Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blog post #5

Dr. Scott McLeod’s Don’t Teach Your Kids this Stuff post
Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He is considered an expert on the use of technology in classrooms. This post is a satire mocking all those believing technology is more harmful than helpful. But change always has a risk. The objective should be for people to be willing to weigh the risks evenly and fairly. The internet is always going to pose a threat. However, the internet and other advances in technology are a reality in our world, and ignoring their role in our ever changing puts our kids’ futures at risk. I think the goal should be for us to decide if we are going to be technologically willing or unwilling.

I continue to hear people use the word “technologically illiterate.” This post is another attack on the “illiterate.” When recruiting people into the technological world, I think we need to use a more inviting approach. I agree with the reality of Dr. McLeod’s post. But I feel that this post is like many others that I have read; they seem to attack rather than invite. In order for any of us to have the “leg up,” we must be technologically willing.

The iSchool Initiative and Zeitgeist Young Mind's Entry
Travis Allen’s goal is to make the classroom completely electronic. The ischool Initiative wants to make school a paperless, hand held, and do it yourself atmosphere. It is a little overwhelming to think of school with no pencils paper or books. Will it really work? I am not sure. I am willing to hear more arguments for it. Also I would like to see some statistics on its effectiveness. I am willing to listen to anything that will benefit our students.
However, his argument does have some holes. He claims it will eliminate the use of “precious natural resources.” Well, electronics are not exactly green technology. We still burn a lot of coal to power our society, and it is very expensive. And if this technology is not monitored closely by educators, it has the potential of abuse. I realize that there is always a risk of kids abusing new technology. I would just like to know more about the educator’s role with this ischool; he focused mainly on the student’s role. This is very revolutionary, and while I am a bit skeptical, I am willing and anxious to hear more.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
From its birth, the internet has made the world truly a “small one.” Things going on in other time zones are seconds away from us. Ericwhitacre’s choir is one the most amazing things I have ever seen or heard. It gave me chills just listening to it.
But perhaps the most chilling aspect of this performance is that none of them had ever even met in person. The internet knows no latitudes on longitudes. I like that this video shows how close we all can be to one another. Using the internet in this way is a great way to help us understand the global society we live in.

Teaching in the 21st Century
Teaching today requires an open mind. I like Kevin Roberts’s video. I feel like being a good teacher in the 21st century means you are willing. You must be willing to ask yourself the questions your students are going to have to ask to survive in their world. They are going to face many things we did not, and we must be willing to face it with them.
However, we are not obligated to answer questions in any uniform way. Not everyone is going to agree on what is good or bad, effective or ineffective. Teachers simply need to more willing than ever in the rapidly changing 21st century. Teaching in this century means separating the willing from the unwilling; if we are not willing, how can we expect students to be?


  1. In the video iSchool Travis Allen did mention how teachers would use the iSchool technology to benefit them. He mentioned things such as the teachers will be able to send emails to students and parents; while also keeping up with assignments you have given to the students. Also as a teacher you can record your lesson for the day for a student that was absent and the student will not be left behind. This idea of iSchool did interest me too and like you I think it is an excellent idea but I am excited to see if schools will accept it.

  2. I agree that there is a possibility for children to abuse the technology with this new system, but I also think that there are ways teachers and administrators can provide safe-guards for their students. I know most colleges and universities have classes similar to the ones Travis discussed, I have taken a few and have found them to be a great asset when it came to preparing for tests. I believe our students would really benefit from a system like the Ischool. I loved your post though Kevin!

  3. Kevin,

    I am glad you picked up on the satire of Scott McLeod's blog post! Back when I was a student in EDM 310 and was doing this assignment, Scott McLeod's blog post and Travis Allen's iSchool Initiative concerned me, in a way, because the thought of no more physical writing is a little scary to me. Do you think there will come a point in time in which we no longer use pens and pencils at all? How do you feel about this?

    I am glad you are very open minded to the ideas about technology. Keep up the good work!

  4. McLeod: You got the sarcasm and satiric nature of his post. Many students didn't and interpreted McLeod's post literally.