Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blog Post #5

Teaching With Technology

The iSchool Initiative

Travis Allen has made 2 incredible videos. He made the first one, The iSchool Initiative, when he was 17 as a high school senior in Georgia. In this video he presents a new "smart" way to teach and learn, all done through an iTouch. We know that school is expensive. When you add up all the costs of the things students need like calculators, books, agendas, backpacks, and put that with the things needed to maintain a classroom like ink cartridges, maps, paper, and projectors, it ends up costing the student a lot of money. Travis points out that if we were to move to iSchool, which is about $150 per student, on the iTouch, it would save each student about $600.

iSchool is an innovative new way to teach and learn. Picture a classroom with no paper going in or out, no books, and no pencils. iSchool incorporates app that are already available to you on the iTouch. Let's explore some of these apps. Email allows students, teachers, and parents send and receive assignments and track due dates. World Wiki can replace all maps and globes, and formulae provides students with all math and science formulas normally found in a textbook. The app recorder allows you to record lectures and lessons, and Notes lets let you take notes of course. Both of these allow you to listen to or read lessons later on or send them to a classmate. Classics allows you access library, school, or books of any kind. Simply select the chapter and start reading. Other helpful apps include chemical touch, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Presidents, Star Walk, graphing and scientific calculators, calendar, and iHomework. All this could produce huge savings for students and schools.

I think this a great a idea to cut costs and improve education. If everyone got on board, iSchool could be a revolutionary tool. I had no idea that all these apps existed. I plan to start using them to better my education now. Hopefully, in the near future more schools will embrace the iSchool Initiative. For more information on iSchool check out Travis Allen's second video ZeitgeistYoungMind's Entry.

Virtual Choir

Everyone stop what you are doing right now and go watch Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir. Now realize that these people have never met and this was put together entirely through the internet. Now I bet you're in awe. I know I certainly am. It is amazing the things internet allows you to do. You can communicate and produce videos(or anything really) like this with people from all over the world without leaving your desk. The technology we have today is so powerful, and just think, it is improving everyday!

Teaching in the 21st Century

Kevin Roberts' video, Teaching 21st Century Students, was definitely an attention grabber. Roberts says teachers are no longer the source of information, but the filter. I think in many ways this is coming true. He says that students can find whatever they want whenever they by means of the internet and it's various sites. Roberts thinks teachers should show their students how to handle and use the information they find from other sources. We should focus on providing our students with the skills they need.

I agree with Roberts. Times are changing and school is not like how it used to be. Teachers need to evolve with the technology. As teachers, our role should be to provide skills and knowledge on how to utilize the information students are acquiring from other sources. Technology is a wonderful thing. We should take advantage of what it has to offer. Technology and the internet can ENGAGE the students with interactive lessons and materials for homework and projects. As a 21st century teacher, I am going to do my best to incorporate all aspects of technology into my lessons, it can only benefit my students. Think of the possibilities.

Flipped Classrooms

Katie Gimbar posted a great video about flipping her classroom, Why I Flipped My Classroom. I think flipping your classroom is a great idea! I would absolutely use this method of teaching. It allows your students to move at their own pace but still be able to help every single one of them as needed. In Flipping the Classroom by Dr. Lodge McCammon, he points out that there is too much lecturing going on in the classroom. He says this is inefficient, not engaging, and a one shot deal. However, when you flip your classroom and have lectures online, it allows your students to view them as many times as needed and post questions. The students work at their own pace, and more time is spent applying concepts in the classroom rather than lecturing on them.


  1. Hey Ashley.

    I have enjoyed reading your blog. These posts are all about how technology is changing the classroom. I agree that the iSchool really could cut costs. Even if everything isn't done on an iTouch, it could still be used for a lot.

    I was also amazed by that virtual choir. It is amazing how far technology and the internet have come. It is a goal of mine too to try and incorporate as much technology into my lessons as I can. Students need to learn at a young age how to use various types of technology.

    Your blog was very interesting to read. Good luck on the rest of your posts and projects!

  2. Travis Allen and his iSchool team are making huge strides in improving our school systems!