Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog Assignment 4

Don't teach your kids this stuff. Please?
"block it all
lock it down
keep it out
it's evil, you know
  there's bad stuff out there
    gotta keep your children safe"

Dr. McLeod is addressing teachers, parents, administrators, and board members.  Yes, there is bad stuff out there that your kid has access to because of the internet and our modern technology.  But is this a justifiable reason to keep technology away from our kids?  I think Dr. Mcleod's point is that we need to be doing technology with our kids and students.  We need to be involved in their learning technology and not be so negative about the bad stuff out there.  He is doing all of it with his kids and he is sure his kids will have a leg up in the future.  This may seem rash but I agree.  I think we should do all of it possible with our kids and not hold any part of the digital age away from them. By doing this, we are monitoring our kids. We are showing that we are not naive to what is out there. By opening up this world to them, they will come to us for questions and guidance.

Dr. McLeod was the co-creator of Did You Know!  Everything feels full circle now.  He is the director of the nation's only center dedicated to technology needs of administrators, CASTLE. CASTLE is really on a mission to jump start schools into the digital global society.  After reading some other blogs and watching other videos of him, I really consider him to be on the leading edge of the future of our schools. 

The iSchool Initiative
Great idea, Great video, one problem; The iphone/itouch is just a device.  As a device it will break, get glitches, and be outdated in a few years.  How will these things help massive budget cuts.
A broken Itouch
The student made an intriguing video.  I agree that the school system needs change.  I do not agree that one device is suitable to replace our traditional school system.  Because the iPhone/iTouch has many school accompanying applications, it is easy to get caught up in how amazing this device is.  Don't get me wrong, I do think this Apple technology is amazingly powerful and is very useful.

But, will a powerful fancy device get kids interested in class or will it be a great distraction from class?  I remember that a simple calculator was a distraction for me and my peers in middle school (maybe high school also).  We would type 01134 and turn the calculator upside down to say "hello".  Also, we would type 58008, turn the calculator upside down, and giggle like the school boys we were.

Overall, I do not agree that the use of an iTouch should be the model for the future of education.  To better prepare our students, we need so much more than just handing every kid an iTouch.  Throughout watching this whole video, I kept thinking of the post we read It's Not about the Technology. We need a change but the change is our mindset and principles.  Teachers are also learners, the teachers teach with learning in mind, and 21st century skills are highlighted through facilitated leadership.
Lost Generation
The Lost Generation Comic Cover
 "And all of this will come true unless we choose to reverse it"
As I watch the first part of the video, I was feeling pretty depressed.  This is a smart tactic of the video because I got goose bumps when it repeated everything backwards and shined hope on our generation.  The potential of our generation is up to us.  I like to think that to change our generation it starts with us as individuals.  I am going to take control of my on way of living and establish my own values.   Individual change effects others such as my family and the students I teach.

To me, the purpose of the video was awareness.  Awareness of where we are heading, and awareness that we are in control of our future.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'
Epic song!  I was a little confused on how this worked because it is presented like a live performance.  After doing a little more research, I found that it was all recorded and done through youtube.  I've seen a multi-track of one person doing all the parts to one song (Danny Boy), but Eric Whitacres's virtual choir took that same concept and recorded a massive number of people with many different parts.

I can see online virtual choirs becoming very popular in the near future.  It's really cool that you are able to have a world wide source of talent to draw from when forming these choirs.


  1. I had seen "The Lost Generation" before, seems like it was during a very outspoken English teacher's class in high school. It impacted me the same way it impacted you. I got everything from heart ache to chill bumps. I got a little angry as it first started rolling, but then understood that that was completely the purpose of that video. It was supposed to make me mad! Anyways...I'm rambling...I LOVED that video...very impacting!! Especially for our generation!

  2. I have the same thoughts of the itouch school system as you do. Ischool may be good in some ways such as cutting down on cost for paper and printing materials but what happens when a student takes an ipad home and drops it? Will the parents be responsible for paying the bill or does the school system pick up the tab? Computers are more fragile then hard copy books which makes books more durable for students outside the classroom. If ischool takes off in the future, it has a lot of bugs to work out!

  3. Not "rash" but wise.

    What does an iPod Touc cost? $ 299. What do your books cost a year? How much are they worth after a year? How much is the iPod Touch worth after a year? Latest figures: about 80% of purchase price. Books or technology - which has the greatest depreciation rate? You do not convince me with your $ argument.

    What is the real objection? No need for teachers. Watch th AA#2 next week and we will discuss that issue.

  4. I think that If you teach a child to think critically, regardless of the tools used, they will be adaptable to any future learning environment. I use my iPhone in class to take notes and have started using it to write rough drafts. However the basic skills needed for this can be accomplished with a legal pad. I think Educators rely to heavily on new tech thinking it will help unlock learning potential. One of my education professor, Dr. Vertres, said roughly that a good teacher can use a stick and the sand to effectively reach his or her students. I think the iPad idea could create reliance on a tool and not on the students greatest tool, the mind.

  5. I feel like deleting my whole iSchool initiative part of the post.

    Here's why:
    The money is out there to get devices like this. On iPads and iTouches, Up-dating is easy and there are tons of free education apps. It is an amazingly powerful tool and it can engage students.

    So, why don't I edit out the iSchool part?
    I don't because of the fact that a person can totally change his or her mind within ONE month! With a little more information and a little more personal time thinking about a situation, your mindset can change. How did mine change? Probably a series of events causes change, but the main aspect was being better informed.