A Vision of Students Today
This video is definitely an easy one for any college student to relate to. It was actually really sad to me that so many students Facebook or instant message during class. This is a part of technology that is not a very good distraction while in a learning environment. However, how can students learn if all they do is sit and try not to lose their focus? How can they learn if they can't write notes to keep up with the teacher's lecture? How can they learn if they are so bored and fed up with the repetitive system of school that they don't feel there is anything worth learning? And how can they learn if they give up and stop going altogether?
I thought that I had learned something during these past 14 years of my life. I've always maintained over a 3.0 GPA so that must mean I'm smart... right? Or have I just allowed information, some useless to my life, to be crammed into my head to the point of near explosion? It's hard for me to tell because learning with paper and pencil is how I've always learned, and for the most part I've found just that to be exciting. Now, I am questioning the relativity between this way of learning that is leaving so many students behind versus modern technology and the advancements it has made so rapidly.
It is scary to think that maybe I haven't learned a thing of importance in my life, well maybe a few things. One of those things is that in most classes I'm expected to be a robot, never thinking for myself. Just listening, memorizing, and repeating. The only other classes I have had that used technology are a few computer classes in high school. The first two were ridiculous, but the third one taught me how to make my own website and produce links and such. It was really interesting to figure out how to create a personal website and state ideas of my own. It was... creativity.
Writing on the chalkboard was helpful back in 1841, but now it is 2010. Times are changing and there is information everywhere: photos, videos, blogs. It is even possible to have one on one conversations with professionals in whatever field you are aspiring. However, this does not convince me that technology alone will save our students. First, we need good teachers who are willing to innovate teaching using different tools in technology to the best of their abilities. Secondly, we need students who are willing to try new things to discover what they are best at.
It's Not About the Technology
In her post, Kelly Hines discusses her view points on the modern day belief that technology is the center of success. I think the most important of her arguments is that technology is useless without good teachers. Many things are possible thanks to technology, and there are also many technological methods that will be able to help students. However, without a good teacher who can establish understanding in the minds of her students using any method, technology in the classroom appears to be useless. If a teacher does choose not to include much technology in her teaching, she should at least introduce a few basic tools that could be useful to her students in times of need.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her "basic physics principle" regarding teaching versus learning. Hines states, "If a student has not learned, no matter how much effort has been exerted, no teaching has been done." This is why teachers and students alike should focus on one day at a time, work together, and both do the best they can. I couldn't agree more.
Hines points out that teachers must be excited to learn and evolve learning in students in order to be good teachers. This means not only should they ensure their students are motivated, but they themselves should remain motivated and up to date on current issues and tools. She also provides a source which talks of ways 21st century leadership skills are taught to students apart from any technology. Technology is not a necessity, just an extremely helpful tool that should be used creatively to help students gain motivation.
Something that I feel is very significant and just came to mind after reading her post is that of communication and collaboration. Students should be encouraged to talk in class, pertaining to the subject of course, and even be required to participate. Group projects are something that should happen more often. This way students can share their ideas with each other and use their ideas together to create something unique and interesting that will teach each individual something they didn't know before.
Reading Mrs. Hine's post caused me to feel great relief because it made me realize I do not have to keep technology at the center of everything I teach. Technology is important enough to be used effectively every day in a classroom, but being a good teacher is definitely more important. As she also says, a good teacher with a great understanding of technology can do amazing things. This gives me the motivation to continue seeking to learn more and to use any tools I gain to the best of my ability.
Is it Okay to Be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher?
In my opinion the answer to Karl Fisch's question is no. It is not okay to be technologically illiterate. Not only should technological literacy apply to teachers, but to everyone who makes an impact on a child's growth. I don't understand why it is perfectly fine to "not get computers", but for it to be socially unacceptable if someone doesn't know how to read. Technology is one of the main ways children learn starting at very young ages, whether from videos or hands-on tools.
My opinion differs from Mr. Fisch's on the matter of technological illiteracy being equivalent to a teacher 30 years ago not knowing how to read or write. I feel that if a teacher 30 years ago didn't know how to read or write, he or she would not have been a teacher. Many of the tools available today for teaching were not available then. As stated in Hines' post, a good teacher is what really makes the difference in a child's learning, creativity, and passion.
Despite my new found belief that teachers, not technology, are the cornerstone for education, I do feel that in the age we are living in technological literacy is a must. The world and the way we communicate is changing much too quickly for an educator to be behind. It is our responsibility to raise the children we are sending out into the world. We can't always count on their parents. Therefore, we should teach each child as an individual and be sure to meet their special needs accordingly. Fisch says, "...the teacher is no longer the fountain of all knowledge, but someone to work with toward a mutual goal." This is absolutely true, and the very reason teachers have to be technologically literate. I am thankful Mr. Fisch chose to share his post with us.
Gary Hayes Social Media Count
In approximately 25 minutes, around 15,000 blog posts had been added to the web. If half or even less than half of those posts were made by teachers, that means there are a lot of technologically literate teachers in the world. In 30 minutes, there have been 195,000 iPhone applications downloaded. Not many people are taking for granted the technology out there, so we as teachers shouldn't either. I feel I can not only be educated about technology anymore. I must perfect my knowledge to the greatest capacity my mind can handle. I can not only be a good teacher. I must strive to be "the best".