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A student’s view of technology: “A cat is not a dog.”


Audrey Mullen is a sophomore at Presentation High School in San Jose, California. She started Kite Reviews, an all-student consulting service that provides user reviews of your edtech products. She’s worked with Brainpop, All Can Code, and Readorium.

And she recently posted an article at EdSurge, sharing her thoughts on the use of technology in the high school classroom and the teachers that use it. For those of us on the far side of being a sophomore in high school and who advocate for the effective use of technology as part of instruction, Audrey’s viewpoint should be a vital part of that conversation.

Her article is also a good reminder of how we need to be much more aware of how our decisions impact the actual people who make up our very large customer base. Read the entire article over at EdSurge but here’s a brief teaser of some of her topics:

Give Us Games (aka, Make Learning Fun)

It is the final round of Jeopardy in Ms. T’s sixth period biology class. Winner takes all. It’s getting heated. With two minutes until the bell rings, it all comes down to the final question. “Cells” for 200 points or “Human Body Systems” for 250? We choose to go big. As Ms. T asks the question, our hearts race. She asks, we answer . . . we win! The bell rings, and we leave the room knowing no other class that day will be as fun or educational. And I think it’s educational specifically because it’s fun.

Be Crazy, Hyper-Organized With Your Technology And We Will Love You For It

Mrs. C. was no one’s favorite teacher. She wasn’t nice, she wasn’t mean. She just didn’t have much personality. I probably would have forgotten her by now except for one thing: She was organized like no one you’ve ever met.

A Cat Is Not a Dog; An iPad Is NOT A Computer

The iPad is a wonderful thing. But here’s what drives me crazy: Teachers expect it to replace the computer. Have you ever typed directly on an iPad? Kill me. Almost every word is a typo. Then those typos get auto-corrected. You end up with Marie Antoinette saying, “Let’s then ray bake You see my issue.

And don’t get me started on keyboards that connect to the iPad.

Pick Your Poison! Stop Juggling between Paper and Digital

What gets my goat? When teachers can’t decide between distributing online copies or physical copies. Make a decision. Stick with it. Be strong. Do I need a physical binder for this class, or not?

When Good Personalization Goes Bad: R.I.P. Collaboration?

I went to ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia, where I participated on a panel called“Youth Voices in Edtech.” My biggest takeaway from this huge teacher conference was the focus on individualized and personalized learning. It’s not something we students think about. It sounds great for the most part, until you realize that everyone is off doing their own thing. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned group work?

Put Away the Phone

I was born in the age of technology, in the heart of it, in Silicon Valley. Technology is inseparable from my life. Most of us got phones as sixth grade started. We noticed it quickly got to the point where we were no longer hanging out together; we were just checking our social medias in the same room. So we hacked a solution. Now at lunch, we stack our phones like a Jenga puzzle. Whoever grabs hers first has to buy everyone ice cream. It’s a win-win situation.

Audrey also shares four tools that “have saved her life.” Be sure to read the entire article over at EdSurge – she expands more on each of these topics and shares suggestions for teachers.

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