"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."- Thomas Edison

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blog Post #4

Don't Teach your Kids this Stuff. Please?
Mr. McLeod's poem outlines the problems children face when their parents try to "protect" them from the internet as if it is some evil place. While there are plenty of predators online, children should not be left in the dark about something that will play a major role in their lives. They should be taught of the differences between good and bad internet use, and if the parents feel it is necessary safety blocks should be installed. They should be taught that games are not the only thing the internet is about and that it is a place of knowledge, creativity, and experience.

Scott McLeod is very experienced with technology, and this has shined through with his numerous award winnings for technology leadership work. He also created a graduate program for technology-savvy school leaders and the first group blog written by school leaders for school leaders, LeaderTalk. His blog should be consulted by every prospective teacher.

The iSchool Initiative
A high school senior narrates this video to point out the problems with schools and how they can be solved. He asks the audience a question to answer themselves after watching his video: "Does technology belong in our classroom?" He then moves on to demonstrating the available iSchool applications.

All core subjects are available just at the touch of the screen. I feel this could help teachers to stop wasting so much time saying something and waiting for the student to write it down. Instead, it would already be at the student's disposal and there would be so much more time for discussion and individual help. There is also a graphing application, which would throw away the need for a 100 dollar calculator most high school math teachers require. There are note taking and memo recording applications, which can be E-mailed to other students. There is an entire bookshelf inside of this small device that you can choose various classic books from. So much more can be achieved between teachers and students when all of the basic information is all in one device. Apparently, parents can even monitor their children's progress from any phone. In turn, approximately 6,000 dollars will be saved on the finance of each student's education.

Not only will iSchool broaden the path for learning and save money, but it will help to save our world that is being destroyed more and more everyday. The paper we use so often comes from our very oxygen supply, and we can preserve the planet if we use this alternative method of note-taking, reading, and more. This is a great invention and the answer to Travis's question is yes. Technology belongs in our classroom.

The Lost Generation
In this presentation, the speaker is using reverse psychology. She reads a poem about how our generation's future will be, which is very undesirable but possibly true with the way things are going. She then reads the same poem again backwards, and it is written so that it says the exact opposite of everything she just said with a positive outlook. I feel this poem would have been just as effective if she had not read it backwards. Anyone who has a heart would think about how they are treating their loved ones and the world they live in and hopefully change their ways, even if there are still many heartless people who don't and won't care. However, the ending statement that she can change the world and refuses to believe that she is a part of a lost generation should be a shout out to all of us. If we all look at ourselves and others as failures, we will be failures. If we aim to succeed and don't give up, we will be successful.

Eric Whitaker's Virtual ChoirEric Whitaker's Virtual Choir
This is absolutely amazing, and possibly one of the most astounding collaboration projects I have ever seen put together using that wonderful thing called technology. More beautiful than the 185 voices harmonizing together was the fact that they were able to harmonize perfectly even though they had never met or performed together. The possibilities for creations using the internet are beginning to appear limitless.


  1. First I would like to say, I love the pictures you use to illustrate each point!! You are very thorough with each of your ideas. I enjoyed reading your blog because it seems like you want to be a life-long learner. I love how you said that parents are trying to "'protect' them from the internet as if it is some evil place." It's so true, some parents see internet as something evil and not necessary. Keep up the insightful work!

  2. Great post Tara. I like your use of graphics. I hear what your saying on the Lost Generation. She could have just read the poem outright and those who would care, would care anyway. But, I think the way she did it she got a lot more attention. Who knows, she might have actually awakened a few sleepers.

    Your blog looks great. Keep up the good work. SS

  3. Being an advocate of online interaction, I have online safety discussions all the time with teachers and parents. The statistics overwhelmingly show that my students are safer surfing the net than walking down the street.

    No one wants to be told the boogeyman is more likely to be a friend or relative of the child than a "stranger" on the internet.

  4. Mr. Sullivan,
    Thank you for the encouraging words. I really hope she awakened some sleepers because the world is in desperate need for more attention.

    Mr. Chamberlain,
    Thank you for your comment. It is very true that the cases of child abduction and murder are more often the cause of relatives, friends, or neighbors than from someone through the internet. I think the parents feel more safe letting their children out into the real world because they have taught them the basic safety guidelines: don't talk to strangers, stay with a group, call 911, etc.

    However, when it comes to the internet children can stumble across almost anything, especially when curiosity takes over. Besides the threat of predators, there are numerous "bad influences" that could have a strong impact on the child's way of thinking and acting.

    In my opinion, this is even more worrisome than predators. Because of the growth in technology it is becoming easier to find online predators, such as on the television show To Catch a Predator.

    I think safety blocks are the best bet for parents who are scared of what their children may encounter online. Whether they like it or not, they cannot hide their children from the world for long. Despite this, it would be reassuring for them to know their child was not exposed to something too mature at too young of an age.