Tag Archives: tablets

New Media Journalism Technology

One Laptop Per Child- Will You Help?

Only laptops can help the world’s poorest children who have no school to attend.

According to an article from the American Accounting Association, in January 2005, Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab, launched a research initiative to develop a $100 laptop for “the world’s poorest children.” This research initiative was called “One Laptop Per Child” or OPLC.

OLPC has a mission “to empower the world’s poorest children through education.” They believe when you give the gift of a laptop to a child, you are giving one more child a chance to succeed in life.

Negroponte stated that kids learn a great deal by themselves, and this is what made his team want to know just how much they learn on their own. So they turned their attention to the millions of children who have a scarce chance of attending primary school.


100 million kids worldwide who do not go to first grade. Most of them do not go because there is no school, there are no literate adults in their village, and there is little promise of that changing soon.

-Nicholas Negroponte –“Another Way to Think About Learning”


Today, you have the opportunity to help children who are much less fortunate to gain an education that will allow them to become essential citizens in their communities. Help provide a child with an education that will lead them to a brighter future.

Click here to donate towards a better education for children all over the world.

Help children like Zimi have a chance for a brighter future!

Listen to her story below.

Click here to donate today! 


Roberts, A., & Zamora, V. L. (2012). One Laptop per Child: The $100 Challenge. Issues In Accounting Education27(3), 799-817. doi:10.2038/iace-50163

Negroponte, N. (2012). Another Way to Think about Learning. Technology Review115(6), 37.


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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Discussing Tablets vs Textbooks in GA Schools

This article will serve as an introduction to my Capstone Project for the New Media Journalism Masters Program at Full Sail University.


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New Media Journalism

Black Family Recalls Learning in Segregated Schools

A black history narrative.

James and Mary Kendrick are a local black family who went to school in the days of segregation in the deep south of Georgia. African-American children and white children were not allowed to go to school together for quite a while before equal rights were won with the decision of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.

The Kendricks said that black children went to their own school but could only use the materials that the white children had already used: typewriters, books, band uniforms and even music instruments. Often times this meant that when the black children received them, they were “tattered and torn,” recalled Mrs Kendrick.

Mr. Kendrick continued by saying that he would end up taking home the used instruments and “welding the joints back together” to make the instrument “sound the way it should again” for their school band.

Let’s listen as James and Mary Kendrick recall a time where they went to school during segregation:

Education has come a long way from the 1940s to the year 2014. Blacks and whites not only go to school together but they also work, eat, and play together. As the school systems were integrated over the years, textbooks and other materials became the same for all races.

The first computers were introduced in the early 2000s, as mentioned in a previous article “Integrating Technology Into the Classroom Past to Present.” For schools to advance from the typewriter to digital technology education finally began to have level playing fields for all races.

Now, in the year 2014, technology has advanced so far that more schools have begun to incorporate digital learning through iPads and other tablet devices into the classroom curriculum.

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New Media Journalism Technology

Integrating Technology in the Classroom Past to Present

Student at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA using the iPad for a math lesson. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Student at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA using the iPad for a math lesson.
Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Technology has vastly changed over the past 40 years, especially in the classroom.  Teachers no longer use typewriters, abacus’, pencil and paper as a main classroom tool. Instead we find tools like computers, tablets and styluses to complete assignments.


Scholastic Reading Test Module on a student computer at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Scholastic Reading Test Module on a student computer at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA.
Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

“Educators can leverage new educational tools to personalize learning, encourage collaboration, and prepare students for the future,” according to author Susie Boss in an article at edutopia.org.


Mr. Carl Golden, Sr. a Fulton County Schools Technology Specialist in College Park, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Mr. Carl Golden, Sr. a Fulton County Schools Technology Specialist in College Park, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Mr. Carl Golden, Sr. a Fulton County Schools Technology Specialist (in College Park, GA) recalled memories from 1970, when he began in the school system, where they basically only had “typewriters, calculators, paper and pens” to be considered a form of technology.


