Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blog Post #2

Did You Know--The Strange Version

Did You Know by John Strange was a little disconcerting. The video gives a number of facts regarding technology, mostly. The opening fact in the video, however, was that the 25% of people in India with the highest IQs outnumber the population of the entire United States. The video goes on to point out the staggering number of Google searches made, YouTube videos watched, and text messages sent per minute.

The overall message of the video is that we live in a changing world; statistics from only two years ago have changed drastically. As future educators we have to stay ahead of the learning curve--which will be incredibly difficult due to the fact that what we'll be teaching someday will involve technologies that do not yet exist. The closing question of the video was, "Are you ready to be an educator?" Teaching now seems to be a more daunting task than I'd ever expected!

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes is about a man who wakes from a century of sleep to find a vastly changed world. He's uncomfortable with all the machines he sees everywhere around him. He eventually wanders into a school and is comforted to see that the only machine in the room is covered in dust. School was the only thing that hadn't changed during his 100-year slumber.

It's true that the structure of school hasn't changed much. Technology has found a way into the classroom, but not in the same way that technology has permeated every other field. It's difficult to change an institution that has no funding, however! Schools can be expected to remain relatively the same for the next 100 years if there's not more money.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson's speech, The Importance of Creativity , is a great thing to consider as a teacher (or future teacher). The message of the speech is that teachers are educating the creativity out of children. He begins by stating three things that are agreed upon in the education community: human creativity is extraordinary, we have no idea what the future will be like, and that children have a great capacity for innovation. He then states that no one seems to know what exactly to do about all that. Sir Ken defines creativity as the ability to create something original, and he believes that creativity should be as important as literacy. He says that because children aren't afraid of being wrong (and are therefore not prepared to be incorrect), they're not inhibited from making something original.

Sir Ken goes on to say that education systems across the board rank the arts as least useful in curriculum. He says that, instead of focusing on academic ability, educators should recognize different types of brilliance. Dancers, musicians, and artists should also be looked at as 'intelligent,' even if the proof isn't in the academic pudding. Sir Ken describes intelligence as diverse, dynamic, and distinct; and should be acknowledged as such through creative outlets.

Think about Glass

Watching A Day Made of Glass by Corning was like watching Minority Report or The Matrix. The video displays unthinkable technologies with unimaginable capabilities. These types of technologies, however, are the future of education. The video goes through the day of a young student. She starts her morning by choosing her outfit via a virtual closet. She and her friend listen to music on the way to school by 'flinging' a virtual track to the radio of the car, which then plays the song. In her classroom all the students use tablets to interact with the teacher, whose board is a huge glass screen. Later, the girl and her classmates go to a state park, where glass is used to create virtual dinosaurs or identify animal tracks. The video also shows uses for this technology in a hospital, where great detail may be examined and photographed with the glass.

Mr. Winkle definitely wouldn't have felt comfortable in school if these technologies had been present! One day in the not-so-distant future, schools around the world will be using gadgets like the ones in the video. As educators, we have to prepare for that kind of innovation.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blog Post #1

A little about myself...

Hello, I'm Charlotte. This semester begins the fifth year I've attended this university, and--Lord willing!--I'll graduate May 2014. I'm originally from Washington County, Alabama. If you haven't heard of it, I'm not at all surprised (despite the fact that it was the first county in the state to be established! and it's right on top of Mobile County). My family of five moved to Spanish Fort, AL, in '07 due to my dad's job, and we love it there. The move also gave my younger brother and I the added bonus of living at home for the beginning of our respective college journeys. (Our little sister was the first to actually 'leave the nest'! She just began her freshman year at the University of Alabama.)

My intentions when I graduated high school were to go into the medical field; I chose USA because of the phenomenal medical program. Since then I've changed my major four times, and I'm now happily settled in the College of Education. I made the decision to major in Elementary Education (I want to teach Special Education) because I have a genuine love of children; and the chance to be a part of a child's life at such an impressionable stage is a powerful thing. As corny or cliché as it sounds, it's very true! I also like to consider myself 'creative,' and the field of education is the best way I could think of to use my creativity for something productive!

As I mentioned before, I have a family of five: my dad, Judd; my mom, Geena (that's a hard 'G'); my brother, Garrett (two years younger), is at USA for mechanical engineering; and my sister, Molly (four years younger), is at UA for dance. We're a tight-knit group that loves Seinfeld and playing games. Being a 'Beech' is a special thing!

What Randy Pausche had to say

I had never heard of Dr. Pausch until our assignment to watch his video on time management, but what he had to say on the subject was definitely useful. He made the point that Americans are great with managing money, but not so with time. Because 'time is money,' Dr. Pausch says we should begin our planning process by asking 'why.' One should determine the importance of things one needs to accomplish, and then make goals for accomplishing them. Start with small goals (things to do today), and develop long-term ones as well (things to do this week, this semester, this year, etc.). Create 'to do' lists with items broken down into easy-to-handle tasks, and do the 'ugliest' things first!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Test #2

...and this is the second test post.

Test #1

This is my very first post for EDM 310!