Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blog Post # 2

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Did you know?!?

Watching Did you know? 3.0- A John Strange 2012 was very informative but, unfortunately not surprising. While I know we have highly intelligent people right here in the USA, places like China have always (at least in my time) been more advanced, especially with technology. I believe that classroom education is the best place to incorporate technology because children soak up knowledge like a sponge. What better way to encourage that eagerness than by having fun, technological gadgets to mold their minds.

The last time I stepped into a classroom was in 2006 when I subbed for a private school in my hometown, and it was exactly as I remembered a typical classroom from my years as a student. I graduated in 2001 and even then we did not have Smart Boards, computers in the classroom, communication with educators via Facebook or Twitter. No, no no!! We came to class with a book, took notes for 60 minutes and spit it back up for a test the following week. A classroom was considered "advanced" if it had a double dry erase board with rainbow colored markers! True story! I don't think this something typical of a small, country town in Southeast AL, I think it was the standard high school classroom. Today, I am envious of the opportunities our young people have at their finger tips and can only imagine the day (if I'm blessed enough to be in a technologically equipped classroom) that I can work along with students using all of the advancements offered.

Mr. Winkle

Poor Mr. Winkle looked so confused and lost throughout the video. I bet if he had a hamster spinning on a wheel in his head while experiencing all of the that technology for the first time, it would've created smoke plumes from his ears. The end of the video actually shocked me and I'm sure this is because I envisioned it going a different direction but, the fact that the classroom was so bland and not advanced made me sad for Mr. Winkle.

If Mr. Winkle were to visit a classroom today, he might find a room full of excited kids waiting to use a tennis ball to write on a Smart Board, a special guest speaker via Skype, or computers without the dust. I think after a day with children in today's classroom, Mr. Winkle would be ready to get his own Iphone and face time with his long lost brother....he just woke up after 100 years and 1 day!!!

Sir Ken Robinson: The importance of Creativity

I have always been a firm believer that you can teach anything to anyone but, the key is relating the material to something they are interested in. Finding a creative way to balance education and fun is something every teacher should consider. Maybe I'm too modern, maybe I have the wrong idea but, the fact that I have the idea and willingness to incorporate something outside of the box to help my students learn should earn me a gold medal. Too often have I witnessed "cookie cutter" educators stand in front of a group of students and recite page after page of material and expect the student to retain that knowledge forever. It's very unfortunate for someone like myself, who is a student.

As an educator you should be willing to take that step back and evaluate the different personalities in your classroom. If you have 20 children daily and 9 of them excel beyond all measures, that leaves you with more than half of your classroom needing extra attention in some form or another to learn the materials. Wouldn't you want to contribute to each child equally and effectively? It's understandable that some children might be slightly more challenged than others especially if there is a hyper or deficit disorder involved but, getting the ball rolling by having an abstract art class to teach them about shapes, colors or even a famous artist, is what being an educator is all about. I think a lot of teachers could benefit from watching the Sir Robinson's video.

Classroom Disruption

Hello day and night!!!! The classroom disruption video hit the nail on the head! Just watching the video reminded me of so many boring lectures I've sat through here at USA..shhh...don't tell anyone. I don't care how boring the material is, if you're interactive with the classroom, it will show. Students respond to teachers who bring something to the plate when they educate.

I felt horrible for the children in Mr. Christmas Sweater's classroom. I personally would prefer the other class because it was filled with knowledge and mostly because it had a teacher who was interested in his students. I think the classes I've taken here at South have been a combination of the two classrooms. The interactive classroom teacher used his resources as ways to engage the students. For example, he posted an article on Twitter and 95% of his classroom read it also he has a class blog which contained materials to help them study for the next test. The challenged teacher handed out a 35 page article for his students to memorize for the test the next day.

Even before watching the video, I knew I would never be like Mr. Christmas Sweater but, now more than ever I am convinced I will want to be an interactive teacher. I don't see the point in not embracing technology when it is offer to you. That being said, I'm not sure I agree with the "ideal" teacher's decision on letting the student who is going to miss class to take the test online at home. That seems unfair to the other students because he can use a book or the Internet to cheat, unless he's just that honest but, it's unlikely.


  1. Mary Anderson, you crack me up! Leave it to you to incorporate that wonderful sense of humor of yours in your blog while accurately summarizing the assignment; and it was on time!! Way to go time management skills!! You did a great job. I bet Dr. Strange is going to L-O-V-E that cartoon at the top! You should email it to him just in case he doesn't see it. It would be a perfect compliment to his "Burp-Back Education" lecture!

  2. Hello Mary,

    This was an extremely engaging post. I love your writing voice. Good work.

    Is there really no source for that cartoon? I'm sure you got it from somewhere. All you need is the url for that source. :)

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Thanks Bailey!!!
    Yeah there was and every time I tried to put the url in there it would do something funky so I put "unknown". I'll try it again later after I finish up my assignments for this week :)
    Hope you've had a nice weekend! (aside fr all the rain)

  4. Hey Mary!
    I loved your post about Sir Ken Robinson's lecture on the importance of creativity. It was my favorite part of the assignment! I too feel as if teachers need to individually evaluate each one of their students to gain the most progress in their lives as well as their learning growth. "Cookie cutter" is the perfect way to describe a classroom that has no real touch. I say touch because that is what we are meant to do. As future teachers we must learn how to get through to our students at their own level in ways that they comprehend and enjoy!