Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blog Assignment #5

Travis Allen and his team of students promoting the iSchool Initiative
iSchool? Maybe.

The videos "The iSchool initiative (Mobile Learning)" and "Travis Allen's ZeitgeistYoungMinds entry (Mobile Learning) iSchool Initiative" by Travis Allen are very creative, interesting and thoughtful. When he made the video, he was a 17 year old high school student who had an idea in mind to help schools and students way of learning. He used YouTube to relay his ideas. When he was 18, he formed the iSchool Initiative. He is now a student of Kennesaw State University in Georgia, travelling the world with his team of 25 members to inspire schools into mobile learning and making a difference. In these videos, he talks about his ideas, what he hopes to change within schools and ways to help students learn better at a lower budget. Like the iTouch, which provides us many apps that help us interact and learn, he hoped to launch the iSchool. The iSchool Initiative is also to battle against the massive budget cuts all schools are facing. Ischool is a similar handheld device like the iTouch but for school use only. It will be built on Apple's iTouch platform. It will have applications to replace expensive graphing calculators, expensive college textbooks, printers, pencils, paper, and etc. There are also apps that allow students to travel the Universe with just a single tough. There is also an app that contains all the formulas a student would ever need. With all this in mind, for the sake of learning, the iSchool device is limited to school use only. This will prevent the worries of students browsing, texting or calling during class time. This is also helpful for teachers. They will get instant access to any class, set up due dates, assignments and etc. at anytime, anywhere. This is also a benefit for parents since they can monitor or look up their child's progress at the palm of their hands. It is really a creative and helpful idea to fight against budget cuts and the quality of student learning. This will also help our environment. Because it's paperless, we are going "green".

Even though it's creative and it seems helpful, there are just a few things that will take a negative impact. Because this is will remove the need of books, paper, printers, calculators and such, wouldn't it also remove jobs as well? Wouldn't this remove business such as Staples, Office Depot, printing companies, factories and etc.? Wouldn't this remove teachers from their jobs too? It sounds good for the schools part but wouldn't we have more people who will be unemployed? I don't think we can afford to "go green", fire people or shut down business at this time of the century. As a student, I would love iSchool but I really don't mind paying $100 for a textbook, $150 for a graphic calculator or doing things the traditional way. Yes, it is money out of my pocket but it is also money back into business. For businesses to run, people need to spend. Yes, textbooks are really high in price through our bookstore but have you asked why that is the case? Have you done research on it? Greed is not the answer. In a way, I feel like I am helping both me and the businesses associated. The production of iSchool may produce jobs but I don't think it'll be enough. The iSchool would also require everyone to learn the technology. The idea of iSchool would also kill the essence of many things such as physical interaction, face-to-face communication, motor skills and etc. Even now, what ever happened to penmanship? What ever happened to writing papers in proper English? We have students who are so reliant on technology to fix it. Let's give them those old manual typewriters. How many errors would they make? Sorry there is no backspace available or auto correct. We will become too reliant on this device to the point where we don't even know "how" to talk to one another or how we can live without it. Even today, there are people who believe it's the end of the world when they lose their smartphone. There are people who hang out but all they do is text each other instead of actually talking. Also, I would much rather an Engineer knows his formulas, chemicals, solutions and such with memory than by relying on a device that spits out answers. Yes, with iSchool it'll be much easier and quicker to access information but we will develop a reliance on it. What if the iSchool app fails or has an issue? Every electronic will have their issues. Is there a work around? What if teachers are then required to give a paper exam. Would students know how to solve a problem without the device? What if a student needs to do research, their device doesn't work and the library is shut down because of the awesome development of the device? What will they do then? Well, we would use another device or go on the internet but that is not the point. I am not saying that the iSchool is entirely a bad thing. I love technology and would prefer to spend less money but I think iSchool will have more of a negative impact than a positive one across the board. I personally prefer the traditional ways of learning. To counter school budget cuts and layoffs is not by producing a device to solve it but to stand against the one's making the cutting decisions. Even if we produce a device to counter the problems we have in schools, they can surely cut the amount of devices we can have in the school as well. They can also cut more teachers and staff. Let's say every school decides to go with the iSchool phenomenon, which means the government will have to borrow or print more money to get the parts or China to produce it. It's more national spending, less jobs for the U.S. because people who create books, pencils, calculators, run the labs, library and such will be laid off, less spending and consumption by our citizens and etc. The iSchool has the ability to counter the issues but would it really helpful in the long run on many accounts? That is the question. It may work, and I have to give Travis Allen credit for coming up with a brilliant idea. We need more people like him that wants to help solve the problems in schools one way or another.

