The iSchool Initiative
Travis Allen was a 17 year old when he posted a video on youtube talking about revolutionizing the American school system. He talks about using the iTouch in the classroom to basically eliminate the need for any paper product ranging from books to sheets of paper. He goes into how using the iTouch allows students, parents and teachers to all be involved and able to reach each other at any time. He also goes a little bit into reducing school's carbon footprint as well as mentioning the savings per student if schools choose to switch the the iTouch method of teaching.
I found Travis' video to be very interesting. I agree with what he is saying. As our world moves faster and faster with technology, the school system is left behind. I have never known life without technology and I still find myself hesitant to use certain machines or programs. I think that Travis does an excellent job making his point by giving examples of apps that could be used in the classroom. I also think it is a good point to make about the carbon footprint as well as the money per student that would be saved.
Eric Whitacer's Virtual Choir
This video brings up two responses from me. In this video we see 185 people all coming together through the internet. They all have never met or rehearsed the song "Lux Aurumuque" together. My initial response is that this is an amazing thing. Here bridges are being crossed without people ever having to leave their home. They can become part of a choir with other people from around the world.
However, what about human contact? I think that this is an amazing thing, that we can have contact with people around the world and never have to leave our home. I also think this is a worrisome thing. Sometimes I worry that we are becoming less interactive with people in a face to face manner and more through virtual interface. So although I am initially impressed with an idea such as this choir, I also wonder what we are losing in the process.
Flipping the Classroom
I really like the ideas proposed in the videos by Dr. Lodge and Katie Gimbar. Being able to reach children outside of class, so that time spent in class can be used more effectively is a great idea. This is a great way to get all students engaged in classroom learning and, as stated in the video, it allows those who need help to come prepared with questions and those who are ready to continue on can do so as well. I would love to use this in my future classroom. I think this allows teachers to be better educators for the class as a whole as opposed to reaching just a few students.