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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 13, 2011

Blog Assignment 4

 A picture of many words arranged in various directions, colors, and sizes

Don't Teach Your Kids This Stuff Please

I like the style he used to write this it's very similar to E.E. Cummings', his spacing really helps the tone. It was interesting way to put forth his argument, a fine example of creativity being used well. His arguments are pretty valid, if kids are not being taught to use the internet then they are being left behind. There are people out there willing to teach their children and students to use the web for productive purposes which puts them leagues in front of those who are not allowed to utilize the resource. Not only that but it's the whole idea of distrust that surrounds allowing students (K-12) to be on the internet, as if there aren't problems in the physical world. That they won't be responsible if allowed the access to the endless stream of unfiltered information the internet allows. Then again parents and educators could learn how to use filters responsibly.
  Dr. McLeod is a rather interesting man himself, I like that we look at so many interesting and free thinking educators in this class.  To say the least he is an education expert, not just K-12 as his bio implies.

The iSchool Initiative

His arguments start out pretty simple but he also leaves pretty massive gaps in some areas. Schools need to change, frankly I won't argue with that. Furthermore, having come from a West Texas education system I am certainly not going to argue with that. He goes on to list programs already on the market available for the his proposed itouch platform, I guess ipads weren't around yet. He of course exhibits a few of the apps that can be used right now. He then exhibits the future potential if this is implemented, solid arguments there. he addresses issues that parents would be concerned with rather well, such as internet access. However when he gets to the money issue I thought he let it falter a bit. While there is overlap in the items he mentioned and the ischool, there is a big issue. This is something that will have to bought for each kid and obviously by the parents not the schools, which a lot of parents will not like.  The programming also has a major flaw, it would have to transcend school districts. It's something that is hard to cater to certain districts, it's not something that can integrate into existing systems. It's hard enough getting people to take baby steps, this is new ground entirely it might just be asking a little too much at one time.
We certainly need change and this is a wonderful idea but I don't see it becoming a reality until the technology is already outdated and there is something better out there, if at all. It's big thinking and it's kids like this that do get things to change or at least get people thinking in the right directions.

Lost Generation

Oh man, that's harsh. I have to say that I feel this is the most depressing video we've watched thus far. It's definitely trying to get you to think about these problems. It really takes the wind out of my sails honestly because it just has such a pessimistic outlook at the beginning, it really got me thinking inward. That's the point though isn't it? It's up to us, or the current generation, or however you want to say it to make a stand for change. We might necessarily be able to change our world immediately but we can at least make it better for future generations. It's the individuals who become the masses, it's each persons responsibility to shape the world into what they would like it to be. If everyone sits idly by then the future is assuredly going to be an unpleasant time.

Eric Whitaker's Virtual Choir

I've been seeing youtube bands around for a few years now, I guess I've just never stumbled across a choir. this is much more impressive than anything else I have seen to date. It really is a strange concept, to perform with people you may never actually meet. A nice contrast to the extreme melancholy of the last video. It's always interesting to see these groups of people no matter how big or small with the desire to create collaboratively across every boundary imaginable, across states, countries, oceans it's simply amazing. It's simple and accessible as well, anyone can watch this. They are not touring in concert halls across the world, they're  where anyone with internet access can get to them.

Teach in the 21st Century

The video has some good positions, bad style but good positions. For a video about being engaging and creative the color scheme was rather dull and the music repetitive, it was buzzword heavy and seem to get up on using them. For what it was saying it was a little long and dull. Enough bashing because I like the point. People need to know how learn, teachers need to know how to teach, and anything you put towards someone to learn should be engaging. Natural curiosity needs to be nurtured, guided, and allowed to flourish. Resources need to be experimented with and utilized. In the digital world personal contributions should be archived and looked back on to reflect on progress, and can be with out taking up space in your home! A lot was said throughout this presentation, it was a solid piece. It's not exactly something made for the digital world take a bite and run world. It's putting forth that the resources here today can and should be utilized by everyone.
By utilizing every available resource we can improve every aspect of our lives, it's not just limited to education in the classroom. The internet it for everything and everyone, where pretty much any question has at least one answer just waiting to be discovered.


  1. Hey Nickolas, it's me Abby Jordan. I completely agree with you, The Lost Generation video was very depressing. I am not sure if it was the soft music in the background or the black scrfeen with nothing but words, whatever the case it was by far the most depressing video we have had to view yet in this class. Like you though, I think the creator really got their point across. It is our responsibility to start a change, so that the future won't be so dark.

    As far as the virtual choir goes, was that not the coolest thing ever? How neat it would be to be a part of a song with so many people deom so many different countries whom you will never meet. If you could orchestrate any song like this, what would you pick?

  2. For something like the virtual choir performance I would probably go for a orchestral piece instead of vocal personally speaking, probably Brahms and more than likely Hungarian Dance No. 4. An opera would be extremely interesting to see done in this manner as well, you of course would not have the full effect and more than likely no costumes or the motions to go with it but still interesting.

  3. Great description of the iSchool. I agree that parents won't be happy to think that the school will not pay for the iPod. I really would like to think that all parents would love for their student to want to do their homework on the iPod, but I know that is always something that not everyone will be happy with.

    It really is amazing to see how the Virtual Choir was able to bring all those people together and create a wonderful sound. It is awesome!

    Good post Nickolas,

    Stephen Akins