Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog Post #2

Did You Know?
For Blog Post #2, the class was to watch Did You Know? 3.0- A John Strange 2012 Version by Dr. Strange. The video is an up-to-date version of Did You Know? 3.0 by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. In Dr. Strange's video, he begins by stating that "...25% of the population of India with the highest IQs outnumbers the entire population of the United States" and concludes this thought by telling viewers that India has more "honor students" than America has kids! These statements are followed by thought provoking facts about today's modern technology and the changes that have developed in the past and what is predicted to develop in the future. He says that, "2 years ago 93% of all 8-18 year old in the United States had computers in their homes," that, "89% of blacks and 92% of Hispanics had computers in their homes," and that, "85% of high school students...had cellphones." These were the statistics from 2 years ago. Dr. Strange also said that "the top jobs 10 years from now do not exist yet," and that in these jobs, workers will be using technologies that are completely foreign to us today. He concluded by asking students if we were prepared to be the educators of the future.

As I watched this video I could not help but think of the challenges that I will face when teaching students 10 and 20 years from now. There will be technology that my students will, most likely, know how to work better than I will. They will be applying for jobs that I, today, have never heard of and they will be interested in things that do not exist presently. While this worried me, I could not help but think back to when I was in elementary school myself. I'm sure that my Kindergarten teacher in 1997 would have never expected some of her students to be taking a class on modern technology and learning to blog in 2012! At the end of Dr. Strange's video, he asked, "Are you ready to be an educator?" and my answer was yes! I may not be completely prepared, by I am willing and excited. The only way to be up-to-date and relevant in today's technologically advanced society is to keep yourself informed. The world is ever-changing and we must put ourselves out there to be educated and knowledgable of what is going on around us. It is important for teachers to not only be educators, but to also be learners. I think technology is an important thing to learn as times change, and this video could not be more relevant.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mr. Winkle Wakes, a video by Matthew Needleman, is about a man who wakes up from a 100 year nap to find out that the world has dramatically changed. He walks outside and sees many tall buildings and decides to walk into one. He sees all types of machines, printers, and busy people at work. Mr. Winkle says that people could even see each other and talk to one another from across the world. Mr. Winkle also explored a hospital. He saw machines keeping people alive and lasers and x-rays and decided that this hospital surely wouldn't make anyone feel better. Mr. Winkle goes outside and walks and walks disturbed by what he sees until he finally finds a school. He walks into the school, a familiar sight, and sees students seated in rows taking notes while a teacher stands at the head of the class and lectures. He sees a "strange machine" like he had seen in one of the "tall buildings" before, but it is dusty and unused. Mr. Winkle decides that he is comfortable in the school because it is a familiar place and it is not taken over by technology that he does not understand.

I can clearly see why Mr. Winkle was troubled by the technology that he was unfamiliar with and why he found so much comfort in the classroom setting. I could not imagine waking up 100 years from now; what a change there would be! I agree with Mr. Winkle that there is a certain comfort in a classroom. Some things cannot be replaced by technology. But if we do not move along with technology we will for sure be left behind. If Mr. Winkle were to walk into a classroom today, I don't think that there would be a dusty computer in the back of the room. I'm sure one of the first things that he would see would be a teacher, standing at the front of the class like he likes, instructing the class from a smartboard. He'd also find a huge computer lab down the hallway and children eager to play interactive games and take tests on the computer. I don't know where Mr. Winkle was, but I believe he did not get a good look at a 21st century classroom.

Sir Ken Robinson
Can I start by saying that I was so not excited to watch a 20 minute video of a man complaining about how schools "kill" creativity?! However, to my surprise, I was laughing the entire time that I was watching The Importance of Creativity. Sir Ken Robinson is one hilarious man and it is evident that he is passionate about creative expression. Robinson thinks that humanity and education squash a child's creativity from early on; I completely agree. Mr. Robinson makes note of the "educational hierarchy" that schools world-wide have. It is so true that schools focus more on math and language as the more important subjects and fine arts as the bottom of the list. To me, this places limits on children's intelligence and ultimately on their self-esteem.

