Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Educational Technology

Educational technology is becoming more and more common in schools and this is a great thing. School officials, parents, principles and teachers all know that educational technology helps a student to learn more, learn faster and become more organized students. The limits are endless what a student can learn by successfully integrating educational technology into their studies. If they are taught in school how to use the Internet and educational technology to better their education, then they will be very prosperous in school. It's important for teachers to incorporate educational technology into classrooms not only because of the educational benefits that come from becoming very familiar with using technology as an educational tool, but because students respond well to technology.

Children now are run more by technology than ever, their wish lists went from bikes, baseballs and basketball hoops to Nintendo's, cell phones and laptops. Children love technology and the unlimited opportunities of entertainment it gives them, so why not add it into schools to keep kids excited and wanting to learn? Technology helps a lot to organize students, whether it be on the computer, saving documents to different folders, creating organized and clearly written essays or utilizing any of Microsoft's programs to enhance their document skills, educational technology helps children to become more organized. Since children love technology so much and use it so frequently a nonprofit group, Netday wanted to compose a survey to all school aged kids about technology and how it would influence them in their schooling. The survey was only supposed to last one day, it was called Speak Up Day, but because of the tremendous response they extended the survey to one week.

Officials were not surprised that children love technology and would like to see more of it, they already knew that when introducing technology into the classrooms in the past, it always caught the student's attention and got them interested. These days it requires a lot ore to be able to get students to focus and be interested in a classroom setting because of the immense amount of technological distractions that could b taking place, whether it is them texting on their cell phone, playing games on their cell phone, using handheld video game devices, listening to an iPod, or even other students doing any of these things, it causes distractions in the classroom and they don't get everything they should be out of the lesson that is being taught. By introducing the educational technology, students will put their handheld entertainment devices away and be interested to learn and see what the new technological devices can do.

In the survey what surprised school officials and the non-profit organization, Netday, who organized the survey, was that students not only wanted more educational technology, but also were coming up with ways to earn the money for the schools being able to equip their classrooms with more technology. This was surprising to the school officials because students not only wanted the technology but that wanted to help raise money by doing fundraisers to financially help equip their schools. This shows how important technology is to our students and children, we need to start giving them incentives to raise money for technology and help the schools to become more technologically equipped.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Educational Technology for Students With Special Needs

As many of you know, my journey down the organizing road started with my son. My constant search to find ways to untangle his school world led me to uncover many tools available on the technology systems he uses every day. Who knew that his iPad and iTouch would become his constant companions!

iPad Apps

More and more schools are allowing students to use their iPads and iPod Touches in the classrooms, and therefore these types of educational applications are growing by leaps and bounds. For students with special needs specifically, check out iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch Apps for Special Education, a list compiled by assistive technology specialists and broken down by category such as math, writing, art, etc. These apps are truly life changing for the special needs student.

Also be sure to check out "The iPad: a Near-Miracle for My Son with Autism". Written from a mother's perspective about her autistic son's use of assistive technology and educational apps. She offers great suggestions and even videos of her son using various apps.

There are also many apps available to middle and high school students on their iPads that help make learning interactive and engaging. The Elements(exploring the Periodic Table), and Alien Equation(games that teach math skills), are just some of the apps that students might enjoy.

There are so many new educational apps appearing every day that it would be prudent to check out reviews first, particularly ones that teachers have put their stamp of approval on. I Education Apps Review has a collection that should help you get started.

Cell Phone Apps For Students with ADHD

I spend a lot of my time working with high school students to assist them with paper and time management skills. The learning has really been a two-way process as my students are always sharing with me their favorite cell phone features that benefit their learning, time management, and study skills. Other than the basics, such as calendars and alarms, here are some of their favorites:


Do I need to say more? If they are allowed to carry their phone to class, then using the camera feature to snap photos of the blackboard or SMART Board after class will ensure that they don't miss important class notes or assignments. In addition, photos can also serve as a useful visual reminder of what a student needs to get done. For instance, a photo of the student's soccer gear laid out will act as a reminder of what needs to be packed up before heading off to practice.

Text Messaging

Yes, you heard me correctly. Students can use Google SMS to get definitions, facts, and conversations sent directly to their phones. Online to-do lists such as Remember the Milk (Love!) can send alerts or an instant message reminding students of an upcoming project, deadline, test or appointment. Students can even receive flashcards and study materials directly to their phone allowing them to study wherever they are.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Teachers Learn a Lesson in Education Technology

Teachers from school districts all over the state of Kansas attended a workshop last month to receive an education of their own in education technology. At the workshop, they learned about the Discovery Education Network, a "global community of educators passionate about teaching with digital media." New forms of education technology have made their way into classrooms across the country, and are benefiting students and teachers alike. By using technology to engage their students in the classroom environment, teachers can hold their attention better and prepare them for future use of technology, either in school or a career.

Dean Mantz works as the technology integration and network coordinator for the Sterling school district in Kansas. In his tenure, Mantz has watched school technology specialists become increasingly involved in the development of new educational tools, as well as education technology instruction. Mantz himself worked as a teacher for 14 years. He said that today, "teachers have to prepare children to eventually work in a technology-advanced world."

Younger generations of students who have grown up with Internet access learn and even think differently than their parents, who were only exposed to the traditional learning methods of textbooks and lectures in school. Research has been conducted to study the change in generation, and head scans actually show changes in brain activity from parent to technologically advanced child.