Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blog Post #2 - What will teaching in the 21st century be like?

The "Professor Dancealot" video focuses on the fact that students must get involved in order to fully learn an idea and also that straight lecturing will not keep students interested. The author of the makes this point by the students being fussed at when they try to do the moves that the professor is demonstrating and that they look completely bored during the lectures. By the time the final came, because of the way the professor taught, the students did not know what to do when it came time to actually do the dances. I agree with the conclusion. If you want someone to know the book knowledge of an idea alone, then straight lecture will get it. However, if you want to students to have an applicable knowledge of an idea, they must get hands on or they will not be able to perform.

Students interacting in a hands on activity

Above: Students interacting in a hands-on activity.
Link to photo source: New Bureau from the University of Missouri

The ideas presented in "Teaching in the 21st Century" video are very well thought out and good ideas. According to Roberts, teachers have to provide more than just facts because students can find facts anywhere. Resources such as social media can be very resourceful for the modern student. Teachers are not the main source of information, they are the "filter" is how Roberts phrased it. The teachers must ask students questions that they cannot find the answer on page X in the textbook from the index. Let them use any source for their information. Make them use technology instead of just books. Students must be engaged with relevant and challenging information. The teacher must take the first action to make this work, though. The teacher must do his or her homework to know what is out there. Then he or she has to incorporate 21st century ideas and collaborate, not just as students, but as teachers with other teachers to find out what works.

I agree with Roberts, books are useful, but we now have a world of information at our fingertips if we just look. Teachers have to use both books and technology in their lessons. This will affect me as an educator because when making a lesson plan, I cannot just sit down with the book and plan straight from there. I have to find other sources outside the book, sources that will get students linked together with each other and others around the world when they find information. I will also have to make sure students know that Google is not the only way to gain information about things when looking up ideas that they do not know.

I think the video the "Networked Student" has very good points. I also think that the idea is great, but I do not know how effective that would be. It would possibly work out that way in an advanced level class, but in the non-advanced classes, only one in a few would put in that much effort. When the question, "Why does he even need a teacher?" is asked, the narrator never even mentions that the teacher would be the one making all this happen. Without the teacher pushing the student, he or she would not participate in learning through networking. I simply believe it would not happen if there were not a grade attached to it and a teacher nagging behind him.

In addition to that, it is being assumed that the student is even finding accurate, up to date information. I have done projects like that before and I found it just as effective as the burp-back learning. It did not stick with me. Would you want a doctor who did a project like that with some incorrect information because it came from a poor source or it was out of date. Also, he would not know the same things as the other doctors because he did not happen to come across the same things. So you would have a doctor who would not know about whatever illness you have because he never learned about it and the teacher could not test his or her students on something that they could not have been expected to just happen to come across themselves.

I am a big proponent of lecture teaching, but not just straight up "bore-the-kids-out-of-their-mind" lecture. I am a strong believer in teaching a hands-on, student involved lecture that involves their senses, but involves something that they can be tested on. I believe some of what the "Networked Student" did should be in the classroom. However, if that is all the students did, then the next year when the student moves on to the next grade it cannot be assumed that the student knows what you want him to because there was nothing standardized from the year before.

In the "Harness Your Students' Digital Smart" video she says you will leave students behind if you are just paper and pencil type teacher. That is hand in hand with any way of teaching if you just purely teach that one way. Students all have their different strengths and weakness and if the teacher just teaches that one way, no matter if it is paper and pencil or strictly like what was mentioned in the video, someone will not have that strength and will fall behind. Due to their falling behind the student will be considered dumb or at the very least will feel dumb. This will cause the student be less inclined to try hard because they now have the mindset that "I am dumb and I cannot learn like this, so I will not try."

Also, this type of class seems like it is some kind of computer class. I am sure it will work great in that setting, if the students even remember it a semester away. What about classes that are not classes to teach computers? Lets say you teach a science class, if you teach strictly on computers and you want to show your students a certain reaction will happen if you make this cause start, sure you can watch a video on it, but the best way to show them is to actually do it in your classroom. If you want your students to learn about bridge structure and how different structures support better, software will not make them understand. You need to get them to build bridges and put weights on it so they can see the bridge stand or collapse.
The video "Whose ahead in the Learning  Race" does show some good points as far as what the students know and what they are learning. There is a TED talk that goes with what this video says. It shows that if the children want to learn, given enough time, they will learn it. However, it is not completely reasonable that the undergraduate and graduate students that are mentioned can be automatically expected to know technology in they have not been introduced to it. Children now have grown up with much of this technology where as when most of the college students were in third grade VHS was still the way we saw movies. That does not give us reason to not know; it just gives us a reason that we do not know now, but can learn. As far as who is actually ahead in the race, just because they the third graders might be learning how to use a computer when they are children does not mean they are ahead. It just means that they were given the opportunity to learn at a younger age.

