Thursday, September 17, 2009

Technology can save us--> Technology alone can save us...

The main point of A Vision of Students Today is clear: teachers must adopt new teaching techniques that include innovative technologies in order to keep their tech-savvy students engaged. While I find the purpose agreeable, my mind became wrapped up in unnecessary conflict as a result of the videography.
The movie begins by illuminating problems in our current education system at the university level, such as: scan-tron tests, large class sizes, distant teachers as well as uninviting, big, and expensive books. It also brings attention to the fact that we are expected to cram 26.5 hours worth of activities in 24 hours, illustrating that society demands us to become multitaskers. The following clips are the cause of my blurred anguish. One student holds up a piece of paper that says schools are not preparing us for all of these problems... the surrounding students simultaneously raise their paper with problems, but all of the papers are too out of focus to identify the problems that are written. The next student's note reads, "I did not create these problems, but they are my problems." Finally, here's the rub. The student messages that directly follow the girl's "my problems" statement describes how students Facebook through class and abuse laptop privileges.
My reaction is this; students must take responsibility for our own learning and teachers must provide up-to-date means of accessing information. This means that teachers must move beyond the mindset that teachers are the all knowing, all powerful source of information that can only be attained through dictation. Teachers must recognize the reality of today. Information is everywhere and technology is where it is stored and retrieved. Instead of teaching students the facts of the world, teachers should teach their students how and where find any abundance of information.
Furthermore, students should hold fast to their curiosity. They should use the information that they discover to create a new way of presenting it. This ideology serves two purposes, which are: students will retain the information longer and simultaneously create a new, fun and original pathway for other students to learn. According to Sir Ken Robinson, kids are the source of creativity. The younger they are, the more potent the originality of their ideas remain.

***Notes and quotes
1.) Personal favorite quote, "If students learn what they do, what are they learning sitting here?"
2.) Check out this youtube video of Marshall McLuhan on societal transformation via technology.
3.) From chalkboards to smartboards, Josiah F Bumstead would be proud. Watch the video below to learn why I think so!