Did You Know?
America is on autopilot to self destruct. The United States has adopted this “Information Age” which has done nothing more than merely handicap us. Technology is rapidly evolving so much so that it is impossible for us to stay ahead of the vast developments. The more technological advances made, the more we crave. We have become a society in which the use of the best God given tool we have, our brain, is nearly obsolete.
We no longer engage in intellectual conversations with each other; we text - oftentimes in the same room. Our children no longer take advantage of outdoor play, they choose online gaming. We must have the smartest phones, the latest computer applications, cars that parallel park for us, but are we merely dumbing ourselves down? What did we really do before technology? Are we trying to “keep up” only to be left behind? People it seems as if we are being outsmarted with our own invention.
Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mr. Winkle Wakes was an interesting satire that depicts how technology has revolutionized the world around us while the hierarchy of our school system seems to be stuck in a time warp. Technological advancements have transcended well beyond the opportunities our forefathers were afforded to include advancements in medicine, business, and connecting a once fragmented world.
However, when Mr. Winkle entered the school there was no progress, no growth, and no readily visible advancements. The setup of the classroom as well as the style of teaching was as it was 100 years ago. The power to excel was within reach; i.e. the unused computer, yet the opportunity was ignored. I believe this is because many teachers fear the unknown and subscribe to the mentality “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I say, you’ll never discover how high you can soar until you leave the safety of the nest. It is incumbent upon the educator to use all available resources; to engage the minds of their students and equip them for the ever-evolving world they will face.
Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
How can I change the way the world views the arts – start with myself. This video shows that many of our students are enrolled in a flawed educational system in which they are made to adopt societal roles that teach success is gained by having a career in the sciences, where the hierarchy of this system promotes and strongly encourages the mathematical learner. Rather than honing a person whose natural tendency is directed toward the arts, students are diagnosed as having behavioral disorders and given medicine to stifle their creativity. Their gifts – art, dance, music, and poetry are often viewed as distractions and hindrances to a more meaningful life’s work.
Are we really responsible for “squandering” the creativity of our children? Educators must introduce and incorporate different styles of learning, to include the arts, in the classroom, no child left behind. We medicate children who fidget and move about the classroom more than we think they should, but what would have happened to Gillian Lynne had medication been an option for her. Would Cats or The Phantom of the Opera exist today? Who would Gillian Lynne be?
I pondered the thought, how many of our children currently classified as ADHD would be considered the Gillian Lynne's of today? How many of our students have to move in order to think...that was a powerful statement. Where will these children be 10 years from now? We must foster a collaborative relationship amongst parents and teachers. I commit to exhausting all efforts to prevent squandering the the creativity of the future.
Vicki Davis: Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts
Vicki Davis equips her students for success within a safe learning environment. She causes them to learn and is not afraid to explore the unknown with them. She steps into her students' world of technology and equips them with the vast opportunities available beyond paper and pencil projects. She believes in her students and causes them to believe in themselves by building a community of learners who take ownership in their work.
Vicki calls herself a "teacher-preneur." She empowers her students to become a network of teachers while connecting the students to the entire world. She teaches her students how to learn. Vicki states that she wants her students to feel comfortable with any technology and encourages them to explore terms used and technology implemented in the classroom thus teaching "digital citizenship." She made the statement that she does not have to know everything before she is able to teach it; that's powerful.What a sense of pride she establishes in her students when they are able to explore and learn collaboratively. Kudos to Vicki Davis!