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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blog Assignment 1 Posts

Did You Know? by

My first reaction to the information in this movie is SHOCK. Where did these statistics come from? How do I know they are valid? I can’t help but be skeptical, as it seems so often that some very interesting information worth acting on or at least passing on, is deemed false by Snipe or some other source. The numbers here are so amazing, I would love to know how they were derived, specifically the predicted numbers such as the obsolescence of knowledge.

So if I assume much of what is in “Did You Know?” is true, many, many things have never been considered by myself. I consider myself educated, but think “ How do I educate my children to be successful in a world where the information they are taught one year is outdated by year three?” And then as a future teacher, I think, “What strategies do I implement so that my students will be prepared to be adaptable to potentially many employment changes?” There hasn’t been a classroom that I have witnessed learning or teaching since in my education program that would promote out of the box thinking so students would be able to be taught to solve problems we don’t yet know. Certainly teaching to the standardized tests isn’t getting them there.

Mr. Winkle Wakes by Matthew Needleman

I liked the Rip Van Winkle concept used here. What a great metaphor. This will stick in my head when working on my lesson plans in the future to keep the question in my mind “How do I move these students forward?” The way I learned, and the technology available back then was so different and limited compared to today. If I use the same techniques, will they even relate? What are the best ways for kids to relate nowadays to the material we are providing?

I think about the technology buzz words today; Smartboard, Live Classrooms, etc. How do these fit into the teaching toolbox to be effective and not just “cool things to have?” Kids love to push buttons (I know I always chose the Museum of Science and Industry over any other museum when it was my turn to choose because you could turn, push or manipulate most every exhibit) and get a response. Maybe that’s the hook for them when bringing technology or distance learning into their day.

Ken Robinson

Fantastic points. I fully agree with Ken Robinson. Making mistakes is a necessary part of learning. I remember when learning to ski with a friend a long while ago. He said, “If you don’t fall, you’ve not pushed yourself far enough to learn how to ski. You have to push the edge of the envelope.” My father has always pointed out that there’s a reason that every pencil has an eraser on it. I have also heard a great saying from a teacher at a camp last summer. He used the term “fail forward,” encouraging his campers to try what comes to mind to see if it works. In the process of “failing forward” you not only learn what won’t work, but an unlimited number of other ideas are sparked, and creativity is not smothered.

Encouraging students to create, innovate, individualize solutions is so critical to a student discovering his strengths and interests and developing critical thinking skills. Providing students with experiences we teachers can arrange are important, but creating an environment that allows them to discover on their own is even more important. In our public schools, so much emphasis is put on APY and in turn standardized test scores, that the students are taught a limited knowledge base with limited solutions in one standard methodology. Since not all children learn the same, have the same talents, or express themselves alike, the education that the public schools are offering as whole, can’t provide students with the means to discover and create.

There must be many teachers that have found ways to infuse creative development into their curriculum, which I am eager to find.

Vicki Davis : Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

This is exciting stuff. Confidence building, social studies, public speaking, ethics all taught with the incorporation of the Digiteen program with the curriculum. I liked the exposure opportunities to technology as well as other cultures. This is a generation that can not afford to be only exposed to domestic cultures. Their world is a global world. I hadn’t thought of students collaborating with other students via technology.

The technology use in the classroom for school use such as blogs and calendars is good prep for their future. I can only imagine the resources available to them for research papers and unknown information.


  1. Where were "the predicted numbers such as the obsolescence of knowledge." I missed that.

    It is wise to be cautious about statistics. The China and India numbers are large because their populations are so much larger than the United States. Right now 22.3% of the population of China would have to be English speaking to equal the number of people living in the United States. Because the number of people in China is growing much faster than the number of people in the United States, that percentage is dropping and by 2016 the prediction made will most likely be true.

    Also consider the statement that "India has more honors kids than America has kids total." First, honor student is defined (implicitly) as the top 25% of the students. Since India has more than 4 times as many students as America, the statement that the number of honor students in India is greater than all of the students in the United States is self-fufilling.

  2. I clicked the submit button too fast.

    You wrote "Certainly teaching to the standardized tests isn’t getting them there." You are correct there!

    Yes, involve them using the technology, but not just button pushing. They have to think as well. My goal: a computer for every kid. K-up.

    "...creating an environment that allows them to discover on their own is even more important." I couldn't agree more!

    Global. Absolutely. Let's see. I can guarantee trips to New Zealand, Australia, Wales and maybe Quatar to you. Amazing what the possibilities are!