Posted in brilliant ideas, Cell Phone Apps, church, coping, Getting Organized, Teaching

5 ways to not go crazy with teenagers, cell phones and Sunday school

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I was sitting in a “teacher council” meeting this last week

And we were discussing cell phones…and how they drive everyone insane.

There you are teaching a lesson and suddenly the two girls in the back are giggling over the video they are watching on their phones.
Or the kid who sits there through the whole lesson playing on his phone and being sulky and sullen if you ask him to participate.
Or just trying to get their attention AT ALL, get them to LOOK UP from their phones and act like humans and give educated, interesting, thought provoking responses

(I mean is that even possible??? Even without phones???)

Many in the group offered this solution: Take their phones away.

And that’s not a bad call in some cases really.

And as a high school teacher, I used to do much that same thing.
At the beginning of class, I made all my kids turn off their phones (OFF, not just vibrate)
And I went around and checked them and gave them points for doing it even.
And they were supposed to keep them ON their desk (not under the desk or on their lap)
And keep them off for the whole period.

It worked great.
My lower level kids had a harder time with it sometimes, 
But let’s be honest, they had a hard time following directions period. So hey…

This last year though, my attitude changed.
I still miss the days of “turn off your phone when you come to class”
But my attitude now is: Let’s teach you to USE that phone instead of just PLAY with it.
If ANYONE is going to do that, it should be ME, your teacher, the school
This should be part of your education.
Because phones are not going away
And if anything they are getting better and better

And we can use them in more ways to make our lives better

But I’m sorry, if all they know is how to work Snapchat, Instagram and FB
I don’t see their lives being enriched at all.

In fact most kids only use their phones as very expensive toys 

So where will they learn to be better?

They will just magically wake up one day and be so?
Ya no…. welcome to YOUR calling 🙂

So these are some ideas of how you could USE phones in your Sunday School/YW/YM class to teach them to be GOOD with their phones. Hope it helps 🙂

1. Have them put a quote into their “Scriptures” as the class is starting or as their “ticket” out

Let’s say hypothetically that you weren’t teaching lesson 3 and you chose to discuss the topic of the godhead



Included in these materials are several scriptures and also some references to some talks by General Authorities about the subject

To start off the class one thing that could be useful for them is to give them something to keep in their “scriptures”

It used to be that everyone had physical scriptures and so to give them something to keep in their scriptures all you had to do was print out a quote on some cute paper and hand it out to them. Now though if you do that chances are that those little pieces of paper will not be saved by anything other than the trash can because now everything is digital.

But there’s no reason you can’t do the same thing with the same intention in the digital age. You want them to put something in their scriptures that later in life they might find and be inspired or motivated or comforted by.

So you go to one of these articles that the lesson provided and you find a quote for them. I trust one from the article “Godhead” in True to the Faith.


Copy and paste that onto a paper with some instructions. For example I would put something like this, either that I wrote on the board or that I printed together with the quote to just hang up like a sign on the board:
Go to Matthew 3:13

Highlight the first phrase “Jesus, when he was baptized”

Now at the top of your screen click on what looks like a paper and pencil.
This opens up a note (what would be a sticky note if you were using physical scriptures)

Title this note “the nature of the godhead”

Type the following quotes in as a note:

At least for once their little fingers moving fast on the keys will not be irritating 🙂

Now the next time they read this verse (which is a pretty good example of the time in the scriptures when all three of the godhead were present together and also scripture that often misinterpreted) they will have this part of the first highlighted and also have this quote there either for their own enrichment or to share with others, just like the cute little bookmarks and inserts that we used to get in our scriptures.

Below this quotes you could also have them write a response (including the date) of how they feel about this or an experience with it or a comment about it or a question any type of thing that could go along with this.

Also when you want people to respond well and with some kind of thought to their words it’s often helpful to have them write down their responses first and this would also be a good place to do that as well if you wanted to have them discuss it later in class.

2. Have them memorize and pass off “scripture mastery” verses or choose verses that go with the lesson for that week for them to memorize.

This app is super GOOD and it’s one they would also use in Seminary 

(And no complaints from your kids’ seminary teacher I’m sure, they can use all the reinforcement and help they can get.)

