Friday, March 11, 2011

Blog Post 8

Using multimedia to educate is brilliant.  The sheer amount of creative possibilities are limitless.  I remember doing "research" in elementary and middle school and we were only allowed to have one source from the internet.  Teachers thought that the real research came from printed books and interviews.  Now we have the ability to get pictures from books, text from journal articles, interviews from sound bytes, etc.-all on the internet.  So why wouldn't we use that to our advantage and put them altogether? Talk about bombarding the senses.  I would have paid much more attention to multimedia lessons, such as this one shown,  than I did to the monotonous "Dry Eyes" lessons I watched.  On top of the fact that the creative possibilities are endless, and that all media can now be put together easily,  this technique allows for the students to experience the material.  

Like Dr. Miller said, educators must be in the business of sharing ideas freely.  EDM 310 wouldn't exist if those involved in our network didn't agree.  I learn a lot from my professors that are essentially "teaching me how to teach", but I am lucky for the benefits that come with a class like EDM 310 that opened my eyes to a whole new way of learning.  Sure shadowing has been practiced for a long time but this is the strongest form of shadowing that has ever been used.  Educators are now communicating with future educators about the newest techniques and ideas.  I would much rather learn about whats going on in education right now rather than be taught about what techniques worked years ago. I want to learn from the teachers and professors that are learning something new everyday, today!  

Information is always being updated, reviewed, and shared. And it is ours for the taking. A limitless amount of knowledge is out there just for us. We now have the power to add to it, improve it, and release it to the world once again. Wow. He talked about a program that searched the internet for blogs, news sites, etc. and takes all of this information and puts it together instantaneously so you could find out the mood of the world's population for today. That is amazing. There's no other word to describe it. But besides that, he emphasizes the importance of sharing innovative ideas. He's right. It's the only way we will all be able to move forward.

EDM for Dummies & The Chipper Series

Though the videos may seem elementary, they get the point across that EDM 310 is a completely different world.  If I were to make an educational movie about EDM 310 I would probably focus on PLNs.  The idea of PLNs may seem simple to someone who has been exposed to it, but it is a completely new idea to me that I have never heard of before now.  How to get started, where to start, who to talk to....just some of the questions I still had even after I watched videos about PLNs.  Although sometimes cheesy, the videos were entertaining, probably because I've been there before.  Adjusting to the flow of EDM 310 isn't easy for anyone.  I especially have had a hard time with this.  The Sunday night deadline is hard for some people to meet sometimes but it will be nothing compared to the responsibilities we, as educators, will soon take on.  There have been days when I may not have gone to class because of life's many complications, but I didn't worry because I knew the lesson would still go on and the professor probably wouldn't even notice that I was gone...but those days are numbered.  In many professions, work can be done online or sent in, but educators don't have this luxury (at least they won't until education is revolutionized and is not centralized around physical institutions). As a future educator, I know that there will be a an entire class of students depending on me to show up every single day, on time.  And unlike the professors, they will notice if I'm not there.  Without my attendance (physically, mentally, and emotionally), the students will not succeed and that is my job-on top of the fact that I will get fired.  I have been doing a little better with my posts (meaning I haven't waited until Sunday afternoon to start on it).  But, I would like to go even further and attempt to work on my posts on Mondays, and make a habit of it to start on assignment when they are assigned.  That sure would ease the stresses throughout the week.   Just like I plan on showing up for school on time every day, I plan on actually being even earlier with my posts.  I understand that this is something that I should have known for sometime now, and I did.  I just simply re-evaluated the situation and decided that I could improve even more and now I'm taking that chance and running with it.

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

"US Department of Commerce ranked 55 industry sectors by their level of IT intensiveness.  Education was ranked 55, the lowest-below coal mining."  Schools should not be used like the factories they were modeled after during the industrial revolution. Yes, students are getting more stimulation outside of the schools, there is so much around them that it would be hard not to-especially when schools don't use technology to its full potential.  One of the speakers said that technology is not here just to help you teach traditional subjects, it has created a whole new world that is yours for the taking.  I would love to have the liberty to take my class around the city, to museums, etc. so they could experience the world around them instead of listen to me preach about it in a classroom with four walls.  Once we transform the teachers' schema of learning then we can soon bring the students into our new unlimited realm of learning.  Schools that teach students how to figure out the problem, solve it, overcome it, and so on, are the ones that are creating our future leaders.  Our future leaders aren't likely to come from schools that teach them how to bubble in Scantrons.  I don't want multiple choice tests in my classroom.  I want to have critical thinking.  I don't want to lecture them about subjects in a book.  I want them to experience these subjects through online programs and museums and our community.  I want to connect my students to the NASA resources and the labs online being created by MIT so that they will be prepared for their futures and realize that they can do anything when they are connected to a world outside of their own.