In reflection to several of the assigned videos, we must remember that we are not made to sit in front of a computer all day. It is not healthy for the human body to be so completely attached to technology all of the time.The Huffington Post has an article about what technology does to people. This is only referring to free time, imagine if students were to spend all of their time on at school with technology and then to go home to spend their evenings on technology as well. At a certain point, we need to put down the electronics.

Flipping the classroom is not a completely new idea to me. I have had some classes that use this method. In addition, in a discussion with my sister she said many of her classes in the art department already utilize this method, they just call it by a different name. I think this idea is a great one. As I mentioned previously, I have had classes that use this method and I thought it worked well. There are some issues I feel could arise with this, though. The teacher in the video said they are only using this method for math at the current time. Once this method is used for the entire load of classes, the students will be watching videos for the entire night, if they are even able to finish them all. Also, if the student has a question, he or she cannot stop the teacher and ask. This now put the student behind if the question is a big enough one because they are not going to be able to be ready to jump into what the teacher has planned for the next day.

Also this assumes that the children will actually watch the videos, or that the parents will make the children watch the videos. If the student does not do his or her homework, they will not watch the video once the flip occurs. A home computer is also needed for this. The teacher does mention that they can watch the video in the  morning, but that takes time from the child's school morning. That time can no longer be used for moving on with the subject. The teacher also mentions that they want to incorporate more subjects into this program, once that happens, the child will not have time to watch the video in the morning. This program could possibly give more homework than could have originally been assigned. I am not opposed to homework myself; I am all for students having homework. However, many parents from the experiences I have had at the different schools I have attended, think their kids already have too much homework

Students participating in group learning

Above: Students participating in group learning
Link to photo source:
I very much liked "Bringing the Locker Room into the Classroom." I am a supporter of group work and collaboration in the educational environment. I think the students working together offers the opportunity for different sides of reasoning for different areas to be explained. For instance, if I taught a lesson on long division and some of the students did not understand, some of the other students might be able to offer a new way of presenting the topic to the student who does not understand if in a collaborative environment. While I support working together while learning, I do not agree with the idea of group grades for major grades or grades that will add up to be major. If you want to know what a student knows, the best way is to ask that student individually because otherwise you do not know what THAT student know, you know what THOSE students know.


  1. "...straight lecturing…" This term is new to me. What does it mean?

    "If you want someone to know the book knowledge of an idea alone, then straight lecture will get it." Why would we want "book knowledge" to be the objective? Would "straight lecture" (again a new term to me - opposite of a curved lecture?) always work? Often work? Sometimes work?

    "...only one in a few would put in that much effort." Why not?

    "I simply believe it would not happen if there were not a grade attached to it and a teacher nagging behind him." So we must force learning through grades and "nagging". What happens when the "teacher" is not there? Does all learning stop? Should it?

    "Would you want a doctor who did a project like that with some incorrect information because it came from a poor source or it was out of date." You need a ? at the end of tis sentence. I would argue that a central point of the video is that teachers now should not be the sources of content but should rather teach students how to make good judgements about the accuracy and reliability of the vast quantities of information that are available to them.

    "I am a big proponent of lecture teaching, but not just straight up "bore-the-kids-out-of-their-mind" lecture." So what kind of lecture do you advocate? And why?

    "That is hand in hand with any way of teaching if you just purely teach that one way. " i do not understand this sentence.

    "Also, this type of class seems like it is some kind of computer class. I am sure it will work great in that setting, if the students even remember it a semester away." A computer class? Really?

    "You need to get them to build bridges and put weights on it so they can see the bridge stand or collapse." I couldn't agree more but I thought, from what you said earlier, that a lecture about how to build bridges would be a more effective way of teaching!

    How important do you think it is to "catchup" in the learning race I described in the video? One of your classmates (not in this class) suggested that we take the technology they know away from them. That would make the race fairer for older people who will be their teachers. Do you agree with that argument?

