Friday, January 15, 2010

Did You Know?; The Social Media Counter; Mrs. Cassidy's First Graders; A Vision of K-12 Students Today

Please watch these three movies and Gary Hayes' Social Media Counter. Give us your feedback in a comment. You will find space for your comment just below the blog post. We would be especially grateful if you would respond to these questions:
1. To what extent do you accept the implicit and/or explicit arguments of these two movies and the Social Media Counter?
2. Are there any implications that you can identify for the College of Education and/or the courses you teach?
3. If we were to attempt to meet the future technological needs of our students, what assistance would you need?
4. Any other comments you would like to make.

Thank you!

Times are given in minutes and seconds

Did You Know? by Karl Fisch Narrated by Michael Arnold 6:00

Gary Hayes' Social Media Count
Gary Hayes Social Media Count for 30 minutes
The picture shows what happened in 30 minutes on Sunday 1/17/2010.

First Graders in Ms. Cassidy's Class 4:56
When you hear about comments from Alabama, it is a reference to EDM310 students last semester.

Watch the Social Media Count change every second when you click on this sentence. Think about these changes that are happening at such an astounding rate. What do they mean for your professional career as a teacher?

A Vision of K-12 Students Today by B. J. Nesbitt 4:08


  1. As I watched these videos, I thought of my own two children who are in their twenties and have growm up in this technological age. They answer a lot of questions for me about current technology because it is, and has always been, a way of life for them--as it is with the students in these videos. For the majority of the students I teach, this is also true. It is life to them rather than something foreign and unfamiliar.

    In last video the words "we expect" jumped out at me. Our students do "expect" that technology will be used in our classes and they "expect" to be shown how to use it in their future classes. We have no choice but to rise to this challenge.

    The first grade students in Ms. Cassidy's class are very fortunate for several reasons. There was an abundance of technology readily available to them in that classroom; something many of our teachers don't have the luxury of having due to budget cuts and the financial state of affairs in education today. I believe we have many teachers who are ready and willing to use technology--especially those who have grown up with it--but it is not available. To those teachers, both at South and in the K-12 classrooms, that have not grown up with it, they need to face the fact that they must make changes in their curriculum delivery and instruction in order to meet the demands of society.

    In the College of Education, we have so much technology available to us. I feel very comfortable using different technological applications because I know I have the OLL to assist me.

  2. I think if I were a teacher at a school where technology was not integrated into the classroom and support for professional development in technology was not available, I would be terrified after viewing these movies and the video counter. In such a situation, even if the teacher wanted to learn how to incorporate technology into lessons, how would she/he go about getting the equipment and training? Support for and the expectation of learning through technology must come from the school's administration. But, there are also other sources of pressure, such as parents, the business community, and as the videos showed, the students themselves, who can advocate for a technologically relevant learning environment.

    I have two children in a local public elementary school and I was delighted when, during Parenting Day, I got to witness the creative ways in which teachers were using technology to engage students in learning. Through this technology the teachers were able to engage students with different learning styles -- kinesthetic, aural, visual. There were no students with eyes glazed over. I was so excited at these methods of teaching that I shared them with a number of my colleagues. I say this to make the point that it isn't the case that the flow of learning related to technology is one direction from university instructor to university student to local classrooms. It also flows from the schools to the university. And that is as it should be.

  3. I embrace the points in these resources. I am increasingly concerned with education in America, and in Alabama, with decreased funding and the low morale of teachers. I recently helped a friend from New Orleans with a tutorial on the Promethean Board and realized being comfortable with a new technology must be coupled with a vision of why we should integrate these tools in every classroom. Time and desire are the main barriers. Knowledge of these skills must begin in pre-service teacher education courses and be strengthened in our graduate programs.

    Many use social networking for their own use, but without some impetus – such as an enlightened principal, school leader, special grant or funding, a focus on increased technology use in the school’s action plan, university training, or a mandate – most will not take the time to delve into learning new technology techniques in a systemic way.

    Our College of Education strives to “raise academic quality and enhance the learning environment”. I feel that our leadership, strong online learning program, and the increased emphasis on using technology across the curriculum should increase faculty awareness of the need to take the time to learn how to integrate digital learning in all of our courses. We must model the use of technology for increased learning and student achievement in every course.

    I teach a section of EDM 510 and have been encouraged by the positive student response to this updated course that includes a wide variety of Web 2.0 technologies. I do know I need to integrate even more technology into my other online courses. OLL workshops and PETAL offer excellent training opportunities. SARIC also does an incredible job of educator training during the summer months. The main implication I see for the College of Education is to adjust what is valued for tenure and promotion to include training, development and utilization of technology equal to research.

    I have taken several workshops through SARIC (when space was available), PETAL, and OLL. I need a site where I can gain access to tutorials and other "How-To's" in addition to the weekly training events I attend when time permits. I also need to have time to work with colleagues to discuss what they are doing and share rubrics, technology tips, etc. Perhaps a Technology Day is in order.

    As a tenure-track faculty, my time developing technology connections must count, especially when there is a direct correlation between my training and implementation. A rubric is a good idea. When you teach all courses online - you are already using technology. However, to really integrate it into all courses - you need time to learn the technology, to research best practices, to collaborate with others, and integrate it appropriately in your course. Our "Learning Communities" are a start in the right direction. But, I struggle with a choice between research and improvement of teaching. Sorry this is so long - but approriate teacher use of technology has long been of interest to me.

  4. I just viewed the videos from my laptop while sitting in my living room before I "go to class" and begin responding to my students' threaded discussions in on-line courses. My 12-year-old son sits next to me playing a game on his XBox360 with graphics so realistic I cringe at the sights and sounds. We are waiting for a Skype call from our oldest son in Alaska to hear about the baby shower we were unable to attend. A text just came through my a friend reporting on her daughter's success at an out-of-town swim meet. This evening, I'll be on Facebook where I'm reuniting with old friends from high school.

    This is our life. Technology is interwoven into our daily lives and provides us with sensations and experiences that would be impossible without it. People of my generation may stop and marvel at how it has changed our lives but we are a dying breed. The next generation does not remember a time before the internet existed. (Perhaps this is why several of us referenced our own children in these comments.)

    Yet, there remains a disconnect between the technology that is a part of our daily lives and using technology to promote learning in the classroom. While this may have been acceptable when technology was first making its way into the classroom, it is no longer. To me, the question that remains is "When equitable resources are available, why do some teachers utilize technology more than others?" I hope someone can solve this mystery soon because come Monday morning my son will be sitting in his first period English class...filling in worksheets.

  5. It used to be that students came to school to learn the latest things. Now, students "power down" when they come to the classrooms. These students are extremely fortunate! My university students are often frustrated by the number of sites that are blocked from classroom use. We've tried to find ways for them to do what they want to do with the limitations that are there.

    I used to be afraid to try something if I couldn't do it very competently for my students, but now I'm learning that it's ok to learn with my students and that they appreciate my willingness to try new things-even at my advanced age!

  6. Karyn, love your personal tech multitasking example. Sounds and looks like our home!

    Dr. S, I agree...and I also refuse to ask our students to "power down" in class: instead, I am working on ways to use their "devices" to meet the objectives I'm interested in teaching. I also believe this is a powerful attitude: "but now I'm learning that it's ok to learn with my students and that they appreciate my willingness to try new things-even at my advanced age!" It is a humble style which (in my experience) can certainly create a community of learners...including the instructor!