Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Blog Assignment 5
Scott Mcleod is a really interesting person. I found out more about him at About Me: Scott Mcleod. He is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. "He also is the Founding Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education ( ), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, the National School Boards Association, and the Center for Digital Education. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant, Mind Dump, and Education Recoded and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He also just completed his first book, What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media."
Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please? was a really good article to get you thinking about technology. In this poem, Dr. Mcleod basically describes all of parents' fears about their children using the internet. He then tells these parents to not let the children use the internet because that will give his children an advantage. This was really a smart and concise way to get his point across. I liked the way he brought up all the issues people have with technology. Yes, the internet is a great resource, but it should be used appropriately. It can get you into trouble just like anything else can, but the fact is that people have to know how to use the computer if they want to survive in the world.
The comments by some students in EDM 310 in the spring 11 semester were really interesting to me. These students had some of the same views I have about the internet. Most of the students agreed that knowing how to use the internet is a must, but they still wanted children's usage monitored. Monitoring a child's use of the computer or anything else can have good and bad effects. This monitoring may keep the child away from bad things, but it could also make the child want to view/do the bad things more. I know that if someone tells me I can't do something, I just want to do it more. It might be better to just let children explore the internet. If we don't make a big deal about the bad things, they may not worry about them either. Dr. Mcleod also brought up the point that most parents don't know as much about the internet as their children. If the parents don't know the dangers of the internet, they can't talk to their children about the dangers.
The iSchool Initiative
The iSchool Initiative is a video by Travis Allen. He was 17 when he first launched this video on Youtube. In this video, Travis is basically arguing that schools would save more money if they stopped using old methods of teaching. He calculated that it costs around $600 per student to teach in the traditional way. Travis wanted to change this. He said that if schools used the iTouch for instruction, they would save around $450 per student. He showed in his powerpoint that everything school-related could be done on the iTouch. After this video was released, it went viral. A lot of important people were interested in Travis's ideas. He talks about his success in ZeitgeistYoungMind's Entry.
I was really impressed by Travis's ideas. If everything worked out the way he said it would in the video, changing over to the iTouch would be a great idea; however, there are a few things about which I am concerned. First of all, theft would have to be a concern. If this program was used at some underprivileged high schools, a lot of the devices would go missing. I remember when students were allowed to use school laptops during summer school where my Mom works. Half of the laptops went missing and were never retrieved. Another problem I have with using the iTouch is that it is so small. It might hurt students' eyesight to look at that small screen for every activity. The iPad might be a better alternative, but it would not save as much money.
I thought Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir was really cool. It is amazing to think that 185 people who never met performed this. I guess sometimes we take technology for granted. If we could transport someone from the 19th century into 2012, they would be amazed. They would probably think the internet was some sort of witchcraft. They would not even be able to understand how advanced our technology is. It would probably scare the crap out of them. The only other thing I can say about this video is that it sounded so perfect that I automatically assumed it was seriously synthesized. That is just me being critical though.
Teaching in the 21st Century
In Teaching in the 21st Century, Kevin Roberts has a different view on teaching. He basically thinks that teachers should be guidance for children. They should let the students figure things out on their own. You can find out anything you want to know just by googling it. Why do we even need teachers? Without teachers, students would not have the knowledge to go search for knowledge. They also would not know how to act properly when it comes to using things like the internet.
Roberts has a point. Yes, students can find out anything they want just by googling it, but they don't learn anything. You have to understand information to be able to remember it. When you google something, you just want a quick answer. Understanding information is beyond just technology. I thought that the goal of teaching has always been to make students understand things so they can apply them in other situations. I don't think this video changed my impression of teaching at all. I already knew that you couldn't just let kids memorize things. I know I will also have to be technology conscious, but that does not change my overall teaching goal.
After viewing Reading Rockets, I found a lot of tools I could use as a teacher. This site was especially interesting to me since I am going to be an English teacher. One thing that stood out to me was "Reading for Meaning." This resource basically gives you tips on how to make sure a child understands what they are reading. I think reading comprehension is one of the biggest problems in schools. If you can't understand what you read, there is no point in reading at all. This resource will prove helpful to me because I have never had problems with reading. I am not sure how I would help a student with something I know nothing about.
Another resource I found interesting on the site was "ABCs of Teaching Reading." Even though I plan on teaching high school, this resource will surely prove helpful. A lot of students still do not know how to read properly when they get to high school. They have just been passed along in elementary school without knowing what they are reading. When they get to high school, they are in serious trouble because the readings are much more difficult. As said earlier, I never had trouble with reading, so it would be hard to know what a student with reading problems is going through. I'm sure this resource will help.