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Cell Phones and Schools

The Blue Graph Bars (above) show performance on testing in the classroom on tests when cellphones are banned.

"We found the impact of banning phones for these students equivalent to an additional hour a week in school, or to increasing the school year by five days," researchers Richard Murphy and Louis-Philippe Beland said. It found that following a ban on phone use, the schools' test scores improved by 6.4%. The impact on underachieving students was much more significant--their average test scores rose by 14%. "The results suggest that low-achieving students are more likely to be distracted by the presence of mobile phones, while high achievers can focus in the classroom regardless of the mobile phone policy," the economists said.

https://techwellness.com/blogs/expertise/cellphone-distraction-in-school

It is clear from the research that digital...Read more

  • Oct 5 2019

10 Tech Rules For Schools

10 Rules that schools should consider when developing their educational technologies.
The magazine, "Education and Technolgoy" written by Timothy Lee is available for download at sidebar in .pdf format. It is a magazine for educators, parents and administrators promoting a democratic, safe, and sustainable technological infrastructure for schools.Read more

BOY MEETS GIRL

BOY MEETS GIRL is a feature film romantic comedy written by Timothy Lee, and Douglas Bagot,
You can watch it by clicking on this link:
http://aws-website-bmgmovie-1liku.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/
The movie stars: Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Kevin Macdonald (Kids In The Hall) Joe Montagna (CSI) and Kate Nelligan (Prince of Tides).
The Reviews are available at IMBD and speak to the writing of the film. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0169639/reviewsRead more

Student Work

My grade 9 and grade 7 media students are learning to make 3d photo-realistic animations using the physics engine in Blender. The video below was made by a grade 7 student.

Remember, there is no glass bowl, nor is there any cloth, nor is there a room. It is all modelled in the software environment.
Impressive? My hope is that through this process the student will gain an understanding of how media is created and how to create it. By practicing in the 3d digital environment I believe they will gain greater spatial awareness and mathematical understandings. Certainly at an advanced level this type of modelling and animation demands an understanding of code and mathimatical formula. There is so much that is crazy good about this. Not to mention that the physics engine allows them to virtually test different materials and designs for real world...Read more

The voice of reason is whispering.

Maybe there are caring and intelligent people in the world. The following is from http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/02/29/main-findings-teens-technology-and...

Another comprehensive insight came from Barry Chudakov, a Florida-based consultant and a research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto. He wrote that by 2020, “Technology will be so seamlessly integrated into our lives that it will effectively disappear. The line between self and technology is thin today; by then it will effectively vanish. We will think with, think into, and think through our smart tools but their presence and reach into our lives will be less visible. Youth will assume their minds and intentions are extended by technology, while tracking technologies will seek further incursions into behavioral monitoring and choice manipulation. Children...Read more

SUING GOOGLE

So this article, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/09/16/New-Mexico-sues-Google-Twitte...
and others suggest that Google is still using surveillance to track and data-profile students under the age of 13. Yet, though Google is being sued by many states in America, the schools using Google tools and Google search engines and Google docs and Google for Education seem not to be paying attention.

How does the school justify the signing up of students for Google products without parental authorization?

School authorities seem to shy away from answering questions about technology and surveillance in their classrooms. In Canada it is bad form to sue schools but as awareness of how student data is collected and stored grows, questions will certainly become more difficult to ignore.
It is...Read more

  • Sep 17 2018

Why is Google allowed to data-mine Students in Public Schools?

Decision makers who have agreed to the surveillance of their students by a private corporations are hesitant to talk about it.

When we talk about Google services we like to believe we are getting something for free, but really we are trading our students’ privacy for Googles’ services. Schools that knowingly trade student and staff privacy should recognize that this practice present major ethical and legal questions.

Schools must ask, how they can allow access for Google to put students under surveillance and condone the selling of their private behaviors to unidentified ‘third parties?’ We really need to ask, “How the child’s life will be affected by their school-sanctioned profiling and the ongoing modification of their behaviors?”
These question are not philosophical. By law schools teach students about The Canadian Constitution and the Canadian Charter or Rights and Freedoms. Reading...Read more

Unhappiness, iPhones and Generation I

...students who didn’t bring their phones to the classroom scored a full letter-grade higher on a test of the material presented than those who brought their phones. It didn’t matter whether the students who had their phones used them or not: All of them scored equally poorly.

from: How smartphones hijack our minds http://www.roughtype.com/?p=8248

Put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something—anything— ...recent research suggests that screen time, in particular social-media use, does indeed cause unhappiness.

from: Have Smartphones destroyed a Generation? https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-...Read more

Tim Lee presents at The Cybera Summit 2017 Banff Centre Alberta

I'm speaking about Tech and Education at the Cybera Summit. http://www.cybera.ca/cyber-summit-2017/home/

Examining the tensions that exist between private and public interests, curriculum objectives and technological literacy, security and ease of use, this presentation identifies the effects of commercialized technologies upon education and offers relevant suggestions for a sustainable, more secure, more democratic and healthier technological learning environment.

The type of computers a school purchases, the operating system it promotes, the software a school provides, the websites they frequent, and the extraneous devices they allow, all form the educational environment that shapes the experience and understanding of the child.

