Sunday, February 26, 2012

Blog Assignment 5

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

Scott Mcleod, J.D.,PHD, is an associate professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He is well known for his stance on technology leadership issues and has won many awards for his work.

In his post, Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?, Dr. Mcleod takes a sarcastic approach to confront the issues dealing with the dangers of technology. He discusses the typical arguments raised about technology such as; cheating, sexting, online predators and social networking. However, he ends his post by explaining that he teaches his students to use all types of technology and that they will be the ones that have a better chance of succeeding in the future.

I agree with the stance Dr. Mcleod took in his post. Yes, there are many dangers on the web but no more dangers than there are in the real world. We should teach our children and students how to be safe in every aspect of their lives and the internet should be no different. I think a lot of the problem goes back to the fear and resistance to change in the education system. It is an easy way out to deem technology and the internet as dangerous and ineffective instead of taking the time to learn about them and the benefits they offer to both the student and the teacher. Technology will without a doubt be a huge and influential part of our future. If we want our children and students to succeed, then we have to prepare them properly. So, take the time to make friends with technology. It can only be of benefit if it is worked with and not against. It is certainly not going anywhere so learn everything you can about it and embrace it!

The iSchool Initiative
Zeitgeist Young Mind's Entry

Travis Allen has completely sold me on the idea of mobile learning. I had no idea of the possibilities that the iTouch offers to education. To think of an education system void of so many extra and unnecessary expenses is amazing. Children could start at such an early age learning to use the technology. Once children mastered their writing skills, there would be no more need for paper and pencils (money saved!). Travis Allen's idea would save so much money that it would cut back on teacher layoffs as well as the other huge issue of not having enough material for each student. Allen explains that it would only cost about $150 per student and would eliminate the need for extra paper, pencils, books, copiers, copier ink and so much more. Technology is not going anywhere and we need to stop focusing on the negatives of it and instead try to embrace the positive impacts if offers to students, staff, and the school systems as a whole. As Travis Allen says, "Join the revolution!".
Join The Revolution

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir

This video truly blew me away! Just to think that the people in this video have never met and are not standing next to each other is amazing. I think this is a great use of the internet and technology. It shows the limitless potential that technology offers. It brought together people who had never met and created something beautiful. It makes you wonder just how much technology has to prove before people wake up and realize it is a beneficial and productive use of time and learning.

Teaching in the 21st Century

Kevin Roberts raised some very important points in this presentation. It is true that teachers are no longer always the first source students come to for information and answers. In some ways, technology has replaced teachers on this front. However, this does not mean teachers are no longer needed. Teachers still play a critical role in a child's education. They help a student understand what the answers they find to their questions mean. Teachers are needed to help teach life skills and make sure a student is on track with their educational process and goals. Teachers are now also needed to help teach technology.

A teacher who thinks their only role in a student's life is to teach them when the Civil War was fought or who invented electricity is not only selling themselves short but also the entire field of teaching. A teacher is not merely a body of facts, they serve as life guides and mentors. So what if Google teaches a student about the Periodic Table? It is still the teacher's job to 1. make sure the information is CORRECT, 2. help the student APPLY what they have learned and 3. show the student how the information is RELEVANT to their lives.

Students of today are growing up in a technology based and driven society and they need to know how to use technology properly if they want to be successful in the future. The 21st century definitely brought about some changes to the role of the teacher but it has in no way made the need for the teacher obsolete.

Reading Rockets Website

The resources on this website are abundant and extremely informative. I see why Anthony Capps regards it as such a valuable educational tool. I really enjoyed the section labeled, The ABC's of Teaching Reading. It emphasizes the websites goal of showing the importance of a child being literate. A child is not born with an innate ability to read, they must be taught. This fact shows how important teachers still are to a child's education. This section also gives tips on helping students who are struggling with learning to read.

The Reading Rockets website also offers valuable and informative videos and podcasts dealing with many different aspects of education including educational media. There is a podcast series called, Educational Media. All of the podcasts in this series were great and I particularly enjoyed, Educational Media in Action Part 3 (I have included this video at the end of this post for you to view). This podcast discusses screen time and literacy. It offers some great options and ideas on using educational media to help teach students and how to get the most out of technology. It discusses the importance of the CONTENT and CONTEXT offered by what the child is watching. Is the child interacting and engaged? Children spend a lot of time in front of the television and other forms of technology so it is now important to work with these devices and not against them. Instead, we must find how they can help in a child's educational process and retention. The podcast also offered great ideas on how the parent can interact with the child while watching educational programming. It also brought up wonderful ways to incorporate educational media and technology into the classroom and how to handle difficulties that may arise. It again goes back to keeping a student engaged!!

Everything I learned from this website was wonderful. I will not only refer to this website as a future teacher but as a future parent. Reading and literacy are so important in life and I love that there is a website that values its importance so much. I also enjoyed viewing their section of quotes. Here is one of my favorites I found on the site,

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark." - Victor Hugo, Les Miserables


  1. Hello Kate,

    I enjoyed reading your Blog Post #5! I agree with you when you stated that teachers should want to be involved more with technology and be aware of it, so that if the kids have any questions, they will not be hesitant to answer. As a future educator, I agree with you, because I want to be able to make sure that I am up-to-date with technology within my classroom. I want to be able to teach my students some things and also learn some new things from them. Believe it or not, there are some children in the world today, who has more knowledge on the use of technology than we do, as adults. I also agreed with you, when you said that children should aware of the dangers of technology as well as real life situations. Focusing on the negatives and positives of technology is very important. By doing so, children are aware of certain cites to visit, whenever bullying may occur, and even predators. Overall, I enjoyed your Post and I love the fact that you stated your reasons and carried them out within your post.

    -Derkesha Dale

  2. Hey Kate,

    Great job! You got the sarcasm in Dr. Scott McLeod's post. Sarcasm has been criticized by many students in past semesters. Do you think sarcasm is a good way to get the point across?

    I'm glad that you are excited about the iSchool! It really is amazing how this idea really is in practice right now!

    This is a very good post Kate!

    Stephen Akins