It’s not easy for students to stay on task these days. From Facebook to Instagram and Twitter to instant messaging to pop up, there are so many distractions. Some study aid sites even offer a ‘study break’ where students can take five minutes to check out the latest celebrity news. But it’s never really five minutes, is it? So why not use technology to fight technology? There are some fabulous study aid apps out there designed especially to help students stay on track and stay focused.
We’re hard at work improving Daily Genius and our newest product DashEDU. In case you’re new to the community, Daily Genius is a place where professionals can learn something new every day. DashEDU just launched and is a ‘dashboard for education’ where you can easily submit links to interesting stories, products, events, jobs, etc. It’s all updated in real-time and runs like an app (because it’s built on an app framework actually!).
Technology is way too often given a bad rap by administrators and educators as a distraction or a hazard for students. When technology is integrated intentionally with foresight and with intention of addressing specific growth-oriented goals, it increases the potential to help students learn, develop, and grow in unique ways. It can be used to help address the needs as described by Maslow.
"But what if you have no computers, no cell phones, no nothing? Do you have a smartphone or tablet? If so, you've got two simple answers.
For verbal questions: Log into Plickers and create a page for each student. This tool will code in the student's name and answers. Hand each student their plicker card and ask a question. The student will hold the card up in the direction of their answer. Looking at the class through the camera on your smartphone inside the Plicker app, you’ll see the name of each student and whether he or she got the answer right to the question you just asked! BAM! (Hat tip to Richard Byrne for teaching me about Plickers in a recent interview.)"
The Lafayette (IN) Journal and Courier (2/12) reports that Indiana education officials conducted a stress test of the state’s online ISTEP assessments, which “was meant to ensure the system will work smoothly when the online portion of the ISTEP is administered to 470,000 Indiana students in April.” However, according to West Lafayette Community School Corp. Superintendent Rocky Killion, “It was a complete disaster. Kids did not get through it. Computers were freezing up. Everything was shutting down.”
The AP (2/13) reports that the “embattled” test “encountered more difficulties Thursday as computers froze during a stress test of the online portion of the exam.” Vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill “reported that ‘a number of schools’ reported freezing issues during the test, which was designed to ensure that the system worked smoothly when the online portion of the standardized test is given to 470,000 Indiana students in the coming weeks.”
The ARCS Motivation Model (Keller, 1984) will let us delve into intrinsic motivation with more specificity and shed some light on the question, “Does technology make less motivated students?” The model parses motivation into four detailed aspects. Just reading over this list, I can see many ways technology can serve as both a supporting and detracting factor.
A smartphone in a child's bedroom may undermine good sleep habits even more than a TV, new research suggests.
A study of more than 2,000 elementary and middle-school students found that having a smartphone or tablet in the bedroom was associated with less weekday sleep and feeling sleepy in the daytime.
"Studies have shown that traditional screens and screen time, like TV viewing, can interfere with sleep, but much less is known about the impacts of smartphones and other small screens," said study lead author Jennifer Falbe, of the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley.
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