Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blog Assignment 3

      Reading Mrs. Hines' post It's not about the technology, I agree with a lot of her thoughts on the subject of learning and teaching in the 21st century.  I especially agree with her main point, that learning today is not entirely about the technology.  It seems today that technology is at the root of most things and every one in every career field is being influenced by and pressured into getting on board with all these new things that are popping up.  In my opinion, schools are one of the places being hit the hardest.  I'm not saying new technology isn't good for schools, but that maybe this is one of the hardest places to integrate.  Like Mrs. Hines said, some teachers have been doing what they do for decades and it has worked for them.  The way schools have operated and teaching has been done has generally worked for everyone.  It has been a long, long time since the teaching community has seen an evolution as big as adding technology like people are suggesting has been done and I think many are not wholly sure how to go about it.  I have heard some teachers express concerns in that they would have a hard time keeping up with their students' work in the same way and being totally sure each is doing his own work.  Some have also said that it poses the problem of students not getting the same one-on-one classroom environment.  
        Like I mentioned earlier, every field is being impacted by and encouraged to use technology in accordance to their jobs.  If one is required to learn and use certain things for their career, they will do these things to keep their job.  Therefore it is a good idea to already have at least a basic knowledge of most technological devices and programs.  What better place to learn this basic knowledge than at school?  A goal of teachers is to give students life and career skills and technology literacy is quickly becoming one of the basic requirements for any job.  So, if one wants to receive a quality education, technology usage must be included. In agreement with Mrs. Hines, I do not think that every teacher of every subject must teach the ways of technology, but instead, be open to let them into their classroom and embrace them.  To do this, teachers must also be open to learn and be taught.  This could sometimes be a problem because many teachers, more so than a lot of other professions, seem to be so set in their ways.  Soon, however, bringing technology into a classroom and using it may be a requirement to keep a job as a teacher, just like a nurse, engineer,secretary, and many, many others.  Lets just hope all these stuck in their ways teachers are open minded about it.

I would first like to say that Mr. Karl Fisch was very blunt in his post.  Is It Okay To Be A Technology Illiterate Teacher? poses a question many people have been exposed to, but not like this.  The first thing I did upon opening this post was scroll to the bottom where I read his comment: "If a teacher today is not technologically literate-and unwilling to make the effort to learn more-it's the equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write." and thought this is ridiculous.  Then, i read the post.  I don't completely agree, but i see his point.  I ended up really liking his comparison between reading in the 20th century to using technology in the 21st century.  It is easy to make the connection, but technology has so many more elements than simply reading and writing.  The words don't change.  The letters don't change.  Somebody learning to read and write could take as long as they needed and the material would never change.  This is, unfortunately, a totally different situation when learning concepts of technology.  Elements of the technological world are constantly changing.  Someone always wants to make something better and throw it up on the web.  Honestly, for someone new at it, trying to keep up could be frightening.
       Back to all those poor teachers taking all the heat.  I agree that all educators should have at least some degree of technological literacy and that technology is embedded in just about everything we do today.  I also agree that one should not be proud to say they don't get technology but should seek help in "getting" it.    It is true that principals and heads of school or boss should be held accountable for teachers or their employees and teachers should be held accountable for students.  I said earlier that not every teacher of every subject should teach the ways of technology, but to embrace it and i still mean that, but if a student finishes school with never being exposed to or having a basic knowledge of common technology, something is wrong.  It is true that children starting school today will grow up into a world that is almost fully reliant on technology and they need to be taught the basics, but teachers can't be expected to learn these things overnight.  

