Every day people are developing a smart phone can do more and more. I am just waiting for the app that can fold my laundry for me. Until then you may want to check out this article about turning the smartphone into a powerful microscope. Scientists are working to develop a lens, similar to a contact lens, you can attach to your smartphone to make it a microscope. It looks like the cost to manufacture such a lens would be around 3 cents.
- Stacey J. Dudzinski
I heard a quote the other day, "The phone your students are using now will be the most obsolete device they will ever have." Interesting to think about. We work so hard trying to provide students the latest and greatest but the truth is technology moves so fast we can not possibly provide them with the most current technology available. This presents us with a dilemma. We can train teachers to work the newest devices and navigate the most up-to-date software but this cycle is never ending. Professional development on a single program or device is not worth our teachers' time. Instead we should not focus on the tool, but the teaching. How can we affect pedagogy no matter which tool we use? There are hundreds of programs for creating a blended learning course, most with only slight variations. Let's show teachers the fundamentals of what makes an instructionally sound blended class and let them use the help button to find out where the calendar is. What ever 21st century teaching model we are presenting: flipped classroom, online discussions, project based learning, gamification, interdisciplinary learning, etc. we should focus on the pedagogy not the product. The tools change day to day but good teaching practices remain for years to come.
Crowley ISD students use technology everyday to learn new skills and prepare for their future. Our first ever Technology Expo was a chance for us to show parents and community all the amazing learning we do. Thanks to all who participated in the 2015 Crowley ISD Technology Fair. Students and teachers both had an opportunity to showcase how our students gain college and career skills through the use of technology tools in the classroom. They demonstrated augmented reality, computer coding, robotics, engineering, interactive games, student built electronic projects, interactive whiteboards, multimedia projects and much more. Check out the picture and student projects at http://www.crowleyisdedtech.com/tech-expo-2015.html
New technologies appear every day. Once you get used to the new phone or social media site the next one pops up. It seems impossible to keep up with it all. While some teachers are ready to embrace change others are a little frightened of it. After all, you've been teaching a long time and you know what works. If it ain't broke, why fix it, right? The problem is the rest of the world doesn't hold to that. Change is inevitable as they say. Our students are inheriting a very different world than we grew up in (this could be a blog post in and of itself).
But just because things are new, doesn't mean they have to be scary. After all, everything was new once right. Televisions, cars, telephones, electricity were all new technology once. And for each one of these their were hold outs unwilling to change the way things always were done. I remember reading a story as a child about a woman in the early 1900's who refused to turn off her newly installed electric lights because she was afraid she would be electrocuted. After weeks of little sleep, someone came to turn them off for her. When I read this it seemed silly. Who would be afraid of what we now use everyday?
This is not to say that change isn't scary. It definitely is. All this means is we should all keep an open mind and allow ourselves to learners, too.
I came across these excellent photography tricks for your smart phone. Most of them will work on the school iPad as well. Have you ever wanted to zoom in more than the camera will let you? What about take a picture of something very small? Check it out.