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Posts tagged ‘cell phones in school’

Apple Factory Lesson; Middle School Computer Lessons

Apple Factory Lesson; Middle School Computer Lessons

There was recently a story on ABC news about the factory in China that produces iPods, iPods and other apple products. It is less than 20 minutes long and my class was glued to it like it was ICarley. This video shows the lives of the factory workers inside and outside of its walls.

A few things really stood out to me, like how most of my kids could not believe that iPods were made in china. Despite it saying on all Apple products “Designed in California made in China”, the majority of them thought they were made here.

Another thing was how most of the workers at the factory had never seen the finished product. They had never held an iPad before, despite working on them 12 hours a day and living at the factory. That is an interesting concept for kids to wrap their heads around. I told them it was like you work at McDonald’s but never ate the food.

After the video and a brief discussion I asked them to write about the following questions:

1. What are 3 reasons Chinese people want to work in the Apple factory?          2. What are 3 reasons someone would not want to work at the Apple factory?3. Would you want to work in the factory that makes Apple products? Explain why or why not in at least one paragraph.

I would love to hear your comments!

For more ideas visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com


Are Tablets the Future of Education? Middle School Computer Lessons

Are Tablets the Future of Education?

Not too long ago, I was convinced that Netbooks were the way to go for the future of education technology. I am not so sure any more. With the prices of tablets coming down significantly, tablets look better and better..

I feel that the Ipad is the Cadillac of all tablets, it is the best without question. However, with the soon to come tablet from Amazon, and dozens of competitors including all Android devices, tablets seem like a viable option to schools.

Some may say that BYOD “Bring Your Own Device” is the way to go. Maybe for high schools, but for middle schoolers a variety of devices is problematic for instruction.

Tablets are more and more attractive for several reasons: 1. Prices are falling; $200 per tablet could be the key for districts to move away from print books to a 1 to 1 tablet model. 2. Portability could make it easier for students to carry the device instead of a pile of books. 3. Tech savvy students would welcome tablets to replace bulky textbooks.

For materials/books/ebooks to use in your technology class visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

Cell Phones During the School Day?

Does your Middle School (JR. High) allow students to carry and use their cell phones during the school day? My school is currently trying this policy and I have a few reservations.

I do teach technology but I keep thinking that the bad outweighs the good. Here are a few reasons why:

-Uncensored content- The school has no say as to what students are looking at.

– Phone as a status symbol- Kids with more money can show off what they have.

– Devices getting lost or stolen.

– Use of the camera in a phone

-Posting on Facebook during the school day (Cyberbullying)

I do like the idea of then having phones but turned off and in a locker feels like the better solution.

I would love to hear your comments!

For the best middle school computer lessons visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com

Middle School Computer Lessons; Bring your own device

Middle School Computer Lessons; Bring your own device. For more ideas visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com or subscribe to this blog. I would like to hear your comments.

Texting Tuesday

I recently read an article about students bringing their own devices to the classroom. It sounds like a really good idea, but there are some roadblocks for the middle school classroom. Here are some issues that I have run into when I do my “Texting Tuesday” activity with my students.

Lets list the GOOD things first:

  • Students feel empowered when they bring their own device
  • They are more interested in the lesson initially; you have got their attention
  • In theory, every student has a device
  • You can get instant feedback
  • Students are engaged

Here are the issues that I have run into:

  • Not every student has a device
  • Device connectivity (no signal)
  • Battery life
  • Students do not know how to properly operate their device
  • all the devices are different
  • Students do not stay on task
  • Talking/noise

I am at a country school and our cell range is limited at best, so this is the biggest issue when I do a project like this. The problems outnumber the good things for my class. However, I feel that my class is the exception to the rule. I do see value in having students bring their own device. As technology improves I see this being used in the classroom. More so in the higher grades. As of now, I just do this project for one class in my 9 week course. But we do use cell phones in my NXT Robotics projects and some other activities in my class (photos/calculator…).

I would love to hear your experience with this! Please comment!

Middle School Computer Lessons; Bring your own device. For more ideas visit www.middleschoolcomputerlessons.com or subscribe to this blog.

Middle school computer lessons, cell phones in school continued

Middle school computer lessons, cell phones in the classroom seem like a good idea…

More resources at: middleschoolcomputerlessons.com
My three year old wants to type…which brings up a whole other subject that I’ll address tomorrow. Here it is: ncdfgghhhjjiiklllkkjhbbhhjnbnlkknjj!)’vvvbb!’m,,,,,mmjbvvvcccxxzsdegweerrtyjkkkkghjjjkkkkmm’mg hvavvaxbbvkj’,j,,h, j,jjj.kkkk.k.k..k..jj.$$j$mm$$$&$)))(gggllm

I recently read an article about how kids can operate an Ipod before they can tie their shoes, in my house that is certainly the case…

But more about cell phones in the classroom: In my 6,7 and 8th computer class I recently tried out the whole idea of using the cell phone as a tool in class. I learned a lot from the students and how you could use this in a lesson.

So, out of about 125 kids I found that about %60 percent were able to bring phones to my class. In some classes the number was as high as %85 and as low as %45. surprisingly, the 6th grade kids had a higher percentage than the 8th graders. It is neet to see and discuss the wide array of phones that were in the class. From Track Phones to Android ones. And surprisingly not one Iphone. I did bring in my Ipad to show the class and it was a surprising big hit. THere were “OOHSSS and AHHHSSS” when I presented it.

So the lesson was a basic introduction to the cell phone in the classroom idea. First we went around and showed our phones and discussed our likes and dislikes and service plans. Next, we discussed how our service was in my room. Here was the first snag, I get no reception on mine, roaming sometimes. So some kids that had phones could not use them because of reception others had them and had  a signal (mostly Verison). This lesson will be available soon on Middleschoolcoputerlessons.com. First, I had them text my email and see who was able to do that. Most kids with signals were able to do this. It was pretty cool to see work. Then we did 10 challenges about using the phone, like using a calculator, playing music and texting challenges.

Overall, I would give myself a C+ for teaching this lesson for the first time. I am going try it again with my 4th nine week students and make some improvements. Here is the thing about it, just because technology is out there doesn’t mean it has a good use in a classroom. Cell phones could work in some situations in a classroom. But, you ger 25 kids with 25 different phones/plans/signal strength and skill levels, the educational value diminishes…. But I am not giving up just yet. I do think that I could teach 1 day of cell phone activities per semester.

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