A set of 6 student computer for use with students at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
A set of 6 student computer for use with students at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA.
Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Golden went on to discuss how in the 1980’s the first computer he was exposed to in education was the “Apple One” and the “Apple Two” computers that had a floppy disk drive with drills to help students improve in the classroom.

Golden also shared his memories of being one of the “first teachers during that time” in 1995 to be trained in technology for the schools. Let’s listen:

Mrs. Gwendolyn Golden, Second Grade teacher at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA doing a math lesson on the iPad.  Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Mrs. Gwendolyn Golden, Second Grade teacher at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA doing a math lesson on the iPad.
Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Mrs. Gwendolyn Golden, a second grade teacher in Fayette County Schools, also noted that during her tenure in school she had to use a typewriter in class- not a computer. This is very different from today she continued saying, “today in my second grade classroom where I teach, we have 6 student computers, a mobile iPad lab, and we also have responders for the students to interact with answering question during lessons.”

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Fame-Magazine Articles Technology

The Next Wave of Technology. Say hello to “Watson”

Watson, according to CNN Money, is a “computer system that learns by reading books, articles, or whatever you feed it.”

We all remember the “Super-Computer” Watson as a winning Jeopardy contestant of February 2011. The IBM created Super-Computer is now heading for bigger and better feats as it will be taught to analyze research and data to help make businesses and other developers lives simpler.

In an article from CNN Money, it has been reported that not only did the Super-Computer get its own business division– it is “investing more than $1 billion to create the Watson group.” Thus creating jobs for 2,000 new employees that will be “housed in IBM’s own building in New York City’s East Village.”

Basically, Watson is an eager ‘student’ (in the loose sense of the word being that he is actually artificial intelligence in the form of a tablet). Doctor’s will be able to eventually use Watson to help diagnose different diseases as well as tell them what kind of medicine would b
est treat the patient.

Watson will also help travel agents/booking agents market better to consumers by anticipating where they would like to go based on the description given. It takes the guessing out of where to go for a family vacation.

This could easily eliminate some of the guess work that doctors, businesses, and possibly later down the line the average family have to do in determining the best way to go about things. I know I wouldn’t mind having one of these myself to help with my research and business development.



Check out this video to learn more about how IBM Watson works:


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New Media Journalism Technology

Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT)

BYOT with 2nd Grade at Fayette Elementary School from Amanda Golden on Vimeo.

Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is a program that is taking education to the next level. This program allows students to bring their own devices to school to use as a part of their educational journey. Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, Georgia has just officially launched the BYOT Program this past Monday, November 11, 2013. So, the technology specialist Regina Yeargin has her hands full going around to all of the classrooms to ensure they have the understanding needed before bringing their device to school. For example, students must fill out a form with their parents for permission to use the devices at school. But the next step is crucial for those who will eventually bring their own device to school. They must have their parents go to the school website to "register"the device by serial number and type. The final step is on the teacher; teachers must give the students the final word on when they can bring the device into the classroom. This multimedia story shows a quick lesson in BYOT with a 2nd grade class on what to and not to do with their devices.

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New Media Journalism

Digital Citizenship: Protecting Digital Footprints

Digital Citizenship 

When it comes to online safety many schools in Fayetteville, Ga have come up with a Digital Citizenship Program to protect the students from potential Internet harm. Digital citizenship is defined as a way to keep kids safe while online. According to commonsense.org it teaches students to: “protect private information, respect themselves and others, stay safe online, stand up to cyber bullying when they see it happen and to balance the time they spend on these devices and other media.” Fayette Elementary School Technology Specialist, Regina Yeargin told us about how they have incorporated Digital Citizenship at their school.


