Did You Know?
Two must see horror flicks every educator should see are "Did You Know? 3.0 - A John Strange Version" and the original "Did You Know 3.0" by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. Both videos can be viewed at . I refer to these videos as horror flicks because the statistics covered in each are frightening! Technology has advanced throughout the world in every aspect of our lives. Evidently, other countries, like China and India, are surpassing the United States in intellect and technology use. The solution in bridging this gap would appear to be in education; beginning in the classrooms. If you are majoring in education, intimidated by technology, and afraid of using technology in the classroom, you may want to watch both of these videos with the lights on!
It is amazing to me that 8 minutes and 57 seconds of video could open my eyes to a an aspect of teaching that I had never before realized. I have always pictured myself in the classroom responsible for teaching my students the required curriculum. The future of my students would be dependent upon their success in school. I now understand the importance of my students' success in technology as well as state required curriculum.
The technological advances already made within my lifetime are astounding. I recall classrooms with blackboards, over-head projectors, type writers, and computers with floppy disks. Jeff Dunn posted a fascinating visual perspective of the evolution of technology. Mr. Dunn's post can be accessed at the Edudemic.com Site. You may be surprised at what you see!
It is apparent that in order to be the best educator possible, my education will continue beyond my graduation from the University of South Alabama. It will be necessary for me to remain abreast of the latest technology. An informative website which could serve as an extremely beneficial resource to anyone interested in using technology in the classroom is http://edudemic.com/. While I found Jeff Dunn's post entertaining and informative, I also read many posts containing technology lesson plans, interactive learning games, and more. You may also find this site on facebook or follow on twitter @edudemic.
Mr. WinkleMr. Winkle had a lot to absorb when he woke up! I'm sure he was fascinated by all of the technology he experienced in the office, hospital, and highway. Unfortunately, he visited the wrong school. For anyone who hasn't seen Mr. Winkle Wakes, it's a must see!
If Mr. Winkle had visited Hutchens or Dawes Elementary in West Mobile, he would have found students taking A.R. tests or playing interactive learning games on the Smart Board in classrooms. He may have passed students in the hallway as they excitedly proceeded to the computer lab for a lesson in photosynthesis. I have been fortunate enough to frequently substitute at both of these schools. Their technology programs are inspirational.
It would be nice to invite Mr. Winkle into my classroom someday and have him observe young students using technology as a learning tool. Perhaps before he left, Mr. Winkle could Skype Dr. Strange to give a report of all that I, and my students, were able to teach him in our technologically advanced learning environment!
Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of CreativityRaise your hand if you have been in a classroom with at least one child who seems to have a problem focusing on a lesson. Even if you are doing a group activity on the Smart Board and you choose that student to be your special helper; a positive approach has not helped, a consequence for disruption will probably make things worse. So what do you do?
Sir Ken Robinson gives some good advice. You need to stand back, observe, and evaluate the child (or children) who have an issue with focus and productivity of direct instruction. As a substitute teacher, I have seen some of the cutest, rambunctious students in classes that I have taught in. Some respond well with a little attention. Sir Ken Robinson is right; if you can find something they enjoy doing, shape that to the lesson, they become productive and extremely proud of themselves.
I know that even as an adult student, I grow tired of sitting still and listening to a lecture. It's hard enough for some adults to do this, but what happens when we expect this of young students? Everyone learns in different ways. I believe this lecture has helped me realize that a problem may not be a problem; it may be an opportunity. The prescription needed may not be Adderall or Ritalin, but an art class, sports, or dancing.
As teachers, we may need to be prepared to think outside of the box that society is painting around these children and evaluate behaviors and performances in a different way. Watching Sir Ken Robinson's Lecture has taught me that not all children learn by sitting still and being quiet. I will need to consider different teaching approaches in order to accommodate the learning experience of some students.
Classroom DisruptionWow! Talk about two totally different learning environments! While watching the Classroom Disruption Video I had horrible flashbacks to lectures of feeling like I was in a foreign language class, except I wasn't, and feelings of fatigue imposed by tremendous boredom to the point of holding my eyelids open. It's obvious that any student would rather be in the interactive, computer based classroom.
Watching this video gave me many visual examples of what I know I should and should not do in order to be an effective teacher.
- Engage with students: The teacher who interacted with students, extended different communication methods using technology, and incorporated technology into lessons while stopping to ask and answer questions as needed was able to maintain the interest and participation of his students.
- Be excited: The teacher using technology seemed excited about what he was teaching his students. His attitude was obviously infectious, as you saw students asking questions, smiling, and a majority participating in activities outside of class which were not required.
- Be prepared: The "technology challenged" teacher came into class after students were already seated. He entered the classroom in a disruptive and domineering manner and proceeded to prepare to give his presentation. This did not seem to impress students.
- Dress Professionally: While it may be cute or funny to wear that red reindeer sweater, it makes you look like a goof-ball and will not earn the respect of your students. When a teacher dresses professionally, it shows they take their job seriously and place value in their profession.
It is my goal to be the kind of teacher shown on the video who brought excitement and technology into the classroom. I will most certainly have to put forth extra effort in order to find useful technology based lessons for my students. As a teacher, I believe that extra effort will always be a win-win situation; students will enjoy learning and obtain more information and I will enjoy teaching. "It makes total sense when you just think about it."