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Currently a student at the University of South Alabama majoring in secondary math education.I have a deep affinity for old typewriters, pens, and keys.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Blog Assignment 3

I am going to apologize in advance for how ranty this post gets, I got really worked up and excited and could hardly type.

a blue typewriter next to a silver computer with the words is it really better on the screen

A Vision of Students Today
I enjoyed this video it was very entertaining. I do find humorous that it was done by a cultural anthropology class as that was my first really intensive college course. In the course I had to read eleven books, two of which could not be purchased physically and were E-books of two separate formats requiring different reading programs to read, one which had to verify you had the rights online each time you opened it. I have to say it doesn't reflect my college experience but I feel that is mostly because I have not had the usual college experience because I don't necessarily do things the usual way. I attended my first college course as a junior in high school, I petitioned for a free period at the end of the day with the assistance of one of the schools counselors who was a friend of the family and very kind, I then contacted the local college with the help of my mother explaining that I wanted to take Japanese and since it was not offer by any high school in the city I wanted to take it there. I applied like any other college student but they did  have to make a special case since I had not graduated highs school yet and I was currently enrolled at a community college for duel credit courses on top of a correspondence course. This was my first real college course, it was a small class of 12. My teacher, Yuki Kondo, knew my name and situation from day one. By the end of the first semester of the class we had gotten along quite well and she gave me two childrens books to practice my reading skills with. This is just a starting example, I have often been a part of small intimate classes that have been a huge advantage to me as a student. I read my books and I study hard, I go to class and I sleep when I can I try not to waste too much time doing other things.
I listen to music, I watch movies, I write to family, I read the news, I go to work,  but no matter what it's all secondary to my school work.
It's really hard to address everything brought up in this film, it really hits on a lot. It does get at the heart of a lot of the problems with college life. We waste time, we're kids, and the things the universities are doing don't necessarily help. Our books are expensive and often useless, many of us pay for things we never even consider using in our tuition, and we have teachers that sometimes seem to want to be there less than the students which only makes their classes worse. I mean, I have personally only been to the schools library a handful of times. I went once for a course I was taking outside of my regular classes, once to take pictures off the top floor, once to rent movies, and once to check out some copies of Bukowski. I've been to the rec center here twice, it's really just out of the way for me.  It's what is expected of college though, you spend a lot of money to learn some things; including bad habits.
College is a balancing act that's hard to stay on top of, it's not that anybody wants to flunk out. We have our social lives, class lives, study habits, and bad habits. Some times you just need a break, some times you don't but take it anyway. It's the first time in many peoples lives when some people are presented with real freedom to do as they please and it gets the better of them. Not only that but it's the flood of tech, we're surrounded by distractions at every turn. Social networking, streaming video, news sites, reddit, digg, tumblr, twitter, facebook, hulu, gossip, pictures,etc. Is it really any surprise that some people get lost in the tide? I'm ranting aren't I, I apologize.

It's Not About Technology
 That's really the heart of the matter isn't it? Putting the cart before the horse so to speak. We can't expect to make and implement great advances while assuming those who will use those great advances are automatically ready to go. We have to teach those who teach, the ones that are set in their way and pushing the same old stone up the hill only to have roll back down again.
 We can't as educators think, "oh, put this in the class room and kids will learn on their own because of it." We must develop our own learning skills so we can adapt to each new group of individuals that steps into our classrooms and not start spinning our tires as soon as something new comes a long. It is not an automatic thing that comes with being a teacher. We must be able to ADAPT or when tech changes on us we will become exactly the kind of teacher we don't like right now using outdated methods. If you can't teach with current technology what makes you think advanced technology is going to help. When was the last time you encountered a problem and said, "Hey, let's make this a bit more complicated then I'll get it."

Is it Okay to be Technologically Illiterate
 I LOVE THIS POST! Ah, yeah.
The self argument, the points from both fisch and freedman. The internal debate one has to deal with when thinking about issues such as this. This almost throws back to my little rant back on "Did you know", which was actually a bit longer originally. When dealing with the question of technological literacy it can be so terribly difficult to pick a side. When you grow up using tech it's hard to take that step back and realize maybe not everyone is as savvy as you or your not as savvy as you think. You run into people who are proud of their own shortcomings and you have to think to yourself "Why?"
 It's acceptable to not know certain things in society, but why? I myself try to gain as much knowledge as possible and sometimes I can be a strange cat. I have trouble looking at other people who say, "Oh, that's just not me." without feeling like I have a strange look on my face. There certainly are skills that are perfectly acceptable not to know but it's because they are not commonplace in society, neurosurgery for example. As future educators I can't stress this point enough. You can't take what you learn from classes like EDM310 and just drop it. We're not only learning to use technology we are learning the skills to learn future technology to stay on top of our game.

