Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blog Assignment #4

To Teach, Or Not to Teach 

Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor at Iowa State University and the director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study Of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE).  He was also a co-creator in the video we blogged about, "Did You Know?"  In his post, Dr. McLeod speaks about letting our kids use and learn about technology.  He brought up some very negative aspects of technology and one really great aspect of it.  This is the ability to get a job over others that don't know how to use technology.  

I have to say that he brings up an important issue.  How do we teach our kids about the tools they will have to know how to use to be successful when so much of it is garbage?  It's very difficult trying to use the Internet without something controversial popping up in the background.  Also, do we let our kids have a Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace when we know they will be distracted with it?  I think what we have to do is to educate our kids but teach them the right way to use technology.  Like anything else in this world, technology is corrupted.  We teach them morals that, hopefully, roll over into increasing technology.

Is an iSchool Plausible?

A high school senior came up with the idea and/or plan for every student to have an iPhone and to get their education through it.  This eliminates the need for things such as books, calculators, bookbags, etc...  He makes the point that it will bring down the cost of education significantly as well as give students the opportunity to learn in a more modern way.  A cheaper and more efficient way of schooling, what can be wrong with this?

I see the logic in a lot of his points and think much of it is brilliant.  I would not be surprised to see this happening one day.  However, there are aspects of school that can't really be taught over an iPhone.  What about socialization?  This method of educating is impersonal and takes away from the things that can be learned in the classroom setting.  Group exercises are harder to make happen, and accountability might be difficult.  This iSchool might create lazier children, and what happens when they lose their phone or break it?  I think it might be a little too soon for this idea, but I think it has potential.

The Lost Generation

This video was very interesting.  It started off very negative and hopeless and turned itself around, becoming very positive and hopeful.  I loved the way that it was done.  It was refreshing and quite surprising.  It confused me until I realized the approach that was being taken.  It reminded me of some very important things, as well.  We have to remember that money, a nice job, and material things cannot give us happiness.  They are only temporary.  We must value our family and our relationships, for they cannot be replaced.

Virtual Choirs

I am a huge fan of Eric Whitacre and have sung some of his work.  I really liked this use of technology.  As a singer in many choirs, I have some fond memories of meeting people from all over the country.  We form special relationships because we have a love for music and vocal performance in common.  I think this use of virtual choirs is an awesome way to bring people together from all over the world to create something beautiful and magical.  This is one way that technology is really changing the way we do things, and I like it.  I hope that other musicians will get the idea and it will spread over the musical world.


  1. Hey Kathryn!
    I agree with your thoughts on the iSchool and I have many of the same concerns. While it is a great idea in theory I do not believe that it is very feasable. My concerns were for the children in Special Education classes. These children already have a difficult time grasping material and I believe that the iSchool would make it even harder for them. I also like the points that you brought up about the social aspects and group projects. The children will never learn how to work with other people if they aren't around them. Working with people is an essential skill that I believe should be taught from early on in education.

  2. Great post Kathryn.

    I think the Ischool idea gives a little glimpse into the future. I think the Ipad would be a better tool than the itouch because it is larger and a little more versatile. You brought out a good point about what if the students lost or broke their itouch. This is a big factor and would have to be addressed.

    Regarding special education students as brought out by Kellie, I think they would actually benefit from the ischool concept. The itouch (or ipad) are completely accessible to people with disabilities. Plus, using digital technology makes it much easier to adapt and offer different students options. SS

  3. Don't assume that computers will make students more isolated. Computers can be used as a tool to make students closer and have more discussions. I have many online "friends" that I have not met face-to-face that make me a better teacher. Why can't our students have the same experiences?

    Technology allows for collaboration beyond school walls like never before. As for special education there are many tools that can help these kids be more successful than just using textbooks. Check out this post for some tools for them