Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blog Post #2

Higher Learning

Did You Know?
     The video "Did you know?" was very interesting. I considered myself well-informed, until I watched the video. I knew that there were a great number of children and teens with computers and cell phones, but I definitely was not aware that the numbers were quite so high. I also was not aware that there so many Chinese who are learning English. The numbers are so high in comparison to the number of people speaking English, that perhaps, the United States should step up the effort to teach foreign languages. I know that the research supporting the learning of a second or even third language is there.

     I am very intrigued by the idea that I will be preparing students for jobs that don't exist yet. I had never thought of it in this way before, but I think it's a very valid point. It seems that this is an argument in support of technology and the need for technologically literate teachers because without the ability to keep pace with the ever changing world, then we as teachers will not be able to effectively prepare our students for any/all options that may be out there.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

     "Mr. Winkle Wakes" is a good video, in that it really caused me to think and, honestly, it frustrated me too. I understood Mr. Winkle being uncomfortable around the many forms of technology that he encountered, but to me each of those things are helpful and useful. That we, as humans, now have the ability to x-ray someone to find out if something inside of them is hurt or broken is great. I know that we(humans) hadn't invented the x-ray machine 100 years ago.

     I was very irked when Mr. Winkle walked into the school and felt better because there was less technology. I know that the world of medicine has made great leaps and bounds in the last 100 years, why then hasn't the realm of education? The idea that a school can still have only an old laptop stuck somewhere in the back is just plain aggravating. I think that every school should have a smart board, computers, and any other technology that will further learning. Children will pay closer attention, if they are taught using the methods of their generation. Mr. Winkle should be uncomfortable in every school.

Sir Ken Robinson

    Sir Ken Robinson makes the point that children are now "educated out of creativity." He defines creativity as "the process of having original ideas that have value." I think that Sir Robinson is right and that this is horrible. Children should be able to learn through creativity and interaction, not simply sitting at desks and taking tests. If children are allowed to really in engaged in their education, then we, as educators, will have fewer issues with ADD and ADHD, as the children will be kept busy and fully occupied, physically, as well as mentally.

   In the video, Sir Robinson argues, that children are taught that mistakes are the worst thing you can make. I  think that this is an argument for taking away not only grading, but teaching to tests too. Children should be educated through real-life interactions and not through multiple-choice tests. Also, mistakes are for learning from, not for being the monster in the closet that might get you, if you don't do everything perfectly. I think Sir Robinson makes some really wonderful points and I hope that his words are heard and heeded.

A Vision for 21st Century Learning

     This video makes the point that we are all interconnected and everything is standardized. The creators of the video, then powerfully suggest that the future of education is in a sort of video game-like learning system called "immersive learning environments." While I think that technology in the classroom is a good thing and very critical to the education of our children, I have a problem with the use of a video game for learning history. I think that technology can help aid in our ability to educate, but I think a video game doing the education for us is simply not right. Children should be playing, singing, and moving, while learning. They should not be sitting in an "immersive learning environment."

     I have said that I strongly dislike the idea of a video game-style learning system in the classroom. However, I can see the aid of having such a system in a children's museum or such. I know that the Exploreum in Mobile, AL used to have a small theater that children could to go for a 20-minute history lesson on the inner workings of ancient Athens. The video was interactive and would allow the theater operator to zoom in and show the children many buildings and details. It was a wonderful theater and a great way for children to learn in a museum setting. I simply do not see the need for a great deal more "screen time," within the classroom, unless it were a very rare situation.

Harness Your Student's Digital Smarts

     This particular video was about a teacher in Georgia who uses many different types of technology to educate the children in her classroom. She has her students using blogs, google documents, and even creating a wiki. Ms. Davis has her students "connected to the world," via computer.

    Ms. Davis says that when there is only pen and paper, only certain types of children will succeed. I completely agree with her. There are many different learning styles: auditory, visual, etc. However, I do not agree that students should be using only technology in the classroom. I think that because of the various learning styles of students, that teachers should be able to have multiple platforms available for a given subject. Thus, if I were teaching a unit on division, then my students should be able to use the computer, use pen and paper, use audio cd's with division facts, etc. It's important to allow students to teach you what is the best method for teaching each of them. Ms. Davis says something to that effect in the video. She says that often the students will end up teaching you!


  1. Hey Eleanor!! :)

    Your blog is very simple and straight to the point. Maybe you can change some of the fonts or colors to repersent you better. It's fine the way it is just a suggestion.

    Did You Know:
    I myself would have never guessed that one day China would be the number one English speaking country! Thats absolutely crazy! I also agree with you that we, American's, should put more effort into teaching different languages. In a way it makes us look very dumb. I didn't think about it either that we will be teaching students for jobs that haven't been created yet! How fascinating!

    Mr. Winkle Wakes:
    I also did not like this video. Technology has improved our world in so many great ways; hospital, transportation, and schools have had the greatest change in 100 years. Technology is improving children's learning. Today, as of right now almost every child in America has more than one piece of technology in their classroom.

    Sir. Ken Robinson:
    Agree as well that students are being taught out of creativity. Young children are mostly hands one and always like touching things. Without being creative we wouldn't have anything new or better, it would simply stay the same. Someone had to be creative and think outside the box to create the things we use everyday!

    21st Century Learning:
    I know I have said that I agree with you but I strongly agree with you on this! There is no way that children should have to sit in front of a computer all day to learn every subject. Mine as well not even send them to school. Technology should be used as a tool to HELP teach, not teach everything to them!

    Digital Smart:
    AGREE, computers shouldn't be the only tool to teach. Having different teaching skills and options is extremely important.

    Eleanor, I have found your post very similar to my own thoughts about these videos. You did a great job on telling how you felt about the video and the purpose of the video. I can't wait to read more of your posts! Good luck!! :)


  2. "I simply do not see the need for a great deal more "screen time," within the classroom, unless it were a very rare situation." Do you prefer seat time to screen time?

    "I think that because of the various learning styles of students, that teachers should be able to have multiple platforms available for a given subject." I don't think Vicki Davis is making the case for only using technology as a tool for learning. It is increasingly evident, however, that technology is our most powerful information tool and communications tool. And it is also clear that there is lttle room for teachers to engage students as individuals. We still teach the masses of students, not the individual student. Technology allows more differentiation than ever before I would argue!