Pay Attention

Dear (Future) Teacher,

As we begin our journey into educational technology I encourage you to watch this video clip, Pay Attention, at least once and reflect upon its message. You might find it beneficial to review Karl Fisch’s Shift Happens before you watch this video.

For Discussion
What do you think are the implications for teaching and learning? For schools?

Published by


Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

44 thoughts on “Pay Attention”

  1. I am a pretty young graduate student (23), and I couldn’t agree more with this video. I watch my young nephew at age two playing with the Ipad and it amazes me how it engages him. I will be amazed to watch him grow as a digital learner. I hope to teach American government and I know it will be vital to get my students interested in the subject. I will need the help of technology to do that.

  2. The video it very interesting and informative, I never thought about how a cell phone or text messaging could be used in the classroom. I have viewed them as nothing more than distractions and a nuisance. The use of the Smart boards in the video started me to thinking on ways I could use it in my class as more than a means to watch webcasts or a modified overhead. I now understand a little bit more how vital it is for me to improve my technological literacy.

  3. The video is thought provoking. It gave me a new perspective on the use of technology in the classroom. One problem is squarely in my corner as teacher to find the means to make it a viable option. The other problem I have found in my attempt to use technology (phones, internet) in the classroom is keeping my students on task. Even without iPods, phones, and computers in the classroom students would daydream or phase out. How do you compete with collapsible screens with instant messaging distractions on required material?

  4. It is a very interesting video. I had been an instructor for the last fourteen years and I had seen lots of changes related to technology and education. I can see the difficulties to teach using all tools available today and the infinity of new tools coming up all the time. I love technology and I am always looking for new ways to teach and be up-to-date with my students. Probably, as explained in the video, the teachers are not open mind to create and use new ways to teach. It is a working in progress and I hope it will change.

  5. This is very interesting. As a recent college graduate I can relate to entering college with minimal computer skills. At the age of 18 I was too embarrassed to admit that I was technologically inadequate compared to my peers. It is amazing the limitations that students have with technology in high school, yet are encouraged to attend college and magically acquire these skills over summer break. Most schools have some type of online dropbox or blackboard. Some schools even prefer the use of Mac of PC. Students who have had little to no experience with a Mac will inevitable feel inadequate.

  6. Powerful stuff–the need for professional development for teachers (especially those from different generations) is critical. As a teacher, I have the passion, yet require help. My students are light-years ahead of me, technology wise. I seek to engage and incorporate, but lack the tools. We all want to be more effective teachers.

  7. Such a powerful message for educators! In some cases, administration sets such strict restrictions on technology use (namely mobile technology, iPods, etc.) that the teachers are significantly limited in their options to integrate technology.

    Students are often required to “unplug” in order to learn and, instead, are bored and distracted in school. What would happen if schools did not limit the use of these items and, instead, taught students to be responsible users of technology? What happens when a student enters college or a profession and does not have the skills to manage technology effectively?

  8. I really liked this video. It expressed every kind of technology there was that we can use to teach our children. It truely told about how our children are using this technology and how we need to get on the band wagon. Teacher can really stretch the learning process with the use of modern technology. It would make class fun and children are so computer literate that teaching on the computer will have students really interested in the process. I liked how ipods and cell phones were introduced as a means to learning. Just like songs can teach, ipods and cell phone can play a essential part in the learning process in the near future.

  9. This video has some very good information. Times are changing and us teachers have to change to, like it or not. However, teaching this way will require ALL teachers to enroll in technology classes because teaching through technology will require brand new skills, especially for the older teachers.

    Using technology can be very helpful. For example a family member of mine is a teacher in an urban school and the only way that he can get some of his students to come to class is through facebook.

    I dont think technology should completely replace old fashioned instruction, because I for one like technology to be INCORPORATED into a regular class room. In my opinion, that is the best way to go.

  10. I felt this video was right on the money. We don’t have to purchase anything district wide if the tools are already available. My parents will not buy paper and pencils, but their child has a cell phone. A lack of funds is not the issue.

    We as teachers spend far to much time policing electronic devices. What does it say about how engaging your lesson is if a student is texting in class? Is your assessment individualized if the students can text the answers to other students during a test?

  11. I agree with the importance of using technology in the classroom to teach. I really liked the idea of giving the students 10 mins to obtain information from someone outside the class regarding what they ate and purchased last, etc. I feel that incorporating technology helps with the boredom that many students claim to have.

  12. I REALLY enjoyed this video. There were so many wonderful ideas. Cell phones to teach… Now that’s interesting.
    iPods + Podcast= ANYTIME LEARNING
    I can’t disagree with that. I gotta be honest. I may have not known all of this already, but I’m pretty sure my students did!

