Handhelds in the Classroom: Student Reflections

The year has come to an end. My students are very worried about the prospect of not being able to use their personal technology next year, so I had them blog it out. Here’s what they wrote:

When kids are allowed electronic devices in the classroom they are able to communicate through technology.  This is called a back channel discussion. It can help kids communicate and get help from each other without making a huge discussion. When students have a test there’s no talking allowed because it can disturb others, with electronic devices we are able to communicate no matter what the situations. We use things like twitter and Gmail and other to communicate.

A student might be using the device to escape not expand. Which means using it for other things, not using it for school work. There are always going to be negatives with this but as we go along we learn what’s right and wrong and it’s better if we get a chance at least.

It really helps me get organized too. It can be annoying sometimes having to shove all different sorts of paper into your desk, and you’re going to be throwing it out later anyway. When you’re using electronics for work, it’s not just about communicating and sharing ideas but it can also help with reduce the amount of paper use and help keep your desk cleaner.

By A.K.

One of the great things of acquiring electronic devices such as iPods, Laptops, and cell phones  is that you have the Internet in the palm of your hands. You don’t have to get on that old school laptop that is snail-slow! Also, if you have the Internet in your hands, students can easily do their work. It’s like the perfect idea so far for schools! Plus, when you have these devices in hand, you can talk to a person across the room, or even other class, without disturbing other classmates. To include the final fact, with these Personal Electronic Devices (A.K.A. PEDs) you can easily grab it and go on the Internet within 1 minute, when those slow laptops usually take 5 minutes. A big change, huh?

By S.A.

At first it seemed like it was unfair that some people had parents that buyed them stuff. But we noticed that it just meant that everyone could just do what they needed, and plus more of our classroom devices became available to the kids that didn’t have iPods and netbooks.

By E.M.

There are amazing tools to use for student’s learning. For example there are, calendar, clock, notes, calculator, and mail, is a great tools to use on an iPod. Won’t that be better than having students ask you for a calculator and you having to look for one? You can always download apps to help you read or extend your learning.
Their personal devices can help access information from the internet. You have the power in your hands to search and do what you want to do. I know for a fact that there are some students who hate talking but have great ideas. Well this is a lucky day for you! This is your opportunity to share your ideas.
I can understand that adults think that children are not responsible, but you know what, you have to try it. Taking a risk can lead you a perfect class, or a horrible thing. Students can may EXTAND their learning. Extending students’ learning is the whole point. Well in my class we are allowed to use our personal devices. That helped our class get better marks. In our class we are allowed to use Twitter to back channel. For math tests, we back channel to work as a team to finish the test. We don’t even make a peep.
So have you made up your mind? Why not give it a try? That’s why I think we should be allowed to bring electronics to school.

By S.S.

Yes, personal technology should be allowed in the classroom.
I see valid arguements for both sides, but I am will be the first person to jump on the PED boat.

First of all, this gives a chance for everyone with a device to be on the net at once. As a result, whoever is without a device can use class or school technology to be on the interweb, so nobody is left out.

Second reason: PEDs in school are like our hopes of the Leafs of the future: took a long time to get here, but they’re amazing! Ok, back to seriousness, this allowed students to communicate with not only students in the class without talking, but students in other cities! Other countries! Other continents! Other planets! There is intelligent life out there after all! (me!)

Another reason to jump on my PED boat is because of all the
useful applications (apps for short) that can be minipulated for learning. Yes, Mwuhahahahaha! Again I go with the jokes. Back to the realm of seriousness! There actually are many apps that can be minipulated for learning. My favorites are iGmail, tweetdeck, notes, and iTunes. Yes, iTunes. This is because I can buy my favorite songs to help me to concentrate , as well as to get me engaged in the realm of learning in all of my favorite subjects.

My final reason is (yay! This garbage is finally over!) is that the use of these PEDs is a change of pace for students in these techie classrooms (those nerds!). I have loved this experience over the few months that I have experienced this experience, (I love to experience the experience of the term experience) I have to say I have been very intrested in coming to class. This is a very fun experience to use PEDs, and I have been graced wih an idea better than me!

By N.M.

PED’s ( personal, eductional, device) has been I geuss under thought and mocked but really if you try it you would think it is like a pencil to paper, chalk to a chalk board a word to …. well you get the point, it is a good thing and if you don’t beileve other people than you may beileve me.

One of the many reasons I agree that PED’s in the classroom is good is because you can express your sel in more ways than just writing like a summary where as if yo use PED’s you can make your own blog about what you read. And I know some people think that they would fool around on them but that’s only true if you don’t trust them. in my class we will use them even if there is a presentation going on because we are most likley talking about the presentation. So if you understand why these devices are so great then maybe this will happen in many schools around the world.

By K.L.

Alot of adults say that children are not mature enough and have no self disipline towards personal devices. In some cases that is true, but not all. Our class is fortunate enough to be allowed to have our personal devices at school and in the class. I actually wrote this blogpost on my ipod Touch. Alot of children around the world can handle the responsibility of carrying their technology. Besides, if we’re not even allowed, how can we prove it?

By D.N.

Gotcha cellphone! Kit Ramsy says as he screams at the ailien tower. I think that students should be allowed to bring in peds to the class. I think this
because if I was in class and I ask the teacher what am I doing there and why I can’t skip it. At this point the teacher could either say because you have to or they could say because you have to learn in order to get a job. This time round the kid might say well why can’t I bring my cellphone will I not be able to use it when I get older.this is where the contraversy begins.

For a few examples, if I was feeling a bit naughty and lazy one night with a load of homework I might just go to a computer to get the answer. However if I was allowed to I might not feel as compelled to go to that computer. Even though our homework is to use the computer you might feel less driven to use it for “evil.”

For any kid that thinks he’s being left out of the circle because he doesn’t have a ped, well that’s so sad for them. But wait what’s that it’s a bird no a plane it’s extra computers for everyone. In our class if your left out you can get one of our school or class MacBooks to work on. Surprisingly nobody seems to mind if they have to use the school MacBooks.

And if your the type of person that has trouble figuring things out just tweet a friend on Twitter to ask them. It also helps kids that have problems communicating with others because they don’t have to talk.

In conclusion, oh I don’t think you need to hear this, I think we all get the picture! But ok I guess I’ll wrap it up. Basicly as you can see we are now able to give the power of a voice to the “shy people.” And at the same time help everyone else with their potential.

By C.K.

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4 Comments

  1. Blog it out, guys. Blog it out. Great stuff, Royan. Thanks for sharing. Feedback like that is really important for admin to hear. I hope you share it with your principal and other colleagues.

  2. Nice post. I study something more difficult on different blogs everyday. It would always be stimulating to read content from different writers and practice just a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content material on my blog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll provide you with a hyperlink in your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

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