Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cell Phones as Helpful Learning Tools? It's Possible!

When it comes to cell phones, most schools have strict, no-tolerance policies for students using them during the school day. In fact, at my school, when a student is found using a cell phone or allowing it to make any kind of noise, the device is immediately confiscated by the teacher and given to security for a parent/guardian to pick up at the end of the day. 

Yet, cell phones have increasingly become a vital part of our adolescent students' lives, connecting them to one another and even the outside world when it comes to advanced cell phone technology. For the first time, many teachers are implementing and experimenting with unique ways to use student cell phones in lessons to increase student buy-in and engagement. Could this work for you or me? Let's see what is possible...

And is it time for schools to reevaluate the potential usefulness and validity of cell phones in the classroom? It may be. I would love to hear from those of you who already implement cell phones into your daily lessons!

February 2011 | Volume 68 | Number 5 Teaching Screenagers    Pages 39-43 
Adventures with Cell Phones
By Liz Kolb
Teachers are finding creative ways to turn the basic cell phone from a digital distraction into a versatile learning tool.

When 7th grader Sarah walked into her history classroom a few minutes before class began, she immediately took out her cell phone and began text messaging. She wasn't texting her friends, though. Instead, she was participating in the class brainstorming poll that her teacher had projected on the whiteboard. The teacher was using Poll Everywhere ( to ask students to give their opinion about the most important cause of the U.S. Civil War (slavery, states' rights vs. federal rights, the election of Lincoln, social issues, or financial issues). Sarah sent in her response, and then watched the percentages in the bar graph on the whiteboard change as more students texted in their votes.
When class began, Sarah's teacher asked the students to send another text message, this time explaining their reason for the selection they made. Sarah sent her answer, but as she watched other students' responses pop up on the whiteboard, she began to think about other viewpoints. Because the answers were anonymous, students felt comfortable giving their honest opinions.
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