to 17 age range were the most avid texters among any age group. Certainly that age group -- in fact, all those under 18 -- are increasingly likely to be cellphone owners. With the ubiquity of cellphones, many schools are facing questions about what to do when students bring cellphones to school. The popularity of text-messaging has long been given as one of the main reasons why cellphones are a distraction in the classroom.

Teacher Resources and Classroom Games :: Teach This 11 Real Ways Technology Is Affecting Education Right Now How Online Education Has Changed In 10 Years 8.44K Views 0 Likes We all know that education, specifically online education, has come a long way in the last few years. We've already taken a look back - way back - at online education as we rarely think of it (in the 1960's and 70's), but it is also interesting to see just how much online education has evolved in just the more recent past. Why TED Talks Have Become So Popular 6.89K Views 0 Likes TED talks are useful and free ways to bring high-level thinking and through-provoking ideas into the classroom and your home. 5 Things To Know About SXSWedu 5.72K Views 0 Likes The real story for anyone reading this is SXSWedu, the education-oriented version of the conference that's turning into a force of nature. How Social Media Is Used Around The World 8.55K Views 0 Likes In a fascinating infographic, we get a look at how social media is used around the world by a variety of countries.

ShowMe - The Interactive Learning Community iPads Make Better Readers, Writers Literacy Skills iPads Make Better Readers, Writers In a research paper titled “Unlocking Literacy with iPad,” Ohio English teacher James Harmon found that state-compiled statistics indicate that those students with iPad access in the year leading up to the Ohio Graduation Test had a 6-percent greater chance of passing the test’s reading portion than those without, and an 8-percent greater chance of passing the writing portion. By Margo Pierce09/06/11 Once upon a time teachers stood in front of a blackboard writing letters of the alphabet with chalk and drilling students to develop literacy skills. During the 2010-2011 school year Harmon conducted a “teacher-research” study to measure the effect Apple’s iPad had on the language test scores of his students taking the annual Ohio Graduation Test. This convinced Harmon of the appropriateness of the iPad as a teaching tool. “You can’t just make up words,” Harmon said, “but kids would make up words anyway and it ended up being a real word.

How to Focus on Your Work and Ditch the Distractions It may be the rarest skill in the modern workplace: the ability to focus. “Deep work is giving something intense concentration without distraction for long periods of time,” says Cal Newport, a computer science professor at Georgetown University and author of the new book Deep Work: Rules for Success in a Distracted World. “If you’re one of the few who masters this skill, you’ll have a lot of opportunities.” Take Newport, for instance. He eschews social media and carefully schedules meetings and email. As a result, he’s able to teach, publish a far-above-average number of peer-reviewed journal articles every year, write bestselling popular books, and make it home around 6 p.m. to spend the evenings with his family. To be sure, that may sound more doable in the academic world. Start a conversation. “Having an open dialogue about these issues of productivity and distraction led to many positive shifts in culture,” Newport notes. Stop managing with meetings. Block it on the schedule.

Seven Videos All Educators Should Watch - StumbleUpon Summer is a time when many of us are thinking about and planning professional development workshops for our schools and for other schools. I've always found that a short 3-5 minute video can be a good introduction to a PD sessions and or make for a nice thought-provoking break during a PD session. Here are seven videos that I think serve those purposes well. The "classic" of course is the various incarnations of Karl Fisch's and Scott McLeod's Did You Know? Version 4.0 is embedded below, but I still prefer this version. Educational Change Challenge is a video that I came across just last week on the first day of ISTE 2010. Here's another "classic" in the field. Social Media Revolution is a must-watch for all of those who think social media is nothing more than a time-sink. And when you're wondering what teachers make, Taylor Mali has some answers for you. Finally, on a lighter note for fans of The Office.

Creating a plan with students to use cell phones for learning Want to integrate cell phones into learning? You can involve your students with this planning lesson where students will focus on cell phones as learning tools. With an overview of the educational uses of cell phones (the Gr8 8, below), students will determine how they will choose to use their cell phones for educational purposes. Contracts for tools will be developed by students and the result will be a plan for educational uses of cell phones. Lesson Title: Plans for Phones or Plnz 4 fonzTools Used: Poll EverywhereLesson Description:Start with a class discussion about tools, and their purpose, for learning.Multiple choice poll: Ask students to text into a poll everywhere free text poll examples of tools and their uses: pencil-communicating/taking notes, calculator-do math, dictionary-learn meanings of words, notes, books, websites, teacher instruction.Free text poll: Ask students to share the tools available on their phone.

