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

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blog #2 EDM 310

Michael Welsh: A Vision of Students Today

The ideas that Michael Wesch depicted in his video, "A vision of Students today" were not too far off from my college experience today in 2009 or unfortunately when I entered college in '97. There were both similarities and differences between my college experiences both past and present that can be compared to what I witnessed in Wesch's video. Like my early college experience, there was no use of technology in the classroom, the presentation tools consisted of an overhead projector if you were lucky or a chalkboard. Similar to my present college experience, students bring computers to lectures but they aren't taking notes, rarely does an instructor know my name and I like the students in the video, spend a lot of time online. One of the differences with my present college experience, is that the majority of my instructors use e-companion which is a technological tool and power point presentations. However, like in the movie, the majority have not used technology as a tool to bring students closer together in order to create a learning community, to make presentations more fascinating, or to enhance class assignments etc.

To be quite honest, I don't know what I would add to this video. The video was well put together and got the point across that it wanted to make. I believe that technology is needed in the classroom to enhance subjects being taught and to better reach students etc. I personally can learn in the boring environment that was depicted in the film because that is what I have been exposed to throughout my past educational experiences. I am accustomed to chalkboards, boring power points, and overhead projectors. However, things are changing and I am adapting to these changes in order to be able to reach my future students in an effective manner. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for other educators to catch on to this trend.

Kelly Hines: It's Not About the Technology

I agree with Hines and think that there need to be changes in the mindsets of teachers throughout the educational system; and that technology in the classroom is only as effective as the teacher whom teaches it. Technology is a powerful and effective tool for teaching students whein it is not being used for, as Hines states, just word processing and video games. I also liked what she had to say about teachers being lifelong learners in order to be teachers that will have impact. With the implications of where technology is heading in the classroom, teachers will not be able to become stagnant in their subject area or technology if they want to be successful.

Being a health education major, I have conflicting ideas on how much technology should be used presented to students. On one hand, I like technology and think it enhances the learning experience for today's student that has been raised around different forms of media and technology since they were infants and toddlers (ie. Baby Einstein videos, Sesame street, and interactive Leap Frog learning toys to name just a few). Today's student has been strongly stimulated by the media from very young ages. Due to this fact we need to accommodate to the growing population and adjust our teaching practices through the use of technology. However on the other hand, when do we as teachers draw the line and expect our students become intellectually stimulated without the use of a glowing rectangle?

Fisch: Is it OK to be a technologically illiterate teacher?

I agree with Fisch and think that it is not OK to be a technologically illiterate teacher. However, he did not define the requirements of what it takes to be technologically literate and by observing how quickly technology is changing I may be technologically illiterate by the end of my EDM 310 class and my skills will be out of date...Let's hope that doesn't happen! Some people consider themselves technologically literate if they can send an email or set up a pay pal account. I'm assuming that Fisch means "literate" in terms of setting up blog spots and social networking etc. I agree with Fisch in regards to the fact that teachers need to become technologically literate. If teachers are technologically literate they can facilitate wider learning opportunities for their students while preparing them for a future that will revolve around technology.

As Fisch states in his post "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." Sorry, this sweeping statement is a little extreme for me to take. If a teacher has been successful, produced test scores, helped children get into great universities with the academic base he or she has built for them without the use of copious amounts of technology then I think they are doing well. This was also a very broad statement that does not take into consideration the workload that teachers already have; especially the teachers that work with at-risk youth and in communities where there are more issues that kids face than an average middle class person will face in his or her lifetime. Change needs to happen, YES it does; and technology needs to be introduced in the classroom more now than it ever has in the past. However, it is not the question of teachers not being willing to change; it is a question of whether or not they have the opportunity, resources and support to do so.

Gary's Social Media Count

Wow!!! I had somewhat of an idea that internet usage rates were astronomical but I had no idea how astronomical they were! However, when reality kicks in after the mysticism of the ever increasing numbers vanishes and logic sets in. The numbers are huge yes, but how did Gary arrive at these figures (I suppose I overlooked that part)? This was my only question. However, when the only question is set aside, if these numbers are legitimate, this has some serious implications for present and future educators.

Through looking at the figures on Gary's website any future educator should take a step back and think critically about what this means for his or her future students. When I did this it made me think of ways that I could implement technology in my classroom. Obviously, if students are spending increasing amounts of time using technology outside of class it would be more than effective to bring the technology into the classroom that they are using. I also thought about how important it will be to implement this technology but also teach students to take a critical look at the media and try and teach them about how to deal with the constant images/messages they are being faced with. What implications does this constant exposure to media have for our future students I wonder and how are we going to deal with this in the class room?


  1. I find it interesting that you were able to see the college experience in two different ways -- with technology and without technology. I agree with you when you state that teachers should be "lifelong learners in order to be teachers that will have impact." Teachers are the ones who should be giving students the resources and tools to learn, but when they themselves do not want to learn it seems impossible. Loved your blog!

  2. "I personally can learn in the boring environment that was depicted in the film because that is what I have been exposed to throughout my past educational experiences." Will everyone learn in boring environments? I think not!

    What ideas do you have to keep your class from being boring?

  3. I think that in a Health education setting, it would be hard to implore some of these wonderful things we have been and will be discussing. I think you are right, though, today's kids have grown up from an early age with some of the gadgets you mentioned. It is a hard line to walk. I guess that's when you have to think creatively and make use of what you for any kind of purpose.