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I am 24 years old and a student at the University of South Alabama. I am majoring in English and Secondary Education. I am currently expecting my first child, due August 10, 2010. I started this blog for my EDM 310 class and I hope you all enjoy reading my posts!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Food For Thought

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle wakes from his 100 year slumber and is astounded by what he finds. He walks into a business, a hospital and a school and finds that two of those places are extremely different than he remembers. The business and the hospital are full of computers and other machines that frighten Mr. Winkle. These things are different and therefor scary to Mr. Winkle. When he enters the school, he notices that everything is the way it was, nothing has changed. He sees one of the weird "machines" like they had in the hospital but is not afraid because it is covered in dust. That machine is obviously not used here. Mr. Winkle finds himself safe at the school with the least amount of technology.

This video shows how far behind our schools seem to be as far as technology is concerned. I believe Matthew Needleman has hit the nail on the head with this concept. I have visited the elementary school I attended and noticed that the computer lab is the same size it was in the early 90's. Each class still gets to visit the lab once a week. The only difference is that the computers are newer models. There are also no computers in the classrooms themselves. As a mother to be, I shudder to think that when my child is ready for school, the education system will not have evolved into the technological institution it could be.

Did you know?

There are more English speaking people in China than there are in the United States. There are more honor students in India than there are students in the U.S. There are hundreds more children born in China and India every 5 minutes than are born in the United States. We consider ourselves to be more intelligent and more powerful than the populations of other countries. However, the countries on the other side of the planet speak our language better than we do. Most of us can only speak one language, while people from other countries speak at least two if not more languages fluently. What does this mean for our children and our grandchildren? Will we as a society adapt to our ever changing place in this world? Will we teach our children to be able to stand on their own two feet no matter which country they are in? Can you answer these?

The Importance of Creativity

Do our educators suppress the creativity of our children? That is what Sir Ken Robinson wants us to think about. The talk was very entertaining as well as educating. He mentioned kids being steered away from certain arts because they will not be able to get a job doing those things. He also talked about how the hierarchy of education is the same in all countries. At the top are math and languages, and at the very bottom are the arts. Thinking back to my own education, even in the early years, things like music and art were only taught once a week if at all.

If we continue to hinder our children's creativity, how much will they really learn? We try to teach students what we think is important for them to be successful, but at the same time we discourage them from using the creativity they have inside them. In school, we are taught by sitting still in a desk and staying quiet while a teacher mumbles on about stuff we could care less about. By the time children reach high school, their view of learning and of education becomes tainted. If we concentrate more on developing children's creativity at an early age, how will it change the way they view education?

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

In this video, Vicki Davis shows us how she has connected her classroom from rural Georgia with people around the world using modern technology. It is amazing how teaching children about how to connect with other people via the internet has enabled them to learn more effectively and to even be able to teach their teacher. One of the students said that the blog that she was most proud of was one that she worked on with kids from all over the world. I found this video to be very inspiring and very promising.

I found myself a little jealous, wishing that I had a teacher like Vicki Davis when I was in high school. Her class looked like a blast to be in. The students all worked together, and worked hard to accomplish their projects. I believe that if more teachers can teach classes like this, students will be more excited about going to school and about learning new things.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent work Lauren. Just what I was looking for, two good paragraphs per topic. Keep up the good work.