Monday, February 7, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
    Scott Mcleod is an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration Program at Iowa State University. He is the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). CASTLE is America's only academic center committed to the technology needs of school administrators.
    I love the angle that Mr. Mcleod took in this post. When I first started reading, I found myself becoming very defensive. At first, I figured he was one of the anti-technology extremists who believes our education system should use as little technology as possible. I was so wrong! By the end of his post, I was almost smiling, I realizing how sarcastic he was. By approaching this issue in this way, it makes people realize that technology is not all bad and there are absolutely great benefits that come with improved technology. He also made it clear that, like most things, there are negative aspects of technology. However, the negatives don't need to overshadow all of the positive benefits that come from technology.

The iSchool Initiative
    This high school senior is proposing a virtually online school. All books, notes, and assignments will be accesses on an iTouch-like device called the iSchool. This will allow students to access everything without any pen and paper, and everything will be completed and submitted through the iSchool. Although there are many pros to his idea, such as financial benefits for students and environmental benefits, I am hesitant to be in support of this product.
    I believe that teachers, physical books, and written homework is part of the definition of a school. I value these things and I think there are some things in our educational system that needs to remain the same! I feel that relationships can be so easily lost to technology. There is something to be said for children who go into a classroom with a physical teacher and pull out their textbooks and a pencil and paper. There are definitely incredible positive things happening with technology that certainly benefits our educational system, but I believe when it comes to the classroom, certain things need to remain untouched. Technology also has it's 'glitches'. If a student is trying to turn something in electronically and his or her iSchool glitches, then what happens to that student's grade? A handwritten paper can be turned in on time and will never be lost in cyberspace. I believe that unforeseen problems would arise if the iSchool is adopted into the school system. It is a great idea, but I think it is a bit drastic.

The Lost Generation
    I loved this video! It made some very important points in a very unique way. The part about her celebrating her divorce and that work was more important than family, really stood out to me. I think this caught my attention because these things are already happening all over our nation and world. The divorce rate is scary and with that comes lost values and broken promises. Many people also choose work over family, and unless people slow down and realize what is really important, our generation will be completely and totally different than the way things are today.
    The way this video was executed and was awesome! I never expected it to replay in the reverse and have the reverse meaning as it did the first time through. I've never seen anything like this and I really enjoyed this video.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir- 'Lux Aurumque'
    This video was absolutely incredible. Once I realized that these were all people performing over the internet, it blew me away. This is an excellent example of the incredible things that technology can do. I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen. It was amazing to watch and to try to fathom! This was an awesome performance!

Teaching in the 21st Century!
    Teachers are filters in the 21st century. 'To teach' in today's world, means to guide. With all of this technology available, teachers have a huge responsibility. They must guide students and show them how to use these resources that are available today in a healthy, educational, and responsible way. There are great advantages to the technology available to us. With the right guidance and teaching, these resources can be used in wonderful ways in the classroom. Teachers play an important role in this process and can show students how to use these resources.


  1. Hey Mary Ashley!
    You did a great job on your post, i said very similar things in my reactions to these videos! I definitely agree that there are certain things in the classroom that NEED to remain the same. I just do not think school would be school without the smell of pencils, paper, and crayons! I was also totally blown away by the virtual choir, it was really interesting to see that come together so smoothly! I do not really have any questions for you since I agreed completely with what you said - especially about the iSchool initiative. I too, think it might be overdoing the technology idea a bit too much =)
    See you in the lab!
    Have a great day!
    Rebekah Lloyd

  2. I definitely experienced the same defensiveness that you talked about... I think that is what makes his writing so powerful. It isn't obvious right away. It makes you get very emotionally invested before it reveals the true message. I want to imitate this in my own writing. It also makes me question how I can encourage my students to do the same!