Saturday, February 5, 2011

Blog Post #3

A Vision of Students Today

So far, a lot of my college experience has been exactly this. So much of my time is spent starring at the chalkboard where there are one of three things: 1)Masses of notes, 2)A few words, a few scribbles, and a few circles that make no sense at all, or 3)Nothing at all (except maybe a few leftover scratches from a previous class). I'll also admit that I spent one of my classes last semester texting a friend simply because he was about a million times more interesting than the professor droning on about whatever it was I was supposed to have read the night before. I know some people think that some lessons can only be taught through pages of notes, but it's not true. There is always a way to incorporate pictures, videos, music, and even actions into a lesson. And this is a large reason many students play on Facebook, Twitter, instant messaging, etc. during lectures.

I personally don't watch much tv, though I do spend a lot of time on the internet and listening to music. I often find it hard to force myself to concentrate on studying a piece of paper that is full of boring words and find myself time and again on the internet. I think that pictures, videos, music, etc. need to be used in lessons, but I also think that things like Facebook should be incorporated into homework too. Just a thought, since people are already there hours a day.

It's Not about the Technology

I agree with points Mrs. Hines has made. Technology can be useful and ought to be used, but it's not going to help anyone if the teachers either don't know how to use it, or refuse to. Teachers must be willing to learn in order to teach their students more effectively. There are too many teachers who are stuck in their old ways and refuse to at least try to learn new teaching methods.

As for the list of "core outcomes" Mrs. Hines has given, these ought to be a "no-duh" to any teacher in this day and age and any person affiliated with the education system. However, it seems the only thing that students are being taught is how to learn material long enough to spit it back out on a test and how to take a test well. I think tests are a decent way of testing what students know but they are completely overused. Students retain information long enough to pass a test and then simply get rid of it. The skills Mrs. Hines listed might be touched on, but they aren't continuously used throughout a person's education, at least not in mine, and that's a downright shame.

Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?

Every point Mr. Fisch made, while possibly harsh sounding to some, are completely correct. Teachers need to step up their game when it comes to technology. Things like iPods, Gameboys, Xbox, etc. are steadily stealing the spotlight from education because they're more interesting and more fun. Seriously though, who doesn't think it's awesome that you can now play video games by using your body as the controller, like for the Kinect? I don't know many people who think it's uninteresting. So, the questions is how do we, as teachers, use technology as effectively as we can to interest our students as much as video games?

Another point Mr. Fisch made was that he's encountered people who seem proud of being technologically illiterate. Why is this something to be proud of? In a world where technology is steadily taking over, so to speak, no one should be proud of this because you're just going to end up as obsolete as the first wheel has become. It truly astounds me that there are people out there who expect to teach the future what they need to know in this world in order to succeed, but yet aren't up to date on their methods.

Gary Hayes Social Media Count
picture of different social media logos

I know I've said this over and over, and probably will say even more, but teachers and schools seem to be falling behind. Students are more interested in what's happening outside the classroom than what's happening inside, but why? Their interest isn't being captured by the teacher, which is probably because he/she is still using a chalkboard or whiteboard to teach lessons or even the dreaded Power Point (yeah, they're dreaded, mostly because it's nothing but boring words on a boring background about a boring subject that just seems determined to put you to sleep). Instead of learning about Shakespeare, polynomials, or atoms, they're learning about which celeb is getting married now or which classmate is sleeping with another classmate or even when the next best video game comes out.

It almost scares me to look at that virtual counter. That's what students are doing while sitting in class. They're on Facebook, Twitter, etc. That's what we're losing them to and if we (meaning teachers) don't keep up with technology and how to use it and find better ways to interest our students, we're going to lose them for good. Straight A's are going to become an extinct species and straight B's are going to be endangered.


  1. I was wondering, how long did it take you type all of that?

  2. Well, a while. Probably took me an hour or two to watch/read everything I needed for this and then type it all up.

  3. I like your thoughts about how we can make the classroom a better place to learn. I, like you, see that there are many different ways to use technology for the better.

    I agree that Mr. Fisch's comments can be harsh at times, but I think that they are very very true.

    I hope that those teachers that are proud to be illiterate are soon on their way out of the education field before my children are in school. I really think that some teachers really have many things to do during the course of the school week. They might seem overwhelmed by technology. But, they don't know that technology can help them overcome many things and it might actually help them be less overwhelmed.

    Good post Chelsea,

    Stephen Akins

  4. I completely agree when it comes to your viewpoints about Ms. Hines video. We are taught something long enough to spit it back out onto a standardized test, then we shove it to the back of our minds until it leaves us altogether. We shouldn't be asking our students "What is the right answer", but rather "How do you get to the right answer". If they know how to get to the right answer for the question being asked, then they will know how to get to the right answer for all of life's many questions.

    Paige Bryant