Thursday, January 27, 2011
Blog Assignment 2
“Did you know?”- I recently watched this video on youtube.com which was basically a huge amount of facts that the creator had gathered together regarding our modern world and how it differs from the world ten, fifty, fifty hundred and even five thousand years ago. The point of the video is to show that every aspect of the world now from population to technology has vastly increased in magnitude and still continues to increase as time marches on. Some of the facts that are stated in this video are very hard to believe, but I assume that all the facts presented are accurate. Some of the figures they show seem to be a message to Americans that, contrary to many Americans opinions, our country is not the smartest, most advanced country that exists.
One of the facts that concerned me most in this presentation was their statement that in a four year degree plan, half of the information a college student learns in their freshman year will become obsolete by the end of their junior year. This statement is extremely shocking to me. Although I don’t know if this statement is completely valid, it does point out the fact that more and more information is being discovered every day and it’s important to keep up with the information that is out there. This is a reminder to us all that we are never done learning because there is always more to explore. It is important to continue to expand our knowledge throughout our lifetime instead of being satisfied once we leave college.
Another important concept that this video pointed out is that our technology has become increasingly more advanced within the last few decades and it continues to grow at an extremely rapid rate. To me it seems difficult to catch up with all the new technology that is coming out. If it seems difficult for me, then it must seem impossible for the elderly generations! No wonder many old people resist technology! Ha ha. All joking aside, I believe that this is a very sobering video because it challenges the viewer to expand their horizons and change the way they think about our world today.
“Mr. Winkle Wakes”- This video featured a special appearance from a familiar figure from American folklore named Rip Van Winkle. The video is based on the premise that Mr. Winkle has been asleep for a hundred years and has now woken up to find the world completely unfamiliar and frightening. Mr. Winkle seems to encounter technology everywhere he goes. Technology seems to threaten him because he does not understand how it works and he refuses to learn. Mr. Winkle fails to realize that technology can actually benefit his life. However, when Mr. Winkle travels to a modern school he finds that nothing has changes. The teaching style is completely archaic and therefore very familiar and welcoming to Mr. Winkle.
This movie states that our schools today need to catch up with the times in regard to technology. Like Mr. Winkle, the teachers in this video refuse to see how technology can improve their teaching style and enrich the lives of their students. It’s important for educators in the future to embrace advances in technology and try to teach their students to embrace it, too. There is no reason for schools to be caught up in the old days. Children today are exposed to technology on a regular basis at home. So why not use this familiarity to make school a more welcoming environment?
“The Importance of Creativity”-
This video features a speech given by Sir Ken Robinson which focuses on the problems with our current school system. Robinson believes that the biggest problem with schools today is that they squeeze the creativity out of students by making them learn about academic subjects such as math, science, and English and they completely ignore subjects like drama and dance. Robinson makes the point that everyone is talented, but some talents are more valued by our society than others. I completely agree with his viewpoint. I believe that God created all humans with their own special purpose. If God had given all humans the same gift, then no work would be accomplished at all because it takes all different kinds of people to make the world work.
I think the message that Robinson’s speech has for teachers is that we need to realize the potential of every child that we come and contact. We need to encourage all children to pursue what they are interested in as well as the important academic concepts that we are required to teach. I will do my best to foster creativity in my students and make sure that there are after school programs that focus on allowing students to be involved in fun activities such as drama or dance. Teachers need to make more of an effort to gove their students a well rounded education which engages both sides of their brain.
Scholastic Kids Blog: Can U.S. kids compete?
This is a very interesting article accompanied by a video clip of the interview upon which the article is based. The article was written by a young girl named Cecilia Gault. The article focuses on the fact that many European countries (Finland in particular) have higher test scores and lower drop-out rates than the United States because the quality of their educational system is superior. The article offers ways in which our educational system can be improved such as having more of a balance between science and the arts. The article also suggests that more technology be included in the classroom. The article concludes by suggesting that schools should foster more creativity.
I think that this article raises a great point that the United States needs to reevaluate the educational system. It is shameful how far behind our students are when compared to students from other countries. The amazing thing is that this young girl recognizes the problem and is looking for solutions! I hope that in my future classroom I can serve my students well by allowing creativity to flow and teaching kids about how technology can improve their lives. However, by myself I can only make a small impact. The whole system needs to be changed before we can catch up to other countries.
Harness Your Student’s Digital Smarts
This video is about a high school technology classroom taught which reminds me a lot of a high school version of EDM 310. This teacher focuses on empowering the students in her classroom by exposing them to different kinds of technology and showing them how to use these programs. The students participated in blogging and they also used google documents just like we do in EDM 310. I like how this teacher went beyond the average high school computer course which teaches how to use Microsoft Office and typing.
It was really inspiring to see how this teacher made these students feel accomplished by what they had learned. It seems like these students genuinely enjoyed doing their work and felt good about the progress they had made, This teacher even allowed the students to give their own presentations in class about different programs that she was not familiar with. I hope I can be the kind of teacher that not only teaches students what they need to know, but also shows them the value in the information that they are learning.