It helps them to memorize the word by progressively taking words or letters away as you memorize it

See the scroll thing at the bottom? That is how you make more or less words appear as you are memorizing it

You can also have them take a quiz or take a quiz on the Scripture Mastery tags or references

Overall a pretty good app for memorizing the scriptures and you can also change it from Book of Mormon to Old Testament or new testament or whatever

3. Have them watch the corresponding video that goes with the lesson that week

It used to be that in order to watch a clip for your lesson you had to look in a huge TV and also check out a DVD or a cassette tape or a VHS tape

Now you still might have to do that if you want…

or you could actually have the students watch it themselves on their phones

One very quick and very easy option are the scripture stories these are in an easily downloaded app and they don’t take a lot of space a very common complaint from from my students these days: memory is a hot commodity) They don’t need a really good connection very simple also and to the point so they won’t take up a lot of time.

They might think this is a little childish but they do have a very basic summary of whatever it is that you’re talking about that week so at least when you say “Who is Enos?” For example you won’t just get blank stares. Well you might still get blank stares but at least you know that it’s because that’s just the way their face is…LOL

4. Make a KaHoot! Game 


You can do a quiz, a discussion,  a survey and they are really easy to make. It’s something that you could do the night before and then do during class without too much effort

All you need is a “base” computer for the game–probably easier with a tablet or laptop but phone works too. In order for it to work the kids have to enter a code that you give them to be part of the game so it helps to be able to just show them the screen but you could just write it on the board it’s not that complicated.

All you have to do is log on to your account and make your quiz ( you type in the questions and the answers then click to do the next question. Easy.

Once you go to start the game their phones now become their buzzers and as soon as they answer the program will show that they did and it will show the results of who answered what but it won’t say specifically which answer was whose so as not to embarrass anyone (It shows how many people have answered not who has answered). The program will tell them the correct answer was after a certain time. Usually 10 to 15 seconds and then it will move on to the next question.

5. Have them Define some words:

 I am always shocked at how many words my students don’t know the definition to. Words that I think “Of course they know because they’ve heard them a million times” and so I assume that they know what they mean! …and they don’t.

In my English class sometimes I have them go through an article before we read it and highlight words that they don’t understand and I am always floored at the words that they highlight. Now maybe they’re picking random words but in most cases I don’t think they are.

Like the other day we are reading an article and it use the word “bigot”I would say 99% of my students did not know what it meant and the one kid who guessed said that it meant a b**** and I guess that’s close to the definition? At least it’s getting to the general connotation of it but the fact that it had a female Association to it Disturbed me a little frankly. Do you see what I mean though? They kind of know what certain words mean but then at the same time they really don’t at all.

So if you want them to do something to help on the lesson have them choose some words to look up the definition for…

Maybe they have heard them a million times but it doesn’t mean that they understand them…at all…

On some words maybe just dictionary.com ( which most of my students use at school on their phones on a pretty regular basis) would work well for just like the Webster’s Dictionary type of a definition. For example, this is what the word “Meek” means:

It’s not a bad definition and it even gives you where it’s from? That’s kind of interesting but as far as the gospel I don’t know about you but I’m still not entirely clear about what it means.

Other times you could encourage them to use things like the Bible dictionary or a new feature in the digital scriptures called “Guide to the scriptures.”

This is a new addition and it’s kind of a combination between the topical guide and the Bible dictionary. For example if you look in the topical guide under “Meek, meekness,” you get this:

And if you look in the Bible dictionary? It’s not there.

But then if you look in the guide to the scriptures you get this:

This gives you an actual definition and it also gives you the references that the topical guide does as well.

Here’s to a Happy Sunday!  Good Luck!

Posted in Cell Phone Apps, Food, Getting Organized, Getting Started, Planning the Menu

The best trick to making Pinterest work for you 

Has this ever happened to you?
I see something on Pinterest or I read something in a Blog

And I think “wow I totally want to do that! That sounds so good”

The holidays are coming up, or someone’s birthday is in a few weeks…
Or when I see a recipe that I think I really want to do….

And then that time comes to use it and I either have already forgotten all about it 

Or if by some miracle I do remember

I go to look for it on Pinterest and either can’t find it at all…

or I’m horribly distracted by 20 other things….