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New Media Journalism Toddlers and Tablets

Digital Learning to Improve Early Education

Love T. Nolan Elementary School is located in South Fulton County (College Park, GA). Majority of the students come from low-income families and have not had the same advantage to technology (pre-entering school) that other children may have had. Hatch Technology Services in their background research showed that “Compared to their middle-income peers, young low-income children display poorer language/literacy and mathematics skills, putting them at high risk for school failure.” So by putting programs that scaffold learning into these schools one can possibly help them to beat the odds.

students at LTN MARCH 2013
Infographic created by: Amanda Golden

Love T. Nolan has approximately 300 students in grade PK-2ND grade according to the March 2013 FTE numbers. Fulton County Schools Tech Specialist, Carl Golden, “feel[s] that introducing students to technology at an early age is very beneficial to their educational growth and development.”

In the school there are 42 classrooms, continues Golden, “including art, music, and P.E. use digital technology during instruction.” Of these 42 there are 6 that we will focus on. There are 6 teachers who are utilizing the Hatch Technology Tablets in their classroom at Love T. Nolan all in the Pre- Kindergarten arena. Golden stated that of these teachers “One class has 4 students; 1 class has 10 students; the remaining classes have at least 15 students but all students are exposed to the Hatch Tablet for learning.”  These tablets are said to have significant success in improving the readiness for the student to go to the next grade level according to Hatch: The Early Learning Experts.

Infographic Created by: Amanda Golden
Infographic Created by: Amanda Golden

Nolan Elementary School Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, Alicia Prather uses the Hatch tablet in her classroom for literacy.  Prather says, “Letter recognition and phonic recognition are the types of activities that are used most often” in her classroom. The students seem to enjoy the tablet use and she has seen “some growth” in many of her students though she cannot be “to positive that the growth is contributed to the use of the tablet or other techniques used in class.” This is true of many teachers using the product. Hatch: The Early Learning Experts founder, Ginny Norton explained that the tablets are “not talking about having technology replace the teacher” they (teachers) are to “consistently incorporate them into the daily routine to impact school readiness.” So it is together with the techniques used already in the classroom that technology is “appropriately used” to enhance school readiness in students.

Pre-K Student using tablet at Nolan Elementary School. Photo credit: Amanda Golden
Pre-K Student using tablet at Nolan Elementary School. Photo credit: Amanda Golden

As written in the School Systems Strategic Plan 2017  their community has “clearly demonstrated their demand and desire for more integration of technology through the renewal of  [their] sales tax for capital improvements, which will be heavily invested in technology.” These projections have been made true to reflect the Fulton County School System FY2014 Budget , there will be $100,000.00 in the budget to fund “computers and iPad’s for new staff for all Learning and Teaching Offices. There will be an additional $250,000.00 in the Instructional Media Technology Category of the budget to “To provide district level electronic books, available for use by all students, teachers and parents (K-12). These Electronic books will support Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS).”

As a result of an increased budget for Integrating Technology into their school system they are ensuring that their teacher, parents and students will have “the tools and information necessary to accelerate learning.”

However, there are other programs that are not as lucky. In an article published by the Harvard International Review (B. PELHAM, 2009) “the assumption that wealthy countries tend to have better education systems than poorer countries is correct.” Not everyone has access to computers and tablet devices unless a sponsoring program steps in. The article shows “evidence indicates that the level of computer propagation in a country is strongly associated with its students’ scores” on standardized test a lot like the ones in the states.  There is a program called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) that helped students in Abuja, Nigeria to advance educationally.  They also help other countries that are in lower wealth states to advance. Advocates of the OLPC Program suggest, “computers are powerf[ul] learning tools, bringing information to students’ fingertips and allowing them to interact with it and synthesize it in ways that would be impossible otherwise.”

According to Hatch: The Early Learning Experts Study on the iStartSmart Learning System, “Preliminary results of a scientific research study on the iStartSmart software showed children had significant gains on standardized tests in comparison to control group children who had not used iStartSmart software.”



B. PELHAM, S. C. (2009, July 01). Technology and Education: The Power of the Personal Computer. Harvard International Review , 74-76.


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New Media Journalism Toddlers and Tablets

How iStartSmart Tablets Help Child Development

iStartSmart Tablets 

According to Hatch: The Early Learning Experts, the “iStartSmart Mobile is the learning tablets that fascinates and engages” children as they learn throughout the day based on research proven applications and software that monitor the progress as they go. If a student is struggling with a concept, the program allows for the teacher to go in and “refocus” by using the Progress Monitoring Reports incorporated into the system for more efficient learning.

