Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blog Assignment #5



After watching the videos, "The iSchool Initiative" and "ZeitgeistYoungMind's Entry", Travis Allen makes some really great points. Drastic funding costs have forced school systems to let go of teachers and buy less learning materials. Schools are forced to get by with the bare necessities. There are not enough teachers, computers, or textbooks in our school systems. The larger classroom size makes it difficult for teachers to give personal help and attention to students. We have to do better. Travis has a brilliant plan. Travis wants all schools to invest in the iSchool. The iSchool would allow all students, teachers, and parents to have a classroom at their fingertips. All textbooks, notes, maps, calendars, calculators, and such could be downloaded to apple’s itouch to create the iSchool. The iSchool could drastically change accountability between teacher and students, and students and their parents. Homework assignments could be uploaded to the itouch, and grades could be accessed at the touch of a button. This type of technology would transform the education system to the mobile world in which we live. If you add up the cost of textbooks, calculators, and copy paper, the cost of the itouch would not compare. Where schools normally spend $600 per student, the itouch would only cost around $150.

Although I think the theory behind the iSchool is amazing, I wonder how simple it would be to implement. Most students know more about technology than teachers. I know for a fact that some of the teachers that I have been around could never teach using an iPod. There would have to be mandatory training for school systems to implement this type of change. Most schools that I have been involved with could never afford the money it would take to implement this radical change all at one time. Many schools would be forced to transform to the mobile world one classroom at a time. I think that this plan would be incredible if it’s implemented correctly. I know I would love to teach at a school that had this type of technology!

Virtual Choir

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
After watching, "Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir" , I have one word to say about the video, Amazing! What an experience for those students. The resource that we have in the internet is extraordinary. Why would we not use this technology to make our students more successful? If a group of 185 people can sing Lux Aurumque on the internet without ever meeting, we can do almost anything.

Teaching in the 21st Century

Teaching in the 21st Century
What does it mean to teach in the 21st century? We live in the information era. "Kevin Robert’s presentation" on teaching in the 21st century describes how teachers must change if they expect to have successful students. Students have information at their fingertips, and as Roberts describes in his video, educators must use these resources to as a way of reaching their students. We have so many resources at our disposal that could help our students be engaged and entertained all at the same time. The days are gone when teachers can pull out a text book and tell students to define vocabulary words. We have to engage and challenge our students in learning. We can no longer be just a teacher, we must be a facilitator. We must be the filter for all the information they have access to. We must recreate our education system to focus on skills rather than facts. I do believe Roberts is correct in his analogy. The digital world is constantly changing, and education must adapt to this change if we expect our students to succeed. My students will be the only ones losing if I do not take the risk of being a 21st century teacher "one activity, one unit, and one class at a time".

Flipped Classroom

Flipped Classroom

After watching the videos, "Why I Flipped My Classroom" , "Flipped Classroom – FAQ" , "Dr. Lodge McCammon's FIZZ - Flipping the Classroom" , and "Flipping the Classroom - 4th Grade STEM" , I think flipping the classroom is an excellent theory, however I think applying the concept would be difficult because of the time it would take for teachers to properly implement the program. Most teachers already have full schedules, and I think adding video lectures would only add to the long list of ways teachers are burned out. School districts would have to spend thousands of dollars training teachers, students, and parents. There are many benefits to this type of instruction. Parents would have access to the information necessary to help their children with homework and projects, but they would also have to be trained to properly use this type of educational technology.

My dream is to teach at the high school where I graduated. We live in a small community with less than 600 students attending our school. I would guess that less than half of those students have internet access. This would be a problem if I was to “flip my classroom.” In one of the videos it talked about what teachers do for students that do not have computer access. Those students normally are able to watch the video when they get to school, but isn’t that basically defeating the purpose?

1 comment:

  1. Baldwin County will provide a MacBook or an iPad to every student in a 4 year period. If it can be dome in Lower Alabama then it can be done anywhere. Well, maybe not Mobile County. We shall see.

    There are already thousands of videos available - free. Do you know about the Kahn Academy. Look it up!

    Much better!

    Thoughtful. Interesting.