And in the end I either don’t have time to do it or realize that it’s too late

Or realize that this requires some specific item that I don’t have

So enter my new favorite trick:

This involves two different things:  one you already know how to do and the other is an app that makes it all possible

The app is nothing complicated it’s called business calendar and it looks like this:

And it will sync with Google Calendar (which I use constantly)
Google Calendar though does not have this feature which makes my trick possible

Also I like business calendar better because it allows you to switch between calendars easier but that’s a different story

Okay so say that you see something that you like

It doesn’t have to be on Pinterest technically this could be anywhere on the internet

But Pinterest is probably a very good example to use

You see something you like and you think “hey I want to use that”

And when do you want to use it?

Let’s say that you decide to make this amazing recipe next Monday for a snack for the kids:

So all you have to do is highlight the portion that you want:

For example if it’s a recipe most sites have a feature to “print recipe” and it makes it a little easier to get just the text for the recipe (without ads or a million pictures)
So you highlight the part that you want to keep either instructions or even pictures, whatever it is

And now here’s the part that you are already know:

Right click or hold down and go to “share”

Now normally you’re used to sharing things to social media but in this case instead of sharing it to Facebook, you’re going to share it to business calendar:

Business calendar will then open up an event for you on your calendar:

And look! All the info you highlighted is already there! This is exactly how it comes up! I haven’t typed anything yet!

And now you have the option to set the date for this event and even the time because now this is something that you have scheduled on your calendar that you can also do everything you would normally do with an event on the calendar: set reminders, set alarms, whatever.

Like…. set an alarm to go get certain craft project products in order to do the project in the first place (that’s always my problem)

Or maybe set a reminder to buy a specific food product maybe that wouldn’t normally be on your shopping list so that you can make those special cupcakes you saw on Pinterest

Business calendar will also, if you highlight this portion, (which is usually at the bottom of a recipe for example) it will also put a link to the site that you got this information from so if you go to do a project or a recipe and want to go back to the original site all you have to do is click the link and there you go

This could be very useful in doing things like Advent calendars? Or birthday ideas? Or I like to do it with planning my menu when trying to use new recipes that I see on Pinterest
This way when it comes time to do it, there is information I need right there and I don’t have to search or get distracted or look around for it it’s right there when I need it all the information together

It’s the best trick ever.

Posted in Cell Phone Apps, Getting Organized, Getting Started, High School, Teaching

8 “Educational” Game Apps for High Schoolers

Part III:
See here for the Intro
See here for the Serious Apps

So here is a list of the Games we played this year
The basic philosophy of playing Games was this:
1. They are going to play SOMETHING
Why not have them playing something educational?
2. Going along with this “training for adulthood” idea that I talked about before, kids need to be introduced to games that are both educational and popular and even beneficial.
I mean just because we are adults doesn’t mean we have to be serious all the time right???
Making them play games gives them some exposure into Other games out there besides the kill-zombies and battle/homesteading games or race car games that I see them play so often.
Not that those aren’t fun but… exposure here is the idea.
Give them an introduction to other things out there

So here is a list of games we played and how they went:
words with friends
#1: Words With Friends

Excellent connection to English, don’t you think?
This game went fantastic
and overall I think this was the favorite for the year
Only a few kids had actually played this game
But most had heard of it?
The rule was they HAD to play someone from class
(That way everyone got to play)
I required them to play 10 games TOTAL
Over a 3 week period

Problems we had:
1.  games can go on for days and days and days…
So don’t expect them to do “a game a day”
But rather be finished by the time the 3 weeks were up
2. I think the 3 week time period was too long.
By the end of week 2 everyone was sick of it
I think they really enjoyed playing it for the two weeks

alphabetty saga
#2: Alphabetty Saga
This game is like Candy Crush and Boggle put together
The goal is to get a certain number of candies to the bottom
And you spell words to eliminate tiles
Again, good English game I thought
And there are an infinite number of levels
And it’s super cute and actually pretty difficult
I had them set a goal to get to level 15 or 20 I think
For the most part everyone did, a few got stuck
Overall good game

Problems we had:
1. Overall it was enjoyable, but overall it wasn’t as “educational” as I would have liked. You don’t really have to come up with big words, you can spell “can” and “be” and “me” and still win. But still, at least it got them thinking a bit?
2. I wasn’t really sure what a realistic goal was.  In the end I said 15 figuring that would be one level a day if we played every weekday for three weeks? Some people had a hard time but overall, it was a low goal. I think next time I will have more of a competition or something so that they try harder to get to higher levels?
3. Same problem as Words with Friends, I think next time two weeks would be fine, the third week everyone is sick of it