Research shows that the iStartSmart program was created to help aid the key components that “promote positive experiences and school readiness.” Among these components are:

  1. Child Development
  2. Effective Early Childhood Education Practices

  3. Critical Content for School Readiness
  4. Developmentally Appropriate Educational Technology


One of the most innovative things about the iStartSmart Learning System (app suite and the tablet) “is that teachers can monitor the progress of each student in real time!” The progress monitoring of the iStartSmart System allows for teachers to take “snapshots of a child’s progress throughout the year”, exclaimed Brent. Instead of teachers having to remember which child did what at the end of the day the “unbiased data” from the program is right there to show when needed.

Hatch: Early Learning Experts concluded that, “for technology to be meaningful in early education, it must provide opportunities for children to gain the essential skills that prepare them for school.”

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Toddlers and Tablets

How iPads Impact Child Development

In a world where technology is rapidly advancing many are beginning to “plug in” to the Smart Technology sooner than ever. “Technology’s impact on the 21st century family is fracturing its very foundation, and causing a disintegration of core values that long ago were the fabric that held families together”, stated Cris Rowan, contributing writer for Huffington Post.

LeapPad 2 Explorer by Leap Frog Tablet for ages 3-9. Photo Taken in Wal-Mart Shopping Center. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
LeapPad 2 Explorer by Leap Frog Tablet for ages 3-9. Photo Taken in Wal-Mart Shopping Center. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

According to pbs.org, “for school-age children, a smartphone or tablet can give them an additional learning layer, beyond the traditional classroom or book.” Fulton County Schools Kindergarten Teacher, Paula Gehring says she uses the iPad in conjunction with her normal lesson plans daily to “motivate the children.” Gehring continues by saying, “many parents park their children in front of TV, computer, Kindle/Nook/ iPad instead of interacting with the children and their social skills are suffering.” This makes it harder to get the children to “share” the devices when used for learning in the school.

Cris Rowan, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, contributing writer for Huffington Post, and Author of “Virtual Child – The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children”, says that she “unplugged” her “son Matt when he was 12…threw out his TV, cancelled cable, tossed the Commodore 64 and Atari.” Rowan also tells other “parents that ANY exposure to technology is detrimental to cognitive, physical, mental and social development.”

InnoTab 2 Display at Wal-Mart in Fayetteville. They are marketing tablet learning to children at an early age. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
InnoTab 2 Display at Wal-Mart in Fayetteville. They are marketing tablet learning to help with child development. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Movement, touch, human connection and exposure to nature are four very critical components that are “necessary to achieve healthy child development” Rowan mentions in her article. And by choosing to “unplug” her children at an early age, as adults, they both feel “technology is largely a waste of time”. When technology is involved the skills needed for a child to develop are “grossly limited”.

However, South Carolina Parent, Keenya Glover, says that her 7-year-old son’s “iPad is considered his voice.” He began using it 2 years ago and she has seen a “tremendous boost in his level of communication.” Glover goes on to say that because her son is special needs, he is not able to communicate so the program he was able to use at school at an early age “enables him to communicate at school and home.” She continues by saying that if her son had not been introduced to the iPad at an early age; he would not be as far as he is now with his communication skills.

Nyjel Glover outside in South Carolina. Photo Credit Amanda Golden
Nyjel Glover a special needs child who uses the iPad to communicate with his friends, outside in South Carolina. Photo Credit Amanda Golden

According to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, “The world for an autistic child is full of imagery, rather than words. On an iPad, an autistic child can create a sentence or even story using a series of images. By doing so, the child can communicate with parents, caretakers, and instructors without frustration. Since the iPad is mobile, children with autism can take this communication tool wherever they go.” Since the iPad is a portable device that they can take wherever they go; the autistic child will constantly “have ways to calm, focus, and learn while on-the-go.


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