Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Cell Phones and Teaching


It has been years since I have upgraded my cell phone. Lately I’ve been reading about all the great ways to use a cell phone in the classroom and I realize that I was being left behind. I feel like when I was a little kid and just learned to ride a bicycle. I had a small heavy bicycle while my friends were riding 10 speed bikes and going much faster than I was. Now I have to pedal hard to catch up.

I now have a Droid Incredible and I can only hope that it will do incredible things. I have never used the internet on the phone or checked my email. Apparently this has a GPS system and lots of other toys on it. It has been years since I have sent any text messages or even taken a picture with my phone so I need to get back to all of this and it is exciting.

I think I will start by learning how to use all the “stuff” that comes with the phone before I start downloading any apps to play with. I need to learn how to use the basics before I start adding anything. I also want to do a lot of research on the best free apps to get and the implications of getting them.

Sometimes I wonder if I forget that I need to teach this way. I need to make sure that my students have the basics before I start adding all the bells and whistles. This can be overwhelming to them because I know it can do the same thing to me.

Of course, I am impatient and want to skip the basics so I can get to the bells and whistles but I need to hold myself back. I need to do the same thing with my students and not let their excitement let me push them too quickly. Like surfing, it is easy to get caught up in the tide but if we don’t know how to get on the surf board, we can easily get swept away and drown.

I can see this new phone being a great tool but if I don’t learn how to use it than it won’t be as effective as I hope it would be. I need to learn how to use it in the most efficient and effective way in order to get the most bang for my buck. But if I get frustrated or discouraged, I won’t use many of the things on the phone that may benefit me. In this same way, I need to help students come to the same realization about their learning.

If you have any suggestions or know of any good free apps for the Droid Incredible, please share. I would love any tips that you can give because I am a firm believer of not trying to reinvent the wheel and would love to learn from your mistakes/learning curve/ or whatever you may call it. Hopefully by modeling my new learning experience, my students will be able to see the importance of taking one step at a time and also asking for help when necessary. We all need to be open to suggestions and ideas from others because we can only benefit from someone else’s experiences.

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original Picture: Droid Incredible by Pat Hensley


Kobus van Wyk said...

I like your approach ... "crawl before you can walk".

Miss Tyneal said...

I will be following the comments on this blog, I too am purchasing the Droid this week and look forward to it! Our district utilizes Google Calendar to post when teachers are going to be gone and who their sub is going to be. Our administration also posts all the professional development opportunies and other events pertinent to our staff.
I was looking into buying a flip camera to quickly record behaviors in the classroom and put them on my computer to show the students their behaviors. I may just use the video on the Droid, as it is equipped with a SD card that can be removed.
I look forward to using Google Reader to follow the many blogs that I do, like yours.
Finally, if they do indeed have a GPS on it, I will use it a lot. I downloaded one on my current phone while in Denver a month or so ago. I never thought I would use it upon returning to North Dakota. But I would say it has been very useful to me!
I wish you luck on this endevour and will be doing the same soon!

loonyhiker said...

@Miss Tyneal The phone has a wonderful GPS system and it talks! It has given me turn by turn directions to places and is very accurate.