Skip to main content

Conflict of Interest

When I opened today's Sunday paper, Verizon Wireless had taken out a full page advertisement with their back to school campaign that reads "Show and tell this. Conquer the classroom with these smart deals." Honestly I'm a bit flummoxed. Do people really believe that grades would improve simply by purchasing a blackberry? Do schools really allow kids to use their own netbooks and Android phones IN CLASS?

At our school, phones have been banned and have been confiscated. Netbooks are slowly showing up but are not allowed to access the network so they are really useless. I really think advertisers are just trying to create a perceived need to sell more product. One thing is for sure, if students show up with new tools, guess who will have to teach them how to use those tools. I doubt Verizon will.

Popular posts from this blog

Classcraft Interactive Notebook Page

Finished crafting interactive notebook pages for Classcraft, an engaging classroom management tool.

This fall I plan to add interactive notebooks to my classroom procedures. The goal is to provide students with something tangible to take home at the end of the semester. So that means creating or borrowing resources to guide students in developing their notebook.

Classcraft is a classroom management tool, an elaborate punishments and reward system designed like an epic role play game. Students create avatars and can upgrade pets and outfits based on experience and gold points earned. They can also lose points and suffer minor penalties. Everything is done in a fun, game like environment.

The computer lab is already divided into five or six stations, which lends itself easily to guilds or teams of students who work together in the game. I want students to develop their own backstory and choose their characters for the good of the group. I also need students to keep their login info some…

Exploring Science and Math through Music and Messes

If you have ever seen a music video by the music group OK Go, you know that they enjoy experimentation and quirky effects. Now all that energy is available for teachers in the classroom, with maybe slightly less mess.

In cooperation with Google and Morton Salt, they have produced a set of three STEM related lesson plans complete with tie-ins to their most popular videos. You can get your hands dirty in this wonderful playground at the OK Go Sandbox.

Lego Mindstorm Maze Runner

Students were tasked with writing a program for their robot to successfully navigate a preset maze. This used only directional command blocks (no sensors). The goal was to recognize sequencing, patterns and to become comfortable with testing and making modifications based on test results.