Monday, January 31, 2011

Blog Post 3

A Vision of Students Today is truly indicative of the college experience; so many of my peers that i began with at South are no longer here, and those that are feel unprepared for their future. I give them credit for understanding the rapidly changing future, also for the ability to think that far ahead unlike yours truly, but would things be different if teachers had taken a different approach even before they arrived at college? As for additions to the video I believe a type of overlap, especially at the end of the video when they were referencing the chalk board, some type of interactive smartbaord presentation featuring the things they listed lacked in the simple chalkboard methods.

The outdated teaching methods are poisoning the future of the world. If we use the information that we have gathered so far ,regarding the positive effects of technology in education, we could possibly decrease the dangerous dropout rate and even begin to prepare children in elementary and middle schools for the rapid changing job market in order to make more informed decisions involving their academic pursuits.

It's Not About The Technology is a great post concerning the future of education. of course technology plays a role in that future of teachers and students, but that is not the only obstacle facing our students. The methods that have dominated education could benefit from the influx of technology, but teachers have to change their own outdated mindsets before technology can even begin to fill this gap.

The idea that teachers need to be life-long learners is very true, but not only for the reason mentioned in this post. Yes, in order to keep up with the modern trends that can help enrich our classrooms; however without stimulating our own minds with satisfying academic activities, we loose sight of what it means to be a student. Given the fact that the most important step toward better education in the 21st century starts with the curriculum, how can we expect teachers to be critically thinking about such an issue without pursuing their own academic enlightenment. Lack of stimulation creates a stagnant environment for both teachers and students.

Is It Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher blog post by Karl Fisch is really what EDM 310 is all about. The comparison to reading in the 20th century and technology in the 21st century is very insightful; no one would have hired a teacher who could not read or write since the beginning of education. So why should teachers not be asked to understand the movement of the 21st century that will become as important to society as reading is?

The load on teachers doesn't go without notice; it will be up to new generations of teachers to be educated in these new trends. Classes like ours, be it in high school or college, will attempt to prepare new educators for the rapid changing society they will soon be thrust into. With so many advances everyday how can students be expected to understand a world confined by pencil, paper, and chalk. It is our job to stimulate students, and without technology this task will be nearly unlikely.

Watch the Social Media Count is evidence to how technology is driving modern society; technology has become the medium that drives communication. If teachers can use such a powerful force to not only stay connected with kid's and parents, but to spark the individual creativity of our unique children.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog Post 2

Did You Know Video:

The majority of the information shared in this video was a little shocking; our progression as a society, just over the past twenty years, is astounding. I had no idea that the trends in technology were moving so fast that, by the time I graduate from South, everything I learned will be outdated. I always suspected as much, but it’s nice to know my suspicions have been affirmed.

What the video did make me think about is the power of social media; the fact that Facebook was able to reach 50 million in 2 years speaks volumes to the power of such a medium. One of the most common complaints I hear from educators I know, even those that have inspired me to follow in their footsteps, is that they often do not feel as though they are “connecting” with their students. Dr. Robert Gray, one of the finest professors on the USA campus I assure you, used Facebook to create dialogue amongst my specific class, and more often than not some of our best class discussions occurred outside of the classroom. I attributed these powerful discussions to the freedom and convenience a medium like Facebook can provide as opposed to a classroom setting.

While such an example is evidence of how powerful current technology can be for both students and teachers, this particular video is a reminder of how quickly these methods can become outdated. As future educators we must strive to keep abreast with technological trends in order to keep our use of technology relevant to the world in which our students live.

Mr. Winkle Wakes:

As a future English teacher I found this video very enlightening. Washington Irving’s famous short story is a commentary on how the difference in political regime had no real affect on the everyday lives of the towns-people. Such a satirical premise take on an entirely different meaning when viewed through the lens of technology.

So many of today’s schools do not have access to the type of technology they need to prepare their students for the ever changing future.
Even institutions of higher learning, such as the University of South Alabama, place road blocks for students to access technology for enrichment of certain classes. The idea that all students only bring laptops or tablets to class in order to use their Facebook is well founded, thank you to my peers for having nothing better to do with you class time, but technology offers so many tools for students to expand their education. Knowing how effective technology can be in understanding and applying the subject matter of most higher education courses, it seems like we cannot afford to keep classes technologically “naked”.