I sat there and tried to figure out what kind of person I am based on his categories of time.  I still haven't decided, although, I do know what category my brother fits into perfectly.   For someone who stays up until midnight and wake up at 5 to play video games, on top of having football training, and soccer practice, sitting still in front of a blackboard while someone lectures is not going to work.  When speaking about people who have personalities like my brother, which most 15 year olds do, I think that Smartboards like other forms of technology that are being infused into education are perfect.  My brother's attention span isn't meant for a classroom setting with four walls that only requires him to show up and sit in the back while his eyes glaze over in boredom.  In order for schools to transform our youth from present hedonistic students to future oriented citizens, we must bridge the gap for them. We must seek out ways to relate school to their lives, and once we successfully do this, we will motivate them into becoming future oriented people. 

As far as motivation goes, the studies show that high rewards work with high performance only when basic mechanical skills.  When even rudimentary cognitive skills are used, the rewards system just isn't that simple. When tasks require conceptual, creative thinking, much more than money is required to get better results.  Please excuse me if I use my brother as an example too often, but he's the only high school student I'm usually around, and since I plan on teaching high school, I figured he's my target audience.  Anyway, Pink said in order to get personal satisfaction and better results, then the subjects needed autonomy, mastery, and purpose.  I couldn't agree more.  If you put the student in control of the task and also their own future then they will feel empowered and feel the responsibility.  Once again, my brother usually has a problem with authority, but he feels he is in control, then he does exceptionally well at anything he puts his mind to.  He is a very creative person and doesn't relate to hardly anything inside of school unless he's designing, creating, or building something.  When he has free reign, he usually goes above and beyond anyone's expectations, so I can see how this self-direction theory works.  Oh I wish the entire school system would try something similar to the Atlassian Software Company.  It would be amazing to see the results what could come out of a project like this.  Over a 24 hour span, participants are able to work on whatever they please, the only requirement is that they show their work at the end of the allotted amount of time.  The participants had so much fun, they didn't even realize how many innovative ideas they were coming up with.  Fun, which is also involved in the second requirement-mastery.  Those who play music on the weekends, don't do it for the money, they do it because they enjoy it, because they want to master their skill.  The video said that businesses are always looking for some transcendental purpose.  The businesses that are flourishing are those that have a purpose that the entire company believes in and is working for.  If there is a meaning behind what you are doing and you feel a connection to what you are doing, then obviously you will work harder to get the results desired.  And just as Daniel Pink said, once we step back, stop looking at people like numbers, and work horses, and start treating them like people who can do anything they set their minds to then they will exceed everyone's expectations in the business and possibly even change the world.  I know that this is supposed to be about businesses, but if schools would start treating students like this and give them autonomy and purpose, along with helping them master things they enjoy, then they (along with educators) will help revolutionize education.  They will be motivated to learn on their own, and that's the real purpose right?  Studies have shown that this has and will work. So let's put it into action.


  1. I know exactly what you mean about not being able to use the Internet for much research in school, except I still wasn’t able to up until my senior year! It is incredible how much technology there is to use and the information available to us. It wouldn’t be right for educators to continue to keep us from using it. I also agree that EDM 310 is an excellent class to teach future educators how to use technology to enhance their students’ educations. Yes, PLNs were complicated to figure out and took a while to get the hang of, but they are nice once they’re understood. I completely agree with you on that Sunday night deadline, and I’ve wanted to get my posts done earlier, as well. I hope you get to do all those things for your students. It would be great for them to learn outside of the classroom and have fun at the same time. The higher up on Bloom’s Taxonomy education goes the better. I think the Atlassian Software Company’s idea is great, too. If only all business and schools put their system to use, so much more could be achieved! It clearly works and it helps motivate people without the promise of monetary rewards. Well written post!

  2. " ...this technique allows for the students to experience the material. " That's it. And I am glad to see the italics! Nice.

    "If I were to make an educational movie about EDM 310 I would probably focus on PLNs." Project 16?

    "I want to learn from the teachers and professors that are learning something new everyday, today! " Hurrah!

    A fantastic post! beyond excellent. OH... I know you can do better. Keep raising the bar as Randy Pausch said.

    Thank you! Keep up the fantastic work!