Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blog Post #2

    Teaching in the 21st century is different from the way that I was taught using predominantly pen and paper. However, I do remember in my advanced classes in the 5th and 6th grade, learning by computer games and my classmates and I loved it! By the time I got to high school in the 11th grade we were all issued MacBook’s that we got to carry around, but not all the teachers used them. In fact, only one of my teachers utilized the MacBook the entire two years that I had it. Moreover, the only thing that I really used the MacBook for was to write any papers that I had and to play games that were to blocked. Three years later, my sister was given one in the 7th grade and she has been using it for all of her homework, making iMovies, and blogging with her classmates. Technology in the classroom has advanced immensely since I graduated high school and I can only imagine that it will further advance as time goes on. Watching these videos made me think of how little I used my MacBook in school and how much my little sister uses hers. The videos express how technology is advancing and the need for teachers to be prepared for it.
    Watching the first video, Mr. Dancealot, it began to bring to mind some of the aspects of teaching that Dr. Strange said that he hates. Such as, burp back education and teachers just strictly reading from the slides. Burp-back education is when students simply repeat on a test the information that the professor has lectured on and the knowledge does not sink in. The central message of this video speaks to that. For this class, the students needed to have some hands-on training and to be able to work out the dance moves for themselves during the class period with the dance professor there to help them. The professor was simply reading from the slides the entire period and come test time the students were expected to "burp-back" what they had supposedly learned. The author creatively makes his case by showing that the professor had no real interest if the students were learning the material or not because when on one instance, a student stood up to see what moves the teacher was doing he told him to sit back down and listen. Also, he provided no extra means of help to the students and left them with no way to learn the steps the way that he wanted to students to learn them. I know that when I am given strict instructions and the means to complete a task but, allowed to do so on my own and use my own brain, I learn better. However, this is not what the professor in this video was doing. So, I side with the author of this video in that students should be allowed to figure things out on their own and not "burp-back" what the professor lectured on. Also, keeping in mind that the professor should provide the students with complete instructions and help whenever and wherever it is needed. This is a new aspect of teaching for a lot of professors and students. Furthermore, we are in the 21st century where there is more and more technology being released every day and teaching is starting to take on a whole new meaning.
   The Video,  Teaching in the 21st Century, discusses this topic of bringing a new meaning to teaching. I gathered that Roberts firmly believes that teachers are going to be the gateway through which students are introduced to new learning technologies. Teachers are the facilitators and we need to be prepared and ready to teach this new generation of elementary students. The video is outlined as follows:

I. There are many ways of gathering information
  a. Wikipedia
  b. Google
  c. Iphones
  d. Social media
II. Teachers are the gateway through which students learn to use these applications correctly
III. Teachers need to incorporate these applications in their classrooms in a way that facilitates learning
IV. If teachers does not teach their students the correct way to use these new applications, they will use them in a way that hinders their learning
  a. Pirating
  b. Plagiarism
  c. Slander
V. Teachers need to rethink the way we are using the technology in our classrooms and the tools that we use
  a. Show students how to find reliable resources
  b. Publish and evaluate work
  c. Collaborate with each other
  d. Offer tutoring to struggling children
VI. Students can be challenged to do their homework online
VII. Technology can be managed the way that cell phones are managed
  a. Provides the temptation but can be handled so the negative behavior is not present
VIII. Students need to be engaged not just simply entertained
  a. Entertainment provides no intellectual challenge
  b. Engagement allows the student to be creative and effectively use their abilities to complete the lesson
  c. Engagement should also be fun
IX. Teachers should provide meaningful, creative, and intellectually stimulating technological engagement for students
X. Get out there and do some research and apply it to your classroom
  a. Trial and error are necessary
  b. Brainstorm with others
    Roberts sees technology changing for the better. He predicts that teaching is going to be done more by computers that the teacher. His predictions are totally accurate because you can see it changing all around you everyday. More children are gaining access to technological devices at a younger age. I remember I first got my cell phone in the 7th grade and all I could do was call my parents on it and it had no texting capabilities. My sister is now in the 7th grade and she has had an iPhone for 3 years and now has a MacBook and a PC. Moreover, the elementary education majors need to be prepared for this new group of technologically savvy students. However, I do disagree with Roberts when he say that teaching is going to become obsolete. Perhaps maybe in the far future but, for right now I think teachers are needed to provide the younger age students with the right skill set to successfully become technologically advanced. However, there are more older age kids that are turning to home schooling that is done through an online course. The older children, like high school age, are able to complete those home schooling courses because they have a higher skill set and do not a parent or guardian there to watch over them and see if they are doing all the courses that they need to be doing. Furthermore, this new age is going to affect teachers because we need to be able to teach the children how to use these new devices and implement them into our classroom setting because they can be a great resource for the children and they will put them on a higher level of thinking.
Source: Teaching in the 21st Century video