Eric Whitacre and his amazing Virtual Choir consisting many people from around the world.
Virtual Choir

After reading Jennifer Chamber’s post and watched Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir, it is truly amazing how creative a person can be and learn how powerful technology can be!! Basically it is a video consisting 185 different people around the world who does not know each other at all yet they created an outstanding choir through the power of technology and the creativity of Eric Whitacre. Eric Whitacre is a famous American Grammy award-winning composer and conductor. He created the "Virtual Choir" project to bring together the many people around the world together. What he is doing is a beautiful and remarkable thing. Technology can bring people together to create something beautiful like this. Things such as national problems, stereotypes, prejudice, skin color, cultural differences and etc. were set aside. You can also think of it as uniting hearts across the globe to make a movement. Technology allows us to be who we are without the fear of what society thinks and allows us to create something extraordinary. They did not need to meet, practice together or anything like that. Each individual simply stayed who they are, believed in their capabilities regardless of what others might say, and weren't shy about it. It doesn't matter if they we are not "perfect", are “off-key" or not a singer. Each individual has their own talent and that talent can be used in anything. I think that was the message he wanted to send us. It doesn't matter who you are or where you are from, you make a difference and can make or be of something remarkable. Everyone is beautiful and talented in their own ways. Technology is used to show all of this. Technology is too powerful in many ways. This is showing us how we can be united together in a single voice of peace and not war. In fact, technology or the use of internet is how me and my husband got together. We never regretted a single moment and I would like to thank the existence of the internet that changed our lives. I also thank technology for it allowed Eric Whitacre create this beautiful voice and song of the world.

Kevin Roberts says we are no longer the main source of information but a filter.
Teaching in the 21st Century?

The video, " Teaching in the 21st Century by Kevin Roberts (Dr. John Strange version)", really makes you think especially if you a future educator. The way we teach is going to change as more and more technology is integrated into the classrooms. I think Kevin Roberts wants us to know that what we teach and the teaching strategies will change but that doesn't mean it's the end of the teaching career. We will no longer be the main source for information but a filter. That may sound absurd but in a way, it's still teaching. The student can use Google, Wikipedia and other websites out there to get the information but someone has to teach them how to do it, how to search and understand which information is actually useful. We need to be the ones teaching them how to use that information effectively. He believes we will be the ones teaching the necessary skills a student needs. Even though teaching in the 21st century may be a change out of the traditional norm, it's going to happen and we need to go with the "flow". Our careers won't end but it'll surely be different.

I honestly don't know what to think about this. I know I have to accept this reality and see it as a positive change. I guess it can be a good thing. I personally don't mind it but I can see many people who are not going to be happy about it. I dislike knowing the idea that I will just be a "filter". In the end, we can still "teach", just not the factual information but the skills. That is still an important thing to teach people. We may lose the part where we are the main source but at least we still have something we can make a difference in. In reality, teaching is not just about teaching factual information and the skills too. Students need to be thought how to analyze, apply, observe, and dissect the information they obtain. They also need to be taught the morals, the rules, and etc. We are here to do that.

