Fresh Start, A New Beginning:

Dear friends,
I’m gonna start off this with a quote that I felt was appropriate for this, it’s from Dead Poet Society which is a favorite of mine

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

For the people who read this blog, you know that last year I was studying at Bay State College, a small private college located in the heart of Boston Massachusetts. I was studying Entertainment Management and it everything seemed to be going well until the end of the first semester when I discovered that Entertainment Management was not for me. It was down hill from there, everyday there seemed to be something new that bugged me about the college. From the admissions not knowing how to support their students, to the almost non excitant academic support offered to students, it was not everything I hoped it to be.

Fast-forward to the present: It’s now Wednesday August 27, 2014 and I am preparing to move into an entirely new university, with brand new people, studying something completely new. To say that i’m excited would be a drastic understatement, I am besides myself with feelings of excitement, nervousness and hopefulness. Hopeful that I’ll succeed, hopeful that i’ll enjoy it and most importantly, hopeful that i’ll absolutely love what i’m studying. Now to what my new major is, (insert drum roll here) my new major will be English with a minor in Secondary Education. There it is. That is what I’ll be studying for the next three (more likely four) years. The funny part is, if you told me when I was sixteen that when you’re nineteen you will be going to Salem State University studying English with a minor in Secondary Education, I would’ve thought you were insane. At that time in my life, I wanted to study Audio Engineering, that sure has changed. It’s crazy how life works sometimes, one day you think you have your whole life planned out, the next you are changing majors, changing schools and changing your entire life plan.

The dream is that I’ll get to observe, student teach at North Andover High School (my high school) then get hired full time as an English teacher. I am ready and prepared for the challenges that this journey has, I am eager to become a teacher and make a difference on kids lives everyday. I can’t see myself doing anything different with my life.

Sincerely,

Nathan Richards

The Myth of Device fatigue

“Many classrooms still use numerous approaches which do not reflect the practices the creative industries, businesses, universities or even individual professionals expect to see in their new recruits and don’t do much to prepare young people for the rapidly changing reality of life after school.”

EDUWELLS

6660040845_df16b08be8_mMy wife came home the other day and started describing a new problem arising in her school, where students were claiming to be tired of using devices for everything. The students were apparently saying “Can’t we just do a lesson on paper today or you just teach us.” As she told me this, my wife didn’t notice that she was simultaneously picking up her iPad to check Facebook and that made me think.

Photo Credit

In my observations around my school, it’s those same students claiming device fatigue in the classroom that are not hesitating to turn to their device for ‘life updates’ as they leave that very same room. I would propose that it’s not fatigue caused by device use but that caused by the pain of trying to carry out conventional, 20th century classroom tasks on devices that are designed for a world that conducts itself very differently.

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Why recommend the iPad for schools?

EDUWELLS

ocKids-iPadThis blog is nearly 2 years old and I thought it was time to revisit the reason for its existence. I am still teaching 11 to 18 year-olds everyday in BYOD classrooms (not iPad only) and can claim asignificant experience in the various pros and cons of all types and brands of devices. When I’m considering which students are supported the most in their learning by their device, I still conclude the iPad and its eco-system is my recommendation for handling the full breadth of activities and opportunities undertaken in 21st century schools.

I do appreciate that during the last 4 and a half years it has become fashionable in education to proclaim “the device doesn’t matter” but each week I experience a at least one moment where it does.

10 Reasons why I still recommend iPad

Issues 1 – 5  – Tablet format over Laptop

  1. Filming
    filming-iPadThe…

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Education technology can make revolutionary changes in education system

86% of teachers think that education technology is essential in learning and development for students and their future. Can’t help to think, DUH! Students are interacting with technology on a daily bases, personally, I have my iPhone connected to my hip, constantly checking Twitter or Facebook, like every other twenty year old out there. In this day and age, theres no excuse for schools not to having cutting edge technology seamlessly integrated into classrooms.

The Edadvocate

Education Technology in K-12 classrooms is grooming rapidly. 86% of teachers think that education technology is an essential in the classroom. Some teachers believe technology improves student engagement levels. Among all the teachers 12% of them are using digital curricula and other using technology resources. Education technology is based upon money, time resources and matter of access. Educational technology is considered as “cutting edge” and it often comes with some red tape. But it is very difficult task for teachers to get approval for a new equipment and convince their staff that it will make a difference in teaching outcomes. This task is more difficult than funding.

Most of the schools are using throw projector AV System to educate their student. This equipment turns your old class room into modern classroom. This technology of projection has been used around for a few decades. The projector system has built-in wireless receiver…

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January 27, 2013

Dear Friends,

I’m writing to you today because if I don’t, I might go crazy.

I’ve been attending Bay State College, studying Entertainment Management. For anyone who doesn’t know, Bay State College is a private small college approximately 1,219 undergraduate students (According to College Board’s website) seeking degrees. The college is located right in the Back Bay of Boston Massachusetts and is mainly a commuter school. Now, Bay State College for me, started as a random school to apply to last fall, just to say I did. My goal up until spring of my senior year (last spring) I was planning on attending New England School of Communications all the up in Bangor Maine (Yes, all the way in Bangor.) Now, I decided I didn’t want to be 5 and a half hours away from home, so I chose Bay State College and settled with an Entertainment Management degree instead of an Audio Engineering degree.

Now, WARNING! I have nothing but good things to say for the professors who teach Entertainment Management at Bay State College, they are incredible! 

First semester went pretty good socially, but academically it didn’t do good at all, so fast forward to now. I am currently in my second semester at Bay State College and I have recently come to the conclusion that Bay State wasn’t a good fit for me. I decided, I was going to do a 360 and change my school and change my major. My goal now is to either attend Salem State University or Southern New Hampshire University with a major of Computer Science and a Minor in Secondary Education (or the other way around). Yeah, big switch right? So, anyways, after visiting both schools I have come to realize that almost all the necessities a student needs to succeed in a college environment are completely lacking at Bay State College. The support staff is almost non-excistant, the college seems to accept almost everyone, even people who in my whole hearted opinion should not be there. And worst of all or at least worst for me is that the IT Department at Bay State College is ridiculously idiotic. 

SIDE BAR:

In one of their buildings, there wireless network is impossible to log onto so students who need to or prefer to use their laptops in class are unable to follow along with their professor due to the fact that they’re unable to connect.

Anyways, the quality of education that I’m receiving here at Bay State is almost appallingly horrendous. They are not preparing their students to adventure into the twenty first century, there not giving their students enough support, both academically and technologically.

My goal for the fall is to hopefully attend Salem State University and either major in Secondary Education and minor in Computer Science or the other way around. I never thought I would want to become a teacher, but with the help of my intelligent girlfriend, I came to the realization that, it’s what I want to do with my future,

So, for all you juniors and seniors in high school, when you’re looking and applying to colleges make sure you really look closely into the school and make sure that the education you will be paying for is up to exceptional.

Sincerely,

  Nate Richards