Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Special Examination - Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson speaks about those who are doing things they are good at and those who are doing what they love. He states, "being good at something is not a good enough reason to do it." He argues that adults feel comfortable doing things that they are competent in and only exploring their "comfort zone". He mentions that they do this in order to please other people's expectations. Then, there are those who do what they love, what resonates with them. this is where passion meets natural ability. Just because you are good at something does not mean you are meant to do that thing for a living. People have to find their element and in order to be in your element, you also have to love what it is that you do.

I agree completely with these views. I feel as though people should do what it is they love. They should not care about pleasing others because they should only aim to please themselves. People need to work for their own personal happiness, not the happiness of others. Is it fair that everyone else around you is happy but yourself?

Sir Ken Robinson goes on to bring in education and even tells a little short story/example of what it is he is speaking on. He says that he spoke to a guy who was a fireman and he had mentioned that he had ALWAYS wanted to be a firefighter. His teacher even told him that he was stupid to want to do this and that he would never amount to anything. Why? because we are force fed these ideas of what talent is or what people should strive to be in the world. Later in the example, Sir Ken Robinson goes on to state that the firefighter actually ended up saving the life of that teacher and his wife.

I as an aspiring teacher, will definitely incorporate the views in this lecture into the lives of my future students. I do not feel as though we as teachers should brainwash students as to what talent is or what a "good" job is. I feel as though we should encourage students to strive to follow their dreams and aspirations. I feel as though it is our duty to let our students dream big and to let them achieve those dreams, not just shoot them down. We as educators should inspire students and aide them along the way with whatever it is that THEY love and want to achieve in THEIR lives.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Okay, I admit, I haven't been that focused on learning about Twitter. I have looked up a few things and even listened to a few comments on the radio regarding the social network, all for private uses though. I also admit that I haven't been that keen on trying to navigate or master Twitter itself. I have however, thought about ways that Twitter could be used in the classroom and both the negative and positive aspects of it.

First let me discuss what I have researched and been interested in finding out about Twitter. I have become curious about the limelight that Twitter has created around itself. I have come to find that Hollywood celebrities are majorly addicted and pro Twitter. I have become curious to find out which celebrities have Twitter accounts and how they use them to contact the outside world (the fan base). I have read about articles regarding the celebrity profiles as well as seen news segments and listened to radio conversations.

I myself have not become that interested in Twitter. I get kind of board just telling people what I am up to. I know that you don't have to just specifically answer that question, but I just need a little bit more of a personal touch and a little more freedom with what I want to say. I hate being restricted to a certain amount of characters and a certain amount of lead way when it comes to my own personal thoughts and creativity.

I have however thought of Twitter in the school systems both negatively and positively. I feel as though Twitter could be a great resource as sort of an online agenda. Assignments could be posted as well as changed and updated. Teachers could keep personal tabs and communications open and accessible with their students. They kind of get a look into what it is that their students might actually be doing.....studying, homework, eating dinner, at ball or dance practice.....

Negatively I feel as though not all students could have access to the computer at home, or that they would even check and access their Twitter accounts religiously. That could cause the lines of communication to become broken and let down. I feel as though teachers and students would have to feel comfortable using Twitter as their main source for assignments and communication.

In conclusion, I feel as though Twitter is just another social network. I feel as though it does limit the creative and thought provoking thoughts to which one can have and share. I feel as though their are both positive and negative affects that Twitter could create in the school systems, it is just how you administer them that makes all the difference.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reviewing Podcasts

I just finished reviewing four pod casts including my own. I feel as though the class did a phenomenal job considering we had never even attempted to create a podcast before. Now, on with the critiques.....

I will start with my own podcast. I feel as though the conversation was kind of monotoned and overly rehearsed considering we barely even practiced. However, we did interview Dr. Harold Dodge and there is only so much you can achieve with an interview in a time limit kind of setting. Now, me being my own worst critic, I could not stand the fact that I stumbled over one of my words, it is bothering me as I speak!!!

