iPhones Enhance Learning By: Alexander Fryer

This is a paper I wrote for school.

iPhones Enhance Learning
By: Alexander Fryer

Some schools are buying iPhones for students hoping to enhance learning. Apple came out with the iPhone in 2007 and is in its third generation.1 Digital learning consultant Wesley Fryer comments, “Modern cell phones offer a variety of capabilities, which are being used effectively by educators in different schools to support curricular learning objectives and boost student achievement.”2
For example, you can use a free service by Poll Everywhere to conduct a classroom poll. Thirty people can respond to and vote on your poll by texting their information in. There are many useful applications that you can use for learning such as: a graphing calculator, flash cards, and a dictionary. The iPhone can also be used for converting measurements, and taking notes in class. The camera is a useful tool for recording data. There are hundreds of educational applications being created each day.

The iPhone has a built-in iPod. This means that you can watch videos or listen to recorded lectures as podcasts. “Lectures are the worst possible learning format,” said Associate Dean Brian Brooks, according to the Columbian Missourian. “There’s been some research done that shows if a student can hear that lecture a second time, they retain three times as much of that lecture.”3 This will require teachers to record their lectures, but if a student will remember and retain the information it will make the extra work pay off with better test scores.

As a result there are many educational applications, and you can remember lectures three times better the second time. So, contact your school principal and technology director and tell them that you want iPhones in school!

1. Wikipedia article iPhone
2. Teach digital: Cell Phones for learning
3. Columbian Missourian: School of Journalism to require iPod touch or iPhone for students

Sarah’s creation with Animation-ish at ACTEM09

Deborah Barrows’s took the following short video of Sarah at ACTEM09, sharing a quick animation she made for Cheryl Oakes using the software program Animation-ish by FableVision.

Way to go Sarah! Now I’m going to need to find time for Sarah to show me how to use Animation-ish, as well as her brother and sister!

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VoiceThread about The Gingerbread Baby

Rachel created the following VoiceThread today about Jan Brett‘s book, “The Gingerbread Baby,” during the 2009 KATE Conference in Wichita, Kansas. She recorded the first three pages’ comments during the actual conference, in front of about 150 English teachers! She recorded the fourth/last page right after the conference keynote was over. We planned this VoiceThread last night, with Rachel selecting the Creative Commons photos she wanted to use from Compfight. She also practiced what she would say with each photo. Great job Rachel!

I added a link to this VoiceThread on the Great Book Stories project and wiki.

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YouTube Honors for Sarah’s video response to President Obama’s speech (<24 hours after posting)

Wow. I had no idea Sarah’s YouTube-posted response to President Obama’s speech would receive such a response. In the 35 hours that have passed since we posted this online, it’s been viewed over 26,000 times, commented on over 350 times, rated over 600 times. And we’re not even 2 days out. Here are the current “honors” given by YouTube, it’s a top “education” category video in over 20 countries presently.

YouTube Honors for Sarah's Response to President Obama's Speech

Thank GOODNESS I chose to moderate comments on this video. Good grief there are some heartless folks out there, commenting on YouTube. I’ve tried to filter just those comments which use profanity or are disparaging. I let some of the critical comments through too, if they weren’t too critical of Sarah directly. It’s good to see many people commenting in her defense in those cases.

At some point I may turn commenting off for this video, but for now we’ll let it ride. Is this a good idea to have put Sarah on YouTube? Bad things can certainly happen that are tied to the Internet, but overall I think predator danger fears are overblown.

Will Oprah see this video and want to interview Sarah? Will NewsOK? Will President Obama see it? Who knows… It is great so many people have watched it, and so many have left edifying and supportive comments. In moderating those comments, I’m affirmed more than ever that we are on a holy mission in education, and our work is SO important. In addition to helping people learn FACTS and IDEAS, we also must help others learn RESPECT and understanding. It’s really sad to see how cruel and mean some people can be. Thank goodness for comment moderation!

