Search This Blog

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blog Post #8

Dr. Richard E. Miller Discusses Writing With Multimedia

I enjoyed watching the video by Dr Miller. I think he discusses many important topics. And I definitely agree with his idea that the way we write and communicate has changed. The fact that we live in a world of immediate communication and collaboration is astounding. It does create an environment of immediate audiences and "listeners" to our ideas and thoughts. You can dream anything, find a creative medium within technology to distribute it on the internet and have feedback in a matter of minutes. This in itself amazes me! What better execution of the rights of freedom of speech!

As teachers, I think it is our responsibility to teach our children to use the freedom responsibly. Because they are exposed to it in many fashions, most of it in a social manner, it is our responsibility to teach them to use their writing skills and media for the good of mankind. They need to use it for the betterment of society. We need to teach them to use it to communicate their ideas and thoughts to a world wide audience.

We also need to learn to use the technology that is available to us for creating these amazing documents and publications. To be able to embed historical speeches into a paper, to be able to see and use real time reports to further support our thoughts, to be able to rally a nation behind an injustice are all things that are capable by the use of technology. I think a book report in the future will be so different from the book reports that I did as a child. It will be not just a summary of the book but a conglomerate of ideas found in the book, opinions of others that can be found on the internet through blogs and the like, or videos or interviews that contain reviews about the book. The possibilities are endless and we as teachers need to explore all these options and expose our students to all of these options so they will be able to use their creativity to communicate their ideas to the world wide audience.

The Chipper Series and EDM310 for Dummies

I watched these videos earlier in the semester but they did not have as much impact as they do now! I completely understand the overwhelmed feeing of the "students"in both videos. Because it is a class that is very independent, it requires a lot of discipline to complete all the work. I thought that it would be a breeze but what I have found is that it is very challenging. I don't know if it is so much the time as it is learning all the new technology. I find myself putting things off because I am unsure how to do it so my first thought for a video would be on the usefulness of the lab and the other resources that are provided by the staff. Another video could be a comparison of the level of confidence of the students at the beginning of the class versus the end of the class. And one last idea would be an instructional video on the PLN and Twitter. I am still having trouble with the composition of the PLN and usefulness of Twitter. I don't have the ability to get twitter on my phone so for me to use it, I have to be at the computer and the timing is just hard. Maybe one on suggestions of how and when to tweet would be useful.

The most important thing that I can say that I have learned from both videos and the first half of the semester is to stop procrastinating! My goal for the second half of the semester is to work steadily each day on the projects rather than waiting until the last minute!

I really enjoyed this video! It really speaks the truth. These are very well known, well educated teachers that are stating that education has to change. One even goes so far as to say that "Education is dead but the door to learning has opened." What a profound statement. We definitely are in the midst of a change in mind set when it comes to education. Memorization of facts is not longer necessary. That information is at your fingertips. It can be accessed at any time. Our job now is to teach them to use the resources to find the information, to process it and to apply it to everyday life. They have to be able to differeniate fact from fiction. They have to be able to recognize opinion from fact also. They have to be able to process all the information that is available to them to formulate their own opinion and produce creative ideas and thoughts. They have to know how to communicate their information. They have to know how to collaborate with their peers to create and develop projects. If we can create this thirst for knowledge within our students imagine the future that they will have ahead of them! Education has to change to teach the changing world around us!

RSA Animate The Secret Powers of Time by Phillip Zambardo and Drive - The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by David Pink

First, I would like to say that I love the format of these videos. They are very stimulating because you find yourself enthralled with the fast pace of the drawings as well as the fast talk of the speaker. It really holds your attention and makes you pay attention. What great use of technology to insight both the auditory and visual senses.

Aside from the technology, the message in both is very clear and very true. We are a society that lives in the moment - hedonistic present people. We want what is good now. We hate to wait and consider it a waste of our time. We are a society of multi-taskers. But, is that always good? Are we multi-taking for the betterment of our sanity or only to find more time to work. Do we use technology to help us or to hinder us? I found the fact that if given an extra day, most people surveyed said they would use it for work. Why not for family and fiends? I think we can learn from some of the practices of the past - for instance family dinners and family vacations. How much time do we actually spend with our family? We are all so plugged in that even when we are together, are we really together. I have been in a room with a bunch of teenagers and no one is talking but they are all texting. So, I ask, who are you texting? And, they are texting the child sitting right next to them. CRAZY! Why don't they just speak. Are we losing the ability to communicate in person?

I really believe the part of the video in which he says we have to change the way we teach these children. They are not like we were. They do not respond to the way we were taught. They need to be engaged so that they are not left behind. They are aware of the technology - it excites them. It involves them and they can relate to it. As teachers, we have to utilize this so we can communicate with them and encourage them to learn. They need to use technology for more than video games. They need to know what is out there. They need to know that they can use the skills they have from playing video games in their education. They can use those problem solving skills, those creative approaches to be successful in school. We have to foster their desire to learn and help them apply it so they can be successful in life. We need to teach them to be future thinking individuals rather that hedonistic present thinkers.

This brings us to the second video which is directly related to the ideas of time and culture and society. If, as the video says, we were to pay people enough so that money was not an issue, can you imagine the possibilities! If people did things for the enjoyment, for the personal satisfaction, simply for the purpose of leaving their mark on society, can you imagine all that would get done? If we didn't have to worry about the bills, and the mortgage and the car note, all that brain energy and thought could be directed at developing and creating. When the stress of money is removed, it frees up so much time for being productive.

I think everyone has an underlying desire to change the world. I think that we become robots and do as we are told, when we are told and eventually we forget our childhood dreams of changing the world. We become desensitized by the material world, all the things we have to have and think we need. All those things that money can buy. When, if we were to look inside, what we really need and what should drive us can be found in the heart of the children. What we really want and what really drives us to be loved, to be accepted and have a purpose. We all want to do something important and in turn be important to someone. Our job as teachers is to never let that inner desire to have purpose be destroyed in our students. We need to develop their creativity and love for each other and humanity and develop it so they will have an impact on society by the things the create and do as adults.


  1. Hey Lisa,

    I like it when you said: "As teachers, I think it is our responsibility to teach our children to use the freedom responsibly." I really think it is important for all education majors to realize that if we are to use the technology that we are learning, our roll as teachers will soon change. I really think that freedom is something that needs to be taught well so students will know what we see as appropriate and not. I think you make a very good point.

    I'm glad that you enjoyed the Chipper videos! It really is hard to keep up with work that is new and, like this class, it is a new way to learn. Most students have never taken a class like this before, so it is difficult to get out of bad habits that other classes seem to encourage.

    One thing that you pointed out was: " Memorization of facts is not longer necessary." I love that!!! I am terrible at memorizing facts. I have a really bad memory, and things that I even want to remember leave me sometimes. I am so glad that I live in a world were anything that I want to know is just a breath way, or a search away. I mean, isn't that a good thing? Should teachers discourage a student from using something that is the most useful tool out there?

    I love your last paragraph. What a great summary of a great teacher. I really think you have it figured out Lisa.

    Great post! Keep up the good work!

    Stephen Akins

  2. I had the same thoughts as you on the videos. When the RSA videos came on it was exciting to see how they seemed like they fast fowarded the writing to keep up with the speaking. In changing how we teach is a must becasue we are teaching something that they won't use later on in life. That is what I hated about school the most is the memorizing something that I will not use later on. The study why people do work based on money or to help people amazed me. I someday would like to work somewhere and make a living to take care of my family, and I also want to help my community. The robot part that you stated is pretty true we get into a groove where we are just working in motions and not thinking outside the box.