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“Dumb” Phones, Smart Lessons

August 9, 2010 Leave a comment

I was received an article today by Colleen  Gillard, which appears in the Harvard Education Letter.

The article clearly identifies many solid reason to reconsider the common notion that cell phones are bad and should be banned from our schools.

The article reminds me of a point Will Richardson made during a keynote speech at a technology conference I attended a few years ago.  While I cannot quote him directly I do recall the essence of his message.

He started out by asking if we (the audience members) banned cell phone use in schools by our students.  The vast majority of the audience members acknowledged affirmatively.

Will then queried the audience about why the use of cell phones in class is not allowed by students.  The responses were exactly what one would expect.  Audience members called out things such as “cheating”, “surfing the web”, “txting.”  He in turn responded something to the effect of “Oh, so we do not want them, researching, collaborating or communicating while they work?”

You get the point.

LI Tech Summit 2009

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Attending the Long Island Tech Summit.

Will Richardson just provided a very thought provoking keynote address.  Check out his blog at http://weblogg-ed.com/. Will introduced many of the attendees to Diingo.

David Warlick, the second keynote speaker at today’s event just showed a great site he only became aware of in the last 24 hours.  Check out Trendsmap, to keep up to date on what’s happening where on Twitter.

Later today, I am participating on a panel discussion on the use of Google Apps in schools.  It was interesting to see David effortlessly and without fanfare or attention, integrate a Google docs worksheet into his presentation this morning.  You can check out a very new (not yet fully developed) Google Site I created as a central point for the roll out of our Polyvision Eno, as an example of the free tools available to educators.

Both speakers were very informative, of course.  More importantly they left all audience members questioning their beliefs, methodologies and practices concerning technology in their schools.  Questioning what technology is made available to their staff and students, and how that technology is currently being used.

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