      I, just as many others, know how much technology, particularly the internet, is used all around the world.  Everybody always hears how much it is visited and how fast it is growing.  I have never seen the rates at which this is happening  like Gary Hayes has presented it in his Social Media Count.  It seems almost incomprehensible that all the things in this count are happening just in the few seconds you are looking at it.  There are so many numbers jumping, I didn't know what to look at or which piece of information was more surprising.  This is definitely a wake up call.  I am not an avid technology user and for a long time thought that was okay and it wasn't a big deal.  I always thought I knew enough to get by and I would do just find with what I knew.  I have said that I believed teachers should be technologically literate and this is true.  However, I think my definition is much different than most.  I am beginning to see that what I know and have used is extremely basic and given this count and some of the other things I have recently seen, that isn't going to cut it much longer. 
      I admit that while I have said I agree teachers should posses some form of technological literacy, I didn't honestly think they should be up to date on all the newest social media.  I guess I was somewhat on the fence on what I thought they should know and use.  It's becoming a realization that they may not need to be doing this at this very moment, but within the next couple years, there will be no other choice.  Even today, in most cases, one will receive a reply quicker from an email than a phone call.  You can also get to know a person better by visiting his or her Facebook page than talking to then face to face.  It may soon be the case that the only way to get a hold of a parent is to email then or reach out in some related way.  If there is a child that is obviously having issues and needs help but won't talk, more than likely you can read all about what is bothering him on some form of social network. 

      The video A Vision of Students today by Micheal Wesch was insightful.  No, the way an education and learning is presented has not changed much at all even though the rest of the world has.  Just as everything else has, this video shows that maybe it is time for a change.  I believe classes need structure and it is good for students to meet in class so,  I don't think the world of education needs an entire make over, but it could use a face lift.   I can still remember a time where any type of electronic device was not allowed in a classroom AT ALL when that is all one saw outside of it.  I agree with most that instead of outlawing these things, they should be embraced in the classroom.  Right now, it's as if we are in a transition stage and that makes it hard for students and teachers alike.
      I read some of the comments to this video and they gave a great argument.  One basically said no matter how the course is set up, it is the student's responsibility to do what is required.  It said being a student should be considered and treated like a full time job.  Also, students today do not have the same attitude as they did many years ago.  All this is exactly true and I even admit to being a lazy student.  This video acknowledged the fact that students spend more time using technology in a way that is not relevant to school than is.  That bringing these devices to class is more distracting than helpful.  This proves two things.  First, students should be more responsible in their studies and start using the abundance of technology available to aid in the education process.  Second, teachers should try more to connect with students in their use of technology.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blog Assignment 1

Hello everybody! My name is Haley Denton, and, like all my EDM 310 classmates, i am an education major at the University of South Alabama, particularly mathematics. I have lived in south Mississippi all my life and am currently living in Lucedale, MS.  I graduated from George County High School in 2009 and started my college career at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.  Therefore, I am a transfer student and this is my first semester at USA.  Like many people, my family is the most important thing in my life.  I don't have a very large family, but we are extremely close. One of my favorite things to do (even though i don't have much time between school and work) are different kinds of crafts.  While in high school i worked a couple years at a local florist, which was the best job ever.  I learned many things working there and i still enjoy using what I've learned.  Wreaths, bows, and arrangements are my favorites.
I'm sure everyone has heard it a million times, but i believe school, specifically teachers are among one of the most influencing things on one's life.  I also just generally enjoy the school type environment.  I like the thought of being able to teach and help people better their lives through education.  Like many, i had those few teachers who have had a great influence on my life and future, and being able to do this for someone is almost a dream of mine.

I have never heard of Randy Pausch before viewing his video on time management. I personally agree with his statement that Americans are bad with dealing with time as opposed to money, and believe that many others do but just aren't active in doing anything about it, which i am guilty of.  I also agree with him in that time and money are equatable.  His advice of asking "why" is, in my opinion, one of the most important pieces of information in this video.  Having this insight will give one insensitive for accomplishing his or her goal.  My favorite quote of this video is "Failing to plan is planning to fail", This sentence speaks so much.  He is also exactly on point in saying to do the least favorite, most time consuming, or "ugliest" goal first.  Getting it over with will lighten the load and make it easier to complete the rest of one's goals.  The only part of this video i don't wholly agree with is his statement "don't do something right, do the right thing."  It is obvious he is not telling someone to not do things right, but he is putting doing the right thing over doing something the right way.  I believe these concepts should be held equal.