Saturday, February 4, 2012

Blog Post 2

Using Technology in the Classroom
Did you know 3.0 by Dr. John Strange which was based on the original Did You Know? by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod was completely overwhelming. I was unaware of the complete inundation we are seeing of technology on our planet. The authors of the original Did You Know? stated that every "2 years technology changed" and "every vocational student would be out of date by their third year in school". Dr. Strange’s version states that "We are training children for jobs that do not exist now".
We are also seeing a huge population increase in India and China. There are currently more 18 million English speaking Chinese in China. There are 300 million "learners" in China for English, those learners will be more than the current population in the United States of America  by Dr. Strange. Along with the population explosion in India, you are seeing 25% of India’s population has the highest IQ, which out numbers the population of the United States of America. These changes are happening each and every moment of every day. Interesting enough we see technology change and populations increase and we think nothing or little about it. It is not until we see a video like Dr. John Strange’s Did You Know 3.0 that we begin to realize the ramifications of these growing trends.

Mr. Winkle Wakes is a PARODY developed by Mathew Needleman. It shows an old man waking up after 100 years of sleep. He ventures out into our world. He is immediately overwhelmed at how technology has changed over those years. He started feeling sick and found himself in the hospital. Even in the hospital Mr. Winkle was still overwhelmed at what he was seeing and experiencing. He left and began to wander around and found himself at a school. He entered the school and immediately felt at ease. This was the first place he had come to that he felt completely at home. Nothing was different, the structure was the same, teachers were the same, and students were placed and acting the way he remembered.

I found this PARODY to be a quirky way to state and obvious problem in our current world. In our everyday lives technology lives in every nook and cranny. But in our education system we still find a huge gap in technology. Even the structures in the classrooms have not changed. Classroom sizes have increased, technology has become more readily available, and knowledge is more easily sought, yet we have not exposed our children to these positive opportunities. 

The Importance of Creativity by Sir Ken Robinson  and the TED: Ideas worth spreading shows us, the teachers and students, other paths for teaching new and upcoming students. The future holds infinite possibilities and we are grooming our future educators, merchants, and artisans to grow in and be a part of these possibilities. Sir Ken explains to the audience that the Arts are lost in almost every educator's structure around the World. The "hierarchy starts with Math, Humanities, and then the Arts" according to Sir Robinson.    They are at the bottom of the hierarchy in every education structure around the World. He goes on to say that,"...we teach children out of creativity..." sighting that adults tell children there are no jobs for artists or musicians in the World. It is almost as if we push children out of creativity and in to a subject.

I listened to all 19 mins and 29 secs. of that presentation and I was really taken back. I had heard those same speeches from educators, parents, and other adult family members when I was young, about how you do not need to waste your time on the Arts. You need to focus on subjects that will get you a career. I honestly never thought much about how important Arts play in a child's and young adult's education. I believe with the right effort from teachers involved and the right push from the administrators we could really work on making the education of our youth a much more creative one.

A Vision for the 21st Century by a presenter at the TED conference is a short video, which bring ups current issues with the structure of the education system. How children learn in a passive manner and learning is still a memorization progress. It was compared to a factory, kids come in and pass one station (grade) to another memorizing and regurgitating facts. Just as an assembly line in a factory. We should have better standards for our youth. Other than just treating them like parts and pieces on an assembly line.

The response to this current structure by these individuals is turn learning into an adventure. Turning lessons in to video games that allow children not only to learn but interact in a dynamic model rather a static one. These games are set to teach languages and historical cultures. This avenue of teaching placates to the children strengths rather than their weakness, while still teaching important subject material.

The video Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts posted on Edutopia is designed to show the empowerment of kids through technology. A teacher in a rural Georgia town has her students working on a global scale, because of technology. She has empowered her students to not only learn new concepts, but to teach fellow classmates and herself these new techniques.

After watching this video on the effects of technology on such a small group in the South, I feel we should really pursue the aspects of technology in our classrooms. The picture drawn was quite different than what I would have expected from a technology class. I would have thought it would have trended in a classical way. Teach the material and the children regurgitate what they have learned. It was not anything like this, instead children were growing, teaching, and changing not only their lives, but those of the community around them.


  1. Jason,
    I really enjoyed this blog. Your views on the video of Sir Ken Robinson speaking about education and creativity really hit home. I too was naive about how much the art's in school systems affect the children of the world today. I hope Robinson's points of embracing creativity in the education system stick as they will with me.


  2. Jason,

    I am so glad to see that you took the time to sincerely think about and evaluate each of these assignments. I agree that the video from Sir Ken Robinson is shocking. His philosophy is very close to mine as an aspiring art educator. I honestly think that the more opportunities children have to discover their maximum creative potential, the better off the world will be. Using the technology of today, the backing of a highly qualified teacher, and the ability to learn new things every day, the next generation can be taught to innovate, create, and learn throughout their entire existence.

    These videos and posts are definitely supposed to get those "gears" turning in your head as you really start to get to the "meat" of the machine we so fondly call EDM310. I sincerely hope that you continue to find positive things to say, but remember that we want to hear your opinion if you find something that you just do not agree with at all. I expect great things from you!


    Rebekah Lloyd