Sunday, September 12, 2010


cartoon images of two people debating
On the afternoon of Thursday September 9, 2010 I asked Anthony Capps, one of my undergraduate student assistants in EDM310, how the day had gone. "Intense, Great and Quiet" is an approximate quote of Anthony's reply to my question. Here is a combination of my take as well as his on the day and on Week 3. It is divided into three separate posts.

Intense (Great and Quite will be considered in separate posts).

Anthony was referring to Jamie Lynn's vigorous response to Allie Glass' post Blog Assignment #2 in which she discussed Mr. Winkle Wakes by Mathew Needleman; Did You Know 3.0 by Karl Fisch; Vicki Davis' Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts; and one of Sir Ken Robinson's Ted Talks Schools Kill Creativity. Allie wrote in her comment on Mr. Winkle Wakes "... if Mr. Winkle really were to wake 100 years later, in my opinion, he would have seen a totally different classroom then the video showed." In the video the school is a place of respite for Mr. Winkle because the school was like the school he remembered from long ago. That was an entirely different reaction than Mr. Winkle had when he entered a business and was so shocked by the new technologies that he fled to a hospital for treatment only to be equally overcome by the technologies in use there. But in the school? Only a dusty computer in the back not being put to use by anyone.

Allie's defense of schools as being up to date is a view held by many of the entering students in EDM310. Some also are opposed to the use of technology other than in a "computer technology class". Chris "Boone" Patrick responded to my comment on his post Blog Post #2 in an email in which he wrote "I'm not saying that technology is bad or that it should be outlawed, but in schools, unless you are in a computer technology class students, shouldn't be using it. " (I added all of the commas in the quotation).

Here is Jamie Lynn's response to Allie:
"I must say that I completely disagree with you. You said farther down in your post that you wish Mrs. Vicki's classroom would have been available to you in high school. Obviously, there is a huge difference between the school you attended and the school Mrs. Vicki teaches at. She incorporates all different types of technology in her classroom. Her students are connecting with people all over the world, and her students are independent learners. I doubt you encountered any of this in your classroom. I know for sure that I didn't. Yes, my teachers had smartboards and used powerpoints, and the classroom in the video did not. I, however, don't think we could say that this is a big difference. There are so many resources and tools that are out there that many teachers have no idea exist. The majority of schools are operating like schools 100 years ago. Teachers are still lecturing, while students sit quietly in their desks taking notes. Were Mrs. Vicki's students doing this? No, they weren't. There are only a few teachers like Mrs. Vicki around here; therefore, I don't think your statement is valid. Students could be making podcasts, movies, and Google Earth tours. They could be writing blogs, following teachers and students all over the world, and finding information on their own. You will do all of this in EDM 310, and hopefully, you will incorporate these things into your classroom."

Here is my response to Boone:
"I believe this is an extremely erroneous position to take. Our responsibility as educators is to make sure that all students have the best tools for any subject matter they are studying or project they are undertaking. The best tools we have today - for communicating, for accessing information, for processing data, for recording evidence, for comparing and contrasting information - are tools that are defined as technological tools. And you would keep these from your students? Unfortunately, you are not alone in the educational world. But I will absolutely guarantee you that I would do everything I possibly could to keep my grandchildren out of any class in which you established draconian rules such as you have proposed.

Why don't we debate the issue in a podcast or videocast? We both would probably learn some very important things!"

Jamie Lynn's response to Allie has generated a true discussion about the issues and Allie has indicated a willingness to learn new things.

I just left my response for Boone. It is too early to see whether he and I (and hopefully others) will expand our conversation, or even debate the issues as I suggested.
UPDATE. An extensive conversation has developed. Thirteen comments in less than a day. Join in.

We would be delighted if you would read the posts and the comments and join the conversation! That would be fun. And probably enlightening.

I will discuss the other two items - Great and Quiet - in the next two posts which will be posted soon.

1 comment:

  1. Fun stuff. Some of us have a long way to go before they can see the value technology offers in the classroom. Saul persecuted a lot of Christians before his conversion on the Damascus road, then he was zealous for Christ. Sometimes we just need to love and encourage our students hoping they wills someday have their own Damascus road experience. We did, hopefully they will too.