    The Networked Student video talks about how teachers can use these new technological devices in their classrooms. In the video, the narrator infers that students need to be taking control of their learning and have people around that strengthen them. I agree with this aspect but, I personally also benefit from physically taking notes while a lecture is being taught. However, I do not feel that this is beneficial for most students today. Teachers and professors need to challenge students and engage them with their peers to set up a network of people that can further their knowledge and help them in their career. Also, I find it very interesting that the video talked about how devices that we use for entertainment, can also be used for educational purposes. For example, the MP3 players and iPads have applications that enable them to be learning devices. I also like that the video addressed that teachers are needed for learning facilitation and to teach children to put all that knowledge that are gaining from said devices to good use. Teachers are becoming more advanced in the technological world and are teaching their students how to properly use a computer or other device to complete their school work in an intellectually challenging manner instead of solely for entertainment. 
    The author of this next video, Harness Tour Student's Digital Smarts, is also a teacher and she challenges her students everyday through the use of technology in the classroom. Mrs. Davis, the author, makes the claim that students benefit more when technology is involved. I side with her on this matter because from taking the little bit that I have in this course I feel more engaged and responsible. Also, I talked earlier about my sister and her use of technology through her school and she loves it. She made an anti-bullying campaign video through the use of iMovie with some of her classmates and it was really better than anything I think I could have done on my own and she is 13 years old. Moreover, through the use of technology in Mrs. Davis's classrooms it is opening the students up to the world around them. However, with all this technology comes a lot of responsibility for students. The teachers really need to be there to monitor the kids on what they are doing and make sure that it something educational and not harmful. On the other hand, it gives the students more responsibility and makes them more well-rounded individuals. Another thing Mrs. Davis did was let the students conduct class. Many students can prosper from this because their peers are usually struggling with the same things, so with the students conducting class they can better address those issues. Furthermore, students are far surpassing the teachers in the aspect of technology usage and teachers need to be able to reign that in and put it to good use.
    To speak on students being more technologically advanced the generation of college students, Who's Ahead in the Learning Race? video talks about this subject. Elementary students come to kindergarten with so much knowledge on technology already because maybe they have a computer at home or maybe they play on their parents iPad or iPhone, etc. Furthermore, with all this knowledge on the subject already elementary students are eager to learn new things on these devices. In the video Dr. Strange looked at elementary, undergrad, and grad students and compared their advancement with technology and by far the elementary students won. They are using applications that I as an undergrad student did not even know existed. Children are so eager to learn on these MacBooks that they received at the beginning of school that by the second day they knew just about everything about it. It didn't take me long to figure out how to use my new MacBook I just got but I had to get my little sister to show me how to use iMovie because I had no idea. Children are using all the same technology that undergrad and grad students are using and, in my opinion, they are using it better. 
     From all this use of technology in the 21st century classroom, new ideas begin to surface. New ideas such as, Flipping the Classroom. This was a new idea to me and I think it is a very good idea. It allows the struggling students to grasp the subject better and allots more class time for questions from the those students. However, it does put a greater homework load on the student which I do not feel is necessary for me as an aspiring kindergarten teacher. Most of the time, parents have to help the kindergarten child with the homework and end up getting frustrated with them or the student forgets and it does not get done because they are new to school and need that transition period that kindergarten provides. The idea is more appealing to the older generation like middle school or high school age students because with them they have a greater sense of responsibility. I would even implement it into a 4th grade classroom. Flipping the classroom is just one of the examples of new sources of technology being used in the classroom. Technology is showing up in classrooms all over and we as teachers need to accept it and use it as a positive tool for teaching and learning. 

1 comment:

  1. Jesse,
    I really like how you describe how teaching in the 21st century and how technology is changing. Also including how we need to steer away from burp back education. As I stated in my blog, students need to be actively engaged. If students are not actively engaged, they will: not know what to do, act out, be bored, or sleep.
    You wrote this blog very well. I did see the words moreover and however used a lot. One suggestion I would offer that helps me when I write is to use a thesaurus to come up with other ideas for word choice.