Sunday, February 5, 2012
Blog Post 2
Did You know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version
Did You Know - by John Strange - January 12 Version, presents various facts about technology. I think this was done to shock us into realizing, if we did not already, how important technology is in this world. He also presented some facts about how India and China are rising up in the world. There are more honor students in India than there are in the United States, and there will soon be more Chinese people who speak English than there will be native English speakers.
It is astonishing, in just one little minute, how many Youtube videos are watched and posted, and how many searches are done in Google. That's not even mentioning how many SMS messages were sent in that minute, which is also extremely astonishing. All of these facts, are here to provide us with an understanding that technology is important for our future and the futures of the children that we will one day teach. Dr. Strange stated that we do not know the top jobs ten years from now because they will be using technologies that do not even exist yet. This fact alone should shock everyone who watched this video, into realizing that we all need to keep up with what is going on in the technology world.
Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mr. Winkle Wakes by Matthew Needleman, uses the familiar story of Rip van Winkle who slept for 100 years. He sets it in a bit more modern time to where Mr. Winkle wakes up in our present. Mr Winkle is distressed to see that businesses and hospitals are using all this technology stuff that he does not understand. Then he decides to go into a school, and he likes it there because there is none of that technology stuff. He stays there for the rest of the day, and he only sees one computer that is dusty and looks like it is barely used. He leaves the school happy, thinking how wonderful it is that even after 100 hundred years some things have stayed the same.
This is used to illustrate the great injustice being done to the children in today's schools. Technology is important in today's world. He showed businesses and hospitals using it, while the school only had one old, dusty computer. If technology is so important everywhere else in the world, then why are students being denied it? The answer I believe to be true is, the importance of technology is not recognized, and we must make it recognized when we are educators.
Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity, and after watching this, I believe he is right. He claims that all children have some sort of talent, and we ignore them because they are not "useful." Creativity gives children the outlet they need to not worry about being wrong because if they are always worrying about being wrong then they will never come up with anything original. He also makes a point of saying that school is uses the hierarchy it does for two reasons. The first is that the most "useful" subjects for work are on top, and the second reason is that it is designed for university entrance.
We cannot go on teaching our students this way. Our job should be to encourage creativity and use it wisely. He tells an amazing story about Gillian Lynne. Her teachers thought she had some sort of learning disorder, and when she was taken to a doctor, he told her mother that she was just a dancer. She thinks by moving, by dancing. She could have just been given pills, but instead she was nurtured and became an amazing choreographer. That story is what I think this whole video is about. Learning can be in many forms, and art should be one of them.
A Vision for 21st Century Learning
A Vision for 21st Century Learning argues that our world is composed of technology, and our schools should utilize this. Kids are still learning by listening to lectures, passively, and memorizing facts with no context. They want to change the way kids learn by turning a lesson, say about ancient Rome, into a video game where they can learn by interaction. I think this is the only way for children to truly learn. Otherwise it's just memorization, and as Dr. Strange likes to call it "burp back education." This type of learning is unacceptable because, essentially, it is not learning.
Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts by Vicki Davis gives us a view into her classroom. She is a teacher and IT Director, but she is a full time teacher, which is her main focus. However, she integrates her IT skills into her classroom. She states that if you only focus on the pencil and the paper then you are only setting it up to where certain kids will succeed. If technology is integrated then you open up a whole other way of learning that more kids will be able to succeed in.
The way to succeed in integrating technology is by looking at the interests and strengths of the students and accomplishing the curriculum but customizing it according to the group of students that you have. This is exactly what Vicki Davis does in her classroom. She is teaching them how to learn. If she says a word that the students do not know, they are expected to look it up. Once again, she is teaching them to learn. She also has students teaching, and she is even learning some new things from the kids. This way the students actually learn and gain empowerment, and isn't this what we want for our students?