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.
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.