A flipped classroom can also be understood as an
Flipping The Classroom

The videos, "Why I Flipped the Classroom" by Miss Katie, FAQ videos by Miss Katie and Dr. Lodge McCammon's FIZZ - Flipping the Classroom" by Dr. Lodge, teaches you the ways you can "flip" or "change" the classroom into a "better" one. They are both teachers that found problems in their classrooms. The problems are not just in their own classrooms but many. Most will ask the question, how can I fix it? These two teachers suggested "flipping the classroom". Instead of wasting time with problems students may have such as not understanding the material, being too behind, too ahead and etc., and students are provided with information before the class starts. What this means is students will have the materials available to them before the class. If they have any questions, they can ask before class. This can help students catch up and ask questions out of class time. Also these materials can be re-watched or reviewed. This allows students who are behind to catch up with the rest of the class. "Flipping the classroom" allows students to learn at their own pace without interfering with actual class time. Because these are out of class time, there are more room to apply materials during class.

In Dr. Lodge's video, he started a "FIZZ" project. He says that there is too much lecture in the classroom, which is not engaging. He also says that telling the students to independently learn is also not engaging. Therefore he started the FIZZ project to help train educators to "flip" the classroom. Students are learning outside of the classroom through videos provided by their teachers whenever and however they want. This allows for students who are behind to catch up to. It is very similar to Miss Katie's "flipping the classroom". Instead of lecturing during class time, the teacher should act as a facilitator and have students apply their knowledge.

All of these are good ideas and ways change teaching and the classroom. Providing students videos, interactive ways of learning, information and such before the class starts is a positive thing. I really like the idea. There will be problems like students not watching the videos but that can be fixed. As a student, there are many classes that I've been in where 80% of the semester is the professor trying to cater to those who are behind. I feel like my time was wasted. It is fine to try to get students to catch up but please do not use the entire lecture time. I would like to learn something new, ways to apply the information and such. To fix this, I think we should have been giving the information and a forum where we can post our problems. Our problems can be answered by the professor or other students. This allows interaction between students. Even during this semester, there are some classes where I just sit there and practically do nothing because the professor focuses on getting the students behind to catch up. I only attend class because I'm required to. I think "flipping" the classroom is what we need to do.

My Sentence Video

Monday, September 24, 2012

Blog Assignment #4

The first graders create their own read-along audiobook, also known as a podcast, with Miss Silvia Tolisano!
Langwitches: 1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook

In Langwitches: 1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook", it is very interesting to know how 1st graders, or any student is intrigued by technology. Langwitches is a blog by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, a World Language teacher, Technology Integration Facilitator and 21st Century Learning Specialist. The first grade got to record their own podcast and write their own scripts. This promoted a new and fun learning experience! The podcast is a great way to promote teamwork as well! They were read chapter by chapter as they wrote the script and were taken out of the classroom to record them. A little booklet was made for other students to follow as the podcast played. It is also great that there is a special sound at the start of a new chapter to help those who are lost. As they listen to themselves, they are aware of their own voices and individuality. In the posted results, most of them wanted to re-record themselves and experimented with their voices to make it funny or intense! Giving students the opportunity to explore something new can create new learning experiences, give them a sense of self-awareness and go beyond what they think they could do. The podcast can also be a way to improve the students reading, writing, comprehension and listening skills!

The podcast is a great and fun way for students to learn! I am kind of excited for our own podcast project. I am sure I would want to re-record myself many, many times before I think it is "right"! I think we will all have fun with it like the 1st graders did. I am sure we will all be aware of how we really sound like. When we talk and hear ourselves, it's actually different from how we really sound when others hear us. It is an interesting discovery when I first heard myself in a recording. I will definitely apply this into my future classroom. I am sure all the students will have fun!

The first graders are eager to create their own podcast with Miss Silvia Tolisano!
Podcasting With The First Grade

In Miss Silvia's blog post, Podcasting with the First Grade, she tells us how a podcast can be a fun and wonderful learning experience for elementary kids! After listening to the second graders podcast about animals, the first graders were interested in creating their own podcast! They were excited about gaining exposure and audience from the outside world, experimenting with their voices, using technology and stepping onto new learning platforms! They were also excited to place their podcast into "other people's computer and iPods". She read "Vacation under the Volcano" by Mary Pope Osborne from the Magic Tree House series and engaged in discussions with the students to come up with ideas on what to put in their podcast. They decided to create an interview between two characters of the book, Jack and Annie. The boys played Jack while the girls played Annie. A script was written for the students to follow. Each one of them had a chance at being recorded! While recording was in session, students that were not being recorded were reading or doing other classwork. What was amazing is that the students cooperated, behaved, and were patient and eager to learn more! They were also pointing out mistakes Miss Silvia had missed. There were a lot of engagement and interactions going on! This activity also allowed room for boundless creativity!

