Sunday, February 13, 2011
Blog Post #4
Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
This post is very relevant and very thought provoking! As were the posts and comments by previous EDM students. I was surprised that some of the students did not agree with Dr. McLeod or see the sarcasm in his writing! He makes a good point when questioning who will be ahead in the next decade. Technology is here to stay and if not used properly, it will be used negatively. It is our responsibility as parents and educators to teach our children that technology is good and should be used for that purpose. If we don't teach them the benefits of technology,then they will learn how to use it from their peers or through their own exploration. The point is, they are going to use it so why not teach them from the beginning the "right" way to use it so they aren't tempted. There are some crazy things available through the internet but as with most things, I think the good far out weighs the bad. And, if by chance a child comes across one of the darker sides of the internet, maybe that is a teaching moment in itself. Technology , as with anything else, is just a tool, how we use it is completely up to us! I would prefer that my students and children be exposed and prepared rather than sheltered and reluctant.
Dr. Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University. He also is the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). This quote is from his short bio found on his web page http://scottmcleod.net/.
The iSchool Initiative
I found this video to be very intriguing. Was it the idea of this student? Was it a collaborative effort by him and other students? Was he the spokesperson? Could this really be the answer? Could this work? Who sponsors it? What happens to the typical classroom? Does it apply to all stages of education? I think it raises some very important questions. I found it very interesting that there are so many apps available to aid in the education process, even change the education process. I realize that technology is available but what about the student that doesn't have the discipline to self-teach. What happens to the student that needs the text books? Can you teach a 5 year old in this way? It seems almost like a form of home-schooling? Then, are we removing the social aspect of school? Isn't that a part of the education process as well?
The more I think about it, the more disturbing I find this video and idea. I think that technology is a tool that should be used for education. But technology in itself is not the education. Students still need a teacher, classmates, peers and a classroom in which to collaborate and to learn. I may be taking the video to extreme but the idea of the iSchool scares me. I have visions of teenagers that never leave their homes or their rooms. They rely solely on the communications they have through their computers and phones. I have visions of very technologically advanced children with no social skills or face to face interaction. I think that the idea of the ischool could be successful when combined with a traditional school setting. It allows the students to use the technology that they crave and yet still receive human interaction, motivation and emotion.
The Lost Generation
I absolutely LOVE this video! I love the way it was done, the technique is amazing! And, how true it is that we often give this generation so little credit. They are teenagers, they are young and care-free but I truly believe they have learned from the mistakes of my generation. They not only see the consequences of the "me" generation, they have lived it and survived it. I think that this generation has more awareness than I ever had as a teenager. I am sure the majority of that is because of technology! The world is a much smaller place now. We see the impact of what we do today on tomorrow. We see how everyone and everything is dependent on each other. When I was a teenager, Africa or the Middle East, was a place on the map. Now, my teenager may be communicating via facebook or blogs with someone that lives there. We are no longer "isolated" in the United States, in Alabama, in Mobile. We are all members of the world's community and as such have to act with responsibility and with priorities. This generation is not lost, they are forging their path and as educators, it is our responsibility to lead them along the way!
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'
That truly is amazing! Not only is the performance beautiful, to think that the internet makes it possible for all those individuals to sing as one is also beautiful. Another example of how technology has made the world a smaller place. No longer is there a need to travel hundreds, maybe thousands of miles to work with the top individuals in any field on any project. It has removed the boundaries that existed due to location. It makes it possible for so many things.
I liked the comment by Jennifer Chamber's as well. I guess we are all becoming bloggers! This class has definitely opened my eyes to the things that are possible with the internet and technology. I could spend hours clicking from one thing to the next, it is hard not to get lost, there is so much out there! Every day I find something new. It definitely makes you start thinking of the possibilities! If we can harness that excitement and pass it on to our students just think of the possibilities and the things that we ( students and teachers) will be able to create!
Teaching in the 21st Century
As I watched this video, it made me think about why I want to be a teacher. Why did I choose this profession? What does it really mean? I think as much as I want to teach, I want to learn. Having been in the business world for the last 20 years, I have felt at times that something was missing. As I reflect, it was at those times that I had quit learning! I think the human brain has an innate desire to learn. I think our brain almost craves it as our body craves food. As teachers in the 21st century, it is our job to preserve and develop this desire to learn in our students. We must keep them engaged so they will be life-long learners. Just think of the possibilities if we all kept researching, studying, engaging over our entire life time. It is said that the brain of a child is like a sponge. As teachers we must never let that sponge dry out. We must constantly be presenting challenges to the students through their lessons that allows them to push the limits, expand the boundaries and to create with out too many restraints. If we can take the lessons of the past and pass the knowledge that has been learned from those experiences to the students so that they can build on it, imagine the possibilities.
I think that to teach in the 21st century will be an honor! It will be an amazing endeavor to challenge the students, to forge a new path and to leave a mark on history! As technology evolves, our classrooms must as well so that we can keep the students engaged and creating as we move into the future!