Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog Post #2

"Did you Know?"
In this blog post I will be discussing "Did You Know? 3.0- A John Strange Version" and also the original "Did You Know?" by Karl Fisch and Scott McCleod. These presentations are about how quickly technology is changing, not only in our society, but around the world. Most of the facts given are directly related to the use of technology in American education.
Most of the facts given in these presentations are, to put it simply, scary. We rely so heavily on technology that one could easily see how movies like iRobot could become reality. There are computers in nearly every home in the United States; over 85% of high school students have a cell phone and I am sure they have their phone attached to them 99% of the time (the 1% being when they are in some body of water or their shower). At the end of "Did You Know?" by Karl and Scott, they stated that by 2013 there will be a computer built that will exceed the computational capabilities of the human brain. That is next year. I believe that this extremely fast pace at which technology advances puts a huge amount of responsibility on our shoulders as educators. Not only are we responsible for teaching children who will have jobs one day using a technology that hasn't been invented yet, but we must also keep up with what is current; and that could change in the course of a month.
"Mr. Winkle Wakes"
Here I will talk about the video "Mr. Winkle Wakes". I really enjoyed this video. The basic story line is a man (Mr. Winkle) awakes after sleeping for 100 years to find that everything around him has changed. Technology has advanced so far that he can not comprehend what he is seeing. So he wanders around the city, first to an office building which he finds to be filled with "strange machines and noises". Then to a hospital where "lasers perform surgeries". Feeling overwhelmed he wanders into a school. Here, he finds that everything is exactly as it was 100 years ago. Students at desks, using paper and pencils to take notes and a teacher lecturing to them.
I think this is a very clever way to point out the lack of advancement in our school systems. Although I am not sure how accurate it is. When I was in high school there were many courses offered that were related to technology. In fact, as a freshman I was in a course that was all about web design. Our main project was working on the school website. We created links, images, etc. I do agree that teachers need to include more technology in their lessons. If we as educators do not keep our lessons current with the technology that is available we do our students a great disservice. I think that is what this video is saying: we could even set them back 100 years.
"Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity"
I really enjoyed this video. In this video Sir Ken Robinson talks about how we (as students) are educated out of creativity. If you travel around the world, the hierarchy for educational subjects is the same no matter where you go. It has math and languages at the top and arts at the bottom. Sir Robinson talks about how this hierarchy was developed to meet the needs of industrialism and how this is now completely outdated and wrong. He goes on to talk about how the world is "engulfed in a revolution" based on creativity.
As I said, I really enjoyed this video. I agree with Sir Robinson about many things. I think that we as students are educated out of creativity. I have seen several friends through out the years who are great artists or dancers but they squash their talents to focus on something "practical" that will get them a job. I thought it was very interesting how he stated that a college degree means nothing now. Although I am currently seeking my degree, I do agree with this statement as well. When my grandfather or even my mother graduated from college, having a degree meant you got a job; that is not the case anymore. The highest number of people unemployed are those just out of college (with a bachelor's degree). As a parent, and a future teacher, I hope to always encourage creativity. I think it is a skill that is vital in our ever changing world.
"A Day Made of Glass"
This is an amazing video that shows several possible technologies that may be used in the future. It basically shows how technology will be improved in every setting by using glass "screens"; everywhere from the home, to the classroom, to a hospital.
I thought this was a very interesting video. Its intention is to show how technology is advancing. The products that they have shown in this video are interesting. I own a tablet and it seems to me that most of the products in this video are just large, clear versions of the current tablets on the market. I enjoyed watching the video "A Day Made of Glass 2: Unpacked...". It was interesting to see what we are close to having and what is still years away. I hope in my lifetime I can see the interactive boards in classrooms. We are already close with the smart boards currently available. I would really like to see the activity boards shown in the video. Those seem like a great way to get kids involved and I agree with the speaker, if they would've had those in classrooms when I was a kid I would've been excited to go to class!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blog Assignment 1

About Me
I am originally from Fairhope Alabama but I have lived in many different places over the last few years. I am not involved in the military, I just enjoy moving to new places. After graduating from high school I moved to Madrid Spain for a few months and worked as a nanny. Then I moved to Santa Barbara California and attended community college for two years. I also met my fiance in Santa Barbara. When we were both done with school we decided to try a new city and decided on Austin Texas. We loved Austin, but after finding out we were pregnant with our first child we decided to move closer to my mom; that is how we ended up back in this area and also how I ended up attending South. While living in Austin I worked at a pre-school and I loved it. I kept thinking "this is something I would love to do everyday". After having my son (who will be one in September) I decided that I wanted to go back to school and get my degree in Elementary Education with the hope of teaching kindergarten or first grade. I have worked with kids all my life and I love being around them. It really is one of the most difficult and rewarding jobs I have ever had.
My passions include travel, baking, gardening and spending time with my son. Anytime I can do any of those things I am a happy person! A few years ago I actually took some college baking courses and I loved it, but decided I'd rather invest money in a bachelor's degree than a certificate. My son is definitely the center of my world. He was a surprise, but one I wouldn't change for anything.
Some other things that are interesting about me: I lived in Spain for a few months and when I came back state side I was almost fluent in Spanish (this is also after having four years of Spanish in high school). However, due to lack of practice, I can hardly speak it. But I do understand a lot of what other people say, which can be fun.
Randy Pausch on Time Management
I learned, from watching this video, that time management is equatable to money management. Dr. Pausch says that time and money should be valued the same, and I agree. I like how he talked about making a plan for each day, month, semester and then if something changes to make the change to your plan. I am a list maker. I get this trait from my mom. She always made lists; a to-do daily list, a to-do month list, a grocery list, etc. and I am the same. I find that this is a great way to manage time. I also learned that you should do the "ugliest" thing first. This is not usually what I do and if I was honest I would say that "thing" might pass from one list to another for a week before I finally break down and do it.
I know Dr. Pausch from "The Last Lecture" that was so popular a few years ago. I have watched his last lecture many times. It is a moving, intelligent lecture that holds meaning for everyone. I also read his book.