“New Learners of the 21st Century”

Watch Full Show on PBS. See more from Digital Media – New Learners Of The 21st Century.

This video was interesting enough to keep my attention, but not very useful to me otherwise. Of coarse kids want to play games, and sure it would be great if we could get kids to learn that way but what are some real life options here? If you are at one of maybe 20-30 across the country where you have CPUs for everyone, tablets, gizmos, etc then integrated learning from technology can and should work , but if you are not at those schools, or even worse at a low social economic school you might not have any of these tools.

I know technology is a great tool in learning. More jobs in the future will require computer skills. I think there should be dedicated, and required courses for students to take to learn important skills in technology. I don’t think teachers of english, science and math should have to incorporate games to make learning fun for students. We need to add more technology courses, and lighten up on some of the history, math, science and social studies classes we require. I mean when have I used my American or World History knowledge to obtain a job? Never. They teach us what they want us to learn in history anyway, and that is usually only a partial truth if that.

The video says that teaching the old way isn’t what’s best for the “new learners”, but we have all these amazing things from students that were taught the old way. How did that happen if it was so bad? I’m not against technology at all. I love it and wish I knew more about it. Maybe there will come a day when I buy into what this movie is selling. Maybe I will see benefits once I get my own classroom that will persuade me.

We need to focus on food in schools, exercise/wellness, and eliminating social classes with Property tax funded schools. These are issues that I deem more worthy then getting kids more time on their gizmos. Learning isn’t always fun. It’s hard and requires some moniker of discipline. Maybe I’m too focused on making learning into games, but that seemed to be a big part of the movie.

One thing I really did like was the professor that talked about how we use the word addiction (about 15mins into the movie). Someone who plays videos games all the time is addicted to them, but the kids that play soccer every free moment is just a hard worker. I think this contradiction is obvious in society. I think kids and adults need to live well rounded lives. Branch out, and accept new challenges. To do only the things we like is not living, it’s fantasy.

Standard BIO.1

Standard BIO.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which

i) appropriate technology including computers, graphing calculators, and probe-ware, is used for gathering and analyzing data, communicating results, modeling concepts, and simulating experimental conditions.

This standard offers a wide range of activities and possibilities in a biology classroom.  Students can plan and conduct their own investigations or have on assigned by the teacher.  Teacher should use prior knowledge of students abilities to assign the best topic.  

“Giving Reluctant Students a Voice”

“Giving Reluctant Students a Voice”

I loved the idea that the article suggests.  I think using a classroom blog is a great way to get all students involved.  I don’t think it should be the only way.  I think you have to get students to use their voice in the classroom and not just type their thoughts.  They do plenty of that already on their phones.  If you have type 3 and 4’s, then it’s the teachers job to get them involved in the discussions.  Give them advanced notice of the topics you are going to call them on so they can be prepared and help eliminate some of the anxiety that students have about speaking in front of people. If that solution doesn’t work then speak to them about what is limiting them mentally.  No matter what subject, there is have “hidden curriculum”, and building confidence should be high on the agenda.  So says me. 

“Innovative Educator” my favorite of the Top ten tech blogs

http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2012/03/top-10-technology-blogs-for-education.html

Out of all the suggested blogs I liked the appearance/display of this site best.  It was easy to navigate and understand.  It didn’t look as crowded as some of the other suggested sites did.  I couldn’t find anything subject specific for Biology, but I still found many of the posts relevant and useful.