Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24, 2010

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today
Click Here to watch the movie.

I feel this video relates to my college experience to a certain extent. When I attended the University of Alabama, this video hits that experience right on the head with the large classrooms filled with hundreds of students most of whom would show up on the first day of class and for exam days and then you would not see them again for the rest of the semester. Which still seizes to amaze me why people would pay thousands of dollars to go to college and then not show up for classes. My experience at the University of South Alabama has been quite different. The classes are much, much smaller. One of my classes only had 10 people in it, and in even in my largest classes that are in auditoriums still have half as many people in them then there were at Alabama. At South Alabama the class discussion seems more personalized, with students asking questions and being involved in the class discussion. Although, not all classes I have attended at South Alabama have been this way, but the majority have been. A quality of a college I can appreciate.

So my college experience has been similar and different. I definitely do no get seven hours of sleep at night; try more like three to five mainly because my work seems like it is never done. I write more papers and handwritten assignments then I do emails and I open up every book I buy and read every assignment given to me and seem to find the relevance in most assigned readings because I search for the relevancy. I undoubtedly read more web pages and Facebook profiles then I do books and I watch about an hour and a half of T.V. or more a day. But I do not believe I spent three hours a day on the computer, until now since I have been taking Dr.Strange's EDM310 class.

I don't feel that technology alone can save us. Especially when students are bringing their technology(laptops) to class and then playing on them instead of using them to enhance learning. I personally listen easier to a professor lecturing and writing on the board then I do a PowerPoint presentation, and I like the fact that the movie said writing on the board forces the teacher to move around. I do however feel that teaching does need to reform to address the changes of the world and to address the varying ways students learn, and in a society where a younger generation couldn't imagine a world without cellphones and computers, the use of technology seems vital to use in classrooms. As for adding something to this movie to make it better relate to my college experiences, it would have to be more people sleeping during class, other than that I'm not sure what I would add, but there are things I would change to make it better relate to my college experience; smaller classroom with less people, a white board or projector instead of a chalkboard, and less people using laptops in class.

"It's Not About Technology" by Kelly Hines

Click Here to read her post.

This post was inspirational to me and I agree with her that teachers must be life-long learners and should be passionate about what they do. If teaching something one way is not working, try a different method, makes sense to me. Students learning something should be the foremost main goal of all teachers. I believe her view that technology will do no good if mindsets of teachers are not changed. Creativity and innovation are important life skills and I believe critical thinking and problem solving are essential for survival in this world. I agree with Hines when she says that if a teacher can accomplish to teach their students these skills, they're doing them a favor. I also feel that what good would technology do for a student if put in the wrong hands.

I could not agree with her more that technology is not needed to achieve greater learning for students, but that successful teaching is what influences students in a positive way. I think that the idea that if a teacher could have all of the qualities Hines' listed (teachers must be learners, learning and teaching are not the same thing, technology is useless without good teaching, and be a 21st century teacher without technology) then put technological skills in the hands of a teacher like that, great things can be accomplished. I want to do amazing things as a teacher and work hard to do so, I just hope I'm good enough for the students sake.

Karl Fisch: Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
Go Here to read Karl Fisch's Blog post

I found Fisch's post somewhat harsh, but I understand and agree with his point. That it is NOT okay for a teacher to be technologically illiterate. I agree that "all educators must achieve a basic level of technological capability." I feel that it is extremely important that the people who are to teach our youth should be technology literate. I agree with him in that today's college students or anyone receiving a teaching certificate should graduate being technology literate, but if they are not I do not think that will jeopardize children as long as the teacher is willing to learn how to be well read in the ways of technology. Learning more about technology I feel is a constant and ongoing process that all good teachers should consistently be going through especially if they want to keep up with the twenty-first century student. Technology has become a livelihood for many people; personally and in the workplace. It is important to be technology literate and to teach it to children.

I do agree that many teachers especially older generation teachers have accepted and are comfortable with the fact that they are technologically illiterate. This is sad to me because I feel that all teachers should want to constantly learn and provide as many methods of teaching to children as they can, seeing that children learn differently from one another. Where as a book and a piece of paper works great for one child to learn with another might learn better by watching a movie and blogging about what they saw. I believe technology has boomed at such a fast rate that for some teachers it might seem impossible to keep up with. I can understand why. I myself have a hard to time keeping up with it all, but I don't mind learning about it, and I feel that it is quite alright to learn technology right along with students and may even create a more positive relationship between student and teacher. Mostly I believe that teachers who refuse to become educated in technology are afraid of it and intimidated by it, they need to break out of their shell and become fearless with it. They need to be reassured that it is not that difficult to use once you begin exploring it and playing with it, and that is how children learn to use technology so it is okay for them to learn this way as well. Most mishaps with technology can be easily fixed (unless it drops and breaks into pieces, then you might have a problem), so there is no worry about breaking it. There is a need in this society for a person to be technology literate, and I agree with Fisch that if a person wants to be on the same playing field with others that they are competing for a job with, then be technologically educated because you might be able to get by now, but in the future chances for success for the technologically clueless will be slim to none.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
Click Here to see how fast the social media count changes every second

I think this ties in with all the other assignments. I find how quickly the numbers grew to be unreal. That at the constant fast paced rate at which so many people use technology, being technologically literate is unavoidable and must be a necessity to know in order to be a teacher. Well, at least a productive and successful one. I'm nearly convinced that in today's society it is almost as important to learn as reading and writing. With so many people using so much technology at one time, it should be required to be part of the curriculum in schools to integrate the use of technology into lesson plans. At least to be able to teach a twenty-first century student in a way which they can relate to and understand. They're using the technology anyway so why not incorporate it as learning tools at school and get out of old-fashioned ruts.

I just want know though, how do you begin to teach children this technology? Especially Kindergarten through second graders, do you just jump right in?


  1. Jessica,

    I strongly agree with your ideas about the older generation being apprehensive about technology and not willing to learn. My mother is the epitome of this person. Day after day, she needs help using the computer and her cellphone. I am constantly showing her how to operate the technology she owns. I feel sorry for her because she usually does not understand how it works, but it frustrates me that she still cannot simply set her alarm clock on her phone, or see what movies are playing on the internet. These things are basic knowledge, and even after I show her numerous times how to do it, she never remembers. I wonder if she really does not comprehend technology, or if she has no real desire to truly learn. I think she likes us doing everything for her. I know many teachers who are the same way. I actually have a teacher this semester that cannot upload a powerpoint to ecompanion. When teachers are technologically illiterate, the students definitely suffer. I hope by the time we are teachers, everyone in the schools, both teachers and students, can fully operate technology.

  2. Most people now days have cell phones and laptops to keep in touch easier but also to mess around on. I know my cousin who is 13 has a laptop and a cell phone and it blows my mind. She can't even drive. The older we get, the more technology reaches out to the younger generations.