Archive for February, 2010

Who knows best?

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

As I delve further into the resourced overloaded world of online educational resources I often wonder who are the people on the creative side of the new 2.0 tools. I believe this is a natural reaction all users experience as our curiosity is so connected to our imagination. I have tried my hand in using some of the new tools and have found as long as I had purpose and focus the product suited its need quite well. Although I may be confident with my abilities and knowledge and based all my projects on the most current educational practices, how does anybody else know who I am or my credentials for posting educational content? Who cares what I have to say? Is what I am telling people have educational wealth? If so how do I get my message out accompanied by the right credentials to make my opinion valid? These are questions I am going to explore further in my research…

For now here’s a start

Where are we headed?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Frontline: digital nation (90 min)

The video posted is from a PBS series called Frontline: digital nation. In this presentation Douglas Rushkoff explores the role of technology in various applications and delves further into the digital world and the human experience with technology.

The idea of today’s students being able to multitask and the delusion students tell themselves that they are more productive as multitaskers really made me pause and reflect on my current use and interaction with technology. Watch segment 2 What’s it doing to their brains?

As my grad studies work took me further into the digital work world and I began to use the 2.0 tools I was being exposed to I saw myself developing multitasking abilities and assumed that I was becoming a better student because of this new skill. While reading if I was to come across a word or concept I was unfamiliar with I would go and satisfy my curiosity via Wikipedia, go see if there were any good links I could grab through a hash tag on twitter, or scan through my delicious or Google reader. What a studious learner I have become in my quest to be self taught, intrinsically motivated and a master of my content. However, as I reflect on this there are positives and negatives associated with multitasking. First off I do find myself distracted by other posts on twitter, I get side tracked while looking for one piece of information and end up on a journey in the opposite direction. How then do I combat the distracted nature of the new digital world? I approach it with purpose. We must remove the excuse of distraction and focus on the intentions of the learning or learner. Why are we on a particular site in the first place? Fun, education or business? I acknowledge that there is a variety of reasons why an individual would visit a website and to list only three categories is quite limiting. As for the purpose of my reflection I am trying to limit the distractions of more than three categories as I could go and research those further and include more resources and content around those as well. Yet another 2.0 distraction in thought, a distraction embedded in the content itself.

As teachers in the digital age I believe our role is not to exploit technology in hopes of adding a wow factor to our lessons but rather teach through modeling the focused use of technology. There are times when listening to music, texting, IMing and video chatting can take place concurrently but not when academic pursuits are the purpose in using the technology. There is nothing new to this idea of undistributed focus. So, as teachers do we meet the students where they live and cater to their wants in the learning environment? or Do we take them out of a comfort zone and back to a more traditional approach to learning? Watch segment 4 Teaching with Technology

Does American education hold up?

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Educations Purpose?

Monday, February 1st, 2010

I thought this short clip from Noam Chomsky speech is quite prophetic. Sometimes what is lost in educational assessments and the push to apply a business model to education has resulted in a loss of creativity and in some instances the loss of intellectual debate. Along with the furthering of standardized measurement of student growth and allocated monies connected to their achievement we have either become lost or have been mislead in preparing students to be viable members of an intellectually aware society. How then do we combat this trend? Can it be achieved through an educational overhaul? Is technology a key factor in achieving educational restructuring?