Tag Archives: mobile learning

Learn Chinese with Pleco

This is reblogged from my post at FreeTech4Teachers.

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Courtesy of Pleco

In the last few years, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) has become a prominent language in American Classrooms. As learning Chinese requires not only learning the spoken word, but learning a new text and character system, touch screen tools have become incredibly helpful in teaching students how to craft Chinese characters.

Source: Pleco

One of the best, free tools for students learning Chinese is Pleco, available in bothPleco iOS and Android Pleco. The free dictionary includes over 100,00 entries that are updated regularly. Students can look up words by…

[Read the complete post at FreeTech4Teachers].

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The Parents’ Guide to Teen Cell Phone Use

This is an interesting infographic about teens and cellphones.

The Parents' Guide to Teens and Mobile Phone Use - Cell Phone City

Kids must code on iPads

iPad Wells continues to amaze me! Check out this latest post about coding using the iPad!

EDUWELLS

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An important 21st Century skill

This post is about a topic and app close to my heart. Computer programming is the engine of modern life and dream maker for tens of thousands. More and more countries are introducing the subject as compulsory schooling at surprisingly young ages. The UK is introducing a national school programme in september this year whilst also funding yearofcode.org to increase momentum. Code.org is pushing an international message with big-name endorsement. Even small countries like Estonia have their 5-year-olds taking their first steps into logical problem solving. A site I’ve used for years is codecademy.com

estonia codeWhat learning to code offers young people.

Even I was surprised at how much my students have enjoyed their first experience of coding this year. In a number of ways, coding offers a ideal learning experience. Students receive immediate feedback from any attempt and can see the results of their endeavours…

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5 Tips for Classroom Management with Mobile Devices

This is reblogged from the original post at Edudemic and is the premise of presentation I will be leading in November at Miami Device.

When adopting technology in the classroom, one of the key concerns for teachers and administrators is classroom management. I am often asked if there is a way to “lock down an iPad screen” or “ensure students cannot go to inappropriate websites” (e.g. Social Media). In other words, how do we keep students on task and ensure that they are not distracted by the novelty of gadgets or communicating with friends via texting or social media? Often, teachers will take up devices (such as mobile phones) to avoid the issue of students texting or checking Facebook on their phones (eliminating access to a powerful, pocket computer in the process).

Classroom management is a challenging skill which I consistently strive to improve on a regular basis. Often, people believe that managing a classroom that has employed technology requires a whole new approach and skill set. However, I have found that many traditional methods of classroom management readily translate to the technological rich schoolroom – with some slight modification.

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Establish Ground Expectations

Just as I start out the school year with “Class Rules” that we make and agree to as a group, we also establish expectations for when we use technology. The general topics are: civility, staying on task, and adhering to the honor code. In reality, this is no different than I would expect in a non-technology classroom. The one additional rule that I add, as it pertains to smart phones, is that when not in use they are to sit, face-down on the desk in front of them. I have found that having students “put them away” can create temptation and they are more likely to “sneak a peek” at them from a pocket or a sleeve. However, if the phone is always face-down on the desk in front of them, they are less prone to “sneak a peek” at a text from a friend or check their Facebook status and are more likely to stay on task when employing it during my lessons.

In addition to establishing expectations, you may also want to ensure that you lay out consequences for violating your established policies – this can be loss of technology privilege, a note home, confiscation of the device, meeting with the Dean, or whatever else you decide is necessary in order to ensure that everyone understands what is expected of them and the natural consequences of violating them.

Let them “Get the Giggles Out”

If I’m introducing a new tool, app, piece of software, or device, I often give students some time to “get the giggles out.” For example, if we are using Today’s Meet to do a Backchannel, they have 2 minutes to say hello to all of their friends. If we are using iMovie on iPad, I will encourage them to make one silly video before they delve into the assignment. Some of the problems of using new technology arise from the novelty of the device. Let students get past the initial excitement so that they can be more focused when they delve into their work.

Engagement is Key

I will be the first to argue that as educators we are not entertainers. Lessons should be engaging and require students to stay on task at a solid pace in order to complete them. Ensure that the assignment requires students to stay engaged; this can include playing to their passions, setting firm due dates for assessment, and scaling the assignment for students who finish faster. Students become bored when they are not challenged or find their assignments meaningful and engaging.

One of my favorite uses of cell phones during the class, for example, is to engage in bell-ringer exercises (activities students must complete at the start of class) or exit-tickets (something they must complete before leaving). Using an app like Socrative, students can use their mobile phone to complete a brief activity that is then assessed. Not only does it keep them focused on a task, but it provides meaningful assessment for the teachers to gauge student progress.