It is amazing how a podcast can help enhance a student's development, strengthen their abilities, improve their reading comprehension, expand their learning capabilities, and allow for creative and many more! This is definitely a superb activity to do with children of any grade level. A podcast can also teach them about current technology! It is always good to prepare students for the world especially in the technological world. We are always advancing in the modern world. It is a benefit that students learn about technology. This is a must-do activity in a future classroom! This can bring the entire classroom together. No one is left behind.

Joe Dale teaches us how a Podcast can be a benefit in a classroom and how it effective it is!
The Benefits of Podcasting in a Classroom

Joe Dale created an awesome post and video on the benefits of podcasting in a classroom. Joe Dale strives for technology in education, is an independent consultant for many organizations such as Microsoft, Skype the BBC, The Guardian and etc. He is also a host for various education forums, a speaker, game designer and a blogger. In his video, he shows us examples of how a podcast can be a benefit. A podcast can allow students who are sick or absent to catch up with the work without having to be in the classroom, record a lecture for reviewing instead of having the teacher speak again, or incorporate it into an activity. Because it's on the internet, anyone can access it at any time without having to bother people. You can learn at your own pace! This caters to the different ways a student learns. Like Joe Dale says, podcast allows creativity and innovation! In the video, we also learned about "vodcast", basically a podcast where the students can incorporate visuals for others. The activities that incorporate a podcast expands the use of technology, promotes team work, improve reading & writing skills, improves comprehension, is fun & interactive, and a new learning experience! The students are engaged and eager to learn. They can also experiment for themselves. Allowing students to take control and "teaching" others is also a good experience. Because they are having fun, it can be memorable! We always remember the good times in our life! A podcast can also show parents what their children are doing at school! This can also show parents that technology is not necessarily a "bad" thing.

It is important in this day in age that we all learn about most technology and how to apply it into our classrooms and our life. There are more benefits than we think. A podcast can help students study, gain interactive skills, and improve their way of learning. By bringing fun and innovative things into the classroom, it engages students! And because it's a recording, students can always go back to it for a review. A podcast is definitely worth implementing into a classroom. I cannot wait to work on our own podcast because we will be learning something fun and new. I also cannot wait to see what other classmate’s podcasts are like! Let the creativity flow!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

C4T Summary #1

David Truss teaches us about the quality of teaching and Inquiry Hub
For the C4T, I was assigned to Mr. David Truss, a Vice Principal with the Learning Innovations Network Coquitlam (in BC, Cananda) and with Coquitlam Open Learning & the new Inquiry Hub. His blog Pair-a-Dimes For your Thoughts is a place for many, many helpful advice and words of experience from him as an educator.

I commented on one of his post called "Pushing and Nudging with Andy Hargreaves"that consisted many, many great quotes about the quality of teaching and how we should teach our students! He was posting about a book called "The Fourth Way: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change" by Andy Hargreaves and how that book made him rethink about our education. Within the post, he provided many quotes and phrases from Andy and twitter. It wasn't a very long or a detailed post but the quotes alone can make you think. One quote that made me think the most is one said by Andy Hargreaves. He says "the most significant in-school factor that affects student achievement is the quality of teaching." Like I told David Truss in my comments, many people misunderstand what "quality teaching" really is. A teacher has to teach effectively, support their students, be a guide and role model and etc. There has to be a structure. Without structure, everything is hectic and unorganized! A teacher has to be committed and understand that students will need your help!

