Saturday, June 12, 2010

Music, Poems, and iPods

Don't teach your kids this stuff, Please? by Scott McLeod

Dr. Scott McLeod is an "Associate Professor of Educational Administration at Iowa State University and the Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE)". In simpler terms, Scott McLeod aids in the process of educating teachers in the field of technology all over the nation. He is also a co-creator of the "Did You Know?" videos (see my earlier blog post).

In his satire, he addresses the fact that children who aren't taught technological communication skills are going to be left behind in the future. This is true. I want my child to have a "leg up", as Dr. McLeod puts it, on all the other kids. I understand that cyber sex crimes are a threat to children but the parents have to be engaged enough to monitor their kids and perhaps, through the process, the parents will learn something as well. Technology has become somewhat of a necessity and although it can create a lot of damage, it can create a lot of good as well.

The iSchool Initiative

This video was created by a high school student named Travis Allen who argues to do away with books, paper, pencil and put all schoolwork on an iPod Touch. Allen says that the iPod touch is capable of this as it is today with different apps such as World Wiki, Formulae, Chemical Touch, and so on. However, Allen says that the applications can be expanded to create a network for teachers, students, and parents; he also says that the internet can be limited to schoolwork only and the price will be cheaper than the normal school supplies are now. Allen also says that this would reduce the carbon footprint and help us step toward a cleaner environment.

I find this to be a brilliant idea but I cannot grasp it. When I write an essay, I need a piece of paper and a pen that I can write and draw for an hour or two and cross out what I don't like. I never am able to start at a computer, and the same goes for these blog posts. I tried searching to see who would be paying for these, and what would happen if there was damage but I couldn't find anything. I would also like to add that Travis Allen is now in college and has moved up to the iPad, which seems a more reasonable tool to use and also a more reasonable tool to use in college rather than high school. I think I'm still standing at the fork in the road.

The Lost Generation

I thought the reversal of this poem was a lot more accurate than the first part. If everyone really believes that we're going to destroy the earth, our melancholy attitudes will definitely get us there. The youth of today however, realize the downfall in of our environment and are eager to help make the Earth "green and healthy". If you don't believe, look up a couple of paragraphs and reread about Travis Allen.

The problem that we have to overcome is the ever building "me" society that we live in. If this can happen, future generations can gain a great value system and hopefully lower the divorce rate and the environmental deterioration rate. And just as a side note, I thought this was a really cool technique that I will be adding to my list of things to do when I start teaching.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - Lux Aurumque

I thought this ensemble was really cool. I used to participate in my high school choir but to do over the Internet, I think this may have taken a really long time. I know I wouldn't have the patience to put this together. This could be really innovative thing for school choirs/choruses to do, especially for auditions. If you do it this way, you can audition all the people by themselves and then put them together to see if they sound good together. I think the people in this video sounded great, like a heavenly chorus.


  1. I agree with you that technology can create a lot of damaged, but it is necessary. I believe it is up to the users to be responsible and for parents to monitor their kids' computer usage. The i-School Initiative is a good idea, but I am like you I still like to write sometimes. I don't see myself calculating all my math problems on a computer. I like to have scratch paper. At one point in time I did have trouble typing up rough drafts on the computer, but the more I do it the easier it seems to get.
    I also agree with you that we live in a "me" society.If more people would care about others' feelings and about place other than their own doorsteps, the world would be a better place.A lot people seem to have the attitude that if it does not affect them directly why should they care.
    I also think the choir sounded heavenly. It does make me wonder how much time and what it took to put all of these voices together like that.

  2. here's a research question for you. Which is a greater threat to kids: a) cyber sex crime; b) texting while driving; c) excessive drinking; d) drunk driving (or riding with a drunk driver or being hit by a drunk driver); e) sexual abuse by a family member or friend; f) suicide? We can find data to answer this question. My guess is that a cyber sex crime would rank last among these possibilities. It would be an interesting project to find out!

    How about quill pens instead of paper? Sounds better to me! Seriously, how much does a Smartboard cost? About $5000. How much does an iPad cost? About $500. So I Smartboard equals 10 iPads. Which will be utilized more? Which is more versatile? Which is more attractive to kids? Which would I rather have in my classroom? iPads for sure!

    World collaboration and learning. It took a choir to demonstrate it!