There’s an App for That!

This morning I received an email from a parent alerting me to the Sunday Magazine at the NYTimes. Two great articles she referenced were about how rote memorization for some things (like math facts) aren’t really that bad, and how exercise helps kids’ intelligence.

The Sunday Magazine this past weekend was the “Education Issue” and it featured some great articles on technology. One of my favorite interactive pages is the history of technology in schools ranging from the horn-book in the 1650s to the ipad. This is the first year I have not only a mounted projector in my classroom, but an interactive whiteboard. I set it up to play with it before I left school this evening and it’s a neat tool. But that’s all it is. I think that while I’m lucky to be in a classroom with some new tools, one has to be careful to limit its use. Also to recreate content for every lesson would be unsustainable. Learning when to use technology as a tool to help learners achieve more and when it is not helpful is key.

Speaking of technology, I found a really cute app for the iphone today. The Flat Stanley project has an app where you can choose from one of six Flat Stanleys and use your cell phones camera to take the photo with Stanley in it. You can move, pinch, or zoom Stanley anywhere on the photo. It’s a fun app, but it’s not the same as decorating your own FS and sending him off around the world. Nonetheless, it’s a great app, and I’m glad people are thinking of ways to develop technology for the classroom.

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2 thoughts on “There’s an App for That!

  1. am reading disrupting class, a powerful counterpoint to tech in schools. i hope you can read it next. i’d also like to figure out a way to go past text sharing to dialogue, an interest you have xpressed often, cf. reeves. maybe another oprah like chat with fac? if i assign it, i run the nurtureshock risk. oy.
    (typed with baby:))

    • I’ve read that book. It didn’t sit well with me, but I see it happening already – even in the elementary school setting. I just read an article about online schooling in California and NPR had a piece about it last week. Perhaps I need to take another look at the book. Dialogues are good as long as there are good moderators otherwise it can easily go from discussion and debate to a litany of complaints, and I know I can go to the latter easily without the moderation. What I don’t want to do is fill people’s inbox with an article in the hopes that one will read it. They usually don’t these days as email has become a portal for so many other things (like this reply, for example).

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