Did You Know?
I knew that technology was advancing very quickly, but I had no idea how quickly until I saw the statistics in the "Did You Know" videos. "Did You Know" by Dr. Strange as well as "Did You Know" by Karl Fisch and Scott Mcleod, discuss different statistics of education and technology. It is hard to believe that anyone could watch these videos and believe that educators do not need to be computer literate. Technology is the future, and if we cannot teach it, we are doing our students a huge injustice.
One of the first few slides shown in both videos discusses the high IQs and the number of honor students in India. It is crazy to think that they have more honor students than the US even has students all together. US students are behind, and as educators in the making, it should be our goal to do something about it. Another thing the video discussed was the extremely large numbers associated with google, youtube, text messages, and cellphones. These days almost every child has at least one of these and knows how to use it. If we do not know how to communicate to these children through those devices, we may not communicate with them at all. We must be able to incorporate technology into our classroom to teach them more and to keep them interested.
The final point the videos discussed that really got my attention was that the top jobs ten years from now do not even exist yet using technologies that have not been invented yet. We are teaching these kids and do not even know what we are training them for. We must be creative, think outside of the box, and challenge ourselves if we plan on challenging our students. Technology is advancing at an incredible rate. We must do our best to keep up.
Mr. Winkle Wakes
"Mr. Winkle Wakes" is short video created by Mathew Needleman. At first glance, you may think it is a cute little video, but the video is hardly funny. It is actually quite sad because it is true. In the video Mr. Winkle has been sleeping for 100 years. He wakes up to find that everything he remembers has changed. He first arrives at an office building that is filled with machines that spit out paper and screens with people from across the world talking on them. He is so disturbed by this that he feels sick and must go to the hospital. Unfortunately, when he arrives at the hospital, he finds even more machines. After wandering around the town, Mr. Winkle finally finds a school. To his delight, in 100 years nothing has changed at the school.
What is this saying about our schools? Obviously this is not a true story, but it is the just of what is happening around us. Businesses, hospitals, and other organizations are using technology to better themselves and their surroundings, yet schools are fighting the inevitable. If we don't use technology to teach our students, not only will they not be prepared when they enter the work force, but they probably won't learn much from us. We must do our best to give out students the resources they need to succeed.
The Importance of Creativity
I cannot help but begin by saying that I loved the video "The Importance of Creativity" by Sir Ken Robinson. Robinson discusses many great points about creativity in education which I believe is very important. Way too often, we crush a child's creativity and imagination. One of the first points Robinson discusses is that we squander children's talents. Sadly this is very true. We have a way that we believe that children should think and act, and if they do not, they are wrong. Some children are brilliant in math or science, but some children are not. They may be brilliant in art or dance. Is there talent any less important? I do not think so.
Robinson also says that, "creativity should be as important in education as literacy." Many educators would not agree with this statement, but why not? If we kill children's creativity, we are creating robots and setting them up to fail. Their creativity is what makes them unique. Their ability to think differently just may be what makes the next great inventor, artist, or dancer. In the video, Robinson discusses that at a young age children are not afraid to be wrong. They are willing to take chances. He states, "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original." How true is that? If we take a child's creativity, we are stealing their opportunity for innovation. Finally, Robinson says that we should "see our children for the hope they are." You never know who exactly you have sitting in your classroom. Maybe it's the next great scientist or maybe it's the next great ballerina or artist. Challenge their creativity. Do not destroy it.
When watching this video, there really should be no question to which class any student would want to attend. The first classroom is filled with technology and interactive ways to learn. Students use websites to take virtual tours of places they are studying. They can access different articles about the subject being discussed. They can even learn at their own pace with the lesson designed online. The objective for this class is obviously for the students to experience and learn things that they will not forget. The second classroom is like many classes many of us have attended. It is filled with boring books the students will not read, charts the students will not understand, and paper articles that will more than likely end up in the trash can. The objective of this class is to memorize and pass a test and then move on with no real recollection of the material.
It is my goal to never have a class that even closely resembles the second classroom. If I do, I will have a class that walks out of my door remembering nothing. Money alone can not fix the problems of the second classroom. You must have a teacher that is willing to use technology to reach the students on their level. It is important that as educators we work hard to keep up with the constantly changing technology. It is how we will reach our students.