  13. This was an insightful video that many teachers need to see. Especially those that have been in the academic world for a number of years. For those teachers, upsetting the apple cart with new technology is the first hurdle to integrating these technologies into the digital classroom. As older teachers retire and administrators (again older teachers) retire, schools will be more open to these new modes of teaching. On the flipside, not all students are mature enough or disciplined enough to differentiate the use of their cellphone for learning vs a quick look at their facebook or texting someone. Classrooms definitely need some innovation in order to keep today’s students attention in this digital world.

  14. I found this video incredibly inspiring to watch as a future teacher. The music was amazing as well. I know that in many schools cell phones, ipods, etc. are banned because students have been caught cheating with them.

    However, I agree with the principal in the video who said, “if you can not beat them then join them”. He is exactly right. Instead of teaching these students with old methods it may make sense to use their gadgets to teach them and then that removes the cheating aspect and allows them to engage in higher level thinking/activities.

  15. This video was interesting and provided a lot of valuable information regarding technology. In my current proffession as a paralegal, we are required to use the internet to obtain various information. We may visit over a hundred search engines a day. They have proven to be very helpful.

    In my opinion, the video truly highlighed the importance of integratinh technology. It provides a variety of ways in which people can learn and complete tasks. Technology also aids in closing communication gaps for people who reside in different states and countries. Like the video outlined, there are various ways in which technology can be accessed to aid in teaching students while allowing the students to learn in a creative atmosphere. That is awesome.

  16. This video was very stimulating. Many in schools are reluctant to integrate technology because they themselves do not know how to use anything digital. There are also the constraints placed on teachers by school districts. On one hand a superintendant may say that he wants new and innovative ideas, but then punishes teachers that stray from the curriculum.

  17. This video raises some important issues, but it seems to present just as many problems of its own. I use Google all the time, do I search for and find things of value? Sometimes, usually not. It can be useful, but mainly as a quick means of finding superficial information of little to no depth and advertisements. It can help point to good resources, but this is something of a meta function directing one to another website where the primary searching will be done. The video seems focused on bits of technology that lead to superficial and disjointed uses. Perhaps students’ overexposure to pieces of technology that lend to a quick, skimming of information is part of the problem and technology would be better used in the classroom to help balance out this aspect of our culture.

    Texting is especially problematic. It is good for conveying quick, simple bits of information fast. It is also the least efficient means of communication possible for the effort put into the process. This also leads to a disjointed and unconnected exchange of information. I do not see this as a means that could lead to an in-depth learning experience. The video also completely ignores the economic class issues inherent to cell phones and ipods. While technology such as computers can be shared in a classroom by all students, those able to afford one on their own and those unable, the nature of ipods and especially cell phones is personal and the notion of a communal cell phone goes against the nature of the device. The average student may spend X hours using a cell phone and the “above average” students will spend X+ hours using a cell phone and many other expensive pieces of technology they do not need that their parents buy for them, but a “below average” student can spend up to 0 hours using a cell phone. The use of statics in this video is misleading and creates an imbalance of ideas on who the students it talks about may be.

  18. I really enjoyed this video. It in itself engaged me as a student. Some of the ideas were really creative, and I hope to one day use them. I would have never thought as a teacher that a cell phone or an Ipod could be useful.

  19. This video definitely planted a few seeds on the creative use of technology in the classroom in my curious mind. As always, there will have to be a lot of barrier breaking on the part of teachers who are pushing the proverbial envelope when it comes to integrating technology into the classroom.
    I also agree with Scott in regard to future teachers understanding the need for technology integration. I am by no means an expert, but as a fairly technologically savvy future teacher myself, I find that I enjoy learning and being taught with new and innovative methods that use things I enjoy personally, such as my ipod or my laptop. I find myself more engaged than I normally would be in a lecture style environment.
    Thanks for the video. It definitely brought to light some things to mull over!

  20. Very interesting. I hadn’t thought about the use of cell phones as a teaching tool. Having cell phones in class can also be a source of cheating on tests though. I have seen the use of youtube videos and instant messaging in classes. This video had a lot of new ways to incorporate technology into the classes. We have to make sure we stay a step ahead of the students, if possible. 🙂

  21. This is great! It speaks of everything I’ve been screaming about for 3 years. There is so much out there and I know I’ve only scratched the surface in terms of the various forms of technology I can use to enhance our curriculum!
    Love it.

  22. WOW!!! This is awesome!!! “Engage them. Don’t enrage them.” “Since your students already know how to use technology, why not use that same technology to teach them?” This video was great. I am so happy I saw it. I can honestly say, that i have new ideas to take to my classroom once i becomee a teacher. I want my students to find learning interesting and fun. Not the boring text book, pen, and paper routine. I am excited about exploring the opportunity to incorporate the use of technology in my teaching style.

