Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blog Post #8

Technology Changes Everything

Technology: even without it, we have to change the way we teach

When watching This Is How We Dream Part 1 and 2, I felt like a lot of what he was saying was old news. Then I realized, it’s not. This dramatic change from pencil and paper to computer generated EVERYTHING has only happened very recently. In fact, it still is going on. Dr. Miller begins by saying this is greatest change in human communication in history. With everything from brilliant ideas to people’s food choices being published online, everything lives on. It used to be that only those who you ate with or talked to daily knew what you ate, and only the most brilliant ideas MIGHT be read in a couple of years when it may or may not get published. Now, anyone can know instantly almost anything. Growing up without an abundance of technology or without Google, we only knew what our friends and family knew or what we were willing and dedicated enough to find for ourselves. Finding things on your own meant cracking a book, many trips to the library and asking many people many questions; nowadays, it is as easy as typing one word into Google. Information also can be changed or updated instantly, before, making one change to a published book or paper cost a lot of money, paper, ink and time.

Knowledge isn’t the only thing being affected, what we find can be so much more. Virtually everything online isn’t only text. Information includes pictures, sound, and video. With this, everything must be beautiful, compelling, or contain auditory details to capture audiences. The limits are only those which we place on ourselves. Almost anything is possible.

Dr. Miller also points directly at teachers. “Ideas don’t belong to us individually; they belong to us as a culture. We as educators must be in the business of sharing ideas freely.” Especially with this much technology at our fingertips, being able to share anything instantly, we need to share our ideas. We shouldn’t keep secrets; instead we should share our knowledge and finds with the world. With this we can push ideas into the culture and affect it greatly.

With technology, collaboration is also possible. Meeting in person isn’t always possible, and phone conversations aren’t always easy. Now there is Skype, Google Docs, Facebook, instant messaging, all sorts of devices at our disposal with which we can work together as teams to accomplish great things. Whether it be group projects for class, sharing ideas with coworkers, working with someone to publish an article, even catching up with friends, it has been made easier through the magic of technology.

Towards the end of the talk, before discussing the dream for his college, Dr. Miller talks about the work of Jonathan Harris. One that he mentions searches the web for blogs constantly and finds feelings posted by people around the world. This really caught my attention, mainly because it looked so cool on the video. After searching for maybe ten seconds, I found it. We Feel Fine is really cool. You can really find out what feelings people have posted. You can search by feeling, gender, age, weather, location and date. I had a lot of fun playing around with it. Fun fact: “No feelings found from people on March 6, 2013 from Mobile, Alabama, United States.” This site is so much fun and truly amazing!

YouTube Playlist

After reading Carly's post I was intrigued and inspired. I love this idea. I’ve watched a lot of videos throughout this class so far that I think “I want to remember that!” So why I haven’t made my own playlist beforehand, I have no idea! Then I watched the video she posted at the bottom, which is also the first video in her playlist. At first I was thinking, “YES! I am 100% in the moment and totally committed to all I do…. Okay, most of what I do. YES! I am naturally enthusiastic and excited about life! Do I approach life with the magic, vulnerability, and curiosity of a child? Yes… at least I try to.” Then came the tough questions. When I watched this video, I had been having a terrible day, full of a lot of stress, a lot of annoying friends and a lot of personal issues I won’t even go into (this is why I need a personal blog). Then the video asked, “Are you as honest as a child? Do you love unconditionally? If you fall down, do you get right back up?” The next thing I know, I’m crying! Aside from the assignment part of this, I looked at myself and the tough situation I was in, and honestly, I couldn’t answer those questions like I wish I could have.

So anyway, back to the assignment. When I first looked at the playlist… 57 VIDEOS!?! Are you kidding me??? But her blog post was so interesting I wanted to watch them all! Honestly, I didn’t watch all (several had been removed from YouTube or were private, and I skipped a few that didn’t interest me) but I did watch almost all. I don’t think there is enough room/time to write all my thoughts about each of these videos, but they all inspired me. Here are a few that really stood out for one reason or another. When I Grow Up was extremely thought provoking. No child says they want to grow up and “marry the wrong person” or “commit a crime.” However, many children turn out doing just that. We as teachers have a power to guide these children and can affect the way they turn out. Don't Laugh At Me made me cry again. It’s such a powerful song. Creativity to the Rescue was just so cute. You Can't Be My Teacher basically is what all of EDM310 is about. Sometimes these things don’t seem very important coming from Dr. Strange. It is easy to blow this class off as “busy work” but it is extremely important! In case anyone thinks it isn’t, try hearing it from a child; everything is more powerful when coming from a child!

