Educational Technology Decision Making
“She walked up to the StarBoard with a banana and just started writing. She said, ‘Let’s say you were doing a health unit. Bring out a banana. Let’s say you were doing a unit on pumpkins. Bring out a pumpkin. You can write on this interactive whiteboard with anything.’ I thought: Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, I mean even 8th graders would think that was cool.”
Yep. Writing with fruit and gourds. That’s solid pedagogy and clearly 8th graders find writing with bananas to be really “cool.” I’m sure I can find some research to back that up . . .
Here are two options our new filtering system currently gives when you try to access a blocked siteI’m not going to get into the whole filtering things again. My views on that are probably known if you know me.. Option One Misspelling aside, this warning is not pleasant. It assumes what I’m doing is bad and that I am acting with bad intent. Apparently I need a scary warning. I am being treated like a deviant. This does not please me. Option Two Well, am I blocked? Is the site down? I don’t know. This message does nothing for me and leads to frustration and irritation. I suspect the filter but have no obvious way to confirm itAt least not by myself while at school. I did confirm it via my network of Internet malcontents.. Super. The message I want is simple. Let’s choose something with a blue or green background. It can be unique looking so teachers can spot it easily but it can also be calm and polite. Maybe something like . . . There’s nothing wrong with treating people with respect and politeness. The scary page isn’t going to deter people who are interested in bypassing the filter and it only insults those who are going about their business with legitimate intent.
Six and a half hours a day. Nine months a year. Thirteen years. March, children, march. Take your diploma and drive thru. This is, as Jim Grant puts it, the American Lock-Step, Time-Bound, Grade School Structure. Do you have any idea where this model for education comes from in our history? The Kingdom of Prussia in the 18th Century. The king was having trouble with Lutheran aristocrats and decided to implement a compulsory education system that would indoctrinate his people to ensure the kingâ€™s place in Prussia. Horace Mann, Massachusetts representative and education reformer, was looking for a common system of schooling and turned his eye to Prussia. This lock-step method of educating was revolutionary at the time. It followed the mighty and holy Henry Ford in its assembly-line structure. The still very present agrarian society was respected within the structure. The majority of schools in America were still private institutions and unorganized before Mann put the lock-step system into place in the 1840s. Mann also organized teacher conferences and delivered lectures and addresses advocating reformation of the education system. Horace Mann was an educational revolutionary and should be respected for his attempt to provide consistent education to all learners in his state. We no longer live in an agrarian or industrial society. Our commodity is information these days. We […]
I’m writing this stuff down in an attempt to hash it out in my own head. Feel free to help me find the right path (if there is one) or even decide if this is worth thinking about. Tool Exposure vs Literacy What we have going on today in many cases is the illusion of teaching literacy. In reality we’re just exposing students to toolsKeep all exposure puns to yourself.. I see quotes similar to this one all the time- The literacy tools of our day, today, include the web, netbooks, cell phones, cameras and recorders, etc. We are responsible for teaching students how to be literate. – source So essentially, we have to teach kids how to use all these things because that’s what it takes to make it in the world. In the past it was just reading, writing and some math so the only general tools you had to be able to use were a pen/pencil, paper and a book. Now the idea is, we have to teach students (and learn ourselves) how to use all this stuff, to learn which buttons to push on lots of different objects. Where these comments get messy for me is delineating what really requires different kinds of thought (bigger conceptual framework) and what is just today’s tool which needs only […]