Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blog Post #2

Did You Know

The video Did You Know? brought up many facts that I did not know, but I wasn’t completely surprised by them. The world is changing so fast. Technology is changing every second. Someone is always coming up with new things to “better our lives.” The video brought up the fact that “we are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist; using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems.” In all honesty, that scares me; I can’t even imagine that.

I personally know two mothers who parent in very different ways. My best friend’s mother is what some call old-fashioned. She is an older mom with seven children, her youngest being seven. Her kids have so many restrictions on what technology they can use at what times. All of her many children are great students. They make wonderful grades and are all readers. On the other hand, my cousin, who is a newer mom, her oldest being seven this week, shows a whole new side of parenting. Her son is constantly watching tv, playing Wii, or playing on his very own iPad. I am not criticizing his mother; it is simply the new age of parenting. That seven year old is brilliant (which he always has been - knowing the difference between an orca whale and a killer whale when he was two.) He read more novels in one summer than I have in three years. He even read the King James Version of the Bible twice! I don’t know how much the presence of technology has affected him, because I know that a lot of it comes naturally to him. However, I do believe that it has had some major impact.

Technology is becoming more and more an active part of everyday life. We can’t even hang out with friends without constantly checking our cell phones. Many children nowadays have some sort of access to a computer, smart phone, gaming system, or some sort of technology 24/7. I feel it is our job as teachers and parents to teach children the smart ways to use these “smart” machines. Technology will have an impression on our kids’ lives, and we must decide if it will be for the good or the bad.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes by Matthew Needleman talks about how much in 100 years technology has changed. Mr. Winkle goes throughout a city full of office buildings and finds that all the technology and frustration (haha I liked that! Because technology is often very frustrating) was beginning to make him feel bad. Therefore, being a wise old man, he goes to the hospital. The hospital makes him feel worse! Technology is everywhere! Everywhere except school. Mr. Winkle finds that school is much like it was before his slumber. I really liked the comment that school “went on without interruptions from the outside world.”

However, this video is a little out of date. This video was only made four years ago, and already a lot has changed. While school is pretty much the same, teachers lecturing while students take notes. In the technology aspect, it is much different. In almost every classroom now there is a SMART board and at least one computer, if not many. Just look at EDM 310. Almost everything we do is online, where Dr. Strange can see it instantly while we aren’t even near the campus.

This isn’t happening only at the college level, this is also happening at an elementary level. While babysitting one day, the kids and I were watching the Disney Channel. A ten year old boy was being interviewed about an app HE CREATED. He made an app all by himself, at TEN! I wouldn’t even know how to begin something like that. His app was currently being used in his own school and he was gradually working on it being used nationally. His app was demonstrated on his iPad in his classroom. The teacher could post assignments, the students could submit their assignments (if the teacher chose), and they could take notes. This program reminded me of Sakai at South Alabama; however it was kid-friendly, created by a ten year-old. I would have never imagined this as a kid, much less known how to create it. The world is changing; therefore the people in it are too.

The Importance of Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson discusses many interesting thoughts in The Importance of Creativity. In the beginning he states, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” However, in our school system, and even in life, we are constantly putting pressure on those around us, especially kids to do the “right thing.” We don’t want to be wrong; we always want to be right.

He also talks about being “educated out of creativity.” When he said this I immediately thought of my all time favorite Broadway musical, Wicked. In this musical, my favorite character, Fiyero says, “The trouble with schools is they always try to teach the wrong lesson.” In a way, that is very true. Sir Robinson goes on to tell the story of Gillian Lynne and how if she had been in school in this day and age someone would have given her some pills and told her calm down. However, that wasn’t the case, she was a dancer. I think that is a powerful statement. Constantly more and more children are being medicated for a “condition.” Many of the cases are simply kids being kids. When I was working at Dauphin Way, we had one little girl that was very strong willed and hyper. The teacher came and talked to me about how the mother was having her tested. “That isn’t her problem,” she said, “She is only being a little girl.” I feel as though we give out these medicines too easily.

Sir Ken Robinson goes on to say when children are in school, there may be things he is very good at or enjoys. However, because these things aren’t in the top tier of the hierarchy, they are besmirched. As Sir Robinson says, we are given a great gift of human imagination. We need to use this gift wisely and also teach how to use it wisely. The video ends with Sir Robinson talking about the need to educate the WHOLE being, so that they can face their future. “We can’t see the future, but they will. Our job is to see that they will make something of it.”

PINTERESTing Classroom

Pinterest is a site that I have been using almost since it was created. I absolutely love it! I use it to organize everything. One of the first boards I created was “Teaching Corner,” in which I pinned things for my future classroom, or neat ideas for teaching.

In Four Ways to Use Pinterest in Education, I learned a new way to use Pinterest in my classroom. I never thought about allowing my students to use Pinterest to help with their class projects. It is perfect even for group projects because of the collaboration tool that is available.

From the article The 20 Best Pinterest Boards About Education Technology, I began to follow many new pinners. I chose the following: ‘Vicki Davis’ because she has more than 20 boards dedicated to teaching inspirations; ‘Edudemic’ and ‘Students Like Tech!’ because both of these pinners had a lot of infographics, and I am a huge fan of infographs; ‘Patricia Brown’ had 3 education boards and many other boards I love for my personal life; ‘Twitter Resources, Apps, and Tools’ which has a lot of information about twitter which I could use for EDM 310 and beyond; and ‘Ed Tech Articles’ and ‘Technology’ simply because I liked many of their pins to use in my own future classroom.

I plan to continue using Pinterest for myself and pinning things I want to remember for my future classroom. In addition, I also plan to use these new found ideas in my classroom. I really like the idea of students using Pinterest to work on projects, “break the ice,” display their own artwork, etc. I also like the idea of using Pinterest to organize my classroom and allow the parents to stay up-to-date with what is happening in our classroom and what they need to know or remember.


  1. Katelyn,

    One of the things that really stuck out to me when reading your blog post was the section about "Mr Winkle Wakes." You made a very good point about the video already being out dated because it was produced four years ago. This is very true. If you look at the school now, you are exactly right, there is more and more technology appearing. I remember being in the first grade and my dad saving information on a floppy disk. No we use USB drive the size of our thumb nail to save and carry information from computer to computer. It is amazing how much technology has changed and how fast it can change. I think the classrooms' and schools' use of technology will continue to develop at an exponential rate over the next few years. Thank you for pointing this point out about "Mr. Winkle Wakes" video.

  2. Lindsey, haha I remember the floppy disks too! I saw some in a store the other day and thought it was very strange. My little cousin didn't even know what they were or understood when I tried to explain it. It made me feel so old!

    Thank you, Dr. Strange. :)