Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blog Post #2

Did You Know?

A lot of the information in this video is astonishing. I find it amazing that China, though I can't really say I'm all that surprised, has more English speaking people than the U.S. Nor am I really surprised that a computer that is superior to that of the human brain will be developed. However, you don't really realize that all this is actually happening until you see a video or article about it. It's amazing just how far technology has come and how much further it will advance in the years to come.
picture of a keyboard with a red question mark button and it says Did you know

I also found it amazing that students are pretty much being trained for jobs that don't exist yet. It's kind of hard to wrap my mind around that since you usually have to know what a job entails in order to train for it properly. And as for the information learned the first year being outdated by the third year, I believe it, but I don't think this can be so easily fixed. Not right now anyway. We aren't to the point where information can be shoved into your brain without studying or being taught.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle might have found comfort in the fact that the teaching system hasn't changed, but I don't. All other fields are advancing, but not the education system. Many people wonder why students get into trouble for using their phones and iPods at school, but it's because they're usually more interesting! Education hasn't exactly kept up with the interests of the generations.

The material being taught isn't necessarily what needs to be changed, it's the way it is being taught. Schools are banning cell phones, iPods, even laptops, but shouldn't we be finding ways to use them instead? Banning things just make them more desirable.

The Importance of Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson is completely correct about children being taught to fear mistakes. I can't tell you how many times I've sat in a class in awkward silence after a teachers asks a question because people are afraid to answer because they are afraid of being wrong. It's crazy. Instead of being taught to fear mistakes, children need to be taught that mistakes will be made and it is ok to make them and that all you need to do is pick yourself back up again and try to find the right answer.

I also agree with him about school squashing creativity. We're forced to focus everything we have on "core" classes (math, science, language arts, etc.). Yes, the core classes are important, but so are arts. The people who generally think outside the box, are the ones who are extremely creative, children being among them. Focus needs to be evenly distributed between the academic classes and the arts.

Cecelia Gault (Young Student in Finland) Interviews Sir Ken Robinson

One line in the article preceding the video really stood out to me. Cecelia Gault said that it is important to understand other cultures and I can't agree more. Unfortunately, most of what I know about other cultures (which is very little, sadly) I learned by doing research on my own or because a few of my friends are ESL students from South Korea, China, and Saudi Arabia. I don't think I can remember ever learning about other cultures in any of my classes during high school or middle school and I think that's just awful. We live in a world where racism and hate runs rampant and half the time it's because of ignorance.

Once again I agree with Sir Robinson. Incorporating technology into an education is important, as well as incorporating more of the arts into an education is important too. I also agree that people are born creative. Children are perfect examples of this. Let them draw or color or paint or even let them tell you a story and they'll prove it. People are creative from the beginning, but the current education system tends to squash that creativity in a lot of people and it shouldn't be that way. It's easier, I believe, to plan a lesson and assignments for students when you can incorporate their creativity, not to mention it makes the work more interesting to them.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

This exactly what teachers need to be doing. I've said it multiple times in this one post, but I don't think it can be said enough. Teachers need to be incorporating technology into their lessons. Things like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, video games, etc. are what students are into these days and they should be able to use these things as resources for assignments.

I also think that teachers need to be learning with their students like Vicki Davis was doing. Not one person on this earth knows everything there is to know, so why should teachers be the only ones teaching and students be the only ones learning? It shouldn't be that way. The roles should be flexible. Teachers should be teaching and learning, as should the students.


  1. I'm now a very big Ken Robinson fan. It's refreshing to hear "common sense" from time to time. I'm having a hard time finding where the balance should be, between "preparing students for technology" vs. "preparing teachers to teach in a radically new way".

    Those two seem to be the overall messages that I'm getting at the College of Education. Maybe there doesn't need to be a balance at all - maybe teachers should be proficient in both.

  2. I'm right there with you. We need more Ken Robinsons on this earth.

    I agree. Of course, preparing students for technology could also be a perfect time for teachers to find new ways to teach and even learn about technology themselves. There's no need for it to be one or the other or for them to occur separately.

  3. I hadn't considered incorporating facebook or twitter into a classroom until I was introduced to EDM 310. I am still a little unsure about it. Probably because it wasn't allowed when I was in school, but when used correctly it could be a good asset to the classroom. More teachers and education supervisors should consider this. It is one of the strongest means by which to communicate with children these days.

  4. Anthony Capps reported today that at least half of the fourth graders in his class at St. Elmo's are FaceBook users. Think of that!

  5. Exactly. If that many -fourth- grade students use Facebook, think how many older people use it. So why not incorporate it? I know a few of my teachers would have us interview a person for some assignment or another. Well, sometimes it's not so easy as that in this fast paced world. Between the student's homework and extracurricular activities and the person they intend to interview's work schedule and schedule of their children, it's hard to find a time to sit and talk. So, why not use Facebook or Twitter? Each person can take a few seconds to read a question or two and answer it during lunch, or while brushing their teeth.

  6. You've gotten a good conversation going! Great. Keep it up.