.4_Pics_1_Word
#3: 4 Pics, 1 Word
Another favorite of the year!
I think it would be a tie between this one and Words with Friends
This was both challenging and educational
I was very pleased at the new words that kids learned
(like I helped a kid with the word “sliver” and he couldn’t get it because he only knew that word in Spanish! ha! Funny what we learn and don’t learn, huh?)
Basic idea in case you don’t know:
You get 4 pictures and you have to guess what word they ALL show
Seems simple enough but actually kinda hard because they can be tricky
Advice I gave my classes was this: Stop overthinking it!
These are not obscure vocab words, there are common words!
Relax and don’t complicate it!
It was super fun

Problems we had:
1. I set a goal for them to reach 100 or 200, I can’t remember and they BLASTED past it like in a second. I had a kid at like level 300 on the first day we played it! Finally just did a competition for who could get the highest and that went a lot better. The kid who won got to level 900!!
2. Many kids were already playing this: which is fine, but it made it hard to tell them “Get to level 200” when they were already there 🙂

trivia crack#4: Trivia Crack
Another favorite!
This was the first “Trivia” game we played
This game has four categories and it asks you questions from each
So it applies to English
But also History, Geography, Sports and Science
You can play a Random person
Or you can play friends
And most kids had a good time playing each other
And I got to play a few students as well
Questions are kinda random but some are actually hard
To win you have to win all the little icons
Very entertaining to spin the dial and answer questions
I quite enjoyed this one

Problems we had:
1. It is possible to only have one person and then lose.  (this happened to me several times lol) You keep playing until you miss a question so if you miss a question, there is no guarantee that you will ever get another one. haha When it is finally our turn again, your partner might have already gotten all their icons or close to it. You can challenge them and upset them but really you don’t play AGAINST them so much as WITH them.

mindgameslumosity#5: Mind War and Lumonosity
I started out with Mind Wars thinking this would give them a wide variety to choose from
But it didn’t really work at all
Most of the kids were too overwhelmed at the beginning
There are a list of games
And many of them are free
But then of course they want you to buy it to play the rest
I just think this is a game they would have liked later
For the most part, they didn’t play these

th (4)#6: Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
This is another trivia game
Very similar to Trivia Crack
Modeled after the show if you’ve seen that
They enjoyed this one also
But I think that we played this one a little too soon after Trivia Crack
Everyone loved that one
And this one was just okay
Not quite as cute
And not quite as entertaining
Mostly an ordering problem I think?

Ideas for MORE:
unnamed (1)7. Fish Grammar!
I thought this was the CUTEST game ever
You are the scuba diver
And the fish/sharks/whales swimming by are parts of speech 🙂
To get points you have to “catch” the right words
And if you catch the wrong ones, you get docked points
Super cute, actually very fun to play
I thought this would be a good starter game at the beginning of the year?
Good review on Parts of Speech, easy to play
But we never got to play it
But biggest problem:
It’s only made for Androids 😦
So if they ever make an iPhone version
We will totally be playing this game!

th (1)
8. Word Ox
I found this game towards the end of the year
And it looks pretty good
It is very similar to Words With Friends
Only you can move and use any tiles on the board
Seems a little more cutesy and geared to younger age
But it could still work 🙂
word ox screenshot
It might be one we will play this next year?

I would love to hear any suggestions for more!!

Posted in Cell Phone Apps, Getting Organized, Getting Started, High School, Teaching

10 High School Apps your student needs to be using

th (3)#1: Google classroom:
My district bought access to this program this year
so we used it because that was the big push.
(I also really searched a program called OneNote
that I also really liked but the  decision was made for me in this case)
Google Classroom is a nice way to organize assignments,
post HW for kids who were absent
(especially for things we do in class like watch clips or have a handout or even a quiz) because it can just all be “on Classroom” and it’s all easy to access.
image
You can attach documents, links, or post it right there as text
Kids can take pictures of their work and attach them to the assignment
or take screenshots of their work
or just simply write a note that says  “turned this in physically” and turn it in.

image
On their end, the program tells them what they have turned in,
what’s missing
and what has been graded already once I “return” it to them.

