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Check Out Mmike5150’s Teacher Profile

The need for a digital footprint seems to have really come to life over the past several years.  Teachers, executives, parents…CHILDREN!  I have even seen some pets who have a profile.

http://www.switched.com/2010/08/06/humans-creating-facebook-profiles-for-their-pets/

 http://www.fnppets.com/pet_profiles/

 I hope you visit my professional profile…check out my digital footprint and see that it has information that parents and students (and even administration) would like to know.  The profile is professional…which is important.  These days it seems like more and more HR departments are going to personal profiles and web pages to make a final determination on job placment.

Take a look at my profile….if I was applying for a job, would you hire me?

http://mmike5150aboutme.wordpress.com/

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iPhone, uPhone, everybodyPhone!

OK…so this week I am going to discuss the topic of smart phones.  Obviously, with the presales of the iPhone 5 topping 2million orders this week alone, there is a need to discuss who actually “needs” a smart phone, as opposed to who just “wants” a smart phone. 

Businessmen/women–Does having a smart phone make you a better buisness man/woman?  Some might say, “It depends on the type of business”.  I think that having a smart phone makes for a better communicator, which in turn makes for a better business man/woman.  However, the actual smart phone does nothing.  If you have an innate ability to “close a deal” the need for a smart phone is not an issue.  And on the other side, if you are not a good business man/woman, a smart phone isn’t going to make the difference.  Smart phones can make it so that you can check e-mails on the go…but if you are a good business person, you can wait until you get to the office to check your email.  The contacts (names and numbers) on a phone are more important than the features of a phone.  A good business person can use the old-school flip phone with an address book and be able to communicate with clients in a way that would foster good business practices.  No.  A good business person does not NEED a smart phone.  Perhaps it might make communication with clients a bit easier, but it is not a necessity.

Students–Does a smart phone make you a better student?  NO!!!!!  A “good student”…a “successful student” will be a solid student with or without a smart phone.  For decades we have gotten around without smart phones…and students have performed just fine.  Owning a piece of technology does not a better student make.  And, let’s face it…most school districts do not allow phones to be used in class.  My school has a strict “if we see it, we take it” policy.  Then we have to deal with upset and angry parents…”why did you take my son/daughter’s cell phone?”  It is a battle that is just not worth the fight.  In this case, students do NOT need a smart phone…they want one.  They want one so that they can keep up with their peers.  They want the freshness of having the newest.  The latest.  The greatest.

So, then.  Who actually does benefit from owning a smart phone?  Apple…Verizon…AT&T.  And all of the other businesses who sell and support the services.

After it is all said and done, a smart phone is actually just a toy…a gadget…all connected to a phone.  I mean, with the popularity of text messages we are really just one step away from being back in the ages of the telegraph.  Communication has become so unpersonal.  If we are not going to actually SPEAK, there should be a “turn off phone” feature, or a “delete phone” app.

That being said…yes, I own a smart phone.  Does it make me a better teacher?  Nope.  I consider myself a pretty effective teacher…and I don’t even use my smart phone at work.  Does my smart phone make me a better graduate student?  Nope.  I study hard and put in the hours of work necessary.

What my smart phone does, however, is make me a better communicator. I can keep in touch with my wife.  It gives me piece of mind when I travel (I can call AAA if needed).

So, iPhone…do uPhone?

Image from http://www.cerneaworld.com/2012/06/smartphone-6-technologies-that-will.html

Image Block-Try Again!

In my classroom I like to try and use technology as the teacher as much as I can.  But what’s more, is that I encourage my students to use it even more.  I want them to use different search engines to locate resources when writing about “change” in my class.  I want them to use images when they are working on a joint social studies/language arts assignment.  These are great thoughts.  My peers understand this…my administrators understand this…the parents of my students understand this.

So what’s the issue?  Frustration is the issue.

