ICE Presentation: Cellphones in the Classroom

ICE 2010 Cell Phones

Click on the image above to get the PDF version of the presentation today. The Keynote and Powerpoint versions are down below.  As always, your feedback is appreciated!

ICE 2010 Cell Phones — PPT (same presentation, different name)
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About jjanczak

A secondary social science teacher jumping into the world of education technology and trying to make classrooms centered around technology the rule, not the exception in the school systems.
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8 Responses to ICE Presentation: Cellphones in the Classroom

  1. Cynthia Karabush says:

    I tried this phonecasting tool that I learned about at the conference. If you click on the “MORE” button, you can view and make comments.

    http://www.ipadio.com/phlogs/CynthiaKarabush/2010/03/05/Ms-Karabushs-1st-phonecast

    Wouldn’t this be great for students to use their cell phones to record reflections on what they’re seeing/doing in the classroom, then comment on each other’s observations?

  2. I wanted to let you know that I have been attempting to respond to Michelle on the Innovative Educator’s blog regarding my comments about cell phone usage in the classroom. The fact that my responses have yet to be posted has nothing to do with any reluctance on my part.

    Essentially, I have stated that less expensive alternatives are readily available to organize a 17 year old’s life. I find it bordering on obscene that a 17 year old is given a $200 phone when a $25 dollar phone can do the same thing.

    Whatever happened to just buying a $5 notebook planner? When did that suddenly become inadequate?

    Texting is redundant. Group communications can be adequately served with BBS or something similar. Individual communications can be adequately handled with either traditional cell phone calls or email.

    We need to stop feeding this sickening need for instant gratification and that’s the only purpose texting really serves.

    Unless something has a practical and pragmatic purpose, then it’s not essential. Given the current economic climate, we need to teach kids to make do with less. Spending money on trendy gadgets is simply ignoring the obvious, that rampant materialism and consumerism is part of the reason why the world economy is in the tank.

  3. I’m wondering what was so objectionable about my post that it was deleted. I thought I made some very valid points, even though they aren’t what most people want to hear. I’m a teacher, not a shill for corporate America.

  4. Another thought, as teachers and scholars, aren’t we supposed to be soliciting and embracing dissenting views?

  5. You should read the research about the effects of electromagnetic fields on brain function. I have to let my parent role kick in to realize that in the hands of children, cell phones are inappropriate.

    The best teachers have engaging personalities and imaginations who know how to “work the room.” Teaching is a performance for them. Teachers with dull personalities and no imaginations need lots of tech fads to compensate for their deficits.

    You should read about the recent passing of a great teacher– Jaime Escalante. He didn’t need anything but a curriculum, his imagination, and his engaging personality.

    The “sage of the stage” theory works if the “sage” is captivating to listen to.

  6. jjanczak says:

    I really appreciate your insights Mark on cellphones in the classroom. It is refreshing to me to hear a different argument other than “well, what about sexting, inappropriate use, etc.” against the use of cellphones in the classroom.
    I don’t know why WordPress bounced your posts initially. I’ve been on Spring Break this past week and didn’t get a chance to respond to the blog until now – I hope you realize it had nothing to do with me.

    To ignore texting and tell kids that it is wrong is like we as teachers sticking our heads in the sand. Texting in our students world is omnipotent, and I feel it is our duty to embrace this next wave of technology and teach students how to use it for the common good. Do you find it obscene that parents in math classes shell out hundreds of dollars for a graphing calculator when a slide-rule, a compass and some graph paper does essentially the same thing? My point is, if there is new technology out there to make what we do easier then we owe it to our students to use it to make learning not only more realistic but also more applicable to their everyday lives.

    I disagree and am mildly offended by the fact that teachers with dull personalities and no imaginations are the ones needing tech fads to compensate for their deficits…is that to say any teaching using technology to engage students is weak and has no imagination? To reduce teaching to how you described it – “a performance” is to not only belittle the profession but take away what we are truly trying to do in the classroom. Yes, I am familiar with Jaime Escalante and was very impressed with what he was able to accomplish in the classroom. It must be noted that Mr. Escalante taught during a very different time period than we do now in terms of resources available for learning.

    The sage on the stage method works sometimes…but really we must ask ourselves what are we trying to accomplish in the classroom for our students? Are we there to fill them with all content presented in an entertaining fashion or are we there to allow students collaborate, grow, test hypothesis, challenge us and each other and develop skills needed to be successful in the jobs that they will have in the future?

    To quote Dewey: “If we teach students today like we did yesterday, we rob them of tomorrow…”

  7. I am dual certified in Elementary Education and Special Education in the Commonwealth of PA. I have been through two very thorough and intensive training curricula and what I’ve stated has been influenced by that training. We are directed to teach content based on state content standards, which are arrived at via scientifically based research. Your allusions to collaboration, growth, testing hypotheses, etc. are standard foundations of proper pedagogy that any properly trained teacher should follow out of reflex. They are the rule, not the exception. The “performance” aspect of teaching arrives directly from a few professors that I’ve had, all of whom spent decades on classrooms before teaching pre-service teachers at the university level.

    A graphic calculator and a cell phone do not exist on the same plane and comparing the two is faulty. A graphing calculator has a singular and practical purpose. A cell phone should have just the practical purpose of making phone calls only when necessary but kids, and sadly, many adults, have turned them into pop culture driven toys with needless and redundant applications. What’s obscene is seeing people walking around with these phones glued to their heads engaging in needless conversations simply for the fact that they can and not due any practical purpose.

    I’ve already stated that any function of a cell phone beyond making phone calls can be already done elsewhere, so latching on to them in the way you and others prescribe is to me, just a way to kowtow to adolescent and pop culture fads. The “they’re already on their phones anyway” is the same reason some people offer as a rationale for giving kids condoms. It’s not our job to submit to fads and pop culture driven trends. Pop culture represents the lowest form of consensus, as it encourages consumerist, superficial, and corruptive values and attitudes. We should be aspiring to a much higher plane. It’s correctly cited as part of the “dumbing down” of society and as teachers, we should be fighting it, not submitting to it.

    Plus, your reluctance to acknowledge the effects of EM fields is rather telling as well.

    I’m not anti-tech. I’ve used computers and smartboards in my classroom, plus other assistive technology for special needs. They do the job perfectly. I don’t need toys that Madison Avenue tells me I should have. I have a $25 cell phone and it does what it needs to do. I also don’t take my cues from people who run seminars and push their agendi and wares for profit. So the Pinks and the Sir Kens of the world are like snake oil salesmen in my estimation.

    Everything we do should have a practical and pragmatic motivation, otherwise, it shouldn’t be considered.

    The future? Who knows what they will be? The way this nation has been going in the last two years, I’m hedging my bets. We have ten per cent unemployment and people are losing their jobs and homes right and left. Bankruptcies are at an all-time high. Yet, what do I see? Lemmings lining up to buy a $500 toy from Apple. It’s really sick, the misplaced priorities so many of us have. And why? Because they take their cues from pop culture– “buy more, be happy.”

    Do you really think these are the values we should be teaching kids? Count me out!

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