Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blog post #10

This 3 min youtube video seeks to question the difference between teaching and educating.The video fades in to rows of empty seats in a large classroom. This picture moves me to think of the concept we discussed in my EDF315 class of the traditional approach to education today that began in the 1800's. Essentially this says that the teacher is the central source of knowledge and the student is an "empty bucket" or "blank slate" with nothing valuable to bring to the classroom besides obedience and a desire to be taught. The definition of teach used in the video generalizes the teacher's job but leaves out the important aspect of the students participation. A teacher can "teach till he/she is blue in the face but if the students are not being educated then what is the teacher really doing???

This video also highlights along with empty desks a fire extinguisher. What is the job of a fire extinguisher? Putting out fires of course! But what does this have to do with teaching? Well, I think the message here is that somewhere along the way in the education process children are being taught that their ideas and interests are of little to no value- which extinguishes a child's fire/desire to learn on their own. When we are constantly pressed to learn things that bore or confuse us, let's just admit it, we memorize as best as we can for the test then forget it as soon as possible. The teacher is focused mostly on teaching required information and has lost touch with what the student can offer to their education.
Royalty-Free (RF) Clip Art Illustration of a Cartoon Businessman Extinguishing A Fire by Ron Leishman
 When I speak or write about why I'm here at South I always refer to my goal as becoming a teacher, from now on I will refer to this goal as becoming an educator. This video has helped me to see some flaws in the system that I hope to reduce. Realistically I don't expect to make some extreme life altering difference in all of the kids  that I teach, but I do hope to educate in a way that offers learning to be a two-way street where fire extinguishers are only used literally!

 Don't Let Them Take Pencils Home!?!

I began this assignment by reading the link to Larry Ferlazzo's essay:  My "take" on recent study saying home computer usage can lead to lower test scores. This post  helps to bring a little common sense to a study which did not seem to target those who actually apply the operation. To say that a computer will decrease a child's test scores due to their inability to choose to use them in an educational manner only voices the refusal of the education systems ability to allow/train teachers to find projects that keep students interested. Mr. Ferlazzo points out "Without training or accountability, it doesn’t seem to me that schools should put much effort into getting technology into the hands of students at home. " Having appropriate training with any tool/resource makes the difference in educator's and student's ability to use a "pencil"/computer to their full potential. Without this class I would not know about blogging, prezi, smartboard use, twitter, the list goes on and on. The key to a computer aiding a child's grades comes from their ability to apply it as a tool as well as entertainment, and when you have a teacher who combines the two you're sure to find that students prove themselves accountable when given directions how to use an entertaining tool.
This post by Mr. Spencer Don't let them take pencils home is a silly rendition on the study mentioned above and makes a play on computer usage by students in low income areas causing their test scores to drop. Mr. Spencer replaces the word computer with pencil and highlights the idea that this study is taken completely out of context. Saying that pencils are only used for entertainment purposes is what many educators are saying about computer use in the classroom today, so they are against it. I mean, can you imagine it?!?.....a pencil/computer being used for educational purposes!!?!?!?!! Computers can replace outdated, expensive textbooks and allow each child to interact in their own personal way while also becoming skilled in the future job market that is growing exponentially each year towards digital technology.
As entertaining as it was, this essay made a valid point that the issue with computers in the classroom is not about the dangers on the internet, or the risk of costly damages but  how it may negatively  affect test scores.Teachers are held accountable for students standardized test scores so in order to protect their jobs that is the prominent factor in today's education instead of it being on the students.


  1. Hi Erica,

    It is peer edit time in EDM310 again. I am here to read and comment on your post. I think your writing is fantastic and to the point. I agree that the students should be the main focus and not the teachers.

    I enjoyed reading your post,

    Cyndi Ford

  2. Hi Erica, The classmate that I was assigned to leave a comment for didn't have a blog post # 10, so I am leaving a comment for you. Your blog post is great! You gave a great summary and detailed explanation of the video and blog post in the assignment. I believe that we interpreted the video and blog post pretty much the same way. It's pretty neat that you will be referring to yourself as an educator rather than a teacher. I hope that we will be able to see and be a part of a change in the way schools overuse standardized tests. Great Job!

  3. Hello Erica,

    This was a very insightful post and I enjoyed reading your perspectives on both education and technology in the classroom. You got the metaphor as well, which many students did not do. Great work!