    "At a certain point, we need to put down the electronics. " I don't disagree but I do have a few questions. First, data clearly show (even for EDM310 students) that the greets use of technology is for entertainment. There is some use of technology as tools for learning, and it is growing. But entertainment is still the predominant use. If we reduce the total use of technology, should use for entertainment be cut? Should use for education be cut/ How do we do either? Or both?

    "Once this method is used for the entire load of classes, the students will be watching videos for the entire night, if they are even able to finish them all." The entire night? I wonder.

    What is "too much homework"?

    Inconsistently argued in several places.

    Interesting. Provocative.

    1. Straight lecturing would be like the Charlie Brown teacher where you stand up there and bore the students by just being behind a podium and speaking.

      I was not saying we want a pure book knowledge, but if that were your goal, then it would be attained through such means.

      No, I do not think that should be the learning should stop there, but students are lazy. They will not wish to put in the effort. That particular video referred specifically to a high schooler and I can assure you they would not put in the effort. There would be a select few, but most of them would do the bare minimum. I had friends in high school (who were in advanced classes with me) and even many now still in college that even when there is a grade attached they do not do an assignment simply because they do not care to. My mother, an honors Spanish teacher at a local high school, mentions often that if her students find out there is not grade to follow, will just not do the assignment. The same reason not all of your students are doing your blogs on time when they do not require anything but time and a little effort. The teacher can try all he or she wants, if the student does not wish to try the student will not try.

      I feel if the only error found was was a question mark after I only proofed it one time, I am doing well. Also there was an error in the very sentence where you corrected me.

      I advocate lectures where there are breaks for the students to get interactive with the lecture and try their hand at whatever the lecture is pertaining to.

      That particular sentence says that if a teacher teaches only one way (even if it involves the almighty technology) students will be left behind. All students have different strengths and technology will not be it for everyone.

      Yes, to me that class looked as if it were some kind of maybe programing class or something of the sort.

      I did say I like lectures in the classroom, but you seem to have skipped where I said I also like hands-on learning. Building a bridge would be hands-on; building a bridge on the internet....not so much. As I said earlier, I like lectures that involve interactive breaks for the students. Such as if I teach a lesson on the history of a culture, I will talk for a little bit and then will have them participate in a dance from that culture or do an art project that will give them a visual of what we just talked about.

      I feel the importance in catching up in the race all depends on a person's life. Not all careers or jobs require an intensive knowledge of technology, others do. I do not think the technology should be taken away from young students completely. Also, I do not feel that they are more intelligent because they can make a computer go "click-click" and things happen, my two-year-old can do that. They might be highly intelligent, but there is more to being smart than to simply use a computer.

    2. Yes, I think the amount of time used on technology as entertainment should be cut. As far as who should be in charge of cutting the entertainment technology, simple.. parents. If the kid is not doing homework he or she should be doing something healthy such as being outside and playing. Also, even educational things can be addicting. That is where the entire market is for the educational games for small children. If it were not addicting, the kid would not want to play it. If it were not educational, the parents would not want their kid to play it. Without both, there would be no income for the company. Simply put, technology is addicting and I feel higher technology usage is a key in the overall weight issue (especially among young students).

      The flipped classroom would most likely turn into the teacher recording himself or herself just talking....a straight lecture, which would mostly likely take roughly 30 minutes per subject (not including the assigned homework material). Thirty minutes for six subjects, just for a number, is three hours. If we add the assigned homework material it would most likely be another hour, if everything only took 10 minutes to complete. My degree can have me teaching children as young as kindergarteners. Should I expect five and six year olds to do four hours of homework every night after being at school all day? Children need some time to play and be kids. As everyone knows all too well, childhood is fleeting and once it is gone it is gone. THAT is where you know if it is too much homework. Should a kindergartener be expected to focus all attention to school from 8 am until roughly 7pm?

  2. I agree with you on several points you made throughout the post, and I like how much detail and examples you gave to help readers really understand your points. Your organization seemed to flow smoothly from one idea to the next. Maybe next time when you want to use slag wording to describe something, you should also explain what and how you mean it, like the "straight lecturing." I think these terms are perfectly fine, when explained to the reader. Other than that, all I can suggest is to be extra careful when proof-reading, i can tell you from my own experiences that is is easy to make mistakes in long blogs. "The author of the makes this point by the students..." I think you mean "this" instead of "the" and these small mistakes can snowball so be mindful. And as a last point, I really liked what you said about how we are not meant to sit in front of computers all day, I fully believe this is a truth that many people ignore today.