Sunday, September 11, 2011
Blog Post 3
Peer editing can be a very effective tool, if utilized correctly and that was the point for these videos and slideshow. When reading blog posts or even papers for other classes, there should always be a positive. Focusing just on the negative, but not bothering to tell the person they phrased something exceptionally well, is not going to accomplish much in the long run. You have to compliment, but also show them how they may best make changes to their work. Whether it be with grammar, spelling, etc.
Personally, I would send an email, as opposed to commenting on the blog. Just in case the person takes it personally, they don't have to worry about others seeing the comment. I would also do this in the classroom. Unless an entire class had messed up, there is no point in singling out one individual.
The article It's Not about the Technology by Kelly Hines was an incredibly eye-opening read. She covered several good points that I think "technology in the classroom" advocates overlook time and time again. Firstly, that all teachers must be learners and I feel this is beyond an excellent point. You cannot teach a student how to use technology, or anything for that matter, if you do not first learn how to use it yourself. Not only that but a teacher has to be willing to learn. If they do not want to to learn the technology or different methods, then you very well cannot shove it down a person's throat. That is how the misuse of technology happens. People also tend to forget that the new generations of teachers are coming in with different views than someone from the previous year. Everyone needs to be up to date. Secondly, Mrs. Hines said that learning and teaching are not the same thing. This statement is very true. You can teach at a student time and time again, but if they do not know how to learn, then they won't retain the information. As my EDF professor used to say "It's not about what to do, but how to think." She'd always tell us to think smarter. Navigate around the problems and come to a solution; a full, concise, and well thought-out idea.
Thirdly, she says that technology is useless without good teaching and this could not be more true. "When we put innovative tools in the hands of innovative teachers, amazing things can happen," Mrs. Hines said and I don't think anyone could have phrased it better. If we give our teachers the proper training, then they can do amazing things. Just think about what this means. As opposed to having disproportionately high drop-out rates, then we can eliminate that. Students leave school because they just don't care anymore, but if teachers are able to reach them on a level they understand, then they will care. This is what the definition good teaching it. Lastly she says you must be a 21st teacher without the technology and this is yet another solid point she makes. If you can reach a student without the SMARTboard or the powerpoints or the computers, and still prepare them for a future where they are constantly surrounded by technology, then you will have succeeded as an educator.
Is it OK to be technologically illiterate? by Karl Fisch raised some questions for me. He said that teachers who are not technologically literate can be equated to teachers thirty years ago that could not read or write. I would say that it is a bit extreme, but not at all a false statement. If you don't go to the extremes how do you plan to make a statement and push for the change that is clearly well needed? Because no, it is not okay to not be technologically illiterate. He made a good point by saying teachers have a lot on their plates, but that students don't care about that. Education doesn't care about it either. In order to, relating back to Mrs. Hines article, be a good educator, then you need to be willing to learn.
Another excellent point made by the article he quotes is that we need to stop being so nice. We can no longer tiptoe around the subject of technology in the classroom as if it was some taboo subject, because it isn't. I like how Terry Smith says that doing jeopardizes the chances of success for our youngsters and he is right. If we constantly tell people, not just teachers, that it is okay to be illiterate with technology, then progress will not happen. The students will not learn and it will be a perpetuating cycle of knowledge lost and students not getting the fair chance they deserve.
Gary's Social Media Count pretty much made my jaw drop. This was an interesting counter to watch for even just a few seconds. Not to mention a little scary as well. We are so dependent upon technology for communication, not just with people that we know, but worldwide as a whole. Technology is constantly changing and adding and falling out-of-date, that it would probably give someone a headache trying to pay attention to it for more than a few minutes. Trying to grasp those numbers is near impossible.
For myself, as a future educator, this means that I have to back up what I've been saying and will continue to believe. I cannot allow myself to not become technologically literate once in a school setting, simply because the other educators around my are not. Even after this class is over, I have to be willing to learn and grasp everything that I can, so that my students will benefit. The students I will teach, will grow up in a society that is more dependent on technology than my own generation was. That is something else we need to take in account. Five years from now, what will the advances be? What will all of us be facing and are we prepared for it?
The video "A Vision of Students today" was definitely an eye-opener. Despite the fact that it was done in 2007, there are several of those things that can be applied today. Sitting in a class, I'll see a good number of people on Facebook or something not related to class. I've also been one of those students that buys the hundred dollar textbooks and never opens them. Also, most of the people I know are dependent on student loans and will be thousands of dollars in debt when we finally graduate. Teachers can no longer do their teaching on a chalkboard, by erasing and adding and lecturing.
While these are not bad ways to teach, they are also extremely old school. We can rely on the old school ways, but we need to work in technology and we need to find ways to equip our classrooms with interactive ways to learn. Students nowadays are used to having something in their hands at all times, whether it be a cell phone, a keyboard, a gaming controller, or whatever. They are interactive with their surroundings, so why not making learning that way? Instead of them spending hours in front of a video game, put those hours to productive use. The biggest message this video has is: Now is the time to change. Now is the time to act and get ahead of the game. We have all of this technology at our disposable, things some people can only dream of. Instead of taking it for granted, we need to use it and use it well.