Mark Barnes

Can my Droid teach my class?

Posted in classroom web site, Gadgets, Recent Events, Teaching Tools by Mark Barnes on January 16, 2010

In an attempt to remain with the now generation, or at least to stay about three feet ahead of my precocious seventh graders, I recently bought a smart phone — an Android Eris.  It didn’t take long for me to see that the smart phone is a lot smarter than I am.

I inadvertently called several friends and family the other day, because I didn’t realize that the Droid’s touch screen is as delicate as an Anne Murray ballad, and I found myself driving 10 miles off course, when I mistakenly asked my Droid to take me to the wrong Interstate. The Droid, of course, went exactly where I told it to go.

Since we teachers are prone to numerous mishaps in our daily instruction, I couldn’t help but wonder if the smart phone could help me teach my class. I figure, if it’s smart enough to dial my relatives on its own and drive me places even I didn’t realize I wanted to go, perhaps the Droid could anticipate points I want to make in class and help me avoid human error.

My Droid was about 30 minutes old before it smoothly located my classroom web site, with my voice command of,

Now, all I have to do is get it to read and score the book reports my students posted on their individual web pages.

I wonder if the smart phone offers a robot teacher application? Let me check. I’ll get back to you.

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