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Watch and Respond

Alexander: Since you were not able to join Sarah and I to watch President Obama’s speech today “live,” I’d like you to watch the speech and then compose a response you can either post here on Learning Signs, record as a video on YouTube, or record as an audio message via AudioBoo. Let me know if you need help with either option 2 or 3. 🙂

Also check out Sarah’s response, and the comments others have left for her there. She may need to record a follow-up video to answer some of those questions!

Sarah responds to President Obama’s speech

Since Sarah’s 4th grade teacher chose NOT to show President Obama’s speech during class today, I (dad) pulled her out of class so we could watch it at home on CSPAN and participate in a live-blog “backchannel” with students in Littleton, Colorado. You can view the archive chat there on their classroom blog, “East Dragon Den.”

This is Sarah’s two-minute recorded response today to President Obama’s speech, posted to YouTube.

In the embed code I’ve chosen to NOT include “related” videos.

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VoiceThread commenting assignment

Alexander, Sarah and Rachel: I want you to each select at least three VoiceThreads from this classroom in Canada (page 1 and page 2) and leave thoughtful feedback / comments for the authors. I don’t want you to just say something like, “That was great.” Really listen to what they said in their presentation, and make some observations or suggestions based on your knowledge of the topic or what you think about after hearing their reports.

Let me know if you need help logging into our VoiceThread account. Alternatively, we can setup VoiceThread accounts for each of you to have independently. Let me know what you want to do.

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Alexander quoted in the Boston Globe

Today at the Apple Store in Oklahoma City, I’ve been playing with the new MacBook Pro laptops and using Google’s new “show options” features. Alexander asked me to Google his name, and in doing so we discovered Carolyn Y. Johnson’s March 7, 2007 article for The Boston Globe, “Space for everyone: Social networking websites, once purely teen territory, attract all ages.” Alexander doesn’t remember being quoted for this article, but I do! I gave the reporter his mother’s cell phone number so she could interview him about his use of websites like Club Lego and Imbee. Here’s the quotation of Alexander from the article:

Alexander Fryer is interested in more basic forms of play online. The 9-year-old from Edmond, Okla., began using social-networking websites two years ago, before he could even type, frequenting club.Lego.com to build his own virtual projects.

“It’s been exciting because you can see how many people have actually seen what I’ve done,” he said.

Today, the third grader uses ClubPenguin.com, where every child has his or her own penguin and igloo, and has tried out Imbee.com. His father, Wesley, said both sites offer a safe social-networking experience in contrast to the MySpace page, which has been criticized for allowing young people to post revealing personal details.

It’s important to monitor and manage our digital footprints online. I don’t think I ever read this article when it was originally published in 2007. It’s amazing to see how much Alexander has continued to learn online (as have his sisters) since that article was written two years ago!

PixelPipe for Facebook and Flickr Photo Posts

Looking for a way to post multiple photos to either Facebook or Flickr from a mobile phone, like an iPhone? I am, in advance of our vacation next week. PixelPipe is a free application and web service that can do this. I have been working on getting it configured this morning. I actually opted to NOT update to Twitter and just have two targets: Flickr and Facebook. You can select a LOT of different post targets with PixelPipe.

I initially mobile blogged this with WordPress for iPhone. This was my first post to successfully auto-post to Facebook via PingPressFM! Woo hoo! I logged in on my laptop and added the links. Photos were mobile blogged too.

KidZui browser

I’ve just discovered the KidZui browser. It looks pretty cool, you create a unique account and can login to access games, videos, and lots of other “kid friendly” stuff. I’d like you to both check it out and let me know what you think and find by writing a blog post about it here. I’ve created an account for you both, ask me and I’ll tell you your login credentials. (Hint: Your userids are the same ones you’re using for our blog. Rachel’s is the same as she’s using for Club Penguin. Everyone’s password is the same as Rachel’s Club Penguin password.) I’ve downloaded the program already on my laptop, we’ll need to download and install it on other computers too.

Have fun!

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