Archive for June, 2013

Online instruction, all the time

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

I graduated from Michigan State University with a grade-point average a shade above a 3.0.

I lived on campus my entire time as an MSU student and I really enjoyed living in East Lansing.

But I’m performing much better, grade-point wise, as a graduate student in the Eastern Michigan University Education Media and Technology online program. Sure, I don’t have as heavy a course load as I had as an undergrad, but I feel I am given more time to complete tasks. It also feels to me like I’m retaining more information that I will be able to use in the future.Since I started the EDMT online masters program in August 2011, I’ve often wondered why there hasn’t been a push for more online instruction at the high school level? I don’t think online instruction could be implemented at any lower level, simply because I believe children in grades K-8 are still developing other skills (social, motor, etc.).

But could online instruction work with high school students?

Feel free to leave your comments in the section below.

Having fun in EDMT 330

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

You can tell that the semester is coming to an end. Last Thursday, my undergraduate students – EDMT 330 class – make a Harlem Shake video.

(Not sure what a Harlem Shake is? I didn’t either until they told me. Take a look at our version and you’ll see why I can’t give you a definition.)

Check out our video. Maybe you can have a bit of fun with your students and video tape them doing a Harlem Shake.

Enjoy your summer!

Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still at School: Instead, help them channel their energy into productive tasks

Friday, June 21st, 2013
Image courtesy of stockimages at

Image courtesy of stockimages at

While going through my email I came across a very interesting article in The Atlantic written by JESSICA LAHEY who is an English, Latin, and writing teacher in Lyme, New Hampshire. She writes about education and parenting for The New York Times and on her site, Coming of Age in the Middle. Ms. Lahey’s article is titled Stop Penalizing Boys for not Being Able to Sit Still at School: Instead, help them channel their energy into productive tasks.

As an educator who taught middle and high school and a parent of a high energy boy I found the article to be quite informative and in alignment with my thinking of how we should work with high energy boys in the classroom versus how they are too often dealt with (e.g., suspension, isolation, send them out of the room or just ignoring them).

How do you work with boys who can’t sit still in your classroom?

How receptive are teachers to learning and teaching new technologies?

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

I graduated high school in 1999.

My high school was far behind others in terms of implementing new technology. My high school didn’t have a computer lab until 1998. We didn’t have Internet access until winter 1999.

Teachers at my high school, Inkster High School — which at the time was one of the poorer districts in the state of Michigan — were not very receptive to teaching new concepts related to technology.

The one computer class offered at Inkster High at the time only taught the basics — where to position hands in front of a keyboard, words typed per minute, etc. That meant the instructors who taught the courses didn’t have to learn any new concepts.

I know professional development days are used now as a way for experts to educate teachers on new technology, such as new hardware and software, but how receptive are teachers to learning new forms of technology?

I’m not yet a teacher, but I would like to think I would enjoy the chance to learn new concepts. There are countless benefits in learning new things, such as maintaining your livelihood and making yourself more marketable.

My question is: how do teachers react to being made to learn new technology concepts? What are some of the motivations teachers have to learn new technology? Is it strictly about livelihood? Do teachers genuinely enjoy teaching and learning new concepts?

Feel free to answer those questions in the comments section.

Teens and Smart Phones

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

These are among the new findings from a nationally representative Pew Research Center survey that explored technology use among 802 youth ages 12-17 and their parents. Key findings include:

  • 78% of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half (47%) of them own smartphones. That translates into 37% of all teens who have smartphones, up from just 23% in 2011.
  • 23% of teens have a tablet computer, a level comparable to the general adult population.
  • 95% of teens use the internet.
  • 93% of teens have a computer or have access to one at home. Seven in ten (71%) teens with home computer access say the laptop or desktop they use most often is one they share with other family members.

The slow and steady increase in the number of teens using smartphones will add yet another layer of preparation for future (and current) teachers.