Now for the first victim (lol). I listened to the podcast about facebook. I feel as though that group did an outstanding job. They were very entertaining and conversational. However, it got kind of hard to know who was saying what at some points in the conversations. I feel as though that might be due to the fact that their group was over the group limit of how many people were suppose to be in a group in the first place. I did hear moments where people in the group tended to talk over what other people were saying and it got a little confusing. All together though, they did entertain and discussed their topic quite affectively.

I also listened to the shift happens group. I feel as though they did a wonderful job as well. They discussed their topic well and kept the conversation going. The podcast did tend to go up and down in voice levels. At times, some things were hard to hear, especially from one particular group member. I feel as though they just needed to speak more clearly and loudly.

Lastly, I listened to the group that interviewed Dr. John Strange. I feel as though that group did a fantastic job in their podcast especially since they had to interview or talk to our class professor. I feel as though the topic of the podcast was a broad one and that the group discussion kind of drifted away from the assigned topic and started to focus on one particular part of the topic. I also feel as though two people dominated the conversation the whole time and that it was hard for the other group members to voice their opinions or even finish the interview questions that they had intended on asking due to the time limit at hand. Overall, they did a great job considering it was the first podcast they had ever been remotely involved in.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blogging in the Classroom

By examining my own and another classmates blog, I have realized that blogging in the classroom can be a great teaching tool. It can have fantastic advantages for teachers and students. There are many things that blogs can be used for, a syllabus, a posting for classroom assignments, an update for classroom assignments, and instructional source for students, even a classroom away from the classroom for those students whom are not present. I will discuss all of these options in a little more detail.

First, a syllabus and posting for classroom assignments. The blogs could be used as an electronic or technological syllabus. Teachers could post class schedules, calendars, events, etc on the blog for all of the students or parents to view. The blog could also provide instructions for assignments and due dates. Students would also be able to post there questions about the assignments or events to each section of the class/teacher blog.

Second, an update for classroom assignments. Students will be able to follow all the assignments posted from the teacher. The teacher may make a change to the assignments or cancel, or even add assignments to the blog. Students would be able to become updated on these changes or cancellations by just checking the class/teacher blog.

Third, Teachers could provide instructional information on the class/teacher blog. Students will be able to view videos of how to complete tasks, research videos from other classes or teachers, and even make videos of their own to instruct the other fellow students. Teachers could post instructions for assignments step by step on the class/teacher blog for all students to see in case they did not understand, lost their hard copy of the assignment instructions, or even were absent. Which brings me to the fourth way blogging could be used.

Fourth, Students will be able to view the class/teacher blog, as well as the fellow students' blogs and basically find out what it is they missed in class in the case that they were absent. Students could look on the blogs and find out assignments that are due or were assigned. Instructions for the assignments would possible be available with even a video in some cases. Also, students could contribute to classroom discussions or questioning on the blog.

There are tons more ways that blogging could be used in the classroom but I feel that these were the most valuable and basic ways. Blogging in the classroom is a must in today's technology crazed world, especially when it comes to education.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Growth Mindset

I watched this video and was actually pleased to learn about the two studies. Two studies were performed on groups of students. One group took study skills classes and a motivational class on growth mindset. Another group took just strictly study skills. There was a significant difference. The students who took the motivational class along with the study skills, their grades rebounded tremendously. The group of students who just took the study skills classes, their grades continued to decline. Why? They just weren't motivated to put the skills into play.

Growth mindset is the mind set where you want to continue to learn. You realize that the more you learn, the more intelligent you become. People in this mindset walk around curious to learn. Those who do not feel this way, wall around wanting to feel smart. They are almost self conscious about wanting to look and be perceived as being smart. They just don't realize that you have to steadily learn to achieve intelligence. Growth mindset is vital. You can't keep up with the changing world around us if you are not willing to keep learning and growing in intelligence.

I feel as though this study was very important. I feel that as educators we need to motivate our students to have a growth mindset. If we don't motivate them, then why would they ever consider being excited to learn something new if they already go into the lesson feeling as if they couldn't possibly grasp the concepts. We have to motivate our students to continue to want to learn and be a part of the changing world. It relates to technology tremendously! When computers first came on the scene, no one knew how to use them. There were those of us who dove right in and were excited and willing to learn the new educational lessons of the computer. Then there were those who just felt as if they could not learn them. They were not motivated to.