Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blog Post #3

1. Peer Editing Tips

These peer editing tips have given me a lot of good ideas of how to improve on my comments for classmates. I recently had a lab assistant tell me one benefit to commenting on a classmate's blog is because it gives them an outside opinion of how their opinions come across to others. I have never thought of peer editing quite that way before, but I like that point of view. As I commented on my classmate's post, I was a bit hesitant to comment on any of the grammatical or spelling errors. I would like to change that hesitation for my next post and use these tips I have learned to let my peer understand how appreciated their views are, as well as critique any grammatical, sentence, or organization errors that might confuse other readers. I loved the slide show tutorial on peer editing and believe that it will be very helpful to have as a link in my blog so I can review it before leaving comments for my classmates. I also appreciate how much being positive is stressed. I like this because it is so important for children to receive positive reaction to creativity as well as constructive criticism. The "Top 10 Mistakes" video was hilarious! It was great to see kids being able to poke fun at themselves like that. It also seems to be a great way for the kids to see exactly what is not acceptable to do to their peers. It's amazing to me what entertaining videos 4th and 5th graders can put on!
2.It's Not About the Technology

One of the opening sentences in Kelly Hines' video described how she felt that technology was not the sole answer to an education revolution. I immediately became interested in the rest of her post. I had recently been thinking about how much I love all the resources, creative ideas, and the new mindset and outlook I am having on the public education system. This new outlook I am having is because of all the technology I have recently been introduced to; however, I don't want it to be in the center of my focus for developing my personal theory on education. I loved her emphasis in focusing on the students instead of just the curricculum. Focus on the student because you want to, focus on technology because you want to empower your students; not because it has to be in your lesson plan. Be curious-it seems like some other bright man once said that. Another point that Mrs. Hines has that speaks to me is that in the 21st century, teachers should be working smarter, not harder. Teachers will apply their views and knowledge with the technical, art, science, and social world to change the way children see learning. This will give teachers such a sense of accomplishment.
While teaching in the 21st century isn't all about technology, it is still important to be fairly well versed in it. Teachers who aren't willing to familiarize themselves with the advancing technologies and resources aimed to enhance their teaching and learning experiences, cause other teachers to lose out on the equipment needed for such activities. Placing top of the line technology equipment in the hands of teachers who don't care to learn how to properly use these media is simply a waste of money, Mrs. Hines argues, so then it is deemed too much of a gamble to award all the teachers with these valuable tools. Mrs. Hines has some great points to help ground some of us who might be getting a little too involved in a technological curriculum.
3. Is it ok for teachers of the 21st century to be technologically illiterate?

Let me cut to the chase and answer Mr. Fisch's question, which was in summary: Is it too extreme to say that a teacher in the 21st century who is technologically illiterate and unwilling to make the effort to improve, is equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who could not read or write? Not too extreme in my opinion. Mr. Fisch is not saying that technology should control the way we teach, but rather that we should have a basic understanding of technology, and be able to rely on it as a resource for educating ourselves and students in other areas as well. I like Mr. Fisch's no excuses approach which starts off with him holding the teacher accountable, and he works his theory all the way from the principal, to the school inspector, and finally to the university professors and course programs. I must say I think Dr. Strange and our course would meet his criteria! I understand his frustration and certainly cannot say that I can blame him. Like Mrs. Hines said, if teachers are not willing to familiarize themselves with expanding technology, they are holding everyone back.
What would Karl Fisch think about this video of a technology professor at MIT arguing that technology is alienating us from personal relationships and should be "put in its place"?

4. Gary's Social Media Count

This visualization of the rapidly expanding social media would be a wonderful addition to the "Did you know?" video. It is fascinating to see right before your eyes how quickly our technological world is growing and how many more people around the world are becoming involved in these innovative new ways of communicating.

As teachers, this is once again an eye opener. Nothing is slowing down, and as educators we shouldn't be either. We are not educating students to get jobs in 2011, but rather in 2030. We cannot just teach students to replicate what they saw on a flash card and put it on paper. It is important for teachers to be concerned with our social media expansion as well to try and keep up with the many ideas being spread on the multiple networks available to us. This counter also awakened to me the idea that following Twitter (especially for professional matters) is much more influential than I had ever imagined.
5. A vision of students today

I mainly viewed this video as a teacher rather than a student. However, while thinking like the student I am, I surprisingly didn't have much in common with a lot of the statistics on the pages the other students held up. I do not spend that much time on facebook, or TV, or probably nearly as many social media as I should. However, I almost felt a little better about my lack of delving into Facebook and Twitter because it's the sooner I get completely caught up in it and let it overtake my interests in finding valuable resources to empower, excite, and engage my students and me.
From a teacher's point of view, I could see many helpful ideas in this video. One of the messages I took from this video at the very beginning was that technology in education is slowly changing, but only to those who are willing to embrace it. Embracing it does not mean playing on Facebook during your astronomy lab. It means finding different star charts, and looking through a virtual telescope, then blogging with your friend across the world who just did the same thing. Now the two kids can talk about what stars were above their heads in different locations of the world! That's taking advantage of technology in the classroom. Now, I know I have just defended social media in my previous section. I am not disregarding it as a helpful tool in the classroom, but rather that it be used at the appropriate times. Multi-tasking is also a very important part of a college student's life. For example, I was recently teaching my son to draw on paper at the table, feeding him a PB&J, checking my GoogleDocs, talking to my mom, and listening to music. Wow, aren't I talented?! No, not really any more so than the average person who has a million things on their "to do list." That is the case for most people now a days. There may be some old school folks out there who are not ready for America to move this quickly, but what is there to gain if we get left behind? Let's work on preserving the past and forging through the future!


  1. Thoughtful. Well written. Well argued. A pleasure to read. Thanks!

  2. "Focus on the student because you want to, focus on technology because you want to empower your students." This statement is so crucial to success. Technology is all about EMPOWERING your students. It's about heaping them demonstrate their excellence by giving them an audience, helping them connect with supportive networks, and of course, helping them navigate resources for learning.

    Interesting video. Of course, technology should be used responsibly and respectfully. Technology can be just as much of a bonding tool as it is a distractor.

  3. I agree with you that Gary's Social Media Counter was very fascinating. It's amazing to things advancing so quickly nowadays.