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

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blog Post #2

Did You Know? 3.0
While watching this video, I was awestruck and forced to stare at the screen for a few minutes in shock afterward. I hadn't the slightest idea how much this world truly does depend on technology. More astonishingly than anything I just learned in a matter of minutes is the fact that technology doubles every two years. This could mean my grandchildren may not even know what a book or paper is. Every technological device will probably be so improved that we won't even have a need to think about how to do something. A button will do it all for us.

I have had this thought before, but never understood the reality of future possibilities until now. It is exciting and amazing to comprehend that human brains working together are capable of creating a computer that will exceed the computational capabilities of the human brain. Technology didn't create itself after all. Any and everything we wish to know can be found on the internet, simply by typing it into the Google search bar. Before Google I suppose people were limited to getting their information from people around them or by reading books, and whatever they couldn't find the answer to resulted in a shrug of the shoulders and moving on.

Technology has spread to everyone everywhere and is used everyday constantly. Whether it is used for knowledge, entertainment, or communication, it is now apparent to me that it is vital to not only be educated about what technology is, but how to use it for your benefit. The fact that India has more honor kids than the United States has kids tells me that the teaching methods in India differ completely from the teaching methods in America. I feel that teachers in America have had the same teaching style for decades, and it is time for a change. Jobs are becoming more difficult to obtain, and the smartest, most experienced person always wins. Teachers and prospective teachers alike have a tough job ahead of us if we want our children to learn everything they need to know to do the best in their different fields of occupation in this day and age. It will be a long, bumpy road, but keeping technology at the center of our minds seems to be a good start.

Mr. Winkle Wakes
This video summed up the big picture of the great need for our schools to be improved in only three minutes. What we see in offices and hospitals today seems completely natural to us because it is what we have always known, or at least all we in our late teens or early twenties have ever known. However, if we were to wake up after one hundred years in 2010, as Mr. Winkle does in the video, we would probably feel like aliens visiting another planet. Before he went to sleep back in 1910, Mr. Winkle probably walked through town listening to the sounds of cows mooing or wagon wheels rolling on cobble-stoned roads, definitely not to beeps or telephones ringing. To see a face of someone across the ocean on front of a flat box and be able to have a conversation with them probably seemed paranormal. This shows how much the world has truly changed in a short amount of time.

Although this is obviously a fictional story, if Mr. Winkle really did wake up today and go around town visiting different buildings, the only familiarity he would be able to find is in school. The required subjects are still the same basic subjects they were 100 years ago- reading, writing, English, arithmetic, history, and science- with the exception of a few new ones. The way subjects were taught 100 years ago and still today just can't cut it anymore. No matter what occupation someone is aspiring for, technology is a must. Whether creating a payroll for employees in a restaurant, taking X-rays for surgery in a hospital, filing clients' records in a law firm, or ordering products for restocking shelves in a grocery store, some type of technological device is used.

To gain the skills necessary to maintain a position in any job requires education, and teachers are the facilitators of education. This means teachers are at the center of every occupation in the world and have more responsibility on their hands than many people give them credit for. They should have the salary of a doctor in my opinion, but that's a different story. Working on teaching children so they can function to their fullest abilities in the present and the future to soon come should be our number one priority. Computers and other devices available for our use should not be taken for granted. We should master technology and all of the tasks that come along with it, so the children we teach can learn what is crucial to their growth and development on the planet Earth.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
It seems my mind keeps opening further as I watch video after video. When I first clicked on the link and saw this would be a twenty minute speech, I was dreading it. As I saw Ken Robinson had one minute left to speak, however; I was dreading for it to end. Throughout his speech he focuses on various areas that prove repeatedly how very essential creativity is. One statement he made that really hit me is: "Creativity now is as important as literacy and we should treat it with the same status." When he said this, I literally applauded with the audience.

Reading is very important, and is needed for almost every job, just as technology is. Despite this truth, there are a lot of people who graduate from high school without being able to read beyond elementary level. Literacy is a great thing to strive for, but without creativity, nothing can be accomplished. In the age of industrialism, the public education school systems focused solely on academic ability for success. Out of this we received our present way of thinking.

In this way of thinking, many children who are "creative" or have a hard time focusing on what is "necessary" for success, will never amount to anything. I agree with Robinson that this is wrong. He proves this when he talks of Gillian Lynne, the noted choreographer of "Cats" and "The Phantom of the Opera." Her mother thought something was wrong with her because she couldn't pay attention or sit still in class, but in actuality she had what hadn't yet been established in the 1930's as ADHD. The standards for what should be learned versus what can be learned are proved by this example. Some people just can not learn by having arithmetic and history crammed into their heads. Every individual is different and has their own destiny to fulfill in life, many which don't include core subjects at all.

Schools have to stop killing creativity now and begin to incorporate it into teaching in every single way possible. Aside from creating more courses, arts should be interfused into standard curriculum. Even testing should be changed to pinpoint the uniqueness in each individual, so that their dreams are not shot down but built up starting at a young age. Instead of looking at what a child is not so good at, schools should focus on what a child is great at and help them to discover the amazing talent they posses. That one perfect talent is inside each of us, no matter what anyone thinks. Therefore, it is time to quit sending those who are looked at as failures into the world, and start enabling the creativity in each mind to shine through.

Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis sets a very good example for us in her demonstrative video of her class and teaching techniques. She shows that even though she teaches in a rural part of Georgia, the interactions available through technology remain limitless. Her students are able to be divided into groups based on their strengths and interests and learn through various methods via blogging and other activities. I don't see why every school shouldn't have a class such as this, where students can really learn how to learn and enjoy doing it. Not only are the requirements for graduation fulfilled in her classroom, but her students will also be experienced enough in the present to face the "real world" in the future. Just as she points out, only paper and pencils are not enough to be educated. Only certain students can get by in this way.

I feel just as academic success is required to graduate, every student should also be required to take part in a class like this. To know how to blog before entering college and different occupations is a way of getting ahead of the game. I have never blogged until now. I feel if I had been introduced to blogging earlier in life, not only would I be smarter about what is going on all over the world, but in my own country. I have already learned so much from these two short weeks I have been birthed into the blogging world. There are innumerable links and sources that provide helpful information to everyone everywhere. I know that to start children blogging and working interactively with present technology at a young age will enhance their creativity and allow them to be more understanding of what their passion and purpose in life is.


  1. Tara,
    I would really like to say that the way you spoke about the films was very interesting I can not agree more with the point that you make on each one of them. My favorite was the summary of the film "Importance of Creativity". I also thought this film would be boring and long. However, I also dreaded for it to end. Robinson had great ideas and his video and jokes kept you interested and wanting to learn more. I enjoyed reading your post!!!

  2. Outstanding observations Tara! All of these videos demonstrate that we need to incorporate technology into education. To take it a step further I think the even greater underlying point is that in the teaching / learning process we need to be student oriented. When we are student oriented, all of these other things will fall into place.

    Your blog looks Excellent! I love the quote at the top. Keep up the good work. SS