Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blog Assignment 2

This is a cartoon computer.
Did You Know?
     After watching "Did You Know?" by Dr. Strange, I was not surprised by any of the statistics except for one. I already knew most people, especially college students, have computers.  Also, most people have cell phones.  The only people I know that do not use these technologies are older and perhaps set in their ways.  Do these technologies aide education?  The answer is definitely.  Students and teachers have access to so many more learning materials with the internet than without it.  However, I think technology also harms education.  It is hard to keep a high school student interested in learning when all they are worried about is texting, going on Facebook, or listening to music.
     As mentioned earlier, I was surprised by one statistic.  The fact that by 2025 the Chinese able to speak English will exceed the English speakers in the rest of the world was mind boggling.  This means that Americans better step it up.  The Chinese may be trying to eventually dominate the United States.  It probably would not be hard for them to do if the economy remains the way it is.  It is definitely something to think about.
Mr. Winkle Wakes
     I understand that "Mr. Winkle Wakes" was supposed to say that more technology should be used in schools.  This is a good idea in theory, but as I recall from high school, if we were given an opportunity to get on the computer to do work, we did not want to do anything other than watch funny Youtube videos or listen to music.  I, for instance, would always want to shop online.  This may have been because we lived in a rural area with mostly dial-up internet connections at home.  It was a treat to have access to high speed internet.  Then again, it may not have been this at all.  Most young people do not find learning fun so letting them use computers in the classroom would probably just distract.  
     Even though USA is not a high school, the students here even get distracted by technology.  You cannot get through one class without someone texting or looking at something inappropriate online.  I think there is a place for technology in school, but it cannot be used freely because students would never learn anything.  Some students might cooperate and do what they are supposed to, but there are going to be some bad apples that distract the entire class by looking at something they are not supposed to be viewing.  Most students need structure to learn.
The Importance of Creativity
     Out of all the videos I watched for this assignment, I most enjoyed "The Importance of Creativity."  Sir Ken Robinson was especially funny.  Even though the video was long, it was much easier to watch just because he made so many jokes.  I liked when he made the joke about Shakespeare going to school and how annoyed English teachers must have been with him.  I also enjoyed the part about women being better multi-taskers than men.  I totally agree with this.  I feel like I do a million more things than my boyfriend does, and he still ends up being more "exhausted" than me at the end of the day.  
     Besides the humor, another good point Robinson had was that all people do not learn the same.  He makes the point that trying to teach everyone the same way stifles creativity.  He makes a good example of this when he says that most children will answer any question without concern for being wrong, but by the time they enter college, all they are concerned with is being wrong.  It would be embarrassing for them to be wrong.  Really, being wrong a little bit makes you learn more than just sitting back and not doing anything.  I also related to his idea that most people do not go into a field they love for fear of not being able to get a job.  This is incredibly true.  Most people I talk to are just going into a field because they want security.
A Vision for 21st Century Learning
     "A Vision for 21st Century Learning" got on my nerves a little bit.  The idea of virtual learning is a good idea in theory because children do love video games.  It would seem like this would make children learn more about history by virtually exploring different places.  I, however, feel like this virtual world would be too much of a game.  Children would not learn the facts; they would just learn how to play the game.
Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
     I enjoyed the concept of "Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts" mainly because it depicted a Southern classroom that used technology to learn and interact with other parts of the world.  Although I liked the concept, I still am not quite on board with the reality of the idea.  It seemed as though this video was advocating ONLY learning about technology as if that is all that matters.  What happened to tradition?  If students use computers for all their writing, what will happen to handwriting?  Will that be an ancient concept?  I think there is beauty and passion in a handwritten work.  It pains me to see this depicted as old news.  Also, it was said that this kind of learning empowered kids.   Well, I guess they do feel empowered when they can go to school, play a video game, and call it learning.  
     Another problem I had with the idea depicted in this video was that, I feel, advocating technology too much can actually make children dumber.  Yes, technology is a useful resource in learning, but when you implement it too much, children use it as a crutch.  Why learn something when you can google it?  What would happen if one day we were faced with a world without internet?  Would today's youth know what to do with themselves?  Would they have any other skills if they had been taught technology so much?  I am not sure what would happen, but I know that it is a scary thought.  People may not even have any communication skills because they have been so used to typing back and forth. 


  1. Egypt, Greece, Rome, The Netherlands, Spain, France, England, The United States, and next China.

    "Most young people do not find learning fun so letting them use computers in the classroom would probably just distract." Two questions:
    1. Must we make learning fun it order to have students engage in it? If yes, would technology help? If no, what would help?
    2. Why would the presence of technology automatically create "distractions"? Is that what happened to Lauren, the 6th grader you left a comment for this week?

    "I think there is a place for technology in school, but it cannot be used freely because students would never learn anything. " Read this out aloud. Is this what you really believe? What evidence can you bring to convince those of us who think you are wrong that we are wrong instead?

    "Children would not learn the facts..." Are facts the goal we should be seeking?

    "I still am not quite on board with the reality of the idea." That is clear from what you have written. We'll check in with you again about this.

    "I think there is beauty and passion in a handwritten work. " Really? "Beauty and passion"? Whose handwriting are you judging? Not mine!

  2. Dr. Strange,
    I want to start out by saying that in my blog posts, I am being completely honest! After I watched the videos, I wrote exactly what I felt while I was watching them. Secondly, I understand that you don't agree with what I'm saying. It would've been just as easy for me to write everything I know you want to hear, but I don't agree with doing that. I'm going to be honest the whole time no matter what.
    1.) When I wrote this quote, I was thinking from personal experience. When I was in high school, I hated going to school even though I did well. Any opportunity I could get to skip school, I would take it. So, I felt like other kids probably feel the same way. That's why I said "most students don't find learning fun." Also, I meant that most students feel bored when doing something educational. This is why I said education would distract. When you let a child get on the internet during school, he/she will just want to get on Facebook or listen to music. It's not that learning isn't fun; it's just the idea of being forced into learning something that you may not find interesting.
    2.) I don't think technology creates distractions in all situations. There are always exceptions to the rule. Lauren was using technology to convey things she learned in class in an innovative way. I think that's great. Technology used in an outside project would probably help to get the message to stick in a child's head. I was just talking about using computers in the classroom everyday.
    3.) I don't mean that students wouldn't learn anything. I'm sure they would learn things, but these things may not be things they should be learning. For instance, I think technology teaches you to look for easier ways to do things. For example, they are having trouble with the online classes where my mom works because the students have learned they can just google the answers and not do the lessons. I feel like a good way of explaining it is using a calculator as an example. Yes, it is useful, but students become dependent on these devices and cannot do the work on their own later.
    4.) You may not want to believe it, but facts are important. If you know facts about history, you can relate them to literature, science, and other aspects of learning. Grammar is a fact. You have to know the rules in order to write anything decent. Lauren used facts in her video; she just presented them in a new, innovative way.
    5.) My views may change, but right now, this is what I think. Honesty is the best policy.
    6.) I don't necessarily mean that the "style" of a person's handwriting is beautiful, but the style is unique to that person. I mean that you somehow feel more of a connection with a handwritten work than you do with a typed work, or I do anyway. Everything I have to write I handwrite first. My creativity flows more freely when I'm jotting things down on paper than when I type. Yes, typing makes things easier to read, but it would really be terrible to stray away from handwriting altogether.

  3. In #1, I meant to say "This is why I said technology would distract" not "This is why I said education would distract."