The Importance of Creativity:

This video demonstrates the affect that “high-stakes testing” and other standards movement practices have had an impact on the creativity amongst students. So often teachers focus on student’s ability to retain subject matter rather than their ability to understand it. If a student truly understands the methods he is being taught in his literature class he can then begin to create works like he is studying rather than being tied down to those of the past. Our world is evolving and we to must evolve with it. In order for this evolution to take place we need to encourage the children of today to use their creativity to create the subject matter of the future.

I think the fear of many of today’s professional to acknowledge that, in a very short time, their experience and education will be eclipsed. The idea that our education system is geared toward producing university professors is intriguing, but upon consideration this is perhaps the truest statement of this entire lecture. We need to realize that intelligence is diverse; simply because a student does not know his or her times tables does no mean that their ability to create beautiful art is indicative of their lack of intelligence.

Kids Press Corps Interview:

The more I hear about Sir Ken Robinson, the more enlightened I become. The really intriguing aspect of this interview is the interest the young girl is taking in global education. She understands the differences in the institutional factors that affect each country. Her ability to attend a performing art school at such a young age is a crucial step in the direction that Robinson is so passionate about; this type of creative reinforcement gives Cecilia the opportunity to expand on her passions in order to build a better educational experience.

Robinson’s statement about the three myths of creativity speaks to how our society views “education”; rather than having institutions that enrich children’s individual talents, in order to help them cultivate their own unique abilities, school is viewed as the indoctrination center where creativity is replaced by test scores and outdated standards.

Harness Your Students Smarts is an example of how the use of technology in the classroom can open so many doors for students, teachers, and even entire schools. These students in rural Georgia are able to experience the similarities and differences of an entirely different culture all through the technology in their high school classroom; these experiences open students up to the world around them, and make our students a valuable part of the new globalized industries of tomorrow.

Another great aspect of this video was the industriousness of the teacher who started this remarkable program. Her willingness to meet curricular standards, while still using the student’s individual strengths and weaknesses to accomplish these goals, is what makes this particular class so effective. Only with more teachers like Vicki Davis can education become both technologically advanced and focused on the individual talents of the unique students we come in contact with.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Project 3 C4T Summary #1

I was assigned to Karl Fisch's blog The Fischbowl; the first post i viewed( 1/24 ) was an annual faculty dance. The dance took place in the gym, it appeared like a pep rally, and the theme was 80's music. the "professional quality" of the dancing aside, i told Mr. Fisch how great it was to see faculty having such a good time. As the student of an overly devout christian school, i was never able to see a majority of my teachers as anything more than an overbearing authority figure. Activities like this allow for a really great connect between students and teachers.

The second post( 2/1 ), was brainstorming ways to incorporate a "blended" math class; blended being a mix of virtual and face to face instruction. I elaborated on personal experiences so far in classes that employed online components to their curriculum. I suggested that ,with Mr. Fisch's technological knowledge, he could incorporate a traditional type of class shell online with some of the latest educational technology to create a unique experience.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blog Post 1

Hello to all of my fellow classmates; my name is Barry Wall. I am a Mississippi native who commutes to campus daily. This will be my first experience with an online class at USA so I am looking forward to that new experience. I am currently a Secondary English Education major, and I am hoping to complete all my pre candidacy requirements this semester. I am astonishingly lucky to have the most amazing wife and daughter anyone could ever ask for; they are my inspiration for all I do. I, like the rest of my family, are huge Mississippi State fans. We were lucky enough to travel to Jacksonville for the Gator Bowl over the vacation; it was my first bowl game and it was great. I currently work at the Rocky Creek Inn in Lucedale, as a front desk clerk, three days a week. I enjoy my job and the downtime it affords me to do homework and waste my time on the internet.

Despite the fact that I have lived in Mississippi for the last 19 years, I was originally born in Fort Worth while my mother was employed at NASA Ames Aviation Systems Division, I attended all of middle school and high school in Mobile. Combine this fact with my family circumstances and USA becomes the best option for my pursuit of higher learning. My biggest passion in life is stories; be it movies or print I enjoy the imaginative and transcendental nature of storytelling. That is perhaps the major driving force behind my desire to teach English. Throughout my education, at least until college, I was never shown the power of literature; poetry and prose have the unique ability to convey ideas that speak volumes to the human condition. Understanding ones self, as well as those around them, can lead to a better tomorrow. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” This passage from Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is evidence to the unifying nature of language and the written word.