Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
I thought this was a clever approach to address the importance of engaging children in the use of technology. I've said it in previous blogs, and I'll say it again, but we would be doing more harm than good if we were to keep children from using these tools. This day and age revolves around the use of technology, and it's advancing every day. Today's employers expect prospective employees to be technologically literate. If we really have the students' best interest at heart, we should be preparing them for this technology-based future.
I also think it's a shame that parents have become so fearful of these internet tools. Yes, you can find anything on the internet these days, good and bad things. You can also find these things every day through other sources like television, radio, and magazines. Parents can't be so protective that they take away their child's opportunity to use technology for growth and development. There are such things as parental controls if a parent is wary of their child's use (or misuse) of the internet.
I remembered Dr. McLeod contributed to a video we recently watched, Did You Know? 3.0. Apparently he is also one of the nation's leading academic experts on K-12 school technology leadership issues, and he blogs regularly about these issues. He has won awards and has many big supporters of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education, which is the nation's only center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators. Dr. McLeod seems very dedicated to this "cause," offering consultations and workshops in addition to his blogs to help move schools into the 21st century.
The iSchool Initiative
Travis Allen had an idea that we could incorporate the use of iPods in the classroom and eliminate the use of pencil, paper, and textbooks. This seems like a great idea considering so many people are concerned with "going green" these days. Not only that, but the monetary savings in textbooks and other items like graphing calculators makes it so much more appealing. And think about all of the information you could retrieve instantly right in the palm of your hands.
While this seems revolutionary, I'm not sure I agree completely with a pencil-less, paperless environment. While EDM 310 opened my eyes to the benefits of using technology in the classroom, I'm starting to think there are some situations where I'd rather learn by hand-written assignments and read with text in hand. Now, this may be because that's the style of learning I've been used to my whole life. Then again, before the internet was popular people still became successful by using "old school" methods of studying. While this is an interesting concept, I just don't think we should transition entirely to the use of iPods as the basis for learning.
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
This video really blew my mind. I was so impressed that all of these people, who have never met before, could create something so beautiful via submissions through the internet. Mr. Whitacre is incredibly creative. I can only imagine how much time it took to collect everyone's video and edit it so that it was this fluent.
I also viewed his Introduction to the Virtual Choir. This was touching because he described how the Virtual Choir connected a total of 185 people from 12 different countries. I agree with Mr. Whitacre that singing together and making music together is a "fundamental human experience." These videos are prime examples of the power of the internet and how unlimited we are with what we can create through technology.
Teaching in the 21st Century
The first thing that stood out to me in this video was Kevin Roberts' claim that teachers are not the main source of knowledge, that they have become "filters." This appears to be very true today. Students have the ability now to look up anything, anytime, anywhere. With information so readily available through the internet, why not eliminate the middle man?
Since a student can "Google" just about anything on their own, a fear is that the "lecture style" of teaching won't hold their attention anymore. I think Roberts' message is that teachers need to adapt their style of teaching to the types of resources students are used to now. From there, teachers should show the students how to use the technology appropriately and in a way that will benefit their classroom experience. This all goes back to the idea of teachers being technologically literate. If we want to reach the students, we have to get on their level.