Archive for Uncategorized

Availability of Technology Affecting Performance

It’s a fact that teachers everywhere face everyday;  students come from a wide range of economic backgrounds.  There is a direct correlation between this and the comfort with technology that a student has.  The following is only an abstract, but this article supports that idea, citing a “positive relationship between socio-economic background and computer experience.”

This seems like an issue that would be hard to combat being a teacher.  Parental involvement and support from home is also something that teachers grumble about.  Parents who are more involved tend to have children that are more successful students.   Books have even been written on that subject!  But parental involvement isn’t necessarily related to socio-economic status–being exposed to technology at home is.

How can help students who may not have the exposure?  “Computer anxiety” can be fought in schools only so far…

-Matt

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A More In-Depth Vision of Networking with My Students

As I stated in a previous post, I am very interested in being able to capture the time my futures students spend on social media networks such as Facebook for educational purposes.  “Mr. Kephart’s Facebook Page” could be a real supplemental tool for my classroom.

My vision here is that there could be a page where students could check their assignments online.  When I was in high school, we had something called “the homework hotline” that students could call.  Teachers would record their assignments via a voice message every day, and students would be able to call and listen to the recording to get the assignment if they forgot to write it down, or misplaced their assignment details.

A “teacher’s website” is currently being utilized by most of the teachers I know–details about the course, due dates, the teachers themselves, etc.  I think that Module #3’s detail of web feeds, RSS feeds, etc. would be the next logical step.  If the student is alerted whenever the teacher makes a change to a page, or adds another bit of information, etc., it would really help those that are connected.  Facebook really seems like a good medium for this for two reasons:  it is very conducive to such a feed, and more importantly–an increasing number of students have access and utlize the site.

My fear is always that some students will be left out, though.  So my question to any who read this:  Would it be fair to use a facebook page to assist in my teaching?  Or should I skip it so some students do not feel left out?  I have no desire to make it a NECESSARY component of the classroom, just simply an additional medium to access their brains!

Vote if you can!

-Matt

Taylor Mali: What Teachers Make

Just thought I’d share this with anyone who wants to watch it!

Where are all the Education Apps?

Hello all!

My phone was recently eligible for an upgrade, and I was lucky enough to be able to get my hands on a smartphone–a sleek piece of technology from Motorola called the Droid X.  I’ve never had one of these phones before—by “these phones,” I mean smartphones such as the iPhone, Evo, Adroid, or a dozen other phones.  (Author’s Note:  I thought about inserting hyperlinks for each of those phones, but decided to just let those companies do their own advertising!)

My thoughts?  One word, really:  FREAKINAWESOME

Without gushing over its functions (see link above) or describing all of the cool apps that it offers (oh, and there are LOTS of them),  I wanted to write about the potential educational uses for such a device.  Do I think that there could ever be a room full of students, each armed with their own smartphone, ready to delve into the technology at the touch of a finger?

I read an article this week about How Smartphones Sparked an Educational Revolution. Two things struck me from that article–first is the amount of time kids spend with media!  Similar numbers to the videos that Dr. M posted last week.  Will those numbers ever cease to amaze me?  Probably not!

Second was that the apps described in that article were geared to very young kids–toddlers even.  A quick search on my Droid X app list proved ZERO matches with the word “education.”

I Google-Searched “educational smartphone apps” and came up with this link. #1 on the list of 100?  A cookie making app.  And #6?  Dress-Up doll.

REALLY?????

There’s gotta be more educational apps than that, right??

Having trouble finding them….anyone out there have any more luck?

-Matticus

Matt’s Abridged Bio

Hello All!

I hope that this blog finds you well–physically and mentally!  If you’re not mentally well…then join the club!

Shout out to all my ED 517-ers out there…

Basic stuff first–I’m 26, and live in Clearfield, PA.  I am currently working for my father in business–truck transportation!  Maybe you’ve seen one or two trucks of ours on the road?  They have a big KEPHART spelled out on the trailers…and they most likely stink!  We haul MSW–or as you and I like to call it, trash.  And on a Monday morning in mid-July, my office is not a fun place to smell!

Business–not just trash!–isn’t my passion, however.  I graduated in 2006 from Boston College with double majors in Philosophy and Political Science.  I absolutely loved Boston and my undergrad experience!  But when May of my senior year rolled around, I found myself a bit lost/unmotivated/unsure of what I wanted to do next.  I had applied to graduate programs for philosophy–to teach, inevitably–and had some very good options there.  But I ended up calling my father and asking him if I could work for him for a few years while I “decided on my future.” I’ve been working for him since.

A few years ago, I realized that business is not for me, and began a quest back to education/academics.  I finish the classes at Clarion in the fall, and begin student teaching in the spring.  And immediately after that, begin stressing out in a search for a job!  I’ll be certified in Social Studies, but have also taken my Praxis in English–either would be great to teach, and I’m hoping to be a bit more marketable.

Almost immediately after moving to Clearfield to work for my father, I met and fell in love with an art teacher from a local high school.  We were just married 3 weeks ago–on a cruise boat destined for Bermuda with both of our families.  We had a great time, and I’m still getting used to the ring on my finger–fidgeting with it as I type!  We purchased a 110-year-old home together last summer, and have been working hard to bring it to 2010.  We live there with our two fat cats and our puppy, Sophie–the nicest boxer you’ll ever meet.

Mr. and Mrs. Kephart

My hobbies center around the outdoors–hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing.  I also play music–mandolin in a local bluegrass band.  If you’re ever in the Clearfield area, come check us out some weekend!

Looking forward to the class, as well as maintaining my blog!

“Speak” soon!

Matt