Monday, February 14, 2011

Blog Post #4

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff. Please?

I was scared at first that Dr. McLeod was being completely serious when posting such things as "since when do kids need an audience" and "don't you know collaboration is just another word for cheating?" Reading the post, I would assume that Dr. McLeod has heard these comments before and that might be where the basis for some of the sentences comes from. I think that Dr. McLeod does believe in the power of technology for students.

Dr. Scott McLeod is an Associate Professor at Iowa State University and is also the director of a program called the Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE). In addition to CASTLE, he was the co-creator of the "Did You Know? (Shift Happens)" video.

Travis Allen, a 17 year old high school student, has proposed the iSchool Initiative. This initiative would have all students in a school using an iTouch instead of the traditional books, paper and other school supplies. It would allow students to access syllabi, grades, lunch menus and textbooks through the use of their iTouch.

I think that it is a very interesting concept, but I am not sure that it would work that well. Students are smart these days, sometimes smarter than the teachers that are teaching them! Travis claims that schools will block websites, but I know form experience that there is always a way around blocked websites! Only a few clicks and then a student will be surfing facebook instead of learning about chemistry. And imagine if just one student learns how to do it and then decides to sell the information to other students?!? Teachers won't have to worry about drug deals, they will have to be trying to stop iSchool deals!

It is a great idea, but in my mind, I'm not convinced that it would work in a high school! I think it would work amazingly in a college setting. We are mostly all here because we want to learn. If a college were to try the program, I think the results would be greater and it would give The iSchool Initiative a chance to get setup before potentially hurting the education of a high school student.

This presentation seems to use a form of reverse psychology and a play on words. Reading it and listening to it the way it was written made it sound the same exact way that our generation is being told we are going to be. We are constantly told that we are going to create nothing of substance for the world and that we are the end of the Earth as we know it.

But reverse the video and look at it from a different perspective and we realize that not everything can be taken for face value. It is completely up to us to decide what will happen with the Earth and our world. It is our decisions that will change life as we know it. No longer can we listen to the negativity that is shoved down our throats and just stand there and take it. It is up to each and every one of us to show society that we can change the world for the better!

Being a Music Education major with an emphasis in Choral Conducting, this video really hits home with me for two reasons: one because Eric Whitacre happens to be my favorite composer of all time and two because I've actually sung this piece and I know just how hard it is to perform this piece correctly!

Eric Whitacre was the composer who helped me make it through some hard times. There are nights that I couldn't fall asleep unless I had Whitacre playing. Everything that he writes for choirs is stunning.

I love the idea of virtual choirs! It brings together students that might have never had a chance to sing with other students and creates something that might have never been created! The idea is just genius to me! I'd love to see what type of talent we have in EDM310 and create something like this for us!

The first thing I found that caught my attention in this video was the statement of "Teachers are no longer the source of information, we are the filter." This is extremely true! No longer are we the only source of information that children learn from. If they have questions once they leave a classroom, all they need to do is sit down a their computer and "google" the answer! Then they have to make up their mind as to which answer provided to them is correct!

To teach, to me, is not just to provide information, but to also provide how to use such information in day to day life! We need to be teaching our students information, but also how to use it based on the current circumstances. A student should be able to leave our classroom and take something with them that can be applied to any given moment and situation and feel comfortable with the decisions they are making. I believe that learning about the past is a great start, but students now need to learn about their future and how to make sure to be ahead of the game once they hit "the real world" and start their adult lives. There will always be someone who is one step ahead of them, and we do not prepare students to take the two steps necessary to jump ahead of the competition, they are surely going to fall behind!


  1. Very, very good post! It is so good that you are doing as much as possible in this class. And you are using your blog to post other things too!

  2. Thank you Amberly! I told you today in the lab that I was pretty far ahead! It's not because I am ready to be done with the class, but because this all interests me so much! I know I am going to miss EDM310 when I finish and will be wanting more and more to post to my blog!