  23. Wow. I never thought about cell phones being educational, but it definitely makes sense. Podcasts, blogs, even twitter can now be manipulated and become more than trivial stories about who did what last night with whoever. I think there are great examples of how to integrate technology into the classroom, but I’m unsure about how realistic it is for today’s students. In low socioeconomic areas not all students are able to afford cell phones, ipods, or home computers.

  24. What an eye-opener. This makes me think of the possibilities I have, when I become a teacher. I honestly did not think about cell phones being a positive in my classroom, but if they are used for learning, why not take advantage. I know this class is going to give me lots of great ideas! I would like to admit that this is the first time I have left a message on a blog site.
    .-= Amy Hite´s last blog ..Unbelievable Deals for Teachers – Today Only =-.

  25. I feel that this video should be directed to administrators. I speak only for the teachers I work with, but efforts are being made in my school to utilize the technology in this video. We are trying to join with our students to make learning relevant. In order for ipods and cell phones to be used in the curriculum, administrators must see the value they have to enhance learning.

  26. This video had great ideas for teachers to use in the classroom. Cell phones in class actually sounds like it could be a wonderful advancement. If students already have the technology why not allow them to use the tools in the classroom.

  27. This video is what i have been saying all alone!!!! The kids are bored with being taught at and who could blame them I often caught myself from snoring in the middle of class as an adult! Let the students learn without even knowing they are doing so just by engaging them. Money and access could be an issue with using technology but even free things can count such as playing games to learn. These days 7 year olds have phones (I know some)so I don’t see why teachers are not getting away from ancient paper and pencil.

  28. After watching this slide show, I reflected on why our schools are not able to provide a technology rich environment. I have taught now for two years and the one common theme is that change does not come easily or quickly. I feel as if the teachers who were never exposed to the current technology feel intimidated by it. So, rather then adapting, they choose to stay the same and revert to their typical teaching methods. In order to change this, I believe the professional development for teachers needs to be overhauled. Teachers need to be exposed to blogs, podcasts, web site design, so that they can confidently incorporate technology into their classroom.

  29. My current practice of technology use in the classroom is not the best. With graphing calculators, a smartboard, a document camera, and a projector, my students frequently participate in technology enhanced lessons rather than technology integrated learning experiences. Having received new calculator networking equipment and requested additional computers and software for next year, I am excited to do a better job of enabling my students to be active technological learners.

  30. This video was really inspiring. One of the things I struggle most with is student-centered teaching, which I feel directly correlates with technology in the classroom. However, as an English teacher whose focus is primarily on literature, making this connection has been very hard. I think the ideas I saw here and that I will hopefully learn from this class will help me with this. I do notice that my school alone spends too much time fighting cell phones and ipods (therefore making them more desirable) and should see how wonderful they could be. As that one principal or teacher said…if you can’t beat them. Join them!

  31. I beleive that this is a very informative video. I actually had this same argument in one of my spring classes! I am a huge advocate of this brillant idea. Im sending this video link to my professor that had a different outlook on cellphone intergration in the class room.

  32. This video was very enlightening! I completely agree with integrating more technology in the classroom. The video gave insight to ideas I never would have thought of, cell phones being number one. However, there is the challenge with rules and norms in the public school system. At most schools students are suspended at the first sight of an electronic device. I firmly believe there needs to be a change and eventually it will take place! I am tempted to send the video link to the leadership team at my school and hear their feedback. Until then I am definitely going to take away the ideas I can incorporate into my teaching now!

  33. The video contained many good ideas that I had not previously thought of using. The idea of using cell phones with text messages and podcasts as a learning tool is definitely intriguing; however, the idea is a longways from being possible. We are living in the Age of Technology and the Internet, and it seems impossible to imagine someone who does not have any knowledge of the Internet, but yet this problem does still exist. I graduated from a public high school only four years ago, and my fellow students represented a broad range on the socio-economic spectrum. There were students from high income families who had their own personal laptops and who always had the latest cell phones, but there were also students from very low income families who did not have their own cell phone, nor did their family own a computer. Computers were present in the school, but the opportunity for student use was very limited during school hours and almost nonexistent after school. Computer use was required during our Study Skills and Directed Study classes, but students were only allowed to use software designed to boost standardized test scores. The idea of using the computer to build a presentation or edit a movie would have been laughed at (I don’t even know if the computers had the proper software to do that). Furthermore, if you were seen with a cell phone, it was confiscated and kept in the principal’s desk for the remainder of the nine week grading period. Many of the teachers used technology effectively in the classroom, but the administration was focused on boosting standardized test scores to make the school look better, rather than boosting the student’s education through technology. I believe that as long as so much of a school’s prestige and funding is based off of test scores, that technological learning and freedom will be limited in public schools. Public school funding is currently insufficient in many areas to supply the proper technology for students to use many of these ideas. One of the few ways for a school to increase their funding is through higher test scores. The test scores trump the technology for education use, creating a repetitive cycle. As long as public schools are underfunded and technological costs remain high, these options will remain unavailable in many areas.