Even so, I asked him what he kind of suggestions and advice he would give to a new teacher since we are all hoping to be teachers one day! He replied with a strong and powerful answer! It really sparked me and I never even thought of it that way. He chose the right words to relay his message. He says that he would suggest new teachers to be fearless and "model what it means to be a lifelong learner". By this, he means that we should teach our student to be daring, to accept failure and learn how failure can become the best teacher. With failure, you make new learning experiences, learn new ways to approach a problem and make you wiser. This isn't just to teach the students for a school environment but for their entire life. It's like what most people say. Mistakes are our best teachers. We learn the most when we make mistakes. David Truss is absolutely right on that! I'm quite surprised he actually replied!

On my second C4T assignment, I had the pleasure to read and comment on one of his most recent post, Digital Literacy and Inquiry Hub. He talks about a new system that they are running for their students. It's basically an online hub where students use technology to learn. Even though they are starting this, most students do not have the require skills to use it. During one of his lessons, he had to teach the students the basic essentials before using technology to communicate with the outer world. He taught them how to control themselves and respect. He also did a toothpaste activity and read a story called "The Bad Temper" to explain how the toothpaste project was related. Basically the students emptied the toothpaste tubes and had to put all of it back into the tube with provided resources. The students were broken up into groups of four and had to figure it out. This required team work and patience. It was very interesting. The activity is not so much about the toothpaste but how the students behave towards each other as they get frustrated with the activity. It's a life lesson. This is a good learning experience and it is helpful especially before using technology to communicate online.

Project #5 - Google Presentation

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blog Assignment #3

Peer Editing

In the video, "What is Peer Editing?", and the slideshow, "Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial", I learned many ways to do effective peer editing and what peer editing really means. Peer editing is when you make suggestions, compliments, revision and improvements on a peer's writing or work. A peer is usually someone your own age. From the video and slideshow, I learned about the three important steps to peer editing.

In step one, you have to compliment and be positive. Being positive can influence the mood of the individual and not make it seem like editing is a bad thing. Like in the video, think about how you want to be peer edited. Do you want your peer editor to provide you mean comments or positive compliments along with what you need to edit? Along with compliments, you should provide what you think they did well in. I think this is a good thing because it gives the writer the feeling that their work is not entirely bad. In step two, you make suggestions. When making suggestions, you have to be specific. This also includes telling them how to improve their writing, see if they stayed on the main topic, see if they chose the correct vocabulary, if they are organized so there is a flow in the writing, and etc. The third and last step is making corrections. Corrections include checking for correct punctuation, grammar, sentence structure and spelling.

These are all important things to consider when peer editing or when writing your own paper! I usually have a lot of grammatical errors. I have trouble writing my papers but I am constantly trying and get reviewed. My husband and my mother-in-law are my peer editors. They both excel in English. Without thinking or even watching the video and slideshow, they do all of the steps! I would appreciate it if all my future peer editors follow these steps. It is important to always help and let your peer know what their mistakes are and how to fix it. Using a positive manner makes them feel better and not like they are being berated. Treat them how you would want to be treated. When you correct someone or make a suggestion, it is not always an easy thing to do. Some people may get offensive, defensive, not understanding or inconsiderate. As a peer editor and a writer, you have to be open minded and willing to accept other people's opinions.

Speaking about the different editors you might get, this leads to the other video, Writing Peer Review Top 10 Mistakes. It's a funny video featuring a student of the 4th or 5th grade showing us the kind of peer reviews we shouldn't be conducting. You have situations where one peer may not be paying attention, being too picky, defensive, offensive, rude and insulting, pushy, easily distracted and/or provides little to no adequate suggestions. These are not the kind of qualities a peer should have when conducting a quality peer review! I enjoyed the video and the fact that they used young students to participate. Even though the video features young students, it doesn't mean it's only for young students. It's for us, adults, as well. We do the same thing and make the same mistakes. We need to understand what it takes to provide a quality peer review in order to help others and ourselves.

