Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blog Post 5

evil Apple skull and cross bones

Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. With the aid of sarcasm, McLeod expresses the idea that, sarcastically speaking, technology is dangerous, children can't be trusted with expensive equipment and pen and paper aren't going anywhere. After reading Scott McLeod's plea, I agree that this is the way technology is generally approached in public schools today.  Of course cell phones can be a distraction in class and computers open doors to many dangers,

  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.

Ischool Initiative logo
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.

virtual compilation of a choir with lights and conductor185 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.

twenty first century teacher name tag
Kevin Roberts Prezi presentation asks future educators to analyze what it means to teach. He points out that teaching is allowing to learn. By connecting with other experiences and analyzing past achievements allows application of best possible ways to convey learning.
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.

a child in a green rocket flying upwards 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.


  1. Erica,

    I am not quite sure what your point is about Scott McLeod's post, but you do not seem to understand the message he is conveying: Everything in life has risks, but we need to overcome the challenges and use these tools to enrich the lives of children. Also, you have to add ALT and TITLE modifiers to your posts. Please do so immediately.


    Rebekah Lloyd

  2. Hello Erica,
    I thought your entire post was very clear and well written, and I understood what you were trying to say about Scott McLeod. Despite all of the risks that come along with using more technology in the classroom, the rewards are far greater. McLeod's use of sarcasm forces us to think about how ridiculous it is that technology still isn't being used in classrooms today, and it gives us a wake up call. Just wanted to let you know that I understood what you were saying!
    - Savannah