Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?
By Scott McLeod

First of all, a little bit of what I found out about Dr. McLeod. Dr. McLeod is an "Associate Professor in the Educational Administrative program at Iowa State University". He is also the "Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education." Dr. McLeod has really been as asset in advancing technology in education. I found all of this information, plus more, on

Now on to the blog! I really enjoyed Dr. McLeod's use of sarcasm to show the dangers and importance of technology. Sure the internet is a dangerous place, but please try to show me somewhere that is completely free of danger. Using technology responsibly can only lead to greater advances in education. I read the comment left by Dr. McLeod and agree that most teachers and parents do not know enough about this "new" technology to teach their kids to use it responsibly. As upcoming teachers, it is our job to learn as much as we can about using technology in the schools and show our students all of the benefits. By teaching our students some fundamentals of internet safety and the ways they can use these technological advances in the classrooms, the possibilities are endless!

The iSchool Initiative

While I am usually leery of technology taking over schools completely, I am really looking forward to the schools described in this video. In this video, Travis Allen lays out his plans for a better educational system- the iSchool! Allen showed all the apps that are already available to be used in the classroom and this blew me away. I wish that I would have been able to use this technology when I was in high school. Being able to look up information about the solar system, the presidents, using the calendar to keep track of assignments and due dates; this truly is the schools of tomorrow!

Allen also shows that using the iTouch in schools will not only enhance the learning system, it will also save the students and the schools money. With drastic budget cuts, our schools could definitely use something to help save money. According to the presentation, costs would go from $650 per student to $150 per student. This amount of money is tremendous. Students would also benefit. No longer would they have to carry around heavy book bags filled with four or five books, notebooks, pens, and pencils. Everything could be stored in one device! Also, talk about going green! All the trees that could be saved and all the other resources, this device could really save our planet. I sincerely hope that schools look into this initiative, and that one day all of our schools can be run this way!

The Lost Generation

The way this video was made was definitely different, but I enjoyed it. On first reading it I was scared, but when it was read in reverse it was inspiring. A video like this really catches one's eyes and makes you thing. I believe that everything said was true. We do live in a quick fix society, our jobs do tend to come before family, we are destroying our environment, and we do feel that there is nothing we can do to change this. But like what was said in the video, this is all a lie. We can chose to change the future, and we must. We must put our families first, we must start thinking about our impact on the environment, and we must believe that we "live in a society of our own making." The future is ours and we must decide what to do with it!

Virtual Choir
By Eric Whitacre

Wow! This video really shows how powerful the internet is. It is hard enough to get 185 singers who have never met to perform together, much less when it is all done on the internet. This shows how the internet has truly transformed communication. I have always believed that the internet takes away from that person to person contact, and this video proves me wrong. These singers come from 12 different countries, and without the internet they would have never met or sung together. The internet is a turning point in communication, and when used in the right way can really allow you to connect to the world!

Teaching in the 21st Century

So the question is "what does to teach mean in the 21st Century?" To teach in the 21st Century means you have to stop presenting only facts and statistics to your students, and start teaching them the skills they will need to be successful. I don't mean that we should totally abandon everything we know about teaching today, but we should add to that knowledge. We all realize how important technology has become in today's society and now it is time to incorporate that into our schools. Why not show our students how to use the internet, and all it has to offer, in a way that is actually conducive to learning. Instead of letting the students try to figure out how to use Google or other search engines on their own, let us give them the skills to perform a search that is going to give them the answers they actually need instead of a bunch of useless junk.

Since we know how important the internet is in today's society, why not incorporate it into our classroom. This is a wonderful way to get the students engaged in learning, instead of listening to boring lectures and not really learning anything. As the video shows, kids now days can get all of the information we give them in the classroom by just using the internet. While I used to think this seemed scary, I now think it can be useful. Instead of spending all of our time trying to teach our students all of these figures, we can teach them how to find this information on their own. This will empower them to try to learn even more on their own once they see how fun it can be. Technology is not going away and we must realize that, and see what we can do to add it to the educational experience!


  1. Great Post! I really enjoyed reading your post about the iSchool Initiative. I wish the iSchool was available too when I was in high school. It would have saved me a lot of time and money. The iSchool could help children become more organized due to them not having to keep up with paper, pencils or calculators. The iSchool could be a very handy tool in schools today.

  2. Hey Jenna,

    Great point about the internet. No place is very safe anymore! But, with the internet, we can use it to really help our students become better rounded as a learner.

    I wish I could have been a part of the iSchool too! I really wish that it would have been possible at my high school, but looking back, I know that the majority of my teachers would not be willing to use that type of technology to help us learn.

    Good post Jenna!

    Keep up the good work!

    Stephen Akins