Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

In the classroom

So I Like iBooks 2 But I Can't Afford an iPad. What Now?

January 19, 2012

When I think back on high school, some of my fondest memories include being able to take electives like Creative Writing and Introduction to Psychology, enjoying “Senior Beach Day” (which marked the start of second semester), attending basketball games decked out in school colors and, of course, making lifelong friendships. One memory I would rather forget – the back pains associated with four years of carrying around up to five textbooks a day (which was only exacerbated in college).

Fortunately for current students out there, Apple has your back (literally) as the tablet empire today unveiled iBooks 2, a platform that “reinvents the textbook.”

“The textbook is not always the ideal learning tool," Philip Schiller, Apple's vice president of marketing, explained to audience members at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum in New York City this morning.

Are Kids Bored in School Tech Classes?

January 12, 2012

For all of you out there who were (or are) bored to tears in middle school went you were forced to laboriously calibrate the amount of words per minute that you could type during computer class, I’ve got news for you – the UK government is picking up on this disinterest.

This week, the UK's Education Secretary Michael Gove announced his plans to overhaul the way technology is taught in schools because, simply put, children are “bored out of their minds.”

“Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word and Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations," Gove said.

“By 16, they could have an understanding of formal logic previously covered only in university courses and be writing their own apps for smartphones,” he added.

To All Males: Better Make Room for Females in the Tech World

January 10, 2012

It’s a common picture that spans all states and countries: the lone girl in an AP physics class or advanced engineering BS program at a university who is desperately trying to prove herself among a sea of male students.

Or, for those of us that have graduated to the real world: the one girl in a large tech company that is desperately trying to prove that she deserves to be the next CTO of the company. (After all, how many women CTOs do you know?)

Sadly, whether we want to admit it or not, these pictures have become more and more common despite women out-enrolling men when it comes to college and the fact that women outperform men when it comes to becoming gainfully employed.

BYOD, Steve Jobs Classes... What Can we Expect in 2012 in Schools?

January 3, 2012

I know what you are thinking: between all the holiday shopping, eating, revelry and milliseconds spent considering that you should make a New Year’s Resolution, why on Earth would you have had the time to think about what the tech space might look like in 2012? Well lucky for you, TMCnet has had your back these past few weeks and continues to have it moving forward as we have been outlining what you can expect in all your favorite tech sectors in the future. Whether it’s VoIP, SIP, FoIP or any of those other silly acronyms, we’ve got you covered.

But for me, nothing is more fun than surmising what is in store for the education realm when it comes to technology and, in that vein, here is the inside scoop on the gossip in the hallways about how technology will affect schools in 2012.

Is Tech Making it Easier for the Letorneau's and Sanduskys Out There?

December 20, 2011

More than 10 years ago, the world stood aghast to learn that then 35-year-old Mary Kay Letorneau, a school teacher, was having sex with her 13-year-old student, Vili Fualaau. How could a teacher have taken advantage of such a vulnerable child? How did no one detect it sooner? And how could Letorneau, who was imprisoned from 1997 to 2004 and went on to give birth to two of Fualaau’s children, and Fualaau claim it was true love when they later got married?

Consulting the Expert: A Teacher's Thoughts on Social Media in the Classroom

December 1, 2011

In today’s 21st Century teaching model, it’s certainly a race to the top for teachers to come up with the latest technological innovations that can bring learning to students in a whole different light. After all, everyone wants to be able to say that they were the first to discover that you can use Facebook to create a “Spanish Grade 11” group. Or that they were the teacher that introduced video conferencing to the classroom before everyone else in their school.

While exploring the tech space when it comes to schools these past few months, one question has come across loud and clear – how do you propel forward with technology innovation while still not blurring student/teacher lines?

Are Students Introduced to Technology Way Too Early?

November 29, 2011

‘Tis the season to make New Year’s resolutions and as part of its resolutions, several prominent technology companies – including big shots Google and Microsoft – have announced that they are backing proposals that will introduce several significant changes to the U.K. IT educational system.

Among the changes are for children to be taught about how computers work as opposed to simply learning how to use them. Specifically, software coding and programming lessons could be implemented in the classroom.

Drawbacks of the 21st Century Teaching Model

November 17, 2011

Do you want your students to be able to talk with Stephenie Meyer to find out how she got inspiration for the “Twilight” saga, but your school is in New York and she is stationed in Arizona? Do you wish you could take your students to the museum in your town for a field trip, but your school can’t afford to pay for the trip? Or perhaps you would love to allow your students to get a global experience and work with kids in a British school (all without having to fly, of course).

Fortunately, in the 21st Century school environment, video conferencing is making all of these wishes a very possible reality.

Could You Lose Your Teaching Job to a Robot?

November 3, 2011

21st Century cinema often stares into the Magic Eight Ball and projects a future filled with robots as babysitters, food in the form of pills, teleporters and computers that talk back to you in the workplace. But what about robots as teachers?

Is that just a scary motion-picture concept or a very feasible reality?

While I don’t want to worry you educators out there, robots are already starting to replace teachers, specifically in South Korean schools.

Students: Say No to Cell Phones (Yup, You Read that Right)

November 1, 2011

Do you fall asleep with your cell phone next to your head and check for new messages anytime you wake up during the middle of the night? Is texting important in helping you connect with your old college roommate or elementary school friend? Are you embarrassed to admit you have secretly read messages in your boyfriend’s inbox on his cell phone when he wasn’t looking?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have more in common with Generation Y – or Generation Mobile, as the age group is commonly called – than you think.