We are expected to prepare our students to be connected to the world in this global age…

Businessman Connect World

Image from: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Business_People_g201-Businessman_Connect_World_p70469.html

I want to know why my school district has such stringent blocks on internet sites at school.  I get it…students have to be supervised while using the computers.  And I get it…before I allow students the freedom to search I need to tell them about appropriate search engines and procedures.  And yet still, if my students want to get images of the Panama Canal they are abruptly stopped when they try to cut/past or save an image.

Last week, using the Diigo assignment, I was able to find “ways around” the blocked images.  But I feel like I am doing something wrong (and I probably am).

If Bill Gates can give school districts millions and millions of dollars to find better ways of evaluating teachers (which is an entirely different conversation), why can’t he give a fraction of that to find a way where my students are not stonewalled when they are searching for images.  And I’m not just talking about clip art.

If you are a teacher, I would like to know what your thoughts are.  Does your school/district have strict policies?

A penny for your thoughts.

Image from http://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/2010/04/coin_production.php

Free Stuff For Teachers

You know,

No one goes into education for the money.  And if anyone tells you otherwise, I’d say HOGWASH (yes, I just said hogwash).  The job is one which is both emotionally rewarding…and emotionally draining.  What other job has you doing 70+ hours of work each week, but only pays you for 40?  What other job allows 12 year old kids to tell you off?  And look at the debt-to-tuition ratio… If you are like me, and had to take out student loans to pay for undergraduate school, you know the importance of saving a buck or two.
“Oh, but you get summers off…”

Yeah, but did you realize that teachers do not get paid for those summer months?  Ok, so teachers don’t have to request time off for the major holidays…or nights…or weekends.

 

There are a few perks….

Sea World gives teachers a planning pass (free annual pass)

The Florida Aquarium gives teachers a planning pass (free admission)

Here is a website that offers some free stuff…

http://www.kalama.com/~zimba/freeforteachers.htm

 

If you know of any other “FREE” things for teachers…in Orlando, Tampa…or all of Florida (heck, anywhere, for that matter)…toss them on here.

 

Shift Happens – Check it out!

To be successful in the 21st century (and beyond…why limit our thoughts to the immediate future) students need to feel comfprtable with what they are doing.  I think one of the best things that we, as teachers, can do is start exposing our students to Web 2.0 in early grades (K-2)…and dare I say even earlier (pre-K).

The video we watched stated that jobs students of today will have are not even invented yet… It stated that students today will never live in an “un-connected” world.

 

The video we saw was more based on Iowa…. this link is one based on the United States:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVQ1ULfQawk

The statistics are mind-blowing!  The very first slide compares YOU to China…. “If you were one in a million in China there would be 1300 of you”….CRAZY!!!!!  This really makes you think about how important the field of educational technology really is.

 

On the topic of our Chapter 1 reading I had a comment to make:

 

E-Readers…What is the take on this wonderful resource at your school (for those who have a class of their own)?  My school has a zero tolerance for electronic devices; cell phones, iPods, iPads, Nook Readers, digital cameras, etc.  I took a class last spring and learned that smart phones are going to become more and more important in the lives of middle school and high school students.  How can we address this issue with our districts?

I’m all for electronics in the class.  I also understand the frustration involved.  What do you do with those students who can’t afford them? How do you stop the age-old issue of theft? How can you ensure that students are not “playing” during instruction?  We could debate and discuss the pros and cons all day long.

I would be happy to read any comments you have!

Mike

iPad Thoughts

I was considering getting my 4 year old son a used iPad.  He LOVES “playing’ with my iPhone.  Even if the apps are not ‘educational”, I still like the idea of exposing him to technology.  My wife is hesitant, thinking that he would just be using it for games and such.  When I was growing up my mother would tell me that too much Pac-Man would make my brain turn to mush.  Will too much iPad turn his brain to mush?

 

I also think that (maybe) my wife thinks the iPad will be more for ME, than him.

Perhaps this is true.

🙂

New to Blogs

Here is my new blog page.  I’m not too sure what to post…  🙂

Looking forward to a great semester.

M-N