Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

This is a picture of a computer cord wrapped around an apple
Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
Dr. Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor at Iowa State.  He is the Director of Center for the Advance Study of Technology Leadership in Education.  This is a group that is an advocate for the technology needs for school administrators.  He is also one of the co-creators of the Did You Know? (Shift Happens) video.

Being a very sarcastic person myself I loved the sarcasm used here by Scott McLeod.  When you first begin to read this post you can't help but to wonder if he is being serious.  I thought to myself "Is he really against all technology in the classroom?"  When you get to the end his intentions are clear: he is letting people know that his students, who are being taught about technology, will be far ahead of those students who are not being taught how to use technology.  I agree with him.  Students who have been taught how to use technology from a very young age will definitely have a leg up in life.  I know personally that students who have to learn this later in life have a harder time with it.  I know that being just a few years older than most other college students has put me at a disadvantage technology wise because they are able to use the technology required for this class with much more ease. 

The iSchool Initiative
In the iSchool Initiative video this high school senior from Georgia argues that having a school based on apple's iTouch would solve many of education's problems today.  He argues that we could cut many costs by simply providing each student with an iTouch and the approprite apps.  Teachers, who have so much more than they ever have before on their plates because of budget cuts and standardized tests, would have one place where everything could be consolidated. 

Apps exploring geography, the presidents and many other subjects would replace powerpoints and posters.  A graphing calculator app would replace the requirement for all students to have a graphing calculator and lessen the cost at the same time.  Students could even have access to textbooks on the iTouch.  There is an app for everything.

I have mixed feelings about his post.  I do agree that this could cut costs and help teachers but I am not sure I am convinced it is what is best.  Not all students are technologically savy.  Should we adapt one way of teaching that leaves these students out.  I think that I am in between on this topic.  I think that the iTouch (or now the iPad) could be used very effectively in some ways for some students.  I think that more of a mixed media type of teaching would be more effective because it would apply to all students.

The Lost Generation
This video was very powerful.  The first reading was terrifying.  Unfortunately though it is where our generation is headed.  Families no longer sit down and have dinner.  Parents don't take the time to ask their students "How was your day?" or "What did your learn today?"  If this is true of this generation I can only imagine the furture for my children and their children. 

I am much more a fan of the second reading.  We can turn things around.  If we start a change now it will take hold.  We can change the norm and send the message that the direction we are currently heading is not acceptable.  We hold the power and the future is in our hands but we have to make a conscious effort to make a change.

Visual Choir
This is amazing.  I would have never even thought this is something that could have been done.  These 185 people, who had never before met came together to make something beautiful because of the internet.  This just goes to show how many ways the internet can be used.  It can bring together people from all different parts of the country or parts of the world.  It has so much power that we can't imagine.  This video amazed me.

Teaching in the 21st Century
To teach means something completely different in the 21st century than it has in any century before.  As the video said we are no longer the main source of information for our students.  They can find out anything they want (whether it is something we want them to find out or not) whenever they want to.  They no longer need us as a source of information.  They need us to teach them skills. 

They need to know how to survive in this ever changing world.  They need to know how to decide if the information they have gathered is reliable.  They need to use the constantly changing technology to best help them.  They don't need us to inform them, they need us to teach them.

1 comment:

  1. Great way to connect McLeod's post to you in particular: your humor preference and your struggles with technology because of the lack of exposure.

    "I think that more of a mixed media type of teaching would be more effective because it would apply to all students."-- Jacob, I can definitely tell you are thinking about your posts. What a great argument for not jumping on board completely.

    You are right on. The future is ours to take hold of and steer to peace and productivity. We should teach our students this reality as well.

    Great post Jacob.