Don’t Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
This blog was address to several people, but I was most impressed that parents were on top of the list. Parents need to play an active role in teaching their children how to use technology safely and responsibly. However, I would not shelter and complete deny access to a child from the internet because it can cause more harm than good. Technology should be seen as a tool to accomplish a certain task. Technology should not be seen as end in itself. If we would never come out of our box and share information and expose ourselves to the world we would still be in caves and hunting the buffalo. The main question still remains, what is the appropriate amount of usage of the tools. There is no general answer or solution that can apply across the board to every body. It always depends on the individual on a certain situation and the purpose of the goal. The responsibility basically lies in the hands of the parents or the teacher to teach the appropriate amount of usage to accomplish a certain task. This can vary from student to student, parent-to-parent, and even among teachers. This freedom and responsibility you have on an individual basis will produce the greatest outcome possible in any given situation. If you see the students as a collective and limit the access to technology for them to communicate with a good intention to protect them, the outcome will be less because of narrow limitation and the less incentive the students has to use technology as a tool to accomplish a given task. If you measure the overall progress of a group of students with very strict limitations that apply to everybody in this group and the progress of a group of students with more individual freedoms and responsibilities the first group of students will be far behind in the long run. Limiting access is limiting learning.
Who is Dr. McLeod? Dr. McLeod is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky. He is the founding director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE).
The iSchool Initiative
This was a video from a former high school student. Travis Allen has a creative way of helping solve the problems with the school system. The problem he wants to address is how we share information and in what form it is presented to us. With interactive applications teachers, student and parent will be able to communicate faster and have current updates of student’s progress. He also makes the argument that compared to general school material such as books, paper and pencils, the initial cost of an electronic device will be far less expensive in saving money for parents and the school system. He believes that an ischool will be necessary for our future and an ipad will soon be in every classroom.
Technology is a very frightening to some especially if students don’t have access to a computer. Technology is needed to continue to educate our children. Now he did point out several advantages that would save our schools save a lot of money. No paper, no ink for copiers, no pencils etc. However, How much would we be saving? What about the students who cannot afford an iPad? Are all applications for free or will there be additional costs to the parents? What about training the teachers to use the iPad who have never used one before? How much will that cost the school system?
Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
Wow this video was absolutely amazing! This shows how different people, different cultures and different individuals with the same goal can overcome different distances over time zones and meet in the virtual world. Technology enabled this beautiful masterpiece to come together and flattened all obstacles in the way. Besides the beautiful music this also saved a lot of cost because the singers did not have to meet physically to perform. This would not have been possible twenty years ago. The audience is not limited by the location anyone can view this video anywhere in the world.
Teaching in the 21st Century
Kevin Roberts believes that the old method of teaching where teachers were the main source of information and entertain the whole classroom does no longer apply to our modern world and the method of teaching that will apply in the 21st century. In his opinion, technology enables students at this time to get information and facts anywhere and at any time and it is the job of the teacher to help filter this information and verify its validity, analyze it and structure it and use it. The main focus should not be on entertainment but engagement of the students. When the students are engaged they are active and the outcomes will be long lasting instead of passive entertainment.
In my opinion, books still have relevance because it is verified information, whereas information on wikipedia for example, anyone is able to modify the information so students have to learn how to filter incorrect information thru validation and how to treat different information from different sources. I believe that technology is a tool that can be used to benefit a student and teacher in applying new information, as well as new learning techniques. If you solely rely on online sources and do not apply collaboration also regarding using existing resources like books you will be out sourcing current methods of teaching. The right mixture is the key to success for students.
I enjoyed the fact that this web site is not only for educators but also for several different job areas in the education fields, with different viewpoints and different tools and methods on how to teach reading skills to all age groups. I specifically enjoyed information provided for first year teachers. http://www.readingrockets.org/teachers/firstyear/. This site provided information and advice and tips for new teachers and what to expect in your first year of teaching.
I found the homework tips for parent very useful. http://www.readingrockets.org/article/39300/. This section provided several helpful hints on how to help their child in doing their homework and encourage learning with different methods. For example, information was provided on how