"A" is for App.

April 1, 2010

I stumbled across this months issue of Fast Company and was fascinated with what I saw on the cover.  I consider myself to be pretty tech savvy and am lucky enough to teach in a classroom that allows for exploration via the computer and internet.  I know there are still many schools that do not have computers in every classroom; what a disservice! Today's kids are growing up in a world filled with technology, whose parents i'm sure pay their bills online, communicate with business associates AND friends via email, have questions answered by wikipedia, webmd, google etc.  How can we not provide our students with a tool that will help them become both successful students and adults?

This article highlights a few tools kids across the country are using including the TeacherMate.  TeacherMate is a handheld computer, containing loads of full color flash educational games, recording audio and playback.  The teachers are then linked up with each child's system and is able to track progress through her own laptop.  She can also increase or decrease skills and levels via her laptop.  Pretty cool right?  The kids teacher says she has never seen such reading growth amongst a group of children in such a short amount time and has the TeacherMate to thank.

In Birmingham, Alabama the XO is another type of computer being used within the schools.  Every student at Robert E. Lee Elementary is given their own XO laptop.  Jordan, 9 is quoted saying "....I like to create my own stuff, like multiplication games and vocabulary words.  When you do vocabulary, you see the word and you've got to find the definition.  I learned "hallelujah" this week.  It means a word of praise. But I don't know how to spell it yet."

The tech tools we give our kids are only going to help with their education. So get a sturdy case for you iphone, download some educational apps and let 'em have at it.  Today is a new day people, jump on the tech train!  For the full article, click here.


  1. totally agree about education needing to change with the times... kids don't learn the same way anymore so why should we teach the same way?! that being said, however, being a public school teacher at a high-risk/socio-economically disadvantaged school, it's been a challenge incorporating technology into ANYTHING - lessons and communication. most of my kids don't have computers (and much less internet) at home. a lot of their parents, if around, don't have these tools at work either. the technology bandwagon needs to take off but when it does i fear it's going to leave the underprivileged behind, as it's already doing.

  2. Hi, I live in Birmingham and wanted to comment about the XOs. In fact, they went to all Birmingham City Schools elementary school students (15,000) and were given to the students to keep. The possibilities that it opens up for the students and teachers are amazing. They have the ability to record audio and video and still pictures, create music, program in SCRATCH, utilize sensors in science classes and much more. It's an amazing example of 1:1 computing.
    Diane Worthington


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