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Monday, January 31, 2011

Blog Post 2

Did You Know?
     "Did You Know?"  was  a very thought provoking video!  I knew the internet  was developing quickly but had no idea how much it had grown. As I watch my kids use the computer, I know they know so much more about it than I do.  They use Google like we used encyclopedias at their age.  The use Facebook and texting like we used the home telephone.  No one could have ever imagined things would have progressed as far or as fast as they have.
      I struggle to keep up and I wonder if it is even possible sometimes!  I am excited about where things are going but yet somewhat afraid at the same time.  When I graduated from college the first time, you hoped to find a job that would provide stability. It was an admirable thing to have seniority and stay with one company and one job for a long period of time. To become the best at whatever it was that you did.  According to the statistics, that stability no longer exists.  People are "expected" to change jobs and positions on a regular basis.  While that may be good for growth, does it open us up to a society of individuals that have a little bit of knowledge in a lot of things rather than an in depth knowledge of one thing?  It will be interesting to see a similar video in 2 years, 3 years, 5 years to see where things go from here!

Mr. Winkle Wakes
     How true the sentiment that was expressed in "Mr. Winkle Wakes" !  Technology is evolving every where it seems but our schools!  In the business world, everyone wants to learn the newest and "hottest" way of doing business.  Shouldn't we look at education as our "business" and want to use the newest and "hottest" technology available for our customers - the students in our classroom?  As the video "Did You Know" stated, we are training our children and our students for jobs that don't even exist yet!  We need to challenge them to use technology as it becomes available and to create that which makes it work better and easier so that they are able to compete in the global market.
     As time goes on, our neighborhoods and our communities will be much farther reaching than they are today and we as educators and as parents can't turn a blind eye to that!  We need to be awake and aware of all that is happening even if it does make us uncomfortable and little uncertain at times!  We need to continue to learn so we can teach our children and students that an education is not only something you can receive within four walls until you reach the age of 18. It is an ongoing process as long as our heart is beating and our brain is on!

  Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

     I really enjoyed the presentation by Sir Ken Robinson.  As a mother of eight children, I have thought the same thoughts many times  Since the majority of my kids have gone to the same school and had the same teachers, I have wondered how each will do in the classroom.  Some teachers have been amazing and seem to reach all the children regardless of personality type but others are not so much.  For instance, we encountered an art class which my children "hated".  How at the age of 6 can you "hate" art?  That if any should be one of their favorites!  It always allows such creativity and individualism yet they complained constantly.  So, I began to think about it, and looking back through the years at their "art projects", I realized that although each was created by a different child, they looked exactly alike.  How can "art" be the same for all of them? This video made me think about that again.  By using the same methods and the same projects and lesson plans year after year, are we creating cookie cutter children?  Children that are afraid to think outside the box, to be a little different?  Do we punish them for individuality and creativity?  Are we too quick to judge them and diagnose a medical problem that can treated by drugs?
     I really think that a change needs to be made in our classrooms.  We need to promote creativity and individualism.  We need to let our children know that while math and english are extremely important so are art and music.  We need to find ways to foster the imaginations of the students.  To let them ask the questions and find the answers.  To let them color a purple sky or a green ocean or a blue tree.  To let them move outside the realm of memorization in education to questioning and understanding the concepts behind the processes.  Because what I have found as a mother is that if you take the time to explain why, they tend to understand and are more willing to comply and more eager to keep moving forward.

Cecelia Gault (Young Student in Finland) Interviews Sir Ken Robinson

     I think it was a very well thought our interview.  Cecelia asked some very interesting questions of Sir. Robinson namely the myths of creativity and the definition of intelligence. I agree that all people are creative, some just know how to use it better than others.  I also agree that it can be developed if given the right situation and guidance.  I think that is our job as educators, to make sure that we promote the creativity in each child. We need to allow them the opportunities to think outside the box so that they can find their niche and place in the world!  I believe that students need to use their creativity and intelligence to be successful in today's world!

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts. 
     When watching this video, the main thing that I liked was empowering the students.  How true it is that they often know more than we do especially when it comes to technology!  When they discover it on their own and then teach it to their peers, it develops an ownership in the project.  It develops a sense of pride and a desire to want to learn more.  I think it is also important to realize as educators that we don't have to know everything.  We just have to be willing to find out!  Inmost cases the process is more important than the answer.
     As I think about this video and all the previous videos, it makes me understand more clearly why I have chosen the field of education to study.  What better task to have than to prepare our children for the future!  I hope that I can use my experience and my desire to continue learning to light that spark within my students so that we all can learn from each other without boundaries and restrictions.  I look forward to using technology rather than text books!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Project #1

My name is Lisa May. I am a wife and the mother of 8 children (4 boys and 4 girls), ranging in age from 20 to 18 months. They are the reason I am returning to school! I have a BS degree in Finance from Spring Hill College and have been working in the field of finance for 20 years. I worked at a bank as a teller, financial services rep and branch manager. I left banking to begin a career in the mortgage industry 12 years ago. I love what I do but the industry has taken a beating over the last few years and I am looking for more stability. So, I am at South to earn a second degree in education.
I hope to put the many years of experience I have as a mother and employee to use in the classroom. Through the years, I have seen many teaching styles and hope to emulate some and learn from the mistakes of others. But, what I have found, is that educating a child takes an entire community. It takes the support of parents, teachers and society. I hope to acquire the skills through this class that will enable me to incorporate my experiences with technology to relate to and teach the children of tomorrow!