Monday, November 12, 2012

Blog #4 - Project Tomorrow

Speak Up Study
I read Project Tomorrow's 2010 study of students and parents named The Three Es of  Education: Enabled, Engaged, Empowered. The study surprised me; it did not sound like any of the students or parents that I have worked with. It made me question the validity of the surveys. Are parents and students answering these questions honestly or are they answering them the way they think they should be answered? I was very surprised to learn that a majority of parents, across differing profiles, answered that they were willing to buy a mobile device and a data plan for their child to use at school.
I was not surprised that students would like to use their mobile devices in school. It also did not surprise me that students could find a way to make use their mobile devices productive tools for learning.
As a teacher I will use this information in an attempt to be be lenient and trusting of students' ability to use their devices wisely. I will follow a former professor's advice of allowing students the use of their mobile devices in class as long as the they are kept face up on the desk. I will give this strategy a trial run. If students are too distracted by the use of their devices and not able to focus on class work, I will remove the privilege.

Speak Up Video
I viewed the video titled Is Anyone Listening to Students? I was struck by the eloquence of the second student speaker when he said, "I would ask them to imagine a world where kids actually want to learn" in reference to the use of technology in the classroom.
I liked that the final student made a distinction between technology and the use of mobile devises. She insisted that mobile devises would provide too big a distraction for students but that internet access though personal computers in class were still valuable. I am forced to question whether or not students can exercise the self-control necessary to utilize their mobile devices for educational purposes while only minimally using it for non-educational purposes.

youthTEACH2Learn resources
I imagine this program would be fairly complicated to implement in any school site as it requires students to enroll in a class. Once I gained administrative support for the class, I would need to advertise and recruit students for the class and continually collaborate with elementary school teachers. The benefits of starting a Future Teachers organization would go beyond career preparation for future teachers. It would give students a hands format for refreshing their own skills in math and science, provide a sense of community in the classroom and towards the elementary students they teach, and develop professional skills.


  1. Hi Shilo!

    I thought that your comments on the report you read were very interesting! I recently heard about this method of allowing students to have their devices out on their desks as long as they are face up, and it really sounds like a great plan to me. And, I think that you are right, allowing them to have this ability to see their phones and use them during class is a privilege, which hopefully they will recognize and not abuse! I heard that the other person using this method has had a lot of success with allowing students to use the technology, but hasn't seen them abusing or being distracted by it! It's an interesting idea that I think we could try in our own classrooms!

  2. Hi Shilo!
    Have you given the mobile device thing a shot yet? I have thought about allowing my students to use their cell phone in class. I'm not sure if I would allow my student to have their cell phones out all the time.

    I agree that implementing the program would be quite difficult. However, there are many positive aspects to the program that would provide students with life long skills as well as the opportunity to look into a future career.