I LOVE THIS: At the first of the year it didn’t do this but as the year has progressed, they have done some cool things: the best thing so far is that they linked Google Classroom with Google Calendar so now when I open up my calendar, it says what is due that day (which I don’t need to know technically since I’m the teacher not the student haha) so no need to Enter the assignment, it’s all synced together. Helps to keep everything organized and together

image
Other Options: The Counseling dept has their own “classroom” that they post links to scholarships and such and remind kids of workshops and things.
So far I’ve seen kids have 3 or 4 “classes” on their programs (most of this all being done on their cell phones)

1st Problem:
The gradebook is my biggest complaint I would say.
I’ve heard there is a way to sync it with your gradebook
but so far no progress on that.
So I can “grade” their stuff on Classroom
On my cell phone even
but then I still have to write down their scores
and enter them on my other program to go on their actual grade.
It makes for a lot of in between  time that is irritating.
And I get a lot of “I turned this in on Classroom” claims:
some legit, (this is where the sync problem comes in)
Others not legit from kids who turn in an assignment a month later
and tell me “oh I turned that in on classroom

My idea: I wish there was a way to set a timer on the assignment
Like if they try to turn it in after a certain time it will just be like,
“oh sorry, you have to talk to your teacher about this”
or the window would pop up and say
“thanks for turning this in, but it’s two weeks late so you’ve been docked points”
whatever those points are.
And then if that was synced to enter on my gradebook automatically?
That would be sweet

image
2nd Problem: The program will show you
how many people have turned in the homework
but doesn’t show you how many are already graded
So unless you remember that you already graded 16
and now it says 18
so you have two more? Or did you already grade those?
then you get a lot of kids telling you “oh I turned that in already”
see what I mean?

Lately it has started showing a “returned” amount
image
Which would solve the problem
IF
It worked all the time 🙂
It says the “returned” numbers on some assignments
But then it doesn’t

The other solution is to just go through and delete them altogether
but frankly we get busy and I forget to
and then I regret it later when I’m checking back over stuff
that I “forgot” to enter supposedly.

Google-Calendar-icon-1024x1024
#2: Google Calendar

We use this in our business like CRAZY
Don’t know what we ever did without it
And now Google Classroom will link all the assignments Calendar
And send you reminders for your HW (in red):
screenshot_20160518-145823.png
Different colors for different classes?
You can make as many “calendars” as you need
(one for each class!)
Or show them all at once
At home I use this on the computer LOTS
And it will look up addresses for you
And link it to MapQuest when you get ready to go places
(saved my life many times)
I used many different systems in the course of
High School
College
And my Masters
And I WISH this would have existed
I don’t know how many hours I wasted
Just getting everything organized
And this does it for you!

mzl_cywklifn

#3: CRAM!!!
This is my favorite app that we use
We use it every week to study for their vocab test
It lets you create your own flashcards
And then helps you study them:
VB#12 Word practice (Friday May 13, 2016 7-59 AM, PDT)
And then there are two different games you can play
That the program plugs in the info from your cards
And puts them in a matching game
Screenshot_20160513-082622
I love this program overall

Only Complaints:
1. The program signs them out: the kids complain about this all the time,
But to me, that answer is pretty simple: sign in again 🙂
2. I had a few kids get their stuff erased, but I would say there was like 2 kids all year that happened to.  We do 6 Vocabulary units per quarter so by the end they have 24 sets of cards but really only need 6 at a time so most of the time it was fine.
2. There are only two games: and they are great, don’t get me wrong,
But after using it all year, I think the kids would love another option 🙂

google-drive#4: Google Drive
It used to be for many years
That at every school the kids were always encouraged to
“save on Their Drive”
Each kid had their own network account
And that was great…
Except once they went home
There was really no way to transfer info
That was where disks, flashdrives, CDs, etc
came into play
And then there were all these rules about what they could use
Because of viruses and things that the kids would come
And now the WHOLE network had some crazy virus
And it was a HUGE hassle all the time
Just trying to get a COPY of their work
File didn’t save right… computer wouldn’t read the file
All a bunch of nonsense really
And this fixes it all
They can type on their phones,
They can type on a computer
And when they finish, they can save it the Drive
And access it from home, their phone or a computer
At school or at home
No need for a flashdrive anything, they just have to log on
The doc opens us, they print
Or they share it with me
And it can all be digital!
No printers, no viruses, no hassle
LOVE

google-docs-02-535x535
#5: Google Docs
I would say this is the other most important app we use
This lets the kids type on their phones 🙂
No more computer lab time
No more computers at all
They can type their paper on their phones
During class, waiting for the bus, traveling, wherever
We had to do a few lessons to learn this program,
But it’s really not a difficult program to learn at all
In the beginning I projected my phone on the screen
And we “typed” a paper together
And showed them how to save and send and such
And most importantly, how to send to Classroom
So that they could turn in their homework
At the beginning they had several “assignments”
And I use quotes because they were kinda fake and kinda real 🙂
Mostly they were to help them practice and use the program
I had them do things like download a doc
Edit it
Share it with a friend
Edit it again
And save it
And finally turn it in.
I would say this program is mostly second nature now

