Educators

Teacher Profile: Gina Mackey

Gina Mackey is an 11th and 12th grade English teacher at South Lenoir High School in Deep Run, NC. Her favorite subject in school has always been English, but recalls making paper flashcards to memorize science vocabulary. Her class blogs can be found at http://mackeyenglishiii.wikispaces.com/ and http://mackeyenglishiv.wikispaces.com/.

What are some of your goals for your students this year?
One of the most important goals that I have for my students is for them to become more adept in their use of technology in regards to their education. Many students know how to use their iPods, smartphones, and computers for entertainment, but most have very little knowledge of how they can use these tools to enhance their performance in school.

How did you learn about StudyBlue?
I learned about StudyBlue in a training session for an i21 grant that I received through my school system. The grant gave me the opportunity to use a classroom cart of 30 iPods with my classes for two years. The training was led by an Apple liaison who mentioned StudyBlue as a useful app for our iPods.

How do you use StudyBlue with your students?
The StudyBlue app is uploaded on all 30 iPods that are used in my classroom. I have the students log in on the iPods, so that they have immediate access to the study materials that I save on my StudyBlue account. Students then use the flashcards to review vocabulary on their own, or to quiz their classmates.

Why do your students like StudyBlue?
My students enjoy having the iPods in their hands, so StudyBlue immediately offers more student engagement than traditional paper and pencil review methods.

What are some challenges you face to integrating technology in your classroom and school?
Having my students use iPods in the classroom is great; however, challenges arise with keeping students on task, troubleshooting internet/device issues, and navigating the range of technology savvy among my students. Overall, I would have to say that time poses the biggest challenge for me as I venture to integrate technology into my classroom. Generating and testing new ideas takes time, and spare time is something that teachers just don’t have. Educators must call parents, grade papers, and complete many other administrative duties, which leaves very little time to create and implement an abundance of new ideas.

What will you and your students do with all the paper flashcards you no longer need?
I think the paper flashcards would make really nice paper airplanes! What is school without a few of those?

Thanks to Ms. Mackey for using StudyBlue and taking the time to share your thoughts with us! If you are an educator interested in sharing how you use StudyBlue and other technology tools in your classroom or school, reach out to our Education Community Manager by emailing zach (at) studyblue (dot) com.

About the Author

Zach is StudyBlue's Education Community Manager. He has experience teaching middle school students and providing supplemental tutoring and advising services to high school students, in addition to work on education policy. Zach has a Master's Degree from the Bank Street College of Education and earned his Bachelor's Degree from Northwestern University.

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