I love the quote by Robinson, "we are educating people out of their creative capacity," and I love that he defines creativity as "the process of having original ideas that have value." That's just it! Every idea that comes from the precious mind of a child has value. Wether that value meets state guidelines or not is not what is important. Of course, we cannot disregard our guidelines, I am not saying that at all, but a child's intelligence should not be dependent on what they cannot do, but what they can do! When teaching, we should encourage children to be themselves and to be creative. As cliche as it may sound, every child is intelligent in their own way and we have to be aware of that. I would hate to be the teacher that kills a child's self-esteem because they were not meeting up to what I consider to be "smart".

A Day Made of Glass
While I watched the video A Day Made of Glass, I sat with my jaw dropped in amazement! I want to teach at that school! Even though I'm young, and consider myself to be up-to-date with the latest technology I had no idea that anything like that would ever be created. Although it was extremely cool, it was almost frightening to think about the hospital scene. I know that technology is ever-changing but I think I'd like to know what was going on if I were in that hospital.

As a future educator, and in light of Mr. Winkle Wakes, I cannot help but think of what our schools will be like in the future. In the school that Mr. Winkle walked in to, the teacher was at the head of the class and students were seated facing the front and listening. In this "future school" the teacher also stands in front of the class, instructing and guiding, but there is a more hands-on approach. I think, and also hope, that this is the way of the future. Hands-on learning provides a wide variety of creative processes to flourish. Who would have ever thought that a piece of glass would be able to project a dinosaur into the Redwood Forrest or perform an MRI. I'm sure Mr. Winkle didn't!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blog Post #1

About Me
Hello! My name is Taylor Davis, I am 20 years old, and I am from the little town of Grand Bay, Al. I still live with my parents and I am very thankful for them. I graduated from Alma Bryant High School in 2010 and immediately began school at USA the following fall. I am currently a junior majoring in Elementary/Special Education. As of now the majority of my time is taken up with school but when I'm not in class or studying I enjoy spending time with my family. I have the greatest parents on earth, an adorable niece and nephew, one crazy brother, and a hilarious and supportive boyfriend. We all love to spend time together and always have a blast. My mom is my best friend and we love to shop together and to crafts that we find on Pinterest. (Yes, I am a junkie!) I also love music and love to sing. One of my passions is helping others and I strive to make a difference in my little world. That's one of the reasons why I want to teach.

I have never imagined myself in any other profession. When I was little I would round up all of the neighborhood girls to play school. Of course I had to be the teacher! Recently, I became a substitute teacher with the Mobile County Public School System and that definitely confirmed my calling. I love being in the school and interacting with students. I fully believe that I belong in the classroom! I am so excited for EDM 310, even though it sounds like a lot of hard work. I think the tools and techniques that we learn in the class will be very beneficial to our future as teachers.

Randy Pausch Video
While watching Dr. Pausch's video on Time Management I couldn't help but wonder what his life was all about. After watching the video, I continued to watch other videos about Dr. Pausch and the speeches that he made. Randy Pausch was a professor, suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer, who decided to make the most out of life. He was a family man, someone who was very devoted to his job, and he seemed like someone you would want to be around.

In Dr. Pausch's video on time management he discussed some simple, yet important tips to managing time wisely. He continued to tell students and listeners that it was mandatory to set goals and to avoid wasting time. He said that time and money go hand in hand, as do time and experience. When you invest your time wisely into something you will always end up with a better outcome. Dr. Pausch said to ask yourself questions such as, "Why am I doing this?", "What is the goal?", and "What happens if I choose not to do it?". He stressed the importance of planning ahead and said, "failing to plan is planning to fail." Your plans can always be changed but it is better to plan in advance so you will have a better idea of what is to come. He said, in essence, to take baby steps and get one thing done at a time. Do not overload yourself but instead take your time.

I found Dr. Pausch's video to be very informative and relevant. Just since starting college I have found out that my time management skills were not the best and that I had to figure out a way to be responsible and manage my time wisely. In high school, the work always came very easy to me. I always made straight A's and did not find the work to be very challenging. When I started college I realized that the material wasn't necessarily harder, but that the work load was. I had to learn to prioritize and get work finished at a more efficient rate. I find Dr. Pausch's idea of breaking things down into small steps and getting finished with the hardest thing first very relevant to my own time management ideas. I've discovered that if you do a larger or more difficult challenge first then the other, more simple things will not seem as strenuous. I greatly appreciated Dr. Pausch's video on time management and his overall outlook on life.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Test Post Title

This is my first post. I clicked the HTML button as I should always do in EDM 310. I am now a blogger!