The iSchool Initiative
In Travis Allan's video, The iSchool Initiative, he is basically proposing the idea that classrooms become completely dependent on technology. By doing this, there would be no paper, pencils, copiers, or textbooks, it would all be on the 'iSchool', a gadget similar to the iPod. He states that by doing this, it would save up to 600 dollars per student and the device itself would only cost about 150 dollars. In his newest video, Zeitgeist Young Mind's Entry, he challenges students and schools to get on board of his non profit organization, The iSchool Initiative. In this video, he says something that rings very true, "students need to be prepared for the digital world they were born into".
Even though Travis makes very good points in his videos, I must say that I do not completely agree with where he is going with the initiative. I am 100% for having technology in the classroom and he is right in saying our students need to be prepared for the digital world they live in. However, I do not necessarily think that pencils, paper, or textbooks need to be done away with completely in a classroom. I do not think it would even feel like a classroom! Technology needs to be limited within the class, and it is not always reliable.
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
I have to say that my reaction is the same along with every one else's to this video, wow! One-hundred eighty five voices, twelve different countries, never meeting one another, and still making that beautiful noise. I can not image the hard work and patience this man had to create this masterpiece, my hat is off to you Eric Whitacre! Watch the video here, its a must see!
Teaching in the 21st Century
In Robert's video, Teaching in the 21st Century, he is basically saying that as educators, we are not any longer our students source of information. They can retrieve any information they need to know via internet on their phone, computer, iPod, ect. We have simply become filters. Teaching is definitely changing! As educators, we have to adjust teaching students differently, not just by spitting out facts. Using products that are out there such as apps, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Skype and so on, are good tools to help teach students about collaboration. Whatever source of technology teachers choose to use in their classroom, it must be engaging. Engaging and entertaining are two completely different concepts. Students do not need to be entertained they need to be engaged. Being engaged allows room for the students to think creatively themselves, where being entertained is watching the creativity of the one entertaining.
So, how does this affect teachers? First of all, it is important for teachers to stay up to date with what technology is out there. Researching must take place. Look for different sites and try out new software. You have to understand something before you can use it or introduce it to your classroom for students to use. If one finds something applicable, then try and apply it to the classroom during the next term. Also, asking around to others who may be more knowledgeable than you about these things is smart. And lastly, take risks! If it does not work, try something else.
Katie Gimbar: Why I Flipped My Classroom. I thought this was such an interesting approach to meeting the needs of every student in our classrooms. I would definitely apply this to my classroom if I saw fit. I like the fact that students can work at their own pace or work ahead if they feel that challenges them. Also, having them see the information before class is helpful too. I find that Katie's strategy is very efficient!
Dr. Lodge McCammon: Dr. Lodge McCammon's FIZZ-Flipping the Classroom. Dr. McCammon explains the strategy of flipping the classroom. Basically what this project proposes is that students will have access to Fizz videos outside of the classroom and watch them as many times as they need. When the students come back to class, the teacher can be a facilitator of engaging the students and collaborating with them. This is more effective than lecturing in the class, then students going home to work on the information given, alone.
Ms. Munafo: Flipping the Classroom. Ms. Munafo is addressing this video to the parents of her students. Which is a great idea, might I add! She describes the flipping of the classroom as mentioned above in her video. She makes clear that the students need to be taken to the next level and their school feels it is best to use their technology at home and in the classroom. Also, it is more engaging to the students by getting them out of the boring, same-ol-same-ol, lecturing of the teacher in front of the classroom. Now they can see her on their computer at night before class the next day. This is such a great way to get students more engaged and allow more room for learning.