The Internet and computer hardware and software do not always function in accord with the public interest. Companies like Facebook and Google make income through...Read more

  • Nov 2 2017

Technological Literacy and the Curriculum

I am reading Technological Literacy and the Curriculum edited by John Beynon and Hughie Mackay, circa 1990. Spoiler alert! 25 years later and nothing seems to have changed. It would seem that Daniel Chandler's essay, "The Purpose of the Computer in the Classroom" with its closing statement was a warning not heeded.

"....whether it is actually possible to counteract the bias of such a dominant technology. Unless we can, the purpose of the computer in the classroom may not be that which teachers choose for it."

25 years later and the insightful content of these fine essays have little affected the educational system's blithe love affair with technology. Pity.Read more

  • Jul 27 2015

Are We Teaching for Their Future?

Last I looked the preparations for the 21st Century Learner we're still underway 15 years into the century. Where is that entrepreneur-oriented education? Below is an excerpt from Yong Zhao's blog http://zhaolearning.com/2015/04/06/a-world-at-risk-an-imperative-for-a-p...

Excellence in Education

There is no disagreement that the world needs excellence in education but what defines excellence matters. There are two educational paradigms: employee-oriented vs. entrepreneur-oriented (Zhao, 2012). While both aim to prepare children to live successfully, the former focuses on transmitting a body of knowledge and skills predetermined to be valuable and the latter emphasizes on the developing the potential of each individual child. The former presumes that a body of knowledge and skills can be decided based on predications of

...Read more

Why are schools so sold on Apple?

It isn't hard to find an educational blogger that is awe struck by Apple products and suggests that using iPads or iMovies or any iThingy is 'awesome' educational practice. It isn't difficult to figure out why. Apple spends a lot of money on marketing and branding and public relations and their equipment is beautiful and shiny. It doesn't take much to make everything any student does look great once it's been put through the Apple template.( http://timothylee.ca/what%20do%20programs%20allow%20students%20to%20do%3F ) But is this teaching the student what we wish them to learn? How deeply researched is the premise that Apple computers increase learning? I ask every teacher I meet to show me research that shows that Apple products increase learning outcomes. Because I'd really love to know! My own research suggests that all is NOT well when students get iPads, nor is all good when they start...Read more

Programming in Processing


I call this one "Wandering Lines," and it is derived from a sketch by Daniel Shiftman ...I think.
It is built in Processing. And the code is very simple. I find my students (grade 7, 8, and 9) enjoy programming in Processing because it is such a visual and playful language. Of course when the ideas become more complex and the need for mathematical understanding recognized, many of my students back away from the challenge. Still quite a few do not. I believe that if a student has a reason to learn something they will, as long as that reason is powerful enough to drive them through the struggle of learning.

More...Read more

How Does Technology Affect Schools, Part I

"We can't ignore the social implications of our technical progress."Douglas Engelbart

The study of Technology and Technological Media is perhaps a subject more suited to Social Studies than Science. Though computerized technology runs on mathematical formulas, algorithms made up of binary code, the ubiquitous network of computerized systems that we use has become the infrastructure by which our world is run. Technology is therefore a socio-economic and cultural structure as well as a machine of engineering. It is imperative for the student to be educated in the workings of technology so that they may be prepared for the experiences of their future.

The digital technology with which we are dealing has already, is still and will continue, to alter the old infrastructure of our world, changing it forever in many obvious and many hidden ways. We do not see the workings of this computerized infrastructure, as they are largely invisible, performed...Read more

“In (Education), many take advantage of the ephemeral awe that the new computational tools bring — only to have it revealed later that their power was based on the tool they used and not on their own intellectual ability.”

“It is possible to claim that a (child’s) creativity is limited by the very programs that are supposed to free their imagination. … …Whenever they use a new tool provided for them by programmers, they think that they are now able to do something new and “cool.” But are they really doing anything new? Or are they simply replicating a process already conceived by the programmer who provided the tool?”

“In (Education), many take advantage of the ephemeral awe that the new computational tools bring… by using them as means to establish a new concept, style, or form — only to have it revealed later that their power was based on the tool they used and not on their own intellectual ability.”

The above quotes are taken from the introduction to "Algorithms for Visual Design Using the Processing Language" by Kostas Terzidis. I would have printed his whole introduction as it is an elequent comment about the need to understand programming in order to take personal control of the...Read more

One does grow weary of the hyperbole

"Indeed, once you begin contrasting 1968 with 2008, you might even find yourself thinking that, on balance, the Web is not an engine for social activism but an engine for social passivity. You might even suggest that the Web funnels our urges for “participation” and “sharing” into politically and commercially acceptable channels – that it turns us into play-actors, make-believe elves in make-believe clans."
Nic Carr http://www.roughtype.com/?p=1119

For professional development teachers are often required to go to Symposiums about technology and education.
Looking to learn further I looked at the Symposium website when I was struck at how it highlighted the relationship between our educational system and corporate commercial enterprise. I couldn't help but wonder why all that we teachers were going to discuss at this symposium is what we're being sold by Apple and Google? There seems nothing about teaching our...Read more

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