I like that he brought up math too, that hit me in the heart. I've dealt with that exact problem loads of times, not so much with parents of my students but just people in general. I'm going to come back to this some other time, believe me I like this post and I have had an idea that I think I can tie this into rather nicely.The double edge sword of tech, look forward to hearing about it and me soon.

Gary's Social Media Count
Ack, this whole assignment is too exciting I can't contain myself. I really must write the post I want to this week. I can't squeeze everything I want to say in one blog.
Technological growth much like scientific growth is exponential, as soon as one advancement is made it opens the door for even more advancement. The more people working on it the more it grows and the more it grows the more people it draws in to work on it.
We are constantly flooded with information, it's the state of the world we live in. You don't even have to leave your bed for it to happen.
It is certainly not uncommon for someone of our age bracket to use social media. I'm sure many students in our class use things like facebook, a few might even have tumblrs, and a handful use sites like delicious, reddit, and digg. Those who use tools like this are a bit more prepared to handle the amount of information hitting us in this class, for others it's complete culture shock. There are so many ways for anyone to get out and recieve information in modern society that it's ridiculous. You have to be able to adapt to it and know how to filter through all this information without getting overloaded and bogged down by the useless time wasters. There are so many tools at our disposal and we must constantly be prepared to learn how to utilize them, if there is one lesson my father has tried to teach me it's this: ALWAYS be prepared to learn and you'll never stop. He's set in his ways but has slowly been learning about technology not because he has to but because he wants to. He sent his first email two days ago and I found it rather inspirational.


  1. "...we have teachers that sometimes seem to want to be there less than the students which only makes their classes worse." How unfortunate! But you are correct! No apology necessary for your rants. I do it myself!

    So how do we bring about change in the educational system. Especially if teachers do not want to learn something new?

    I am carrying on a debate with one EDM310 student who contends that we should be able to teach without technology. She is not the only one, but she is willing to try and make a case for her position. Yesterday there was an article in USAToday about the latest test of Watson, the machine being groomed to pass the Turing Test and be declared as intelligent as a human. In the article Ray Kurzweil contends that we will merge with the "smart" computers, making ourselves smarter in the process. The article reports: "I'm kind of merged with this already (Kurzweil holds up his cellphone). I don't go anywhere without it. And it gives me access to all of human knowledge with a few keystrokes." And yet some argue we would be better off without our links "to all of human knowledge." Amazing, isn't it!

    You can embed Gary's counter into your blog. I have done that on the Class Blog. An ever present reminder....

  2. Are we getting into cybernetics here and biomodications? If so there are already people who install subdermal technology, RFID and things of that nature. I've actually written multiple reports of things of that nature but seem to have lost my sources. There was even a gentleman with his house and car keys frequencies implanted into his hands. That's thinking out of the box!
    We already live in the tech age, I'm not going to argue with that. I read tech news all the time and look up DIY projects constantly. I was actually looking for the plans for a homemade touchscreen graphing calculator with bluetooth and wifi I know I saw a few months ago. I'll come back to that though, there is a point to mentioning it.
    I have an internal struggle going on currently though; with this class, what we are covering, and my personal views. Little things that are bothering me, I've actually been discussing it with friends over the past two days.
    I love this class and don't get me wrong on that. I love the idea, the implementation, and especially the assignments. However, one of the points of the class is almost mocking it's biggest folly: not everyone is tech. I grew up on a computer, working with people on them, using them in the classroom, being on message boards and chatrooms, so I'm kind of used to this environment. I am used to discussing things online, getting comments on my blog and responding to them, but not everyone in the class is. I feel this is isolating them and having them lose out on something that could really benefit them. They aren't taking part in the debate because they simply don't know how in the digital world.
    I had a very huge debate with a friend of mine last night after I was talking about comments for kids last night. He read my comments, has been reading this blog, reads my facebook, personal blog, and is active in my life. We talked about the pros and cons of this class and I wish I could have recorded it but it happened over at his house, then continued on facebook, and culminated to skype. Here what he sees as the biggest problem with the class. Those who are not used to this type of communication aren't going to explore, they'll stay in their comfort zone. They'll stay closed off from other peoples opinions in class that they would catch if we were discussing it person. For people of the digital age like us, it's great! We're going to not only read the blogs we're assigned to comment on but at least sample from the other classes and get huge perspective on every issue. If you can integrate it's great, if you can't it's worse.
    I can't really type more because I'm actually about to head to the lab but I'll get back to the teaching without tech thing later.