Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blog Post #5

stop sign
Don't Teach Your Kid's This Stuff.  Please? 
I thought that the post by Scott Mcleod was really clever.  I learned that Mr.  Mcleod is professor at the University of Kentucky, and that he is considered by many to be an academic expert on K-12 technology issues.  He is also the Founding Director of CASTLE UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education , which is the only academic center in the country that is dedicated to aiding school administrators with their needs.  I really enjoyed Mr.  Mcleod's satire about the fears toward technology.  These can lead to another great danger, the lack of knowledge and skill in using technology. I agree with Mr.  Mcleod that there is a problem with being so afraid of technology that you keep the child from it. This can put a student at a serious disadvantage later when competing for jobs and positions against someone well schooled in technology. However, I do believe that it is the job of both the teacher and parent to supervise the child's use of the internet, as well as teach them to use it responsibly.  You would not give a person the keys to a car without teaching them to use it safely and responsibly.  You would monitor their progress until they reach a level of maturity that allows them to be safe.  Children, of course, do not drive cars. However,  the internet does allow them to "travel" and have access to the entire world in many ways.  Although the dangers that Mr.  Mcleod mentions in his post are highly unlikely, they are possible.  Do the benefits of the internet outweigh the risks?  Absolutely.  I think that as educators we can allow our students the advantage of being technologically savvy while being cautious.  We can teach them that with power and knowledge comes responsibility.  That is a great lesson all by itself.

The iSchool Initiative    
In Travis Allen's video The iSchool Initiative, he argues that he has found a solution to America's education budget crisis.  He says that the future of the American classroom is the iSchool.  The iSchool would be based on Apple's i touch technology and would be similar to an ipod touch or ipad.  He says that things like books, paper, copiers, and pencils would become obsolete.  This would save schools much needed money.  He shows that these devices already have many apps that could be used in the classroom.  Email, scientific calculators, and periodic tables are only a few of these apps that are available to users today, and could be utilized immediately in a classroom.  Travis adds up the cost of supplies to be over 600 dollars per student and compares it to the cost of the iSchool at 150 dollars per student.  This initiative also reduces the carbon footprint and improves the environment.
iSchool initiative logo
In Travis Allen's Zeitgeist Young Minds video, he issues a call to action to change the education system in America.  He and his team travel the country to try to revolutionize the system.  He believes that in order to prepare students to succeed in the information age that we live in, we must completely redesign the education that they receive.  He encourages everyone to join him and visit  The iSchool Initiative  I  love this idea!  I think that classrooms would be much more efficient if they utilized a technology like the iSchool.  There would be so many fewer wastes and things like textbooks would not become outdated and thrown away.  Also, that would be a way for students to become technologically proficient, as well as a method of cutting costs.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
When I began watching this video, I thought, how neat, that all of those people could get together via internet and create such a beautiful piece.  Then, I thought about how much work and coordination must go into the production of such a video.  It occurred to me then, that if someone could orchestrate a complex production of music with so many different people, who have never met, or even rehearsed, from all different places, what amazing things could be done in a classroom!  Why couldn't classes, from all different regions, collaborate when studying their school lessons?  Children from different parts of the country could work together to study geography, history, or any other subject. Imagine how much more interesting a science lesson would be if you were sharing the lesson with a class in the region where the theory was founded.  What if students could go on field trips via the internet?  This video was something I had never really considered before.  Really, with the connection the internet provides, almost anything is possible!

Teaching In the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts
In the video Teaching In the 21st Century  , Kevin Roberts discusses how the roles of teachers has changed. He talks about how, in the past, the role of a teacher was to provide students with information.  Now, however, with the ability of students to access any information they need online, a teacher's job is to teach students how to apply that information to  their situation.  He believes that a teacher is now supposed to teach students the skills they need to take all of the information at their disposal and use it in practical ways in their lives.  This will help students to be able problem solve in their future.  When a student is later faced with decisions about jobs, finances and other important issues, they will know how to gather information and use it to make the best decision.  I think Mr.  Roberts makes some very valid points. I know that memorizing information is how teachers traditionally teach their students, and I realize that is pointless. As an elementary school teacher, I will allow my students to discuss their reading assignments by blogging.  I will have them use their social studies lessons to create podcasts.  I will try to help them connect with their peers in other countries to help them understand that our world is so much more than what we can see from our own back door. Unless we are teaching students things that can be applied in a relevant way to their lives, we are wasting both of our times.  The world students are graduating into is not the world where the person who knows the most "things" is the best.  This 21st century world is a place where creative thinking and problem solving skills are sought after.  We must help our students take the information technology offers and use it to create success.


  1. McLeod: You got the sarcasm. Many students didn't and interpreted McLeod's post literally.

    You are treading dangerous waters with your answer to the question Who is Dr. McLeod?. Why? Because if you use 5 words in succession copied from another source without putting them in quotation marks and providing the source of the material copied you can be charged with plagiarism. Source and quotation marks (or a blockquote indentation for long passages which is difficult in Blogger) are a necessity. You took steps to avoid plagiarism. That is great. But quotes and source always will keep you out of trouble. A large number of you classmates just copied and pasted huge chunks from Dr. Mcleod's About Me with no attribution or quotes or any attempt to rewrite the material as you did. We will have a lesson on plagiarism later in the semester.

  2. Hello Kristie!

    You're are completely correct in your conclusion that with the Internet, almost anything is possible. Virtual field trips are also a great idea, and possibly one you can use in your future classroom. It appears that you understood all of the prompts according to your responses, so I don't have anything to say content-wise. You have a little trouble with stylistic errors, but the bulk of your post was well-written.

    Have a great Fall Break!