*I am a member of the US Cellular Blogger Brigade. This shop has been compensated as part of their program. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own.
BACK TO SCHOOL 101: Stay in the Know, on the Go
It’s that time again! Can you believe it?! School starts September 2nd for us here in North Iowa. I can see in my Facebook feed though that lots of students have already started back. This can be an excited time yet overwhelming for not only the students, but their family members and teachers as well. Even those who don’t have kids in school have some adjusting to do (commutes to work, etc). Technology is awesome and can totally help you get back into the groove of your fall and winter routines.
I know one question I hear being discussed is at what age should you send a child off with a cellphone? I really think the best answer is “it depends” A phone is a HUGE responsibility and some children are able to handle that responsibility at a younger age than others. There needs to be open communication on what expectations there are from both sides. Here is a free Parent Child Agreement that really helps start that conversation.
I think having a cell phone is especially important if you have kids involved in extra curricular activities. What if their practice gets cancelled or gets out 30 minutes early? Obviously they will have to abide by the school’s rules on phones and tablets, but it is really nice that they can get a hold of you. I love that we are with U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE network because if they need to get a hold of me even if I’m on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere they can!
Did you know that the Samsung Galaxy S5 even has a kid mode? It’s a very easy set up. Also, if you download the Free Parent/Child Agreement they will know what you expect of them.
hether students forget to check for homework assignments or miss class due to illness, students don’t want to fall behind. Access to information and connecting with teachers and other students is just a click away with the help of smartphones and tablets. Did you know that according to a recent survey by U.S. Cellular, 74 percent of households with children under the age of 18 have at least one tablet. Tablets and smartphones are becoming a simple tool to ensure students keep making the grade.
Also, according to a recent Student Mobile Device Survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 87 percent of students would like to use digital textbooks so they don’t have to carry so much in their backpacks. And half of those students surveyed use their pocket-friendly smartphones instead of tablets.
Tablets are also being used in the classroom; learning apps, eBooks, online educational videos and internet access can all enhance the learning experience. Here in Northwood, our students are sent home with a computer to help complete assignments. They are really encouraging using technology.
With reliable mobile access to the internet on a robust network such as a 4G LTE network/high-speed network through U.S. Cellular, teachers and students can effectively harness the full capability of this technology even in a super tiny town like Northwood.
Students, teachers and parents can optimize their connected learning experience with the help of the following apps recommended by U.S. Cellular:
- Skype (Android) / Facetime (iOS): These free Internet video calling services allow teachers and students to collaborate wherever they are. Teachers can bring guest speakers into class to discuss their expertise, thereby demonstrating how school subjects are relevant to real life. Students can take virtual field trips anywhere in the world. No permission slip required.
- Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Featured in USA Today as one of the best teacher apps, Teacher’s Assistant Pro ($3.99 download) allows teachers to keep track of student actions, behaviors and achievements in the classroom. Using an iPhone or iPad, teachers can record student infractions and accolades, create a detailed written description of the event, and communicate with parents, reducing time consuming paperwork.
- Notability: This powerful note-taker app is free and allows iOS and Android users to complete worksheets, sketch ideas, keep a journal, integrate photos and record a lecture, and keep it all in one place. Use the search feature to quickly locate notes by title or content. Share with others using iCloud or Google Drive.
- DropBox: This cloud-based file sharing and storage free app lets users circulate files from different locations over different networks. Turn in and return assignments, provide up-to-date syllabi from different locations quickly, and post grades securely and easily.
I’m also excited to share that U.S. Cellular is donating $1 million to fund teacher classroom projects through its Calling All Teachers Last year, the company contributed $500,000 towards educational materials for improved classroom experiences. U.S. Cellular is working with DonorsChoose.org for a fourth time and encourages teachers to post their projects on the site for potential funding. DonorsChoose.org is a charity website that helps teachers identify funds from corporate and individual donations for classroom projects.
Through U.S. Cellular’s ongoing commitment to the community and education, the company has contributed more than $7 million through this and other philanthropic programming. Starting today K-12 public school teachers can register online at DonorsChoose.org and affiliate as a U.S. Cellular teacher. Then beginning August 11, they can post their classroom projects for funding consideration. Through DonorsChoose.org U.S. Cellular has funded more than 4,500 classroom projects to date, which included technology tools, art equipment and science experiments. All projects must be submitted by September 21 to be eligible for this year’s funding. Selected projects will be in announced in October.
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