Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blog Assignment 2


Did You Know? 3.0 a John Strange Version
based on Did You Know? 3.0  by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod

This video explains the rapid rate at which technology is changing, and how quickly things go from being the newest and best to being out of date. It outlined the United States progress compared to other countries and really emphasized how much the job market is ever changing. It makes several surprising points, but two of the most shocking are that China will soon be the number one English speaking country in the world, and that the top twenty-five percent of India's population with the highest IQ is greater than the population of the United States. This illustrates how quickly the United States is falling behind in education and technology. Technology is here to stay, it's time we embrace it and use it effectively. Stop being scared of it, or we are going to continue to fall further and further behind countries like China and India. 
The rate of how fast technology is growing is illustrated by how jobs that were not in demand in 2004 were the top 10 sought after jobs in 2010. That is an amazing statistic, and honestly a little scary.
It's overwhelming to think that we will be preparing our students for jobs that don't even exist yet! How do we do that? How do we prepare students to use technology that isn't even invented yet? I think the answer is, by teaching them how to properly, and effectively use the technology available to us today. I want to know that when my students walk out of my class that I have prepared them for what is ahead. I want them to be able to grow and learn with ease, to be able to compete (and hold) those jobs not yet created, or possibly be the next Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs. How do I do that? By not limiting myself, by remembering that you are never too old to learn. By knowing how to effectively and creatively incorporate technology into the learning experience.

Mr. Winkle Wakes by Mathew Needleman

Mr. Winkle is an old man that has been asleep for a hundred years. When Mr. Winkle awakes from his hundred year slumber he sets out to explore the world. He found himself wondering into an office building filled with machines and technology he has never seen before. It is too overwhelming for Mr. Winkle, he begins to feel sick. He wonders down the street until he sees a hospital, he goes inside hoping that there he will feel better. Inside he is once again surprised at all the new machines and devices. He decides that this place will not make him feel better either, so he begins to wonder the street. He eventually finds himself in front of a school, and goes inside. This all looked very familiar! Students were sitting in neat rows listening to their teachers lecture all day. He did notice one of those machines like at the hospital and office building, but it was sitting in the very back all covered with dust. Mr. Winkle realized that nothing about school had changed in the past 100 years, it was just as he remembered.
While Mr. Winkle was very happy to find that little had changed in school, after 100 years shouldn't education have changed dramatically and not just a little? This clearly shows that while yes we have had some technological advances in education, not nearly enough as the outside world. How can we expect our students to leave school and work in offices and hospitals successfully, if we aren't giving them the tools they need to succeed? With technology evolving at such a rapid pace every single day in the outside world, we have to bring our schools to up to date standards. Standards that change with the outside world, not decades behind. We also have to make sure as teachers that we utilize these technologies in our classrooms, or we will have a bunch of dusty old computers in the back of the room just like Mr. Winkle saw.

The Importance of Creativity, Sir Ken Robinson

In this presentation Ken Robinson comically explains that schools kill creativity. He speaks about how all children have talents, and an enormous capacity for learning. He asserts that creativity is just as important as literacy. He illustrates that at one time none of us were scared to be wrong. That "if you're not prepared to be wrong then you will never come up with anything original." Schools put such emphasis on what is right and wrong, that we stifle creativity. He speaks of the hierarchy in education, and how it is the same all over the world. Education is built upon 2 principles; the idea of what subjects will be most useful for work and the road that leads to attending college -math, language, the humanities, and lastly the arts. What happens is many valued brilliant people become to think that they aren't. That we need to rethink the way we teach our children. Not stifle creativity but encourage it. Creativity is original ideas of value.
If we don't encourage children to be creative, then where will new ideas come from? What will happen to originality if we are all scared to be wrong? Creativity is as important as literacy, maybe not for everyone but we all have talents and gifts. Everyone is not meant to be a university professor, just as not everyone is meant to be ballerina. Let's give children the opportunity to explore their talents and to be individuals. Don't stifle them, encourage them to grow.

A Vision for 21st Century Learning

 We live in the 21st century;  a world of instant gratification with constant networking, digital technology, and global connectedness. This video emphasizes the need to innovate our learning methods, and to take education into the 21st century. The video points out that very little has changed in how we educate our students. They still sit and listen to teachers lecture most of the day, have to memorize facts with little or no context, and read mostly from textbooks. How do we innovate our learning methods? According to this video one way is game based learning. The video points out students are introduced to computers or gaming devices by the time they reach kindergarten. With the technology available today, we can make the learning process fun, educational, and all in 3D!
I agree that our schools are behind the times, and we should take advantage of this digital era we live in. As a future history teacher the idea of students being able to immerse themselves in ancient Rome is fascinating. It would totally change the way students look at world history! I think the best way to learn is through being involved, and the ever changing advances in technology will help make that possible.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts: Vicki Davis
Vicki Davis is a teacher and blogger in rural Georgia. She uses technology to connect her students to the outside world, and encourages her students to think for themselves instead of just listening to her lecture all day. She believes that every child can learn, but if you only  use paper and pencil then only certain students will benefit. I completely agree about getting to know your students and tailoring your teaching methods to fit that class. She also pointed out that you don't have to know everything before introducing it in your classroom. Letting students figure things out not only on their own, but being able to show their teacher is extremely rewarding.
Kids today are used to being constantly stimulated by video games, computers, cell phones, etc. It's our job as educators to keep them active and stimulated in the classroom if we expect  students to succeed.


  1. "This illustrates how quickly the United States is falling behind in education and technology." No. It is a matter of population size. You could say that the 25% of the population in India with the biggest ears outnumbers ALL of the people in the United States with two ears.

    "How do we prepare students to use technology that isn't even invented yet?" I would answer that question this way: By preparing our students to be willing, effective, self directed learners.

    " I think the best way to learn is through being involved, and the ever changing advances in technology will help make that possible. " Good point!

    " Letting students figure things out not only on their own, but being able to show their teacher is extremely rewarding." Yes. That is the point of my answer to your earlier question.

  2. Hi Tina, My name is Brandy. I agree with you on the Mr. Winkle Wakes video. How can we truly expect students to succeed in a world when we do not teach them how to efficiently use the technology that modern workplaces rely so heavily on? We should be teaching them how to use this technology so they can better be prepared to enter the workforce when they are out of school. I do have one comment about your blog, the font is hard to read. Maybe if you change the color or the font itself it would be easier to read. Other than that you have a amazing blog.

  3. I noticed the font was hard to read too, so I changed it. I think this is better, is it easier for you to read?