Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the Classroom

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In this video presented by Mobile Learning Institute, Alan tours his hometown of Marblehead, MA and comments on the historical global vision of his community.

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Alan challenges us to think about the emerging role of “student as contributor” and to globalize our curriculum by linking students with authentic audiences from around the world. (For more on this topic read Alan’s article, Students as Contributors: The Digital Learning Farm.

He also discusses three myths regarding the impact of technology on student learning:

Myth #1: Technology is going to be the great equalizer of society.
In reality, technology is actually polarizing society.

Myth #2: The Internet is going to provide a diversity of opinion. We will have an input of ideas from around the world and generally have a better educated society.
In reality, people are going to the web to get their “version” of the truth.

Myth #3 Technology is going to make kids smarter.
In reality, it’s a distraction. Overall we are missing out on critical thinking.


Questions:
1. What types of real jobs can we give our students? Share your stories.

2. What do you think about Alan’s concept of authentic work and the shift of control from teacher-centered classrooms to student-centered?

3. What are your thoughts on the three myths? Do you have any myths of your own?

Tutorial – Introducing Poll Everywhere

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Poll EverywherePoll Everywhere (http://www.polleverywhere.com) is a service that allows groups of individuals to vote within user-generated polls using a mobile phone’s text messaging capability or a simple web form. This system has quickly become a part of major presentations given by Microsoft, Cisco, MIT and more because of its ability to capture an audience’s thoughts and understandings at a given moment in time. This reason alone makes Poll Everywhere a powerful classroom tool.

We have created a new handout on our resources page which can be viewed and downloaded here. For a brief introduction to the Poll Everywhere service, we have created a video that is available on TeacherTube and YouTube.

Do Educators Need to be Entertainers?

I was recently watching last year’s PBS Frontline episode entitled Growing Up Online with a group of teachers in New York. One teacher in the movie stated that, “[Educators] almost have to be entertainers.” This statement led to a great deal of discussion in the session. It was so interesting that I thought I would post the question here as well. Do today’s students and our fast-paced, interactive world require us to be entertainers? What do you think?

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