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I'm a student at University of South Alabama Majoring in Health Education.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blog #1 EDM 310

Mr. Winkle Wakes

After viewing "Mr. Winkle Wakes" by Mathew Needlemen I was impressed with his creativity and alarmed at the issue he portrays in his film. Needlemen took the the classic tale we know as Rip Van Winkle and used it to show how schools today are lacking in the area of technology. In Neeldmen's movie, Mr. Winkle wakes from his slumber to find a world that is fast paced and full of new technology; these dramatic changes leave him both scared and confused. He then proceeds to seek solace in a local school where things are still the same as they were 100 years ago before he went to sleep. The students were sitting in rows being preached to upon the "three r's" and there was only one computer at the back of the room that collected dust. Furthermore, the students were cut off from the outside world thus making the atmosphere even more inviting for Mr. Winkle.

I enjoyed how Needlemen showed the strong contrast between what is going on in today's workplace versus the type education that students are receiving in today's classroom. This fact alone sends a powerful message to both future and present educators. If we are to make our students successful we must make it a priority to implement technology in the classroom in a world that is growing smaller by the second. In the film, seeing the one computer in the classroom made me think of the classrooms in disadvantaged communities that have very little or no access to technology. This fact alone forced me think of ways I could possibly stretch limited means and resources in order to make my future students successful in our fast paced society. I wonder if it is possible to accomplish this goal with limited resources and what schools in disadvantaged areas do to make this possible?

Did You Know? 3.0

I enjoyed watching "Do You Know"(DKY) and like "Mr. Winkle Wakes" it shows you how our society revolves around technology and will continue to do so. Through the use of statistics DYK shows how fast everything is changing in today's society due to advances in technology and increased communication. DYK not only shows the changes in technology but it does a great job at showing the alarmingly fast pace at which these changes occur. DYK also shows how we as Americans are potentially falling behind and need to step our game if we are going to continue to be competitive on a global level.

Did You Know was both enlightening and disturbing. I found it enlightening because I had no idea that there were 200 million people on myspace thus being enough to populate a country the size of Brazil! Also, 31 billion searches on Google in a month? DYK made me think about how it is important to incorporate technology in the classroom because our students will be needing these skills to be successful. It is evident that technology is making the world smaller and bringing different cultures closer together. The statistic above in regards to myspace, shows that it is evident that the internet can be a powerful tool in the realm of social networking thus promoting a global society. However, on the downside, it made me think about how the internet and technology can be used in ways that are not ethical. How are we as educators going to create a student community of internet users that will use computers in an ethical manner? Also, in this fast paced age of information that was demonstrated in DYK, how am I as an educator supposed to teach my students to look critically at and cope with the information that they are bombarded with on a daily basis?

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson's lecture was amazing. The idea that creativity is being hampered by the school system is completely true. From the first day of kindergarden we are taught to color within the lines and to conform perfectly into the mold that the system sets fourth. Creativity isn't celebrated, it's looked down upon or even laughed at. It's not valued as much as it should be and it leaves students feeling inadequete becuase they don't have the ideal skills to fit the mold that was created by the educational system that Robinson refers to in his lecture. Our Socieity is ever changing. Robinson brings up the point that we can't predict what is going to happen five years from now but we are expected to equip our students with the skills that they will need. In my opinion if the world is ever changing and we need to learn to adapt to constant change, wouldn't a creative mind prove to be beneficial? Shouldn't creativity be celebrated instead of shunned when this is the case?

This lecture was extremely interesting. The fact that Robinson stated that most education systems were invented to feed industrialization shed light upon why creativity is hampered in today's education system. It is evident that math, science, and English are closer to the top of the academic hierarchy and are viewed as being more important than music or art. This is obviously bad and I don't agree with this in the least. However, when it comes to fostering creativity in the classroom under the harsh standards that are set fourth by today's education system it will prove to be a challenge for many teachers. The creativity dance will be a difficult dance to dance when we have academic standards to meet and will suffer the consequences by not doing so. Today, we have to teach kids how to take standardized tests and to stay in the lines when they fill in the bubbles with their perfectly sharpened #2 pencils. Where does this leave room for creativity? This makes me wonder what I will do in my classroom to create a safe environment where kids are willing to take chances, be able to express themselves freely, and as Robinson states, "won't be prepared to be wrong thus being able to come up with something original". It also makes me wonder how I'm supposed to do this while teaching my students to take a standardized test where so much depends on having the correct answers.

Vikki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

This video really made me excited to get out into the classroom and start shaking things up! I loved how Davis' main idea was to turn the classroom upside down and really work on creative levels that are customized to each group of students she teaches. I strongly agree with the fact that she emphasized that only certain students will succeed with pencils and paper. This statement alone proves that it is crucial for teachers to implement technology into their classrooms in order to reach all of their students effectively. Also, she connected a group of students in rural Georgia with different students around the world, this is amazing. I am in complete awe of the fact that she connected a group of students in a rural community to students of different cultures from around world. The exposure to different cultures in combination with the forms of technology that Davis' students are receiving will have a profound impact on their future.

In this video it was evident that Davis made learning fun for her students and that they wanted to be in her classroom. More importantly, one can tell that she is really passionate about what she does. The video on a whole made me excited to get into the classroom and start to shake things up. I loved the way she had the students learn a new skill and present it to the class, this makes perfect sense thus giving the students more confidence in themselves and their abilities. Through watching this video it made me wonder how long she has been a teacher and how long it took her to get such a dynamic program in place. I aspire to do great things in the classroom someday, hopefully I can hone in on my technological skills to serve my students as well as Vikki Davis serves hers.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great. You have started thinking about what you must do. But I am not sure how powerful Mr. Needleman's message is for current teachers. They haven't watched the video yet! We need to take the message to them.

    If you were surprised by the MySpace statistics, just think about Facebook. Facebook on their website says they have over 350 million active users. 25,000 new members are added to Facebook every hour.
    I don't know the date of the 350 million. In any event Facebook membership now exceeds the population of all countries except 2. And they are China and India! (7/1/09 country populations)

    You write "Today, we have to teach kids how to take standardized tests and to stay in the lines when they fill in the bubbles with their perfectly sharpened #2 pencils. Where does this leave room for creativity?" An excellent question! You are free to take chances in this course. Go for it!

    "...and start shaking things up!" I love it!

  3. "Also, in this fast paced age of information that was demonstrated in DYK, how am I as an educator supposed to teach my students to look critically at and cope with the information that they are bombarded with on a daily basis?" Wow, you boiled down the education conundrum down to one question! I suppose you (to quote Dori)"keep swimming!"