Technology in Special Education

Technology in Special Education is a video by Lacey Cook. She demonstrates how effective technology can be in a Special Education setting.
Technology in Special Education by Lace Cook is an excellent video that shows us how effective technology can be in Special Education! It is amazing how technology can help students in Special Education learn, communicate and participate more than usual. The students don't feel limited and are eager to learn. In Lace Cook's classroom, students use technology to interact with each other, work on assignments quicker and make their life easier! For example, a student named Corbin was doing silent reading via an iPod audio book. Before he used this technology, he needed an assistant to read to him out in the hallway. This required him to be out of the classroom. By using the iPod audio book, he can stay in the classroom with his classmates and can be independent reading by himself! Technology helps students in special education communicate better too! Another student, Christopher Newman, benefited from this. Instead of having to point his finger at the alphabet sheet to spell a word to construct his sentence, which he had trouble with, he would use the laptop and click the letters as they appear. There is a visual and an audio that goes with each letter too. That is a major plus! This is a lot quicker in terms of communication.

By providing technology which can improve their life can also improve their future. Their life won't be as limited. This gives them a new kind of hope and goals. It doesn't only benefit them but also the teachers. Because more students are able to independently work, teachers can tend to more students than before. I would definitely use technology in a Special Education classroom. It's a way of helping them and changing lives.

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism

Ipads can help improve learning for special education students by simply using applications that they provide!
"How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism" is a video of Braden, an 8-year-old boy with autism, who uses an iPad to do his homework with the help of his dad. On the iPad, there are several applications that can help Braden with his reading, writing and counting. In some ways, this works better than doing it on paper because the iPad interacts with you. There is an instant feedback. When Braden was asked by the iPad to count the numbers, he responded by pressing each shape that responds with a number for him to repeat. Because he is constantly being engaged, he is more interested and motivated to learn! A piece of paper won't do any of that. Besides the counting applications, there are writing applications that can enhance fine motor skills. It works the same way with paper and pencil but this is a way of going "green". Even though it works the same, the light and the way the pad looks gives a different feel than a piece of paper. Ipads or any other tablets with applications are excellent for children with special needs. Even though iPads are expensive, I think they are an investment in the long run. An investment not in terms of money but in terms of how many lives you will change.

An iPad application I came across that I will use in a Special Education classroom would be "Elmo Loves ABCs for Ipad". It is an interactive application that allows you to practice your ABCs. It teaches you how to identify the letters, sound it out, and write it. There is a tracing activity to help the student practice. There is music and art activities that go with it. All of these can enhance a students' motor skills, creativity, alphabets and communication. Especially with students in Special Education classrooms, this application promotes a fun-filled environment. There are visuals that come with each alphabet too. Rather than learning each alphabet on paper, they can learn it through the iPad and have fun while doing it by playing the little games and art activities it provides. I feel that it is important to enhance the ABCs because that is what people need to learn before they can read and write. Before an autistic student can construct a word or sentence, they need to understand the alphabets. Like in the previous video, Technology in Special Education by Lace Cook, some of her students needed to point out each letter to construct a word. If they did not know what each letter is, they wouldn't know how to construct the word they want to. it is truly amazing what applications can do for a person!

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts

Vicki Davis, an innovative educator, teaches her students how to use vast amounts of technology and harness their abilities to connect to the world!
After watching the video, Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts, it is great that people like students and educators are promoting worldwide interaction to create something that benefits everyone. No one is excluded, not even students who live in rural places in Georgia. In the video, educator and innovative teacher Vicki Davis explains to us what she tries to teach her students and what the students create with the power of technology. She doesn't throw definitions at her students but push them to be thinkers for themselves. She tries to get her students to be thinkers, do their own searches and teaches the students to use every kind of technology to connect them to the world! She tries to harness their abilities. She does not leave anyone out. She understands that everyone have their strength and weaknesses and different interests. She uses those to customize her classroom, that way everyone is included. Because of that, it promotes collaborations and teamwork.