Get the two Eyes, two Feet App

Carl Hooker, an educational technology innovator on the cutting edge, coined the phrase “the two eyes, two feet app” in response to faculty and administration concerned about inappropriate use on cell phones, tablets, and/or laptops. The biggest shift for educators when technology enters the classroom is that you cannot be static or stable. The best way to ensure that students stay on task is to walk around the room, look at the work they are doing, discuss and engage with them about their progress. The more active and mobile you are in the classroom, the easier it is to ensure that your students are on working on what they should be. If you notice that children are quickly closing browsers windows when you come near or “double tapping” the home button on their iPad (a sign that they’re switching apps) then take the time to investigate what the student is doing and have a discussion with them if necessary.

Know When to put the Technology Away

Even though I am the Director of Educational Technology, my classes are never “all tech all the time.” Sometimes, it is not appropriate to use technology for an assignment or activity in class. In those cases, the technology goes away – in fact, I’ve been known to collect cell phones during certain activities (like mid-term exams or quizzes). Use the appropriate tool for the appropriate context – and sometimes that is a pencil and paper. Beth Holland and Shawn McCusker wrote a great article on this topic entitled “When to Put the Tech Away in a 1:1 Classroom.” As Shawn argues, when technologies interfere with class culture, it’s time to put the tech away!

Overall, classroom management is an organic and individual process. You must find what works for you and with what students. I will admit that I have classes that are easier to keep on task than others, students that are more readily distracted than their peers, and activities that just do not succeed as I hoped. At the end of your activity, pause, assess, and adjust as needed!

Jennifer Carey will be presenting a workshop on “Mobile Devices and Classroom Management” this November at Miami Device. Space is limited and filling up fast! 

I’m Excited to Attend the iPad Summit in San Diego

I am so excited for the inaugural West Coast iPad Summit in beautiful San Diego. I have attended all of the iPad Summit since the program’s inception in Massachusetts. Although labeled an “iPad Conference,” it really is a place for professional educators to discuss innovation, creativity, and the future of education in the realm of mobile computing. At past summits, I’ve had the privilege of seeing prominent Keynote speakers, Tony Wagner (the father of innovation in education), Ruben Puentedura  (the father of the SAMR model), the esteemed Jenny Magiera (Ed Tech Pioneer), and many others. I always walk away with new connections and renewed excitement and energy.

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 8.27.58 AMThis February’s conference promises to be another exciting experience. With keynote speakers Audrey Watters and Mizuko Ito, I’m excited to be further inspired. I will also be presenting on my experiences of retroactively managing an iPad program – in other words, starting with a program and then reigning it in after the fact! Additionally, I have the esteemed privilege of being the official blogger of the conference! I have live blogged all of my experiences at the iPad conference.

You can read my previous live blog posts here.

I will be in another live-blog competition again with Beth Holland. If you would like to see how we do it, check out our article: “5 Great Live-Blogging Tips.”

The conference is February 4-5, with a pre-conference workshop day on February 3. There is still some space left (although the last three conferences have sold out and this one is on track to do the same) and early bird pricing ends January 10. I hope to see you there!

You can register for the iPad Summit San Diego 2014 here.

Mobile Phones in the Classroom

This is reblogged from EDIM. I was interviewed by Mr. Hocking about my experience using cell phones in the classroom. This article is based off of my previous post, “Teaching with SmartPhones.”

Jennifer Carey is the Director of Educational Technology and High School History Teacher atRansom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Florida.  She graciously granted me a 30+ minute interview via Skype on the topic of cell phones in the classroom.  To further engage myself with this week’s theme of cell phones in the classroom, I conducted the interview and typed up this blog post on my cell phone (#bonuspoints @teach42).  I did, however, record it in GarageBand on my MacBook Pro so that I could go back if I missed anything.  I’ll have to look into a good mobile phone recording app.

The reason I chose Ms. Carey for the interview is because of this article I found when I was searching for people to interview.  She seemed to be quite the advocate for using any technology in the classroom.  As a matter of fact, she attended the EdTechTeacher iPad Summit in Boston, MA this past week.

The first question I asked was, “What prompted you to try using cell phones in the classroom?”  She responded by stating… Mobiles in the Classroom.

Green Screen AppSmashing

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 6.52.01 PMA few months ago I shared a great article entitled “App Smashing!” by Greg Kulowiec. Check out his follow up, AppSmashing using Green Screen Video! Check out his post here:

Green Screen AppSmashing.