Thank a Teacher made me not only think about my future as a teacher, it also made me think about my past teachers. I have already sent a few of my past teachers a lovely thank you via Facebook because of this video. Never Stop Learning is just purely inspirational. Goofy - Teachers Are People was an obvious favorite because of Disney! And finally, Leave Your Mark which is slightly morbid and dark, but it is inspiring to want to be more than just a grease spot on the chair.

It was interesting after writing this to go back and see which ones Carly highlighted in her blog post compared to which one I highlighted. It’s amazing how the same set of videos can speak different things to each viewer. Her assignment was completely brilliant! As Dr. Strange said in his comment, she definitely set the bar high. Now, I feel kind of intimidated for Blog Post #12. I think she completely embodied the hopes Dr. Miller talks about in his video. She is using technology to learn and bring together all sorts of ideas in an organized fashion! Not only is she learning and inspiring herself, she is also teaching and inspiring others, all through the power of technology. Many of these videos I never would have known about nor seen if she hadn’t posted about them. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the assignment for sure. I even passed a few of the videos onto my best friend to watch because they were that awesome!

EDM310 Help!

I think a lot of the trouble that my classmates and previous students have had with EDM310 isn’t necessarily the work (at least from what I have heard). A lot of the problems are with time management. Procrastination is a terrible “disease” sweeping over our nation. I think that a helpful video that should be made is about how to manage your time. Many procrastination and poor time management skills occur because they don’t know how to do it. There are also many cases where the person simply isn’t willing to give the time necessary to devote to class, and that is something that just can’t be helped. However, the ones who just don’t know how can be rescued. I think a fun video would be superhero themed “rescuing students from the pressures of time” by teaching them how to manage and organize themselves for EDM310.

School As We Know It

a cartoon of a child playing on his laptop on the front porch because his mother told him to play outside.
In Learn to Change, Change to Learn a fascinating statement was made. Schools must change. Technology is taking over the world. It can’t be ignored. One of the men said that by turning off these devices, we are turning off the children. It’s almost like these machines: computers, phones, iPads, iPods, etc, are extensions of the person. These kids can’t seem to function without these things. Students aren’t learning skills they need for life through “right answer vending machine approaches.” The jobs they are going to have will call on their artistic abilities, their ability to work in teams, understand context, and they will be expected to be multi-cultural, multi-lingual, etc. What better place to achieve these skills than on the internet? School isn’t the only place kids learn, they learn at home, in the community and yes, online. Instead of teaching facts, students need to be taught how to find information, validate it, communicate it, etc. This video is extremely powerful and in my opinion, it is very true. The world is changing, kids are changing, school systems must change to. This was the first time that it fully hit me that I will be working in the first complete educational change in history. This is the first time that “education” won’t be chalkboard, pencil and paper. And after this FULLY hit me, I had to take a step back and just take a breath, because that is the most amazing feeling, knowing you are going to be part of something so extreme and so astounding.

Scavenger Hunt

Wow! A scavenger hunt sounds like tons of fun! And it was actually! I found some great tools to use one day in my future classroom! First I read through what I was to find. I got extremely excited about making my own comic strip so I started there. I found Make Beliefs Comix! When I first started, I was going to make a comic for kids. 15 minutes in with hardly any comic and nothing that I liked, I started over. Then I looked at my clock. It was 11:56… I started working on this ridiculously long blog post at 6:00! How had it been 6 hours! I was barely tired (yawn….). So from that thought process, I created…
comic about working for 6 hours on this blog post
I had planned on doing my online midterm today… but I guess that will wait until tomorrow. Good thing it isn’t due for a couple of days. I just really got into this blog post and couldn’t stop! On to item number two. Since I’m all about creating things, I decided to find the tool to create a poll. I found Poll Everywhere. So, here is my poll… Feel free to text in your answer! Don’t ask where the last response came from… It’s past midnight and weird things happen in my brain, especially late at night.
text in poll I created asking how great my blog post is on a scale of pretty awesome to as a awesome as a possum holding a baby blossum
Now, for the final item on my scavenger hunt. I decided to find a social platform. I created an account with Edmodo. I feel like a social platform is a great tool to use in the classroom. Not only can the students connect with you and information be shared with the students, this is something the parents also get involved in. Parents can connect with the teacher and keep up to date on what is going on in the classroom.

And so ends a very long blog post. It was very enjoyable and I feel like I learned a lot!


  1. Thorough. Thoughtful. Interesting. Well written!

  2. This is a great post! It is evident that you read and summarized thoroughly all of the material! My only slightly negative comment is about the font. While it is cute, it is distracting, and made it difficult to read your wonderful post. But that is just my opinion.

    Awesome Job!
    Heather P.

    1. Thank you, Heather. And thank you for letting me know about the font. I really like it and think it is cute, but if it's hard to read, I don't want to use it. I will fix this very soon! :)