Recently, I had a conversation with  a teacher about students’ attention span.

Teacher A: You have used technology to engage students, which  will definitely help students focus on the subject. You know the learning style of this generation is really different. They need technology. The attention span is short….

Me: They need technology? Attention span is short? ….

Technology makes the lessons more interesting. I acknowledge that technology will definitely help to improve students’ engagement, collaboration, and creativity….and they live in this digital era as digital natives. They will need to learn the skills.

But my question is, has our students’ attention span been decreased or increased in  decades? why? Technology or teaching approaches( activities)? Does technology do the right thing?

If technology makes a short attention span, we use technology to improve their attention?

How to improve their attention span?

There are many web 2.0 tools to create a digital story. I have never created a meme so I would like to give it a try.  I used Quickmeme  to generate pictures and google some quotes.

In a classroom:


Tool Exploration Project—Educreations

Educreations is an online tool almost like “Show me” which allows  you to record your lessons online with your computers or on you iPads and share lessons to your students. You can also search lessons in the community.

Educreations V.S. Show me


1. Educreations can work both on Computers and iPads. (Showme works only on iPads)

2. Students can create accounts enrolled in teachers’ courses.  Therefore, teachers can track when students log in.

3. Organization: School/course/lesson

4. More than one pages.


1. less color inks to choose

2. Social networking is not well developed.

How to use Educreations: I have used Jing to record the instructions.

1. sign up an account

2.School –Course–Lessons

3. Get familiar with the environment

4.Create a lesson and save


Fair Use and Copyright

Copyright/ Fair Use  is an important but confusing topic in this digital era. For example, in this post, I inserted the following creative common picture which I downloaded from an article I randomly ran across. In that article, I did not see any given credit or reference, which reminds me that I should cite it.

From my perspectives, things put on the Internet (photos, videos, articles,…)are supposed to be shared with others. Right! if we do not want to share, why bother? I believe people want others to know things they created, invented, or discovered.






SO the Keys are WHY, WHAT, and HOW.

WHY? their purposes.

  1. to make the society better and progressive..
  2. to make money. Knowledge economy (business/commercial)                   ex.APPLE vs. Samsung

WHAT- related to which forms/ ?  drama or music?

HOW : how we use it? our purposes. or the degree or amount

As a world language teacher, in order to create a target language learning environment, I have used many online pictures to introduce new vocabularies, cultures and grammar/sentence concepts, and  have my students telling stories. I have also integrated a lot of online videos to engage them and help their listening and speaking abilities. Moreover, I copy, retrieve or  summarize  articles and paragraphs from books to books to give my students reading materials.

Creative Commons, Copyright and Fair Use all provide great solutions. Honestly, I heard Fair Use and Creative Common when I was an college student. Until now, I am still not comfortable with it. I am not against it but just feel it is complicated..In education, it is a great news that we have fair use. As teachers, we produce or use a variety of materials(slides, videos) every day in different topics, some of which we even are not familiar with. Thanks for the Internet, we can find almost everything we need. I  like the ideas of knowledge sharing culture,  standing on the shoulder and open source. I think giving credits is the basic thing we need to do but things sometimes go complicated. Personally, It is hard for me to tell if it is qualified for Fair Use or where to get the permission.  In our readings, Cornell University provides a great check list.