Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blog post #5

The iSchool Initiative

 I touch
The following video, The iSchool Initiative (5:42), clearly shows the possibilities of a more progressive tomorrow. Using the technology already in existence, the classroom could become a very different place. The main device used in the video is the Itouch. Basically, the Itouch is used to interconnect the classroom through email, blogs, and various forms of social media. The advantages to this would be numerous. Each student would receive a more engaging experience. This can be achieved by utilizing social media and email. The teacher will no longer be limited to boring lectures for the students. Instead, the teacher becomes a person of guidance, leading students along the road to a solid education. Students can also interact with each other. Collaboration with peers is a very important skill to learn. Later in life, students will need skills like this no matter which direction they may go. There are some aspects of the idea that I find interesting. I like the idea of use of technology in the classroom. I do wonder if the Itouch is the best tool to achieve this. I believe laptops would be a better solution. The main problem I see with the Itouch is its size. It's too small. My question is what happens when a student loses one. Does the student have to start over on all the assignments? Will the data be stored in the cloud? Speaking of assignments, how will students complete assignments? Typing on an Ipad is difficult enough, but a smaller Itouch? If the project is set on Apple products then Ipads with bluetooth keyboards or macintosh laptops would be better.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'

Virtual Choir
Can this be the future classroom? I honestly do not know. I see this idea working on some levels. It would be interesting to have a class meet face-to-face in this fashion. A professional class would be most likely to see benefits. As for younger students, this would be apocalyptic. Can you see elementary students sitting in front of their computers for hours? Parents would pull their students out of the school system and begin home schooling. I'm sure some applications for this idea exist. The best idea I can think of would be for scholarly competitions, like scholars bowl, or the national spelling bee. I would be interested in hearing more ideas on this subject.

Teaching in the 21st Century

robot teacher
Mr. Roberts shares some thoughts on the evolution of the teaching field, and our role as teachers in his project. In a world where information is just a click away, where do schools and teachers fit in? According to Mr. Roberts we are to become teachers of skills. All the information the internet has to offer is void if our students do not have the required skills to find the information they seek. Finding the information is not enough; we must insure that our students know how to find correct information. It is a sad truth, but not every website is creditable. So what will we be teaching our students? How to use search engines is an obvious starting point. Upper level classes would have to be instructed on piracy and plagiarism. All levels would have to learn how to use social media safely, and how it can be used to build a support network.

Does this mean in the future all teachers will be technology teachers? No, while technology will have a major impact in every subject, I don't see teachers being replaced by technology. Instead I see a union of advancement and engagement. Does the chalkboard replace the teacher? No, so why should a smart board or a podcast? Technology is, and always will be, a tool. The more advanced the tool you are using, the easier your task is going to be. Just ask any carpenter. Technology is not to be feared, however it must be used responsibly.

Flipped Classroom

flipped classroom
Flipping a classroom is requiring a student to watch a video podcast at home on the subject material that is to be taught the next day. This idea is not new. Students are already required to do daily reading assignments at home. The advantages of video are the student can see how to do something instead of reading about it, and since the video is produced by the teacher the video can be customized to a greater degree.

Would I use this? Yes, flipping has enormous potential. Both of these example videos: Why I Flipped my Classroom by Katie Gimbar and Flipping the Classroom - 4th grade STEM by Ms. Musafo show the flipping being used for math. I would like to try this with science. I would make a short video on a theory or fact. The next day I would demonstrate with a live experiment. I believe if this is done correctly the students will look forward to the demonstration, therefore making them want to learn just to see what happens next.


  1. Hey Daniel,

    To try to answer your question about what to do if a student's iPod gets lost, it probably depends on the school. This video was published before apple started their icloud service, so the data issue isn't as big of an issue as the replacement for the device. What would you think the best solution would be if students lost the iPod?

    Good job on your post. I'm glad that you have found some useful information form this assignment! These new ways of teaching and learning are only getting more diverse, so having a basic knowledge about these things is very important to the 21st Century teacher.

    Stephen Akins

  2. Daniel,
    First off, very good job on your blog. you have no errors that I can detect in spelling or grammar and I really like how you inject your personal opinions and questions into your post.I agree that flipping the classroom is an inspiring opportunity for teachers to bring teaching into the 21st century.
    I agree with Stephen that the problem wouldn't be data storage but replacement of the device itself for students in the iSchool. I also feel that you are right that typing any essay type assignments would be hard for most students. I think that the best way to combat this is probably voice recognition technology. There are numerous types of software out that converts speech into text and that is probably how the iSchool would adapt to this problem.Let me know what you think and keep up the good work. Sidney Jensen