Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ok Dr. Strange,

My brain is on overload. I have to say that I don't like it either. This, I fear is what is wrong with our world today. We are multitasking with our brains on overload. I just want it to slow down. Now that I have started on a such a positive note, I will move on to discussion of the first video Vision of Students Today.

In this video, students at a university give us insight into how many hours a day they spend emailing, watching TV, talking on their cell phone, texting, social networking, sleeping, eating, etc. The numbers totaled 26.5 in a day. One student holds up a sign that says "I am a multitasker". No one can multi task 26.5 hours in a day. That is my fear for these students. They are giving up something and it's not their cell phone time or their texting time. I fear it is there 3 and 1/2 study time. That is my concern with all this technology. We are losing what is important. We are going 90 to nothing for what? Making sure we tell our friends on Facebook what we are doing ever second of the day while our loved ones in the room are desperately trying to get our attention. Maybe I am giving myself away here but you get my point. They said "we didn't make this problem" but "it is our problem". I agree and I like that they said problem but I don't know if they identified the true problem. It is not the chalk board in the front of the room. Although I can completely identify with the frustation of a class size of a 115 and the teacher who never knows your name. I can identify with the text book prices being outrageous. But I am not completely sure that information goes hand in hand with how many text messages they send in a day. Is this a suggestion that if the information where emailed or piped through a computer instead of being taught in a classroom that their day would be better spent? I honestly don't believe that learning from a computer or a Iphone is better than a classroom. I see the problems our young people are facing today and I worry for my kids. We can't do more than we are our doing in a day. What is the answer? More use of technology - I just don't know if that is the best answer? We are fostering a world of people who want to be entertained and I worry about that!

Moving on to Ms. Hines blog. I thoroughly enjoyed what she had to say. I felt that she was right by saying that teachers being perpetual learners. We as educators need to be constantly motivated to learn in order to keep our students motivated to learn.

But what I really enjoyed was her statement that we can be 21st century teachers without technology. I want to say that for the record I DON'T hate computers or technology. I just so don't want it to replace the teacher or the teaching that goes on in the classroom. Nothing will impact a child more than a teacher who shows a child he/can is valueable and able to learn. When a child has confidence, he/she can do anything. Maybe computers can help build a child's confidence. I am willing to go with that - maybe more so today than I was a week or two ago.

I love the comment she made that she wants teachers to work smarter not harder. Yes, technology will facilite that in the classroom. Grades can be calculated, communication with a parents can be done with a touch of a button and in a teacher's timeframe, parents have access to grades at all times, and the list goes on and on. I beleive that technology can be a wonderful asset to the teacher.

On to Mr. Fisch's blog. I didn't agree with his even posting the comment made by another gentlemen that teachers who are technologically illiterate are jeopardizing our children. I commented at length on that. I feel that Mr. Fisch himself acknowledge that the comment was a bit too harsh. A teacher with a love for learning, love for teaching and love for children cannot and will not jeopardize a child simply because they can not operate the latest and greatest software. I also found some of the comments posted to his blog a little alarming. One in particular was by a Giondi that felt internet filters should be lifted or at least relaxed in our schools. Why and why? Children need boundaries and if as educators we don't provide those boundaries then we are not doing our job. The internet should be for teaching in a school setting and that can be done effectively with blocks. I thoroughly agreed with a Ms. Kohos who really went to bat for teaching who are lacking in their technology skills. She agrees that technology is good and necessary but that Mr. Fisch went a little too far. Thanks Ms. Kohos!

As for the numbers of how rapidly things are changing every second in the technology world...keep my head spinning won't you!

Wow! Those 1st graders are blowing me out of the water. I have to admit that I had never heard of skype or wiki before this class and they are using this stuff in there 1st grade class. Wow again! I watched this with my son at my side and I ask him what he thought of all that in the classroom. He is a five. His didn't have much to say until the DS popped up on the screen and he said "I have that one". I think it is great that they are getting to using these cool tools. I just hope they are learning what they need to succeed. I noticed that the spelling on the blog was not too good. I do realize they are in first grade but...are they getting enough spelling time in the week? Anyway...I will take the advice of the 1st grader who said "we should never say anything mean or that will hurt someone feelings". I think the site was cute and if that was my son in that first grade class I am sure I would be proud of all that he could do on his on.

With that I will say Good Night. My eyes need a rest!


  1. Sounds like you haven't grasped Dr. Strange's message about the use of technology. Simply put, technology can be used to transform learning into something more than what we traditionally associate within a classroom.

    Look at it this way, students are no longer bound by consuming information through books, lectures, etc. Now they can take the information and repurpose it. They in effect go from consuming information to producing information. Which do you think is a more powerful learning experience?

    Can this be done without technology? Repurposing information has taken place in schools forever. Creating posters, dioramas, book jackets, etc all incorporated this activity. Unfortunately these activities take a lot of time too. Tech tools allow students to create much more quickly.

    In the end it isn't about the tool, it is about how the tool is used as Mrs. Hines so eloquently put it.

  2. I completely agree with you about how technology is consuming our lives. It is insane the amount of time people spend updating their status. You should read my first post. I mention how people spend too much time with virtual people, rather than the flesh and blood beside them. I also feel like if we channel technology and use it for good, and not evil, it can be very helpful. Technology can be useful if put in the right hands.

  3. Mr. C summed up my thoughts perfectly. (I'm not surprised). In a world where all information is in all places at all times (or close to that), those who do not know how (or who do not want to) make use of these resources will be left in the economic and social dust. That is a choice everyone can make, but we teachers should NOT make it for our students. That should be their choice.

    And as I expressed in my comment on Ms. Hines' post, I don't think a teacher can be a good teacher in this age if she/he is not technologically literate. If that is the case then the student will not have access to the world (of people and informations) that is their right.

    Ms. Hines will Skype the E Class on 2/17 at 4:30. Join us if you can!

  4. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I like how you understood that the problem was not the chalkboard or the price of the text books, but how we all use technology these days. We spend most of our time messing around with text, facebook, watching tv, and other things when we could start by being more productive.

  5. I can definatly understand your position on technology but I don't fully agree with it. I am an extreme mulit-tasker, and I can use it to my advantage. At this very moment, my phone is by my side, the television is on, my facebook account is open in another tab, and im bouncing my daughters chair with my foot. Oh while doing my homework. I like to stay informed and without my social networking and cell phone I would be lost, lonely, and hate life. Sure that seems a bit over the top but I don't have the option of face to face interaction so technology is the next best thing.
    But I totally agree witht the fact that as neat as technology is it can't replace the benefits of face to face interaction. Teachers provide so much more than knowledge and education. For so many children we show them how to interact with one another, how to care, and even how to love. As advanced as technology can get it can't replace true emotions. And that's what does worry me! When people chose to text someone thats in the same house rather than going and talking to them in person.