In the first portion of this assignment, I read Assignment #12 by former EDM310 student Paige Ellis. In her post, she expresses concern about grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors on her classmates' blogs. She discusses the issue with Dr. Strange in email and they rightly agree that such errors should be pointed out to the writer. There is some discussion of whether to make these corrections in a comment to the writer or by email. I prefer to make corrections by email because that's the way I would like to receive them in case I make a mistake that embarrasses me. I emailed Isaac Evans some minor corrections I found in his Blog Post #2 after watching the Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial.
Second, we read Kelly Hines' article It's Not About the Technology. Here she makes four great points concerning technology in the classroom. First, she says, "Teachers must be learners" and stay current on the latest research and tools. I agree that it is important to stay as up-to-date as possible with technology. There are always new ways to teach, which is necessary as every child learns in a different way. That brings me to her next point.
She states that "Learning and teaching are not the same thing." If the way you are teaching is not working for the child, then you must change your method for that child until they "get it" or you are actually not teaching him or her. Third, she says, "Technology is useless without good teaching." This is a great point! In the comment I left for Ms. Hines, I equated this to having a ship without a captain. What good is having computers in every classroom if teachers cannot operate them and teach students with them? In her last section, she drives home her view that it is not about the technology. She says to "Be a 21st century teacher without the technology." You cannot give a child a computer and believe he will then excel on his own. You must teach them how to search, how to problem solve and how to think for themselves and use the tools given to them. It is our job to teach students how to learn.
The third item to review was Karl Fisch's, Is it Okay to be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher. Here Mr. Fisch delivers what I believe to be an extreme view on technologically illiterate education professionals. He says, "If a teacher today is not technologically literate - and is unwilling to make the effort to learn more - it's equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago who didn't know how to read and write." I'm not sure if I agree with his comparison but I do agree that everyone from school inspectors to principals to teachers to paraprofessionals should all understand the technology being used in classrooms today. After all, how can a principal evaluate his teachers if he doesn't understand what is going on in the classrooms?
Mr. Fisch does not define what technological literacy is, however. I thought I was technologically literate until my first night in EDM310. I think there are different levels of literacy and there should be a standard for entering the profession and for teachers continuing their technological education, as well as for principals, school board members and every other professional involved with the educating of children.
For part four of this assignment, we are directed to Gary Hayes Social Media page by Gary Hayes. I was astounded and overwhelmed by the statistical information provided. Watching the numbers fly before my eyes on the counter reminded me how quickly technology is growing.
While I cannot comment on as many stats as I would like to in this blog post, I have to make mention of one major subject that drew my attention. It said $805 million was made from physical books in the U.S. in January 2011, a 30 percent drop from last year, but $69.9 million was made from eBooks in January 2011 in the U.S., a resounding 115 percent increase from last year! I have taken many online classes but have only had access to a few eBooks, and the classes always required books in hard copy to read from. More than one professor has mentioned that paper books will soon be a thing of the past. With iPads, book readers and portable computers, and I believe this is a step in the right direction for students and I believe I will see them replace paper books in my career as a teacher.
The fifth and last review is A Vision of Students Today by Michael Wesch. A survey of 267 students shows some startling statistics. One student holds up a sign that reads "I will read 8 books this year," and "2300 web pages..." This demonstrates that students today spend way more time on the computer than learning the "old school" way, another reason I believe eBooks are the way to go for students.
The last couple of signs students hold up show that they use their computers more for Facebook and other internet browsing rather than for doing classwork in class. This is very discouraging to a teacher. While I find this a misuse of technology in the classroom, I still think the majority of students would benefit from having an interactive technological approach to learning inside the classroom, no matter the grade level. It ends with a teacher writing on a chalkboard the question, "What is missing" when using the chalkboard. He writes "videos, photos, animations, network." There are so many more resources and tools at hand inside a computer. We just have to learn how to use these tools and teach them to our students.