Sunday, January 17, 2010

My head is spinning...

I have to say before I get started that I am nervous about this blogging thing. It is new to me and I don't adjust to change well. This may be some of the reasons I am concerned with the rapid advancement in technologies and how these movies are expressing the urgency to keep schools as up to date in technology as possible. I am old school pen and paper and I have to say I like it that way.

I think I have put the cart before the horse. Let me back up. After watching Did You Know, my head was spinning with facts and data that I have never heard before. It scares me to think that I am supposed to be preparing children for jobs that have not even been created yet. Is there a teacher's manual for that. Just kidding (kind of). I don't think that the fundamentals of teaching should or would change just because technology is changing so rapidly. And I think it is sad that people are changing jobs so rapidly - 10 -14 jobs by 38. It seems as if we are a ADHD world. I didn't see any statistics on that by the way. How many of our children are diagnosed with ADHD with this rapid growth of technology. I think our children are suffering from TV, cell phone, Twitter, DS, WII, etc. overload. What kid rides a bike anymore or READS A BOOK. I am a librarian by the way and this is a daily struggle - getting kids to read a book. They would rather wait until the movie comes out. Don't get me wrong I know there is a need for technology. With that I will move on to Mr Winkle Wakes.

Mr. Winkle wakes after sleeping for 100 years to find that buildings and hospitals were full of machines printing information and people talking to other people on small screens. All this was too much for his brain to take in. He finally finds a school and it was just the same as it was 100 years old and he feels safe and good again. Well, I guess we know what the message is here. The schools are behind technology wise and we as a nation of educators like it that way. It is what is comfortable for us. While I can understand the need for techonology in the classrooms, I feel that schools should not be competing with hospitals and workplaces as far as technology. Children are sponges - I get that. They will learn what is made available to them. We put the most advanced computers in their classrooms and they will learn how to use them - probaly faster than the teachers. However what will that replace? Will that replace story time, centers, hands IN THE paint art, one on one teacher child interaction? I believe that there is a push to move us ahead with technology but there has to be a balance between the old and the new. Not all the old is bad. Kids need real life teachers and they need pen and paper to work it out, create, LEARN. I just don't want us to end up like the humans in WALL-E - completely dependent on technology for every aspect of our exsistence.

On a lighter not, I thoroughly enjoyed The Importance of Creativity by Sir Ken Robinson. When I say lighter note, I don't mean the information is less valuable. Quite the opposite. I just mean that I thoroughly enjoyed his since of humor. He spoke about children being born artists and they grow out of it through the education process. He feels that education places values on things such as math and science and gives little value to the arts. I gleened alot of this movie. Every child is different, every child will excel in various areas, and every area including the arts are equally valuable to the education of the whole child. If you ask me how to do chemical equations I may - at 36 - not remember how to. However, I can remember making turkeys out of pinecones in kindergarden and how proud I was of mine. On the other hand, I may not remember all the colors in the color wheel (which I learned 4 semesters ago) but I can remember being extremely proud of my handwriting and spelling skills in the 4th grade. Ms. Pierre made me feel like I was the smartest, most creative child in the whole world. She commented on everything from my artwork, to my writing ability, to my reading and spelling. You get my point. She encouraged me in every aspect of my learning including the arts. My kids (5 & 3) have the best imagination and although I am very proud of what they do at school, I love to tell people they use their imagination. That is what being a kid is all about - creative expression. Stiffle that and a child will be afraid to tackle things that are out of their comfort zone.

Finally, I watched Harness Your Students Digital Smarts. I get the importance of this as a creative measure. Letting children express theirselves and feel good about creating something on the computer. I still remember taking computer in 7th grade and writing a code that would allow a ball to jump across the screen on my computer. That was a big deal then. I want go on and on about too much technology. I think I have made myself clear.

Dr. Strange - I hope I have not made an F in this class already. I would like to say that for the record my husband is a computer programmer so technology supports my family. I am not opposed to equipping our children for the future just wanting balance especially with regards techonolgy.


  1. I am a book person and a reader as well. But that world is GONE. Even among your peers in EDM310. Some quick results from the questionnaire you took last week
    Books read not assigned per year (129 respondents)
    None 12%; 1 a year 18%; 2-5 a year 36%. We're over 50% already. 6-11 a year 14%. Only 8% 1 a month and 12 % more than that.

    Now video watching: 32% more than 4 hours a week.
    Newspaper reading: 72% once a week or less!

    Your world (and mine) is gone forever. Forever. Our task now, I think, is to convert passive consumers of the new media into producers of it. You will participate in my efforts at that this semester. I still try to encourage writing, in short bursts, on the blogs. But examine those writing products closely. And these are our future teachers!

    Whether you like it or not, whether I like it or not, the rewards of society will go (are going) to those that have mastered technology. I do not want my grandchildren left out of that process. But technology, when used with imagination and purpose, can advance the values you seem to cherish. On my iPhone I can take a tour, and often do, of the Musee D'Orsay, even though I am not in Paris. But how do we get students to want to do that. I watched the football games yesterday. I rarely watch TV, maybe 30 minutes a week and that is always a sporting even. But what I was taken aback by yesterday is the ads (and there were lots of the). They were most often ads for TV shows of violence, murder, mayhem. News shows are the same. It's NOT the technology. It's people! And their values.

    Another comment. The things you remember you did. Projects. But schools today teach facts that are best obtained when needed - from the internet. Sometimes I think we should abolish all schools and start over. But maybe schools will abolish themselves!

    An F? Ridiculous. I am also opposed to grades! But some people who don't bring their brain, or at least don't turn it on, do get an F. I would rather not give them a grade and when they turn on their brain if they have on e and do, then we can determine what they know, can do, and have experienced.

    A wonderful post. You can see how worked up I got!

  2. I think that Dr. Strange is talking about conventions. I read as much or more every day because I am online. (That is saying a lot, I read every book in my elementary school library!) One thing I am struggling with is the amount of content that I now have access to. I used to have 3 tv channels and could only access books in my house. Now I have access to so much content I can't keep up. I listen and watch podcasts, shows on hulu, movies on netflix, books on my kindle, and blogs and websites on my computers. I have little time to do anything else!

  3. Wow Mr. Chamberlain! You must not have children. I say that only because there is no way I could watch podcast, shows on hulu, etc. plus do my homework, take care of my house, feed my children, and make sure that they are given enough love and attention they need. I don't mean that ugly. I just mean I can barely watch one hour of TV and read some without adding all these extras. Maybe in my future...