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The Pros and Cons of Smart Phones in the Classroom

Image taken from Wikipedia,

Campus Technology has a very interesting article on how smartphones can be both a teaching tool and a distraction to students. Titled, Smartphones: Teaching Tool or Brain Candy?, they discuss how faculty can use phones as a asset teaching while giving ideas for managing phones in the classroom.

Here at UC Berkeley law we have a slightly different situation. Since almost all students have laptops, smartphones or tablets, faculty members must deal with these kinds of technology questions daily. While a smart phone  may signify a distracted student, it could also show that a student is researching a topic, or making a note to themselves about something in class. We tend t0 think of these devices as being used for social/entertainment purposes and may not be aware of what kind of potential they have as productivity and learning devices. It’s important to communicate to students what your expectations are for their use of technology in your class. Is it ok for them google search topics in class, or even use Wikipedia?


iPad App Review: Pen Ultimate

penultimate icon

Is Pen Ultimate a notebook, or a digital whiteboard app? The answer is both. As a notebook or notepad replacement, Pen Ultimate sports extremely smooth handwritten text. Paired with a stylus, it’s likely the closest you can get to feeling like you are writing directly on your iPad. Pages are intuitively grouped into notebooks, that can be customized with different types of paper. Plug your iPad into a classroom projector cable and it transforms into a digital whiteboard. (more…)

Digital Teacher’s Tool Kit: Flash Drive

Digital Teacher’s Tool Kit: Flash Drive
Small, Portable, Storage

flash drive image

Before class begins, a professors walks into his classroom to set up. Having requested a laptop from Media Services, he finds it set up on the podium, plugged in and ready to go. With only a few minutes before class begins, he quickly pulls out his flash drive, plugs it into the computer and a couple seconds later has his Powerpoint on the screen ready to go.


Faculty Spotlight: Professor Herma Hill Kay Use iPad as Digital Whiteboard

image of Herma Hill Kay Teaching

Professor Herma Hill Kay poses a question to her students about how one determines a home state in child custody matters. After a brief discussion about the days assigned reading, she decides to highlight several factors that will guide her students through the material. Instead of standing up and walking over to the whiteboard to write out her points though, she quickly jots down her notes on her iPad using her finger. The transition between discussion and presentation is seamless. (more…)