It is like our class, EDM310. Instead of paper and pencils, we are going "green". Not all of us know or understand certain technology but this class will harness our digital smarts. We are constantly learning new things about technology, new ways to interact with the world, learning how to use new applications such as Blogger and Twitter, how to become thinkers, effective writers, learn how to apply technology in future classrooms and etc. I believe it is important that every student should know how to use technology effectively. Our world is getting more and more advanced. We should take advantage of it. We should all harness our digital smarts in a way that can benefit yourself and others! By doing that, we can connect ourselves to the world. No matter where you are, where you are from, urban or rural, you are always included and not limited just your environment. I am from New York City, moved to Mobile a year ago. I went from a big city to a small one but that doesn't limit me. I use all sorts of social technology to interact worldwide. I also learn a lot from it. I am constantly interacting with people throughout the nation, throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and etc through blogs, forums, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. I am also constantly connected through games just like the students in Vicki David's classroom! When you interact with people such as educators from around the world, you learn a lot more and can help more people.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blog Assignment #2

Did You Know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version

Did You Know? A video originally by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod
In the video, "Did You Know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version" by John Strange, it provided information of our progression compared to the past in technology, education, language and more! This video is a revised version of the original "Did you Know?" by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. Much of the information provided such as the amount of SMS sent, people watching YouTube and using Google did not astonish me as much as other information. Because we are constantly developing new technology and advancing in this world, the usage of these technology is normal. When SMS first existed, only selected carriers and phones have this option. As we add SMS into more and more phones, more carriers will have it. The older phones, ones without SMS, are not made anymore. Today, even with the free phones you get to select when opening a new cell phone account, it has the SMS function. Because SMS is available to everyone, it is likely that there is an increase of people texting compared to 5 years ago. SMS also goes nationwide and internationally. It's much cheaper than buying a plane ticket or spending hours on the computer just to talk to someone. As good as SMS is, it is also bad that we rely so much on this one feature to communicate. The growth in usage of any technology will always increase unless something just goes wrong!

What amazed me was the amount of Chinese people who will speak English will exceed the amount of native English speakers in the world!! I understand that China has a population of 1.3 billion but did not know more are learning to speak English than ever before! I am Chinese-born-American and my parents were born in China. Back in their days, not many people taught English and/or did not have the money to afford it. Life was rough and they rather work on the farm to make a living than to go to school. I am glad that there are more doors open for the newer generations for more opportunities.

These were very informative videos and provided information that none of us would have known unless we had to research it. I am glad I watched it and will look for more on YouTube with the other millions of people around the world!

Mr. Winkle Wakes

A video called
Mathew Needleman is an independent film creator and a literacy coach at Los Angeles Unified School District. He also owns many education websites that provides open resources. The short clip, "Mr. Winkle Wakes" by Mathew Needleman, was a very interesting one and went straight to the point that everything around us changes except for a few such as our education. Mr. Winkle woke up from a 100 year slumber into a an era of technology! He learned about the printers, video chat, and machines he has never seen before! He did not like the change and went to the hospital. There, he learned about the technology used to keep people alive. He was upset about that too. Like Mr. Winkles, our parents or grandparents are typically the same way. They did not have the advanced technology we have now. They did not text, talk online, video chat, use a printer and etc. At one point in history, none of these existed! It is only normal for people like Mr. Winkles or those who are from an older generation to prefer the old ways of living. That is what they are use to. They typed on an old movable typewriter, communicated by meeting each other for lunch, took pictures with a film camera, and etc.

Even though everything is changing, education never really changed. Education is still required and are held in an environment where electronics are usually not allowed in classrooms. In a school setting, children are not showered by the technology but are focusing on their learning. However I think this is changing. The video "Mr. Winkle Wakes" was created in 2008. It may only be 4 years but I'm sure a lot have changed. As I grew up, electronics were strictly prohibited in a classroom but these days we have teachers using their laptops and smart boards to teach. I am required to learn the smart board to teach. I don't have anything against it. I just prefer the traditional way, especially for an elementary classroom. Students are allowed to carry their cell phones into the classroom but it has to be on silent. Students are starting to text during class session without the teacher noticing. Students don't take notes as much either. They rely on their laptops or smart phones. Less and less people "write". Sadly, I think Mr. Winkle will be upset about the current classrooms. :(