Only problem:
It’s hard to tell where the “pages” are with this program
So I started learning to say not “Write a 2 page essay”
But write a 500 word essay
Which maybe some of you already do?
I didn’t. But I do now because of this program

 

Reading Online:
#6:Kindle
#7: Nook
#8: Kobo books
#9: Goodreads (for book recommendations)
#10: Watt books

Any of the above apps
Are ones I encouraged them to use
Plus giving them links to online books
(Like when we read 1984 I found online links to the book)
If we are doing this whole “digital” revolution
Might as well include reading in that bag as well!
This way they can read their “independant reading” on their phone
And there are no excuses 🙂

There are TONS of books available for free
And then there are other programs
Where you can get SOME for free
And then buy a subscription for more
th
There is a subscription you can sign up for at BookBub.com
That will send you email alerts every day
And tell you when there are FREE or almost free digital books available
And I have gotten TONS of free books that way

BIGGEST Problem:
You have to have a credit card on file
Which is fine for normal adults
And it doesn’t mean you have to buy anything
But try telling that to a parent of a teen
Who “swears they won’t buy anything
Ya… it doesn’t work
So I have an Amazon account
Which means that even downloading FREE books
They treat it like a purchase
Even though you aren’t actually buying anything
Which is fine for me
But not for a teenager
I would say that is our biggest obstacle

Posted in Cell Phone Apps, Getting Organized, Getting Started, High School, Teaching

Tools Not Toys: Getting started on educational cell phone use

The beginning of this year school year
I set out to find some apps that I could use in my classroom
And I don’t teach Elementary
I teach High School
And I don’t teach the sweet little freshmen
I teach Seniors 🙂
(cringe, right? It’s actually really fun)
The biggest problem I found is this:
There is almost no such thing as a”High School app”
(go ahead, trying searching for that, few to none exist in any official form)
There are TONS and TONS and then TONS again
Of “Elementary School level apps”
There are games and sites and things galore
And all super super cutesy!
(Big hearts and smiley faces and emoticons here)
But really, Seniors don’t do cute
I mean they kinda do? Sometimes?
(they won’t it admit it but they will)
But really, after researching pages and pages of Cute Cute Apps
I came to the conclusion that High School doesn’t need High School Apps
They need Grown-Up Apps that they should start learning how to use already
The goal is not to teach them about surviving High School
(Although that will be part of it)
The goal is to teach them how to survive college, a job and LIFE

I came up with two types of Apps:
Serious Educational Tools Apps and
Fun Games with Hidden Educational Goals Apps 🙂

High school kids I decided, needed three things:
1. Ways to use their phones in the Adult world to work and to study better
2. Games and fun things to do on their phone that will make them smarter and more prepared instead of well…the opposite effect that most social media has.
3. Ways to use their phone well in a way that will BENEFIT them in the end and they need to learn to make it do that, not just use it waste time and get into trouble
Those were my basic goals when I chose what we would use

Once I had this in hand, my basic problem was this:
What now?
How do you teach kids to use their cell phones in class without it being a disaster?
How do you teach kids to WORK and now just PLAY with their phones?
Where do you even start?

So below are the problems I ran into and mostly how I fixed them:

1. We have to Download what???
Hand out A list of “Things to Download” from Day 1!
Lots of kids in and out, lots of craziness at the beginning of the year
And lots of questions
So make a list and tell them: please have this downloaded by tomorrow!
There were lots of raised eyebrows, lots of surprise even
And a lot of hesitation and responses like “okay…I guess?”
Games can be downloaded as they go and uninstalled when we are done
But the stuff we use constantly, they need all those ASAP
At the end of the list of “Apps to Download”
The last thing to do was to make a Folder on their phone and put all these things in the same folder so they had easy access.
They did it, but I think most of them probably thought I was nuts 🙂
Now at the end of the year, kids use their phones constantly to hand in work
And now it’s all more instinctual than anything