Teachers Love SMART Boards: SMART Board: Tips Here is a article called “Whiteboards for Dummies” written by Calvin Hennick for Scholastic – Administrator. This article discusses how to utilize your SMART Board more effectively by identifying some of the obstacles of using a SMART Board once you get it into your classroom. The stories about using it to hang... read more It’s finally here! In 2007, I created a WallWisher Wall called Why do Teachers Love SMART Boards and asked teachers to write a short comment on why they loved their SMART Board. Here's a short video tutorial on how to extend a Notebook theme farther down on the page. I'm excited to announce a new podcast called Get SMART with SMART Boards. Are you a SMART Board user? This is the solution to Challenge #12 called "Watch This." I hope you'll be as amazed as I was with the submissions for this week's challenge – Random Number. This is the solution for Challenge #9: Precise Object Spacing. The Smart Notebook Challenge #2 is now in the books.

Back to School with New Devices? Lesson #1: Mobile Safety - Microsoft on the Issues Posted by Jacqueline BeauchereDirector, Trustworthy Computing Communications, Microsoft Unlike their parents who went back to school with new notebooks, pens, pencils, and binders, today’s young people are likely readying for the coming academic year with laptops, tablets and mobile phones. But, before parents arm kids with the latest Internet-enabled devices, it’s a good idea to share some do’s and don’ts about online safety. Whether it’s a new laptop for research and writing, a tablet for reading, or a mobile phone to get in touch with mom or dad in the event of an emergency, kids are using mobile technology more than ever. When it comes to Internet safety, some practical advice can go a long way toward helping kids stay safer and more secure when they’re online on the go. In addition, kids need to know to share their phone numbers (and other personal identifiable information) with family and close friends only.

iPad Apps for Education Add As the first real contender in the category of streamlined computing tablets, the iPad has captured its share of hype. The iPad’s potential remains undeniable, particularly in education. Education is discovery, education is interaction, and education is exploration. I believe that the ultimate goal of the iPad (and its future ilk) is to be so intuitive that the user will forget they are interacting with a piece of technology. The iPad (or any technology) will not replace live instruction, as some have suggested, anytime soon. Few barriers stand between my vision for the classroom of tomorrow and the iPad concept as it stands today. For a more concrete sense of what the iPad can do, I’ve made my picks for the best existing iPad apps for education, and provided examples of where I hope developers take their apps in the near future. Top 3 Education Apps of Today 1. 3D Cell Simulation and Stain Tool 2. It’s a tight race in the Astronomy field between these two apps. Star Walk Screenshot 3.

Good Practice Guide and Use Case Studies of Mobile Learning (#mlearning) As ownership of smartphones and tablets grows there is increasing interest in how they might be used to support learning and teaching, both in the classroom and beyond. This Best Practice Guide has been put together by the UCISA Digital Skills and Development Group Academic Support sub-group to provide examples of good practice in using mobile technologies to enhance learning. Mobile learning: How mobile technologies can enhance the learning experience (Link to full guide) It includes six interesting case studies from different institutions on how mobile devices/technologies have been used to enhance the learning experience. Mobile for fieldwork in Environmental Sciences The intended result of this activity was to encourage and enable students to quickly and easily document discoveries and ideas in the field, to access resources electronically and reuse data in other learning contexts, and to encourage students to develop a collaborative approach to data sharing and discourse.

iPad in Education I had a reasonably extended play with the iPad and I am very impressed. I think it has real potential as an educational tool. It's worth getting a few of my niggles out of the way first before writing about my generally positive reaction to it:A few of the issues I have relate to the way the iPad has to be tied to an iTunes account. Have you tried them in a class yet? My first impressions are very good. Cellphones in the Classroom: Distraction or Tool? The final version of the National Education Technology Plan (NETP) was released last week, setting forth the Obama Administration's plan for improving access to and integration of technologies for teaching and learning. Among the recommendations the Department of Education makes in the NETP is a call for support for "efforts to ensure that all students and educators have 24/7 access to the Internet via devices, including mobile devices, and that states, districts, and schools adopt technologies and policies to enable leveraging the technology that students already have." The push for "24/7 access to the Internet" falls under another the auspices of yet another endeavor, the National Broadband Plan. But the call for better access to Internet-ready devices, particularly utilizing tools the students already possess is an interesting one. Because the device that is ubiquitous for American students isn't the desktop computer or the notebook or the netbook or the iPad. Photo by minasi

From Visible Thinking Routines to 5 Modern Learning Routines I have been a fan of Visible Thinking Routines which were developed by Project Zero from Harvard, for a while now. I have used these routines with students, as blogging routines and in professional development workshops. The Visible Thinking Routines website explains that: Routines exist in all classrooms; they are the patterns by which we operate and go about the job of learning and working together in a classroom environment. As I am trying to make 21st century, modern, contemporary or “now” learning visible, it seemed a natural step to point out “Modern” or “Now” Learning Routines. Here are my 5 routines that promote modern learning: 1. Read as much as you can on your subject. Write about what you read, write about connections you are making between the content you have read, write about things you wonder about and write your reflection of your thoughts. Comment or annotate on the things you read. 2. Share your learning and your reflection with others. 3. 4. Teach it to others. 5.