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson speaks about the importance of creativity on TED talks
Sir Ken Robinson is a very entertaining, has led the British government advisory committee on creative and cultural education in 1998, knighted and an English author. He focuses on creativity and speaks about it on TED. I have watched the TED-talk "Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity" before and I had fun watching it too. He implements humor into his talks and his creativity in his humor is key. He talks about how public schools or any school squeezes out the creativity out of children. He claims that is the case due to the education system that they have built based on their own preference or what they think the child should learn in order to succeed in the future. Like he says, no one teaches dance like how they teach math. Dance is not something that is deemed "useful" or can "make a living out of" compared to mathematics. The level of importance of math is higher than dance. It is the same with any type of art. He says that it should all be treated with equal importance. He says we actually grow out of creativity or be educated out of creativity. Everyone is born with their own creativity but as we grow up, we have the influences of our parents and the education system. We are taught what are deemed important to help us find a career. We are molded into what they want us to do. Because of that, our creativity has no room to be anywhere.

My parents came from China to the U.S. and I was born. As first generation in America, they hoped for me to become a lawyer or doctor because they make the most money and career seeking is easier. I hated both. My passion is in art. They discouraged me from it because they believe I couldn't make a living out of it. My creativity was shut. Right now, my younger brother is going through the same thing but the school doesn't really squeeze the creativity out as much. He has gone to all the top public schools and now in high school. What are his interests? What is he creative at? He doesn't even know himself. Our father wants all of us to be doctors and discourage every other subjects he deems useless such as art, dance, music and even the technology fields such as computer science and engineer. My dad only knows that lawyers and doctors are successful because he's been around them. I have to agree with Sir Ken Robinson and I hope that people, especially children, are able to express their creativity and be allowed to chase their dreams without interference! I hope people continue promoting this idea. We are not robots, we are human. Creativity makes us who we are. Creativity is what allowed us to advance in the world!

A Future with GLASS

After watching "A Day Made of Glass 2" and "Project Glass: Live Demo at Google", I am blown away! The fact that we can develop such thing is phenomenal! As for the current Google Project Glass, I think it's cool but I am not sure how it will be in an educational setting. Project Glass is developed by Google and it's a pair of glasses that shows augmented reality display. They are also developing these as contact lenses. How well would it work for people who prefer to wear their glasses? If they have glasses, how well would glasses on glasses work? I think this project is more for interaction than fit for an educational setting. You do not see what the user is doing during a classroom session. A student can sit in a classroom but not learn because they are looking at something else in their glasses. This raises the questions, are teachers able to control that during sessions? I don't think Mr. Winkle approves of this one!

I prefer Corning's vision of Glass in educational settings. I think Corning's expanded vision for Glass is amazing but there's a little bit of it I wouldn't like. I am sure Mr. Winkles might agree. The technology of Glass is energy efficient, money efficient, powerful and can provide more information than a person can. Like in the video where children were learning about colors, the technology of Glass allowed them to combine colors off a single table and show images that relate to that color. Instead of buying thousands of materials for students, they just need this technology. It also allows students to learn more than what we can provide today. The usage of 2d and 3d dimensions to allow students to visual see and interact with history is amazing. It is different from looking at a picture in a book. As much as I like this, I think Mr. Winkles would be pretty upset about technology advancing into classrooms but not too much. Students will still have the same focus and are always eager to learn. Glass also makes the learning environment fun and hands-on. Besides benefiting education, it will help advance the medical and science field. The part where a surgeon or doctor can interact internationally with another to figure out a problem is amazing. There's no need to wait for a plane ride over another country! Just simply make a call and a visual pops up. It's pretty neat how data can be transferred from Glass to Glass in an instant. This will remove all the messy files and paperwork of our day! I am just blown away that I can't even express all my opinions about it. This is truly phenomenal and I look forward to it!