We have an interesting project in our EPS class this year. We have to do a presentation on a way to incorporate technology in the classroom. We’ve decided to do a debate in an english class using blogs. I’m excited to see how it will all work out. I’ve been given the job of setting the blog up and I’m not 100% sure how i want to do this. I want to keep what we present very honest but I also don’t want to spend hours setting it up. I’m thinking I’m going to create a blog for the teacher and then a blog for each of our two groups then put links to each of their blogs but I’m worried that might take me forever and be a lot of work, especially since some of our group members don’t have expereince with this program. Guess i’ll just have to try and see how it goes it’ll be good expereince for how to do such a project with my own class.
A rather interesting thing hapened here in residence last night. Our power went out for six hours. It was interesting how my roommates and I all responded to the outage.
At first we were all rather distressed it was supper time and none of us had anything that didn’t need to be cooked and sounded apealing. Our brainstorming was rather interesting. It usually went like this: “how about…no that requires (insert piece of technology)” Needless to say ideas were not quick in presenting themselves.
Then came the problem of how to entertain ourselves, no power meant no lights in our appartment except for the emergency lights from the hall coming through our open door, and since we are not allowed to have candles we had no way of lighting our way to things except with our cell phones or my roomates laptops which were nearly dead. We could have gone to another part of the campus and evenutally we did but what happened before that is what has got me thinking.
We played UNO. Probably about 10 rounds of it. We had been so bored before I pulled out my UNO cards but once we started playing it was amazing how much fun we had. I was the only one with ebough light to see my cards colors and the deck was in complete shadow. We had to use our celllphones to see the deck and the others cards. It made for an intersting game. I can honestly say it was one of the funnest things I have done in a long time. Far more fun than watching tv or playing on the computer.
I think sometimes we need time to take a break from technology. We need to know how to survive without it for cases like last night. I think that is what keeps me from believing the technology only approaching I see some people taking to schooling. If kids only ever expereince technology then how will they function if the power ever goes out. Will they know how to entertain themselves.
My own question I think I have a semi answer to. I keep thinking back to when I was little. Every Christmas I would get tons of awesome presents. I hardly ever played with them instead the wrapping paper and bows held my attention. I see my niece and nephew do the same thing. They have tons of technology (I know for sure that they are both getting brand ne DS’s for Christmas) but they still like playing with the bows and finding new uses for boxes.
We worry about not being able to keep kids attention if we do not use technology, yet often they themselves choose to entertain themselves in other ways. Do we need all technology or will a nice balance (suited to each individual classroom) be better for our students? I think for now the balance is what attracts me. Sometimes it is nice to not be completely attached to technology (though I admit we did have need of our cellphones-I mean it was dark!) Sometimes all you need is good companions and something interesting to keep your attention.
Alright, this blog post is getting no links because my computer/internet is in bad mood today. I think I have just been working it to hard the past couple of days. My poor baby. Anyways, we were required to listen to one podcast that was about education.Well, this wasn’t exactly in education but it was in K-12 which technically is education.
I decided to listen to Geek!Ed!. Why? I liked the name. Sara and I always laugh and call ourselves geeks whenever we do something particullarilly “geeky” such as telling math jokes. So that’s what drew me to the general podcast. The exact podcast I listened to is called “When Logic Becomes Illogical”. it’s from 2006 but I again liked the title and really 2006 isn’t that long ago.
For me the general message I got from this podcast was about how that the logic some technicians use in schools leads to the illogical blocking and avoidance of technology that could aid students. They talked about that sometimes technology education takes a “dark direction” in schools. My understanding of what they called a dark direction was not letting students have access to tools that would allow them to gain more knowledge. One example that was used was if you ask some people what they are doing with Wikipedia their immediate response would be blocking it.
He said that he has often wondered how people get to this point (they were specifically talking about school technicians) and that one of his thoguths was simply that they were following a logical path. If you stop something from happening it won’t cause problems rather than dealing with problems after they happen.
Another example they gave was if a teacher wanted to download google earth (remember this was 2006) then the technician might say no, what would cause this technician to say no. They gave about six reason including a lack of knowledge about the software and an inability to keep up with all the demands.
I found their advice for how to deal with this so simple yet so seemingly perfect. Have a conversation. Slow that person down and take them away from the speed that accompanies logic and talk to them about what you need and why you feel you need it. In their words a “careful conversation”. if that doesn’t work go to someone higher up bunt do not get caught up in being angry. The last thing they said was don’t let logic become illogical.
I found this podcast very interesting. It was just two guys discussing the topic and their views on it. It made me think back to high school when we would try to go on a site but it would have been blocked. This was very frustrating and I could never fully understand the logic behind it. The filters were only really added in grade 11, so it was a bit of a shock at first. PVSD had a new way of running the school computers that I never really bothered learning about, though I do remember some frustration on the part of a teachers with this. They didn’t grumble to loudly though because it meant new computers. I think that is a good example of what they were talking about someone somewhere blocked our access to sites and teachers felt they had no way of changing this. Maybe a conversation would have helped (though I have a feeling those ordrs came straight from the school board).
The main thing this podcast made me think about was something that is almost totally unrelated to what they were talking about. I realized I have no idea how/who technology is “dealt” with in Saskatchewan. I remember seeing the IT guys in school but I never paid them any attention unless they were saying sorry you can’t use the computers right now we’re working on them. Who actually makes the decisions as to what technology students and teachers have access to? Who is responsible for the filters on the computers? Basically it comes down to who? I’ve never heard it talked about either in school or even now in University. Here at the U of R we are being told to incorporate technology but who is it we’ll need to work with to do this? Now that I am thinking about it I wonder why I never asked that question before. hmm just more questions to ponder(and hopefully be answered by one of you 🙂