I am a bit sarcastic myself, can you tell?
but the fact is in today's society nearly everyone has them and yet few know how to manipulate them to draw on their usefulness as a positive instrument.
By highlighting the dangers instead of the benefits of today's technology there seems to be much
more "behind closed doors" use of computers rather than useful skill building with young people now. That should be the goal of teachers today, teaching skills needed for expanding opportunities for their students. Not letting the fear of how can it be used against us, but for us!
Computers can be used to create many positive opportunities but without the knowledge of how to access them much of these opportunities will be missed. Kids today know how to manipulate youtube and Facebook, but what about filling out job applications online or creating a power point presentation to bring interest to a school book report. Computer labs are readily available in public schools today but unless they are utilized what good are they?
By incorporating sarcasm to address the situation McLeod approaches this issue the best way possible, in a way that demands one to consider the ridiculousness of not teaching the practical uses of technology that can lead to future occupations and employment. In order to be successful educators we need to be able to teach all possible avenues for success.
Travis Allen: The iSchool Initiative
The iSchool Initiative is a youtube video created by high school student Travis Allen in 2009. He presents a power point presentation of a curriculum using the ipod touch. He points out the benefits to his proposal would be immense to the school budget problems, the environment, and the education system as a whole.
This idea may sound radical but it is the direction in which our society is heading. I think this should be considered as part of our education process in public schools today. Just think of it, no heavy books to tote around, and less paper waste saves the need to reduce our precious resources.
I do worry about the drawbacks as well. Such as these expensive gadgets are easily broken, lost, or stolen. They can also pose as a distraction when students are using them for self entertainment purposes instead, but what I feel is the main disadvantage is the reliance on the unreliable internet service. If there are issues with the service it would cause a loss of usable class time and readjustment of activities. It would require teachers to always have a backup plan which would require extra planning on an already heavy load.
Overall I do believe this is an outstanding idea. I would love for my children to have access to everything they are doing in class and be able to study better at home. Currently, due to the limited budget in schools, there is only one set of textbooks and each class shares them so no one is able to bring them home to review. Having the iSchool Initiative in schools would make textbooks obsolete and that is worth any risk, in my book, and outweighs any drawback.
185 voices, 243 tracks all combined into one incredible virtual choir! This video is a perfect example of the direction technilogy is headed. I can see the future classroom becoming a virtual classroom. Wouldn't that be great. Think of the environmental benefits of not having to go to school everyday. Less paper waste, less carbon emissions, less electric services required and the money that would go to building maintenance could be spent on increasing teachers salaries! I think the idea of combining the virtual world with the real world is in our very near future.
Another statement that grabbed my attention is when he contrasted entertainment vs. engagement.By engaging students to apply what is being taught in creative ways we activate understanding of complex subject matter. Entertainment requires only to sit and watch, while things can be learned this way engaging takes it to a deeper level by allowing application which helps solidify new skills.
This is a web cite resource that has endless ideas and information for educators, parents, and everyone in between. All you need to do is click on the link to their web cite and watch out because before you know it an hour has passed. So many helpful connections will be sure to initiate any experience level teacher with more activities than can be done in a school year alone.
One of the things I feel sure I will utilize is the link to the store with teacher approved materials. Another way I am sure to use it is the podcast and video links. And the professional development webcasts that will allow me as a novice teacher to learn from top experts.