S3xt Ed 270

Sext Education is what Ms. Penland address in her classroom. Penland is able to utilize the technology students use day to day to cover a topic that at one point was hush hush. Having students write down answers about this sensitive subject that can often be something joked about and turned into a constructive lesson plan with maturity. Her students handled the topic extremely maturely and they were joking in a manner that was not inappropriate towards the subject matter. Students brainstorming how they would manage the question of if someone wanted them to sext was accomplished by having them reply ON the ipads. Having the media they use, and their own words concretes the idea that the students are the ones in control, giving accountability towards the situation.

Houston, do you copy?

Copyright is something feared by many but often misunderstood, similar to insects and GMOs. Copyright is precise to the source of material you utilize, so generalizations can be tricky. Copyright is defined as sole legal rights to the originator. This legal right permits print, reproduction, publishing, selling, film, literature, and music.

As a teacher, you may be stuck in a pickle of determining if you are covered under the Fair Use Act.  You can ask yourself a few questions that will answer if you are able to use the information.   If the material you are using is from the internet or musical and is for a non-profit school you are in the clear! Is the work you are attempting to use published or unpublished? Factual information is not covered by a copyright, but the wording or narrative behind the fact is. Size really does matter when it comes to copyright. If you are taking small excerpts out of a text you should be falling under the Fair Use Act, but please refrain from utilizing complete works, as it most likely isn’t fair use. How does this effect the work? If you are lecturing about how a piece of writing or music is terrible it is not assumed to be fair use. Any use of a material that may alter sales, or production can be seen as copyright infringement.

What you actually copy makes a difference. Different mediums have different conflict when it comes to fair use. Print material is available to an educator if the print is used for one time, and producing a minimal amount of copies. Film is able to be used if it directly corresponds with a lesson. Computer programs and software is rather tricky and your school is held responsible for having rights to use software that isn’t free to the public.

Copyright sounds daunting and the fear of lawsuit doesn’t seem that irrational. But take the time to make sure you fit in the Fair Use act and or know the consequences of your future actions.

Searching or Researching

 In recent discussions of Wikipedia as a tool, a controversial issue has been whether it should be used as a guideline of teaching, or banned altogether as it predominantly is today.  On the one hand, some argue that Wikipedia is a great tool for learning about a certain subject as well as teaching the importance of research and not just searching. The article Search vs. Research brings up the point that Wikipedia can touch upon both of these ideas. Wikipedia is a constant changing source that is able to keep up with changes in history and new information. Though not always factual, this tool can help build a lesson plan for instructors on the importance of researching your source, confirming that what you are writing is in fact from a source that is correct. Research and search as Marc Prensky puts is quite different. Viewing the history of changes on a Wikipedia page and cross referencing important dates and events can secure the credibility of a source. Boyd’s piece on Wikipedia agrees that Wikipedia can be used as a tool that is more than just a source.

      Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales argues that students should not cite Wikipedia nor any other encyclopedia for that matter on the same basis of the prior argument. Jimmy Wales in a Business week article from 2005 states that Wikipedia gives a good background knowledge only, and should spark a new idea to research.

      My own Idea is that Wikipedia should be a lesson plan in itself. Learning to write a good research paper and confirming the factual evidence is crucial in a learning environment. I do understand the difficulties of teaching differences of searching and researching but the end product of students being able to decipher and filter through information that is readily available in today’s age is important.  

Introductory Concepts


In recent discussions of technology in the classroom, the issue of technology’s impact and uses in our education system. So is technology a must have new resource in today’s learning environment? I will let you be the judge while I give you the perspectives of both sides, as well as my own personal view of whether technology belongs in the classroom.

Turning On the Lights points that Education is in dire need of technology in the classroom. Technology has been apart of these students entire life. Internet and phones are a gateway to the future, yet classrooms are teaching the past. Marc Prensky writes that students are bored when they are at school and believes it is because lack of technology in the classroom. Students today are told to shut off their phones when they enter the classroom and write notes on paper while they listen to a lecture. Marc believes this structure is deterring students from getting engaged and learning. Giving students a chance to use their phones, the internet, clickers, anything that can help bridge the gap of learning about the past and the future.

Kathy Cassidy’s pushes towards technology used as a brand new tool. Technology learning should not be forced, and choice is important for what fits the student’s learning style. “technology should be for accessing what was inaccessible.” Technology Uses.  Helping students research things they are interested in and with an unlimited amount of resources available online.

But old technology should not be looked over. Mary Beth Hertz  writes that a pencil and paper can suffice in the learning environment. Some classes technology can be doing more harm than good for a student. This blog posting really just wants you to think about the subjects being taught, and to not forget that many skills still are done with old technology at this day and age.

I can agree with all of these writers that technology in classrooms can do marvelous things for the learning environment. I think that technology is the future, our students are the future, why would we separate these two things? Many people may side with Mary Beth Hertz and be just fine with the old fashion pencil paper learning environment for certain aspects of school, but giving the choice to access to the internet and use it as a tool lets students utilize so many skills when they are learning about something they want to learn. Incorporating technology in the class will create an engaged learning environment, keeping students interest, and learning outside of the confines of the classroom.