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that the trends in technology were moving so fast that, by the time I graduate from South, everything I learned will be outdated.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can be for both students and teachers, this particular video is a reminder of how quickly these methods can become outdated.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.


  1. I agree that the restrictions of laptops in college classrooms is drastic. I noticed in the video "Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts" that many of the students were using their cell phones in class.This could even be encouraged. In most schools, this is highly looked down upon, but why not implement the tools and devices that students use on a regular basis? I would say that most people would argue that it is distracting, but I believe that it could be useful if used effectively.

  2. I think we have a lot of the same ideas and views about technology and its role in education. Something that stuck with me also was Sir Ken Robinson's belief that our educational systems are geared towards producing university professors. Too often, other intelligences aren't developed and respected in schools. I think it's important for us to try to be conscience of our student's strengths and creative enough to keep all students engaged.

  3. Hi, Barry!

    I'm Allie, and I am one of the EDM staff members. Great job on your post! Just from meeting you in lab, I can tell that you have a "loud" personality (no shame in that - I have one too!), and that personality definitely shows in your writing. That being said, you do need to be sure to add pictures to your posts and links in HTML format.

    That being said, you're right! It is absolutely astonishing how fast our society has grown just within the past twenty years. Want to know something even crazier? "Did You Know" is a fairly old video! I wonder where our world is at currently?

    I LOVE that you made reference to Facebook! Facebook is without a doubt one of the most visited websites on the internet, and I don't see how incorporating it into the classroom could produce anything but a positive outcome. I'm sure you've heard of the current social networking controversy going on at Causey Middle School? Complete idiocy, in my opinion.

    - Allie

  4. What's up Barry!
    I also like the idea of social networking inside the classroom. The fact that students and teachers can interact at any given time is always a plus. This approach also helps students that are shy and uninvolved during classroom discussions. Many teachers and parents are afraid of the Facebook World. They fail to realize that it's not Facebook it's the people who abuse Facebook. Therefore, strong online guidelines will keep the Facebook World turning.