  34. I never understood when technology got branded as bad for the classroom. It seems like tech in class progressed up to a point (chalkboard, whiteboard, projector, digital projection) then got halted. A few courses I took allowed laptops for note taking but that was about it. When was it decided that this vastly superior network of information should not be exercised in the classroom. We had to pay almost $100 for a “clicker” that allowed us to take roll and vote on simply multiple choice questions as a class but weren’t allowed use the internet or our personal networks for fact finding and idea sharing. It just doesn’t make sense.
    It is as if professors / teachers are some how intimidated that technology can accomplish in a short period of time what it takes them a whole lecture to do. Instead of fearing it why not embrace it? Allow your students to listen to the lecture via podcast. If the notes are in presentation format why is it so necessary to have them sitting there with you as you go over it. Questions can be asked in real time or thru email, sms, instant message or whatever.

  35. The video was wonderful. It really made me think about the many simple, yet creative opportunities we miss that can empower students enjoy learning. There should be more principals like the one in the video who said “if you can’t beat them, join them” to keep teaching fresh and creative while integrating technology.

  36. I really enjoyed this video and thought it had a powerful message. I especially agree with the podcast idea. It would be SO easy to give information to your students. I have an AppleTV and LOVE watching the different podcasts. The video is right, there’s a podcast for about anything. I also agree that cell phones could be beneficial in the classroom. However, I don’t think we are there yet. International text messaging is expensive. Are the schools going to provide the cell phones with unlimited data packages? I sold cell phones for a year and there can be very expensive monthly bills. Overall I got the point of the video: use the technology the majority of students already know and enjoy to facilitate learning.

  37. That video defenitely caught my attention. It really made me realize how we are going to have to change our methods of teaching to really grab the attentions of our students. Times have changed and we need to be willing to use these new resources to help our students.

  38. That videoa was great!!! It opended my eyes on things we could be doing in the classroom to make learning both intersting and fun. I especially liked the idea about using cell phones in instructional ways. But it is hard to do that when cell phones are not tolerated and in most schools they don’t even want you to think they exist. I also agree with what Kristin said about the things we have been yelled about are the very things we could be using to teach with. I agree these are changing times and I think that we should change with the times and Upgrade to more technology in the classroom.

    Great Video!!!!! I wrote downa couple of quotes to post in my classroom!!! thanks

  39. Wow! That was an amazing video and I completely agree with it. We should be using things that students are interested in to teach them. After all the more interest you have in something, the more you learn and want to learn!I loved the cell phone example. Teachers nag students and suspend them for things like cell phone use, but using them to connect to people all over the world is really a great idea, in my opinion. Who would of thought that all the things they have yelled at us for using could be the things that we will later use to teach with.

  40. I agree with the video. Technology is a very important factor in today’s world and that it should be used in the classroom. I also agree though that the teachers have to be educated on technology and know how to integrate it into their lessons. Having a computer in the classroom helps but you have to have the knowledge to use it and allow children to be able to gain from the use of the computer. As a person that uses my cellphone on a daily basis and one that also has an Ipod, I would have honestly never thought about using either one of them as a learning device. I think that the part on using the podcasts was very interesting. The video is correct that most people do have one or the other and that it would allow extra teaching lessons. My only question would be if there would eventually be a way for children whose parents could not afford these devices have access to them.

  41. I completely agree with this message. My thoughts on this video are from a student’s point of view as I have always been one. Teachers make a course interesting or boring. The method of teaching employed also plays an important role. Every course that integrated technology as part of the learning process captivated more attention, ensured more involvement and made the learning process an enriching experience. Utilizing such rapid advancement of technology that is within arms reach would make both teaching and learning a wonderful experience. Putting this video in context of Karl Fisch’s Shift Happens, we need to empower today’s students with technology so that they can “solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet”!

  42. I also agree with the importance of incorporating technology into the classroom. Like the video mentioned, I think it is important to get to know each student on an individual level to see how he/she learns best. Once a teacher has done this, he/she can be more productive and serve the needs of that particular student. In one of my other classes, we recently read an article about an elementary teacher that did this. She “did her homework” on all of her students and then planned her lesson accordingly. Both, the teacher and the student, had the opportunity to learn. She adapted to the needs of her students…and like the video said, “since our children already know how to use technology, why not use it to teach?”
    Katie Penland

  43. Great video!

    I agree with the overall message, but I do not think you addressed your post to the correct audience.

    I believe that the future teachers that are currently working toward their certifications understand the importance of tech in the classroom. Some pre-service teachers are more tech-savvy than others, but almost all of them “get it”.

    Most of the stumbling blocks that I have seen are caused by administrators.

    Perhaps your should have addressed this post to:
    Dear current and future administrators,

    Scott Shelhart
    Future teacher

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