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.