Saturday, September 8, 2012

Blog assignment #2

Did you know? A John Strange 2012 version.

In the video "Did you know? A John Strange 2012 version (3:41) " Dr. Strange shares several startling statistics about the future of our students and the technological gap we are facing. Given that the overall population of India and China far exceeds the population of the United States, it is obvious that they will produce more students. The large difference will undoubtedly result in more high achieving students in India and China than the United States. This is not saying that we will not have high achieving students, just that they will have more.

This is similar to the small town high school's football team and the big city school's team. The larger school will have a better team. It's not that the smaller won't practice, it is simply that the larger school will have more selection and be able to pick players more suited to the sport. Therefore, the smaller school will produce one or two "stars", while the larger school will have more. Once these "stars" enter college, then the playing field is level, and they will have to prove themselves to be able to play professionally. The underlying problem here is the jump from high school to college. It will be the coach's job to get the best out of each player using all available tools, no matter the starting size of the school. We must get our students to this next level. We are part of a global community, and we must train accordingly.
Mr. Winkle Wakes by lifelonglearners.

The video Mr. Winkle Wakes (2:51) is about the technology that Mr. Winkle would see if he woke up today. The world is a much different place than it was one hundred years ago. He sees examples global networking and great productivity in a business; and amazing diagnostic and life saving tools in a hospital. Then he goes into a school, and is comforted about the extreme lack of technology. The schools have not changed since he took his nap one hundred years ago.

This is unacceptable. How are we as educators suppose to expect our students to flourish in this modern age if the classroom is not equipped to do so? We must make a change and introduce computers to children, allowing them to experience the world. More importantly teachers need to be able to use not just computers but every technological tool available in our lectures. To surpass the challenges given by today's society, our students must learn more than their previous generation.
Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

Do schools kill creativity? Sir Ken Robinson thinks so. In his video The Importance of Creativity (19:21) he talks about how the education system the world over is setup to produce only one kind of student. This "model" student is based on the needs industry, with math and reading taking priority. He goes on to say that the world is changing and we need many different kinds of students if we are to continue to flourish. To prove his point he tells a story about a dancer. This dancer didn't fit the ideal model, she was hyper and didn't do her homework. Her parents took her to a doctor because they feared she had a disorder. After the consultation the doctor asked to speak with her parents alone and on his way out of the room he turned on the radio. Then he asked them to observe their daughter. She was on her feet and dancing to the music. Her parents enrolled her in a London ballet school, and now she is a multimillionaire that has provided entertainment to tens of thousands of people.

Sir Ken Robinson does have a point, students do need to be allowed to express their creativity in the classroom, however I don't think this creativity should be without direction. If we could find a way to allow students to be creative and let that creativity also teach them something, then that would produce a student that will learn the material, not memorize it. Let's say the dancer was put into dance school at the earliest age possible, and all she learned was dance. She still could make millions of dollars, but she wouldn't know that since she can't read her paycheck. She won't be able to read a book, or balance her checkbook, or even check her e-mail. So in short, creativity should not be held in check, but in balance.
The future, the solution, and glass.
The U.S.S Enterprise
The future is bright, the solution is solid, and glass is clear. After watching A Day Made of Glass 2 (5:59)hope has been restored. If this technology is implemented in classrooms the students of tomorrow will be the best in what ever they choose. Glass offers so much, the possibilities are endless. With science, a teacher could do amazing demonstrations, or with the help of the activity table, safely allow students to do experiments. History could literally come alive at museums with glass tablets. Epic battles, speeches, and other events could be seen in first person with the augmented reality feature. Using glass will engage students, no longer will they just hear the teacher lecture, they will become part of it.

What do I think about all of this? I think change is needed. I also think that the more you can involve a child in an activity the more they enjoy it. Glass has the potential to include every student nearly one hundred percent of the time. This will at a minimum allow the teacher to see which areas need to be covered more and which students are having the most difficulty instantaneously. Another thing is the room the doctor uses for the conference call. If each school could have a room like that then classes could go on virtual field trips. If your are studying the planets, and want to go to mars, that would now be possible. I hope that one day I will be able to use this new technology, my only fear is the price. If the cost of glass is to high, then the school systems won't be able to purchase it. So Corning, please don't raise our hopes just to have them dashed due to budget restraints.


  1. Hello Daniel,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post. You write very well and I saw no grammatical errors. I agree with much of what you wrote concerning each individual topic. Our schools need to equip our students with modern day tools and teaching strategies to keep up with the times and the rest of the world.
    Keeping the arts in schools is just as important as the core subjects, and our education system does not need to try and create one type of student. Wouldn't that be boring?? But I do agree with what you said about keeping them balanced. Well said!
    I look forward to reading more posts from you throughout this semester. Just remember to add images to all of your posts!

  2. Daniel,

    Excellent post! You write well and that makes reading your thoughts on these videos all the more enjoyable. You bring up a good point about cost concerns for the Corning glass. I was wondering the same thing. Keep up the great work!