Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

iPad with on display keyboardImage via Wikipedia

Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?

Dr. McLeod’s poem falls right in line with what I have been reading lately about the pros and cons of technology in the classroom. There are many concerns about the amount of time spent using SM and such. I feel much like he does at the end of his poem, if we do not use the technology that is available, we will put our students at a disadvantage. All of the negative things he had to say are true as well, but the really are just an extension of “real-life” dangers everyone faces anyhow. That’s not to say parents and teachers shouldn’t teach safeguards just that regardless of where the danger is there is always danger for which one must be prepared. What better way to teach and prepare students for their “real” future than to have both parents and teachers working together to show them how to properly use and safeguard themselves with technology.
Dr. McLeod resides in Ames, Iowa where he is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University and Director of CASTLE. He is considered a leader in primary (K-12) “school technology leadership issues”. My favorite works of his are the “Did You Know? (Shift Happens)” YouTube videos.

The iSchool initiative

I had watched this video once before. I think iSchool has a lot of feasible ideas. Many students are already familiar with the “i-interfaces” and will happily accept using them. The young man in the video showed many great applications that are already out that can be used to make learning more efficient, fun, and in-depth. This will lead to better education. With the capability to e-mail recorded lectures and notes to classmates or from teachers to students, not only will students who missed a class benefit, but it will also allow various learning styles to benefit in how they learn. The possibilities are numerous as well for the various applications that could be used as a resource for learning and not all are traditional; YouTube being the first that comes to mind.
The key points for school boards, administrators and legislators are the dollar signs. I have not verified the figures he quoted, but if they hold true, especially if publishers raise prices on e-textbooks and educational applications, then it would be prudent for schools to embrace technology. With the economy tanking and schools everywhere having to tighten already slim budgets, anything that could alleviate costs while boosting education should be pounced on immediately. One thing, which he didn’t mention but will make a difference in pricing and therefore “sell-ability,” is training teachers who aren’t computer literate. Of course, with colleges requiring courses such as EDM310, this would hopefully only be an initial investment and not a continuing one.

Lost Generation

This is an amazing video. I found it incredible how this poem was set up to work out like it did. Someone obviously put a lot of thought and effort into it. At first I was completely indignant when she was reading it through the first time. I was happily surprised when she began reading it reverse though. As I thought about it, however, I wondered how many students felt this way? How many have been told essentially the same things? That they are not wanted, that they will never amount to anything, and that they are part of a “lost generation?” I wonder how many are waiting for someone to come along and tell them that they don’t have to be part of that generation, that they are worth a lot, that they can be anything they want to be, that their world is limitless. I believe I will hold onto this one for a long time as inspiration. I’ve mentioned once before that the men in my life all have ADHD and were all told they would never be anybody or accomplish anything. This drives my pedagogy that we never know the limits of a person.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'

Unbelievable! Beautiful! Scary! All of these words came to mind when I watched the video. It is unbelievable that so many people who have never met each other and who are not in the same country much less room could achieve such harmony. I sang in my church choir and as a trio with my siblings for many years and we had problems with this being 2 feet apart! I can’t fathom how they managed that with lag from the various speeds of their internet connections. It was very beautiful. It scared me when I thought about global competition. With the economy in the tank, I was laid off from a rather nice teaching job in December and found myself competing for a job yet again. It is difficult enough competing with hundreds of others who are qualified to do what I do. With technology allowing such things as I just watched, am I going to have to compete with millions now? It will be awesome for allowing us to expand our horizons if we are selected for things such as this project, but with the pressure we already have competing for employment, I am afraid it will only increase the pressure to succeed.

Teaching In the 21st Century

“What does it mean to teach in the 21st century?” I believe the underlying principle of teaching will always be the same: to prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in society. What changes will be and is the knowledge and skills needed. Students still need to know how to form a grammatically correct sentence with proper spelling, mathematics, science and history. Changes that are already taking place include mandatory typing classes and computer OS and program courses. In the future, despite a lot of people’s objections, I see learning handwriting to disappear, or only be offered as an elective perhaps. With communication being more and more computer and telephone based, I really do not see the need for handwriting classes being around; typing will take the place of handwriting skills. I believe that teachers are going to have to incorporate technology into the pedagogy not only because it is can make their lives easier, their students are often familiar with it already, but because it is the future of most every job and students must have them to compete. The skills they listed in the video are vital, and are already being taught on some level. I think they will need to be amped up however. These skills are things such as finding reliable information, adequately crediting where information was found (critical to avoid plagiarism and fraud), and knowing how to share information will all be skills that will need to be honed as students move through primary schools.
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  1. Lisianna,
    You did a fantastic job on this post. I love reading your posts and tweets. I like how you have started using your blog as a tool, adding things you find or just want to share! The only thing I have to say, if it's okay, maybe just bold face the titles of each new topic and that way you can tell where exactly it separates. Good post!

  2. Thanks Amberly! I will always accept and appreciate constructive criticism! I will work on fixing it. Thanks for commenting.