The other day when S.T.A.T presented different uses of technology to the faculty and staff at Ashland High School, a very important point was brought up. What would be more efficient for students? Having an in school iPad for each student, or a chromebook for each student?
Before I begin I would like to state that I am absolutely against chromebook. I am against chromebook because it is unlike most laptops. Now a days a laptop can do almost anything, on the flip side, a chromebook is very much limited. Chromebook does not allow the user to download any personal programs that the user may like. The user is forced to use the programs provided by chrome. Furthermore most chromebook batteries only last for about three hours. But! For school use, all of these disabilities might be turned into advantages!
For example, students would not be able to goof off and play games they normally play. They would be forced to focus on their projects/essays. Because chromebook is centered around google accounts it makes it easier for Ashland Students to log in with their @ashland.k12.ma.us account and have everything synced to the computer. This would be an ease of access way to work on essays and projects assuming students use their google accounts for these reasons. Chromebooks disadvantage of only using programs provided by chrome is a good thing in this scenario because the only thing students could actually do is use google drive, which connects them, easily, with all of their documents.
Have you ever wanted an easy way to share files between students and teachers? Well now there is an easy way;
People that are familiar with ‘Dropbox’ know that it can be used to access photos or files anywhere with an internet connection. The way this works is that you create an account and upload to it, you can then logon to your account from any location with access to the internet. For example, I use dropbox to be able to quickly access photos that are on my phone, from my laptop. I do this by uploading a picture on my phone to my dropbox account (via my phone), I am then able to go on to my laptop and access dropbox and view the picture that was on my phone!
How could this be useful in an educational environment?
Sharing is really simple. All you need to do is click on the icon that says ‘Sharing’ and create a new folder to share or use an existing folder that you wish to share. You will then be required to select the members of who you want to be able to view the content! You do this by entering in the members e-mail address associatied with their dropbox account.
It gets better!
On top of sharing files you can also share folders! This gives people that can view the shared folder the ability to add on to the folder at anytime and with any file! This gives teachers the ability to create a class folder and when students are assigned projects the students can access the folder and share their part of the project! This makes it easy for teachers to grade school work and it also gives teachers the ability to organize their classes online. This tool can be used for many things and teachers and students could definitely benefit from it!
At this current day in age the internet is used for almost everything. So, how else can the internet be used concerning schooling?
Most colleges participate in a curriculum that has students taking quizzes or tests online. I for one have experienced this; I have taken a dual- enrollment class with Framingham State University.
Part of the class syllabus required a student to take online quizzes and to complete online homework assignments on a weekly basis. This technique definitely has a lot of pros but also a lot of cons. Some of the pros are the following; Less time in class, more time to study, and most importantly the ability to complete quizzes or homework with more time than just the time given inside one class period. I for one, had an entire week to complete a simple 20 question homework assignment and a 40 questions quiz.
The cons of online testing are the following; no professor supervision, students take part in the ‘honor system’, and if for some reason a student could not connect to the internet they are out of luck. Some students will take advantage of this cons and use them to their benefit. For example, with no supervision and a class that is based on the ‘honor system’ no one is there to tell the student not to cheat. Furthermore, students also have a new excuse to procrastinate. An online due date provides students with a wide variety of excuses i.e, “I could not pass in the work because I had no internet connection” or “I was unaware of the due date because it was never said in class” and so on and so on.
So in the end, my opinion on online testing remains neutral. For every good thing that comes from it there is a possible bad thing. Although, the way online testing works now is a great gateway to future online curriculums. But for now I believe there are way too many loop holes for students to get around things. If online courses were only for passing in homework I would see no problem with it. Tests and quizzes are to significant to be taken online.
(Blackboard is the online database that FSU uses.)
StudyBlue (SB) is an application that has the ability to vastly aid someone in the realm of education. The StudyBlue application main use is to act as a dropbox for flashcards. Meaning, you can either log on to the web browser to access the application through an e-mail username or access the application via a mobile device through the same e-mail. This application is primarily used for studying vocabulary terms by using virtual flashcards.
Now, of course, there is a free version of this application and paid version of this application. The paid version costs a little more than the average application and unfortunately you can only buy an annual subscription or a monthly subscription, there is not one single payment. The annual cost is 80 dollars whereas the monthly fee is 10 dollars. The paid version of this application allows you to set an unlimited amount of reminders that tell you when to study whereas the free version limits you to only 30 reminders/notifications a month. I have only had access to the free version and I personally do not have an issue and can still use this application to satisfy my educational needs. With this being said, the free version is still a workable version. In other words, you can use the free version and still have an enjoyable experience without being pressured into buying the application. Continue reading
What is your preference? Google Chrome? Or Internet Explorer? Read along and then decide which is your favorite!
Google Chrome was released into the browser world on September 2nd, 2008. It is used on both mobile web browser platforms and standard, web browsers. On the other hand, the Internet Explorer project was first started in the year of 1994 and made its first debut on the web in mid August of 1995. Internet Explorer(IE) is constantly being updated with bug fixes along with constant releases of newer versions. Google Chrome(GC) is also updated regularly although it only has one downloadable version.
Google Chrome offers a more friendly user interface with ease of access buttons. A very useful button is the bookmarking button. This button is located to the right 0f where you enter in a URL for a website. The button makes it easy to bookmark websites. You click it once and then you have the ability to rename it and create a shortcut for it. You then, simply press “Done” and it is stored with the rest of your bookmarks. To access these bookmarks you can either press the settings button which is to the right of the book marking button. You then can select “bookmarks”. Although GC offers easy bookmarking, it lacks the ability to organize the bookmarked webpages. In Internet Explorer you can arrange your bookmarks in any way that you want and you can also create folders for bookmarks. The downside to IE is that bookmarking tends to be a more complicated process than that of GC.
Also, another plus side to Google Chrome is that Chrome offers an “Incognito Window” option. This enables the user to browse the web without any cookies or browser history being logged. In other words, everything the user does will be invisible to the next user unless of course the user does not close out of the window. Internet Explorer does not offer a function like this.
Furthermore, Google Chrome offers the user the choice to create a google account. This account allows the user to sync all of their bookmarks and browsing history to any Google Chrome they sign in to, even if it is on a different device. This extends to mobile devices to desktops. The account syncs data ranging from google searches to even browsing history on youtube as well as recent youtube videos. Internet Explorer does not offer this function.