2. A Wifi Connection:
We were promised this at our school this year
YAY!
But ya…didn’t really happen completely
It kinda did in some areas of school
But not in mine 😦 Would have been nice…
This caused some problems as the year went on (see C and E below)

3. Data Usage Negotiating: What do we need???
A. For some kids it doesn’t matter: they have unlimited data, they use it however much they want, and whatever
B.  Some kids have limited Data, so they can’t do the assignment there but they can do it at home later (which has Wifi) and turn it in that afternoon (something to warn about and plan for)
C. Some kids have a phone that could log on to WiFi and work fine if such a thing existed… but alas…
D. Some kids don’t have phones or data: I had ONE kid in my CP class and ONE kid in my General that didn’t have a phone and now at the end of the year, I have one kid that has never gotten a phone.(out of about 100 kids) To me the whole “But what if they don’t have a phone?!?!” argument is pretty much void these days as most kids own the best phone money can buy.
BUT, even if they don’t, most apps are accessible from a normal computer (one of my kids had to do this for awhile because his phone got ruined and didn’t get replaced for about a month) but now the question is whether they have a computer with internet at home? Maybe, maybe not. I would say in general this is not a problem and I just worked out the work on an individual basis
E. Data Overload: I would say that number one “complaint” I have had this year about my class is the amount of Data the kids use (mostly by parents who call to whine that THEY cannot use any Data because their kid is using it all for “educational purposes.”LOL) I think much of this would be solved by the Wifi actually working, but other than that, YES, using Apps uses more Data than…doing nothing. Again, I would say nothing to really be done about it other than try to provide WiFi? I don’t have a solution to this one, guilty as charged 😦 🙂

4. Space on their Phone: I think one of the other “First” conversations we have to have is “what you should delete to make room” talk.  Most kids have tons of pictures, videos and etc etc on their phone and are like “I can’t download that, I don’t have room” to which I answer, “Well, go ahead and just delete Snapchat and I’m sure you’ll have room!” They roll their eyes and smile because the message came through: you have room, you just have a  bunch of crap on there and I need you to download something educational, get your priorities straight!” 🙂 It’s a hard thing and I even had a kid tell me he deleted Google Classroom because he was “making room” for all his Snapchat storage (Ya, guess what his grade is, haha)

5. Backing Up your Info Already!!! This conversation topic inevitably follows next and includes a talk about things like Google Drive and Dropbox where MAYBE (I dunno, you know, you could think about it) you should be backing up all those pics and videos instead of just keeping them on your phone waiting to get ruined when you ruin yet another phone…???
I dunno, think about it….
And if you did, which would be SMART of you….
you would have room for what you can really use on your phone :)|

6. HOW-TO: You’d be surprised what kids really DON’T know how to do with their phones.  They know all the social media stuff, sure. But outside of that? It can be scary.  So a few basic lessons that they will need to do all that needs to be done with their phones:
*how to take screenshots,
*attaching files (docs, pics, screenshots),
*FINDING where their documents are :),
*Taking GOOD (readable) pictures of documents,
*using apps to type assignments (on their phones vs. a computer),
*How to edit/make comments on a document on their phone
*How to share documents with each other (peer reviews, turning in work)

7. iPhone vs. Android: When I was choosing Apps I realized that despite that it makes sense, and despite that you would think they always would, there are Apps that are only for one type of phone.  Major Apps will have both “versions” but smaller ones will not.  Mostly this was frustrating when choosing Game Apps because I’d find a KILLER AMAZING game and ya…only for Android or only for iPhones. Why would you only make ONE VeRsIoN??? I don’t get it but it’s true. Make sure you TEST and CHECK that your Apps work for both types of phones.

8. TOOLS NOT TOYS!!!! Inevitably, I give a speech about this and even have a handout if I remember right: Use your high tech computer for your BENEFIT not just as a very expensive TOY! All of these things we learn are supposed to HELP you—help with homework, help with doing things faster, doing things easier, becoming better, learning, growing and being a better student! That is what I want them to learn about—their “education” in how to use technology to waste time and pass on meaningless non-stop information is fully complete!! Let’s use phones as TOOLS, the Toy portion is when you get home! haha

Stay Tuned for Part 2:
Educational Apps we can’t live without

and Part 3: Educational Game Apps for High School