Saturday, January 23, 2010

Social Media Count

Gary Hayes' Social Media Count is unbelievable. I could not fathom how quickly the numbers were changing. It is insane how many people are doing things on the web throughout the world. The internet absolutely amazes me. I love that I can Google anything and get an accurate answer, and that I can instantly communicate with so many different people. The internet truly makes life so much better and convenient. I honestly cannot imagine living without instant access to everything. A part of me does wish my life was not as consumed with the internet and keeping up to date with the world. While I thoroughly enjoy the entertainment it brings, I feel I have become obsessed with sending emails and checking my Facebook. By seeing this data, I question what my priorities are in life, and am I okay with this life style.

As an education major, I know the internet will definitely help my future students and what can be done in the classroom. It would be quite difficult to do research, inform the class about current events, and provide additional information concerning the curriculum. I have always used the internet to contact my professors, research topics, and use helpful websites to better understand the texts I am reading. After only being in EDM for two weeks, I can already see the benefits of this class. I am connecting with so many people world wide, using the internet to create documents to share, and using the computer to make videos and pod casts that can be used as teaching material. It amazes me how I can sit at home and be connected with the class and watch Dr. Strange as he teaches us new techniques on the computer. Although there are some disadvantages in using the internet, the endless possibilities that enhance learning far outweigh the few negative aspects.

A Vision of Students Today

While I do agree with many of the comments in this video, I must admit my college experience is not quite like the one displayed. I do spend a lot of time doing homework; however, I believe it is important and necessarily for the class. I also pay attention in class, and I do not play on the internet or my phone during a lecture. Although I did attend a small community college and now South, I always get to know my professor. I do not want to be just a face in a huge crowd of students. I want the professor to know who I am. I get involved and become a part of something at the school. I enjoy college, and now that I am out of basic courses, I extremely enjoy class and learning new things concerning English and Education.

One thing I do agree with is that most of the information we are taught we do not need in life. While the classes are teaching us new things, I honestly remember it for the test and then forget it. I am majoring in English Education, and I do not think I need Math and Science to make me a better English teacher. Yes, I am a well-rounded student, but the majority of the things I have been taught I do not remember. It would seem more beneficial to only take classes that concern the individual course of study. I think to make this video represent my experience more, I would add images portraying classes in which the instructor does not simply stand at the front lecturing, but instead, engaging the students in class discussions. I also played soccer and attended the Baptist Student Union. I am not a student that just goes to class and then disappears. My college experience has taught me better social skills, has forced me to grow as a person, and has introduced me to different ways of thinking and viewing the world. I enjoy class and learning new knowledge. I like being a diverse person.

It's Not About The Technology

The comment I mostly agree with made by Kelly Hines is that while technology is quite important, it is not the first thing we should change in the classroom. Yes, technology can greatly influence the way students learn, but basically, it is up to the teacher accommodating the students, and the students' desire to actually learn. I also strongly agree that teachers must also be learners. If we, the teachers, believe we are so much higher and above our students, how can we reach our class? I, personally, do not want to sit in a class listening to a teacher who will not give me an opportunity to speak my thoughts. We must be willing to learn from our students and teach ourselves how to use new technology. It is merely up to the teacher to learn how to work technology to improve learning. We have to learn how to teach each individual student based on their learning styles, otherwise, we have failed as teachers. We have done no good drilling information into them when they do not get it. If the teacher does not have the desire to use technology in the classroom, there is no need for the school to spend thousands of dollars. Teachers must want this improvement and be willing to learn to use the innovative tools.

Although I personally enjoy using technology, I do think it is important for instructors to be able to teach without it. I hope that when I become a teacher, I can use technology to enhance my curriculum. I do not want to rely on the technology to teach my students. I think technology can improve the classroom, but at the same time, students may not always have access. Therefore, the students will still be able to do the required work without the use of technology. I hope that as a teacher I will remain a learner, teach while keeping learning at the core, keep my students focused on learning, and incorporate technology within my classroom to improve my students' learning abilities. I want to be a 21st Century teacher without the technology.

Technologically Illiterate Teachers

"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." - Karl Fisch

This comment really made me think about technologically illiterate teachers, and made me question if it was okay or not. I must agree with Mr. Fisch that it is extremely important for teachers to be able to use technology in the classroom. Technology consumes our world, and it is impossible to live without knowing how to use the technology that is being created at an expeditious rate. Technology has greatly improved the way teachers bring forth new information, and it also gives the students endless opportunities to research and create. No longer do we have to hand-write and print out papers. Everything can be on a computer and shared across the world instantly. Students with hearing and seeing disabilities greatly benefit from technology. There are so many new devices that assist them in new learning styles. It amazes me how technology has made our world better, yet we still have people who are apprehensive when using it.

I must admit that I was not excited about taking the EDM 310 class because I did not think it was relevant for an education major. I was quite naive in having this perspective, and I never really thought about how much technology effects our world, especially in the classroom. While I am still wondering the importance for Skype and Twitter, I can see how Google Docs, pod casts, and videos will improve the classroom. My attitude towards the class has changed, and I am looking forward to becoming a more technologically literate teacher. I want my future students to have numerous possibilities for learning, and I do not want to deprive them of an education that is meaningful and beneficial for life.


Wm Chamberlain said...

Interesting comments on your perceptions of the need for using technology in the classroom. When I was an undergraduate 17 years ago I took a "media" class that include how to use a copier! When I took my masters class 6 years ago I learned how do powerpoint and excel. Now I teach my jr. high students how to create movies, use blogging tools, and edit photos. Imagine what you will be able to use in your classroom in a few years.

Jackie G. said...

I agree with your comments about the Social Count clip. I too was overwhelmed with the number of users for each application. It's a sign of how popular this sort of media is with people in general. That clip combined with the one called "Vision of Students Today" caused me to recognize how much the technology and connectivity of people is just part of the culture of college students. I know it will be the case for the middle or high schoolers that I will teach soon.

I have also enjoyed the free software and ideas that I could put in place to help me in my classroom both for the student interaction and the behind the scenes support work.

I found your comment about not needing to know math and science as an English teacher. I have an example that may give you some food for thought on that front. I tutor a middle school student in math who struggles with verbal cues and communication. Many times I refer to math language versus English and how we are just speaiking a different language, it's just math. He can relate to that. The skills you may teach him would translate to his math and science classes. One other thing, which is only my opinion, is that I look forward to relating math to art, science, and even language so as to show the students an analytical approach where they would me least likely to recognize it as such. I guess my intention would be to influence those who don't like math, or see it as a thorn in their side, to view it as harmless and a part of life. Just some thoughts.

I enjoyed reading your post.

Rachael said...

Jamie, I can relate to your feelings about not needing to know advanced math and science to be an English teacher. I used to feel the same way (being a future math teacher) about english and science, but what I've discovered over the past year is that you will eventually need and use all of what you learn. There are no short-cuts in life, and, while I think that the educational system focuses too much on certain areas than others, I find all of the core classes valuable.

I agree with many of your ideas though. Great post!

John Hadley Strange said...

From your trail of comments all over the place it does look like you have taken on blogging and commenting passionately. I guess it is partly because you like having conversations. Several of your comments have been about your classes which encouraged debate, discussion, and sharing opinions. Even changing opinions. That is one of the things I like about blogging too.

As far as Skype and Twitter go, why not see the importance of Skype in person. Ms. Hines will Skype Class E on 2/17 at 4:30. I would be delighted if you would join us. And Twitter. Well, it has changed the way I teach. You will learn more about that in posts you will read. Mr. C started me Tweeting. Now it is my most useful source of information. And it is central to my PLN!

Keep up the good work!