This weeks readings and videos are furthering my education on being an educator. I began my journey into becoming an educator with a huge challenge for me, College. I knew I wanted to teach. I have two sons and love to interact with them, read to them, and learn from them. I am excited about teaching in a new way now that I am finally beginning to enter some of the courses in the College of Education at South Alabama. I felt as if my undergrad courses have been a chore and a challenge. I work full time so I am often tired, sitting in lecture halls, trying to absorb info as well as I am able. Missing nights with my boys has been the hardest part. Now in this EDM310 class a ray of sunshine has illuminated what I have been searching for in my education. New things I am learning are like seeds planted in my mind. I am confident that these seeds will grow if only I continue to nurture them by learning more and doing more. I love this class :)
Below are some of the lessons I learned this week and my thoughts on them.
Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff
I visited Scott McLeod's blog and read his post called Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. This post is in the form of a poem and lists many things that students could be learning with the aid of technology. He is saying don't teach your kids this stuff and they will be left behind. He ends his poem by saying he will teach his kids "this stuff" and see who gets ahead. This particular post seems to be intended to provoke a response for or against the incorporation of tech in educating children. He ends his poem with a clear declaration of his opinion on the matter. The last lines are "can't wait to see who has a leg up in a decade or two
can you?" What a challenge Mr. McLeod is laying before parents, administrators, and educators.
Who is Scott McLeod to issue such a challenge? He is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program at Iowa Stat University. He is also the Director of CASTLE (Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education). CASTLE is a academic center with the purpose of meeting the technology needs of school administrators. McLeod has not only got an opinion, but an informed one. He is active in the world of education in regards to bringing the nation's students the tech they need to thrive in the global community.
The iSchool Initiative
I also watched the iSchool Initiative video by a 17 year old student. In this video concepts of change, total revolution, in how we format education are presented. It is a really great argument for the use of technology to completely renovate our students classroom experience. The use of Apple's itouch technology to replace books, paper, pencils, calenders, you name it. The savings is computed to be about 600 dollars per student! One of the aspects I liked best from a parent and future educator's point of view was communication and accountability. Menu's, homework assignments, and test dates would no longer be sent home on papers that may or may not make it into parent's hands. I love it.
In the youtube video Lost Generation a poem is read aloud by a young woman. In her initial reading the girl is stating a hopeless prediction about the future. She goes on to state that all of the predictions will come true unless we change things now. At the end of the poem she reads it again, in reverse order, and it tells a tale of refutation. It refutes the depressing predictions asserting that the outcome can be one of hope not loss. I found this to be a very moving poem. I was initially so sad about what was read. Definitely calls for us to think about our part in the grand scheme of things.
Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
Wow. This is an amazing use of the internet! This video clip showcases 185 people, from 12 different countries, singing alone, and recording themselves. While they are singing they are being conducted by Eric Whitacre's virtual instruction. Whitacre then takes the individual pieces and puts them together in a most amazing use of technology. He has taken something good and made it amazing! It brought tears to my eyes. I am so impressed with his genius. I am including the video below and strongly urge you to take a moment and absorb this feat of technology!
What Does It Mean To Teach in The 21st Century?
The question is a good one. I hadn't thought about it when I decided to become a teacher. I am excited by the idea of teaching in new formats with new tools. Why should we do the same thing? It is amazing what can be achieved by the use of modern technology. Engaging students in learning by allowing them to express their creativity with all that is available to them is a natural next step in the evolution of modern education. How much faster can we tap into a students potential? I believe if we give them the tools to create they will amaze us!