Saturday, September 24, 2011

Blog Assignment #5

kids around the world

Don’t teach your kids this stuff. Please? by Scott McLeod

First, I did some research on Dr. McLeod and found out that he is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. As well as the Founding Director of CASTLE, the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education. He was also the co-creator of the "Did You Know?" video series, one of which we viewed earlier in the semester. Also, Dr. McLeod has been named one of the National School Board Association’s "20 To Watch" and a Leader in Learning by the cable industry.

Personally, I loved Dr. McLeod's blog post. I read several of the responses to it and saw that a lot of people took his sarcasm offensively but honestly, I found it refreshing. On a daily basis I am surrounded by people (that I work with) that do not understand technology AT ALL. They see no need for "kids" to be on the Internet blogging, using social networking sites, or doing online school work. They think you should be sitting in a classroom with a chalkboard, a lecturing teacher, and writing with pen and paper until your hearts content. They can not grasp the fact that computers and the Internet can give people the chance to experience things that otherwise they would never get to experience. Dr. McLeod said, "...'cause I'm doing all of it with my kids...can't wait to see who has a leg up in a decade or two...can you?" and I completely agree with him. Students who are exposed to all the things that the Internet has to offer will be better off in the long run. Being able to use computers and the Internet at school excites kids. My little brother is in 1st grade and absolutely loves when his class gets to go to the computer lab and use the computers. It gets his attention and encourages him to learn.

The iSchool Initiative by Travis Allen

Far beyond his time, Travis Allen was a 17 year old high school student in Fayetteville, Georgia when this video was made. With just this one video Travis launched an educational revolution. In the video Travis introduces his idea for the iSchool initiative. With budget cuts going on all around him, Travis realizes that our public school system is broken. He comes up with the idea that maybe technology could help save our schools some money.
Using Apple's iTouch as his base, Travis builds the schools of the future. The iTouch already has several applications built into it that students can use. For example: a calculator, Email, Formulae, World Wiki, Recorder, and Books. His idea is a school with no books, paper, or expensive copy machines, can equal savings up to 600 dollars a student. The price of an iSchool? Only 150 dollars.
Travis is absolutely amazing! The iSchool initiative is unlike anything I've ever seen before. Not only would the iSchool help save our schools money but it would also help our environment! Not to mention, that it would bring technology into our classrooms and help introduce students to the thousands of possibilities it has to offer!

Jennifer Chamber’s post and Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir video

This video was amazing! It's hard to believe that 185 people in 12 different countries could all be singing together simultaneously without ever physically being in the same room. This video is a perfect example of the unbelievable things that the Internet can help us achieve!

Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Robert

I think that Mr. Roberts believes in order to teach in the 21st Century you must engage your students and take risks. I loved that he addressed the topic that certain people believe technological devices are toys. Technological devices are not toys they are TOOLS. Tools that engage students to learn in different, more dynamic ways. In the video Mr. Roberts states, "entertainment is not the same an engagement" and I couldn't agree more. Like Mr. Roberts says in the video, entertainment is something that is short-lived. Engagement has long-term results and sticks with students. Entertainment doesn't require relevance but engagement does require the information to be meaningful and applicable. Another part of the video that I really enjoyed was when Mr. Roberts stated that, "Entertainment is using the creativity of others" but "Engagement is using the creativity of the participant". In order for us to be effective teachers in the 21st Century we are going to have to embrace technology and use it to its fullest potential. Information is everywhere, students don't need teachers to give them information straight out of a textbook anymore. Students need teachers to help them sort through the information and teach them why this information is relevant and important for them to know. I know its going to be hard for some teachers to put the chalk and textbooks down. But in order for students in today's society to learn traits that they're actually going to use later in life, teachers are going to have to use technology. End of story.


  1. Hey Kristen. Everything you stated in this blog is just what I think should be done in our classrooms with this new generation. Things are so different now than they were twenty years ago. We have to incorporate new ideas that attract the students of today and not be so caught up with the traditional learning method. You researched your topics well and you will make a wonderful teacher for our future. The future depends on teachers like us and students like the ones we will have inside of our classes. So we must use technology, for it is growing constantly everyday.

  2. McLeod: Excellent commentary. You are correct. Many of your classmates missed the sarcasm and interpreted the post literally. So many missed it in fact that Dr. McLeod Tweeted me about the problem!

    You would be well advised to cite sources and use quotation marks for material like you answer to the question Who is Scott McLeod. Although you did not copy and paste chunks of material from Mr. McLeod's About Me as many of your classmates did, any set of 5 words copied from a source need to be in quotation marks with a source cited. Be careful!