Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blog Assignment #3

Michael Wesch is the author of the video "A Vision of Students Today," a project video through Kansas State University. A student cleverly uses the environment of an average auditorium-style classroom to present current statistics. These statistics capture the status of most college experiences in 2011.

I graduated from college in 1991. How was my reality different than most college students today? Actually the differences are drastic contrasts:
-Internet was not present in the classroom (few computers even had access)
-students used notebook paper instead of notebook computers
-most college students didn't recycle

-I still typed on a typewriter
-I didn't own a cell phone
-I had never imagined social networking

In classrooms your teacher might have used:
-a filmstrip
-a slide carousel
-a ditto machine

Today, I had a vision of yesterday.

Comments on #2:
After reading the blog article by Kelly Hines, "It's Not About the Technology", I wanted to share My part of a threaded discussion I had in an on-line class I'm taking this summer. One of my classmates told of an experience of panic when she substituted in a classroom with lesson plans written for a smart board. She was not at all familiar with a smart board. I then related my own conversation I had recently with my husband:
"I had an interesting discussion with my husband, whose degree is in communications. He reminded me about the novelty of new technology verses content of the message. He expressed that while new technology may capture a students imagination for a time, ultimately it is the content of the message that is important. This is not a new discussion. In the 50s and 60's the debate was focused television. Marshall McLuhan, the communication researcher, coined the phrase, "The medium is the message." With any new popular technology this is true. The novelty of the medium may have us convinced that we are using the tools with great effectiveness, but the real test comes as the newness diminishes and students come to expect certain technology to be present in the classroom. Having access to iPads, streaming media and the like is wonderful in that it gives the teacher tools to use in facilitating the learning process. It also presents the teacher with a new set of problems, the least of which is learning how the technology works. The real challenge for teachers is the same challenge we have always faced; tailoring the instruction using the tools available to best influence the students ability to

Comments on #3:
Karl Fisch shares his views in "Is it Okay to Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?" on his blog Fischbowl. Oh how I wish he could have been a guest in our classroom when Dr. Strange posed this question during the our second class day. I was proud of the two or three students who were bold enough to answer "no." Not because I agreed with them, but I believed them.

How would Karl Fisch have responded to these few? Well, I certainly could relate his views by reading his blog post. But I truly miss the joy of spontaneity in live conversation.

Comments on #4:
Gary Hayes developed a social media counter. While watching the counter spin, what did I discover? THE WORLD IS TALKING. As an educator, I am desperately trying to learn this banter language. What are they saying, and how are they saying it?

I recently applied for a twitter account. I said to a few people my age, "This is like passing notes in high-school." It really is. The arena has just gotten so much bigger than the last row in the classroom. The arena has gone global.


  1. Kim, I feel the same way about technology. It's not all about having the newest or best technology, it's more about what you are going to teach with the technology. You can't just give a kid free time on a computer and expect him/her to do something educational. On top of that, the teachers have to be familiar with it themselves, and be able to utilize it in such a way to where the kids are getting some substantial out of it. Just putting a powerpoint on a smart board instead of a regular projector doesn't seem to help much to me.

  2. Hi Kim!
    I liked your contrast on your first college experience to today's standards. It reinforced my opinions on the use of technology in the classroom. This is especially true since I've never seen a typewriter in person and have no idea what a ditto machine is. It really makes me want to immerse myself in the newest technology to be prepared when I teach.

    Enjoyed reading your post!

  3. "The real challenge for teachers is the same challenge we have always faced; tailoring the instruction using the tools available to best influence the students ability to
    learn." Well put!

    "But I truly miss the joy of spontaneity in live conversation." Agreed. But it is a very expensive process that will be even more under attack as support for education continues to decline.

    An interesting comment on the Hayes counter, Twitter and passing notes. fascinating comparisons.

    Well done! Well written. Very interesting take on the material.