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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blog Post #3

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

As I watched this video, it made me think about the differences in my first college experience and my college experience now. Twenty years ago when I attended Spring Hill College, I was blessed to have small classes and all my professors knew my name. One of the benefits of a small school. There were no computers in the classrooms, no smart boards, ipods,etc. No one had a personal computer. When you had to write a paper the research was done in the library and the paper was written by hand. Occasionally if you were taking a computer class, you would visit the computer lab to do the assignments and get out as soon as possible. Social interaction was done in the cafeteria at meal times and in the dorm rooms and common areas. There was no facebook, my space, blogging, text messaging. So, I ask myself, was this a better or worse experience than today's college student? I don't really have an answer for that yet!
Here are some of my observations. My oldest son went to a state university for his first two years of college. He sat in huge classrooms with 300+ students, learned from a graduate student that taught on an overhead projector and had no personal interaction with his educators. I do not think this is the way education should be. The students need to be engaged. They are bored by this type of education and many get lost in the system. They bring computers, cell phones and ipods to class and are plugged in to all this technology and are not listening or learning in the classroom. So, how do we as teachers make sure that they are not facebooking during our lecture. How do we make sure they are listening to us rather than the newest songs on their ipod? How do we make sure they are prepared for the jobs of the future? How do we make sure that they can communicate effectively in person as well as through technology? I think this is the challenge of today's teachers. We have to be able to develop the desire to learn within our students through all mediums. We have to be able to use all of the technology that is available to us so that they will engage the students and make them hungry to learn more.
So, the comparison of my education for my first degree, his education and my education at South now creates some interesting questions. Which works better? Who is more prepared for the "real world"? Who learns the most in each situation? That is all still to be determined, I guess. It will be interesting to look back after I have more experience at South and see in which way I learned more. It would be interesting if the film was further developed by talking to the professors who have been teaching for the last 30 years. They have seen the transformation in students and in technology. Have they been able to adapt? How are they adjusting? Are they willing to change their teaching methods to adapt to the "new student"?

"It's Not About the Technology" by Kelly Hines

I loved reading this post! I think it does get to the heart of things. Technology is not the answer in and of itself! The teacher must be motivated and willing to use the technology to teach the basics as well as the information of the future. A computer in the classroom doesn't mean that the student is going to learn more just by the virtue of it being there. We as teachers need to light a fire within our students to learn the best and most effective way to use that computer to further their desire to learn. We need to continually be developing our teaching skills by learning how to incorporate that technology in our classrooms. We must always be willing to learn and most of all be able to instill that desire for learning in our students. We need to lead them by example, let them see that we ourselves are students. That we can teach them the basics but we can further that education by learning together how the basics apply to our current world and situation. The students don't want to read and memorize as I did when I was in school. They want to how they are going to use the information. It is our job to relate it to real life applications and challenges and this can be done with technology. We must be excited and motivated and in turn our students will be as well!

Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

I found it interesting that this article was written in 2007. I wonder if Mr. Fisch feels that any progress has been made in the field of education. As hard as it is for me to admit, I do agree that being technologically literate as a teacher today is as important as knowing how to read, write and do math. I have fought technology and only learned what I had to get by but now I see the importance and I am very intrigued by all that is out there. I knew the systems that had to be used in the world of mortgage finance but had no idea of the power of blogging, tweeting, or researching on the internet. My kids use technology much more effectively than I have but I hope to change that. I have a true desire to learn and am passionate about using it once I get into a classroom. I think that as long as the teachers continue to be life long learners, then we can and will be able to incorporate technology into our classrooms and prepare our students for the future. We can't teach them what we don't know but if we are willing to learn along side them, it is a win-win situation for everyone. The classroom becomes a place where the student and teacher can share ownership - we can challenge our students and ourselves to try new things and thus we all win!

Garys Social Media Count

Those numbers are staggering! I know that social media is a huge part of our society today but had no idea of the numbers. I think as an educator, these numbers show us that we have to be ever changing and willing to adapt to the advances of technology. We have to find a way to harness the students interest in socializing and direct it toward problem solving and learning. If we can make use of there desire to use computers for the benefit of learning and developing critical thinking, just imagine the possibilities! I look forward to a future where the children share ownership in the curriculum and they are rewarded for creative and innovative ways of using the power of technology to learn and teach each other. After all, we learn and are most influenced by our peers so we as teachers should learn form each other and students should be encouraged to as well!


  1. Hey Lisa,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog! I believe we have many of the same view points in watching the videos and blogs assigned to us. In Michael Wesch's video, I had the same conclusions as you. Which is the better way for the students to learn? While South is the only college experience I have had, I can see both your son's perspective about college life and yours. I have had the large classrooms with almost no personal interaction between professor and student, and I have also had classes where we used pen and paper and rarely used computers. It really is a difficult question as to which one is better. I think the key is to find a way to meet in the middle and combine technology with a little old school teaching. I also liked how you questioned what the professors would think about this transformation in teaching.

    I also really enjoyed reading "It's Not About the Technology." Kelly Hines seemed to understand that while you can use computers in the classroom, if you don't know what you are doing on them and don't structure their use for the class, than you are doing no good. You seemed to feel the same way. We really must continue to learn for life if we are to teach the students of tomorrow!

    I agree with you and Mr. Fisch that technology today is much like reading and writing used to be. Learning how to effectively use computers is becoming a necessity in all fields of life. One thing I did not like about this blog was the list of standards left by Freedman. He really seemed to throw educators and principals under the bus if they were not up to date with technology. Just give these people a chance and try to help them out instead of blaming!

    And finally, I was also very much astounded by the changes on Gary's Social Media Count. These figures really made me think about the future. Well, good luck in the rest on the class. I enjoyed commenting on your blog!

  2. Now a series of interviews with professors would make a great final project. Are you up for it? What kind of responses would you anticipate getting?

    "We must be excited and motivated and in turn our students will be as well!" Ah yes! How do we assure that happens?

    Why don't you Tweet him and ask? @karlfisch

    Thoughtful. Well written. Excellent post. Thanks!