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Monday, October 17, 2011

Blog Post #8 : EDM 310 Class Blog

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In watching Richard Miller's videos, "This Is How We Dream Parts 1 and 2", I realized that he is a staunch advocate of connectivism. The concept that a network of professionals, collaborators, novices, educators, and those in search of answers and ideas can share and assess information in ways that enhance our knowledge of life has gained an audience of willing and enthusiastic participants. He makes several important points, and explores the concepts of a "dream" world where shared information is the norm, not the exception.
Using key words like curiosity, creativity and collaboration, he sees a future where students "compose with digital materials", that stun and compel viewers in their composition and presentation; he suggests that these changes are fundamentally different, and belong collectively to those who explore and utilize them. We can use music, pictures and sources of visual and sound documents to make the information we gather, research and present more interesting, telling alternate stories or truths.
These changes are incremental, he says, not fundamental. They are key to the success of academic information , holding our attention and curiosity much more effectively than in times past. Networking via collaboration enriches the usability of the internet itself. From experts to novices, everyone has instant access to the most up-to-date information available. He emphasizes, therefore, that "[its] limits and restrictions are self-paced", so those who want to learn and use it to become better informed, can make the dream of a world wide web-based, shared, collaborative, networking a reality.
The intellectual world of discovery is definitely changing. The ego or self is out, and the team or network is the new way to write, research, assess, organize and share what we find, learn and think. Finally riding one's intellectual coattails is not the taboo it once was in the past, but encouraged when done in the arena of the public and shared domain of the world wide web. Mr. Miller's video makes an excellent argument to compel its viewers to embrace this new shared intellectualism.
I hope to teach all of my students everything that I have learned in EDM 310. These skills are components in becoming technologically savvy. I have come light years in just two months from where I was; I am anxious to introduce students to what I know, and let their creativity and curiosity teach themselves. If I can guide, motivate and share in letting them celebrate their success, they will be driven and not afraid of failure through learning.

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Carly Pugh's Blog Post #12

Carly's Post #12

Boy, Carly did set the bar very high! She really put some thought into her teaching philosophies and found a wonderful way to synthesize them into the visually rich blogpost she created! Her use of videos that range from sarcasm ("When I Grow Up") to poignancy ("The Schools Children Deserve" & "Don't Laugh At Me"), appeal to viewers to delve deep and ask those tough questions about not just the future, but their role(s) in it and their ability to change it!
She used her own introspective abilities to outwardly challenge viewers to be aware of what it is that drives us to be teachers; using multimedia creatively, Carly has asked, answered, and set an example for pre-service teachers to follow. She certainly has embraced the concept of utilizing multimedia well to present ideas and tells the story with a variety of viewpoints-that of the teacher, that of the student, and that of the human being. Her willingness to seek out, find, and use so effectively is a shining example of what Dr. Miller implores viewers to take to heart. She composed an informative message by using the creativity of others and her own. This is a true version of networking, sharing information to showcase a viewpoint.
The links were entertaining as well as informative. Some were humorous ("autobiographies"), historical ("Think Different"), and literary (Tom Sawyer, Mr. Darcy, Her post was fun to watch, and made me ask some introspective questions about my desire to teach, and philosophies for doing so. I think that is a sign of good writing and what thought-provoking concepts are all about.

The Chipper Series & EDM 310 For Dummies

The Chipper Series Here

I can certainly sympathize with the frustration and procrastination that were the subjects of these videos! There is a lot of information to learn in this class, and it can be overwhelming! Along with that frustration is the lack of confidence that can perpetuate procrastination; things that we feel are hard or unfamiliar can cause us to put them off until a later time. In fact, time management is the key to being successful, and not falling behind or avoiding the task at hand.
Videos like these, satirical or exaggerated in nature, do make someone viewing them think hard about the choices that we make, and how they affect our lives. The possibilities for success are endless, but they require work, and sometimes failure! Chipper had to experience this failure to see that required work is in place for a reason. Besides opening your eyes and ears, you must open your mind to learn, and figure out your own approach to self-teaching. Her video reminds me of my own propensity to procrastinate, and encourages me to take extra time and make sure my work is not late.
The two students in "EDM For Dummies" transitioned from angry, frustrated students with no patience and understanding to calm, curious, and confident learners, willing to go the extra mile to get it right. Again, I think the point is that if a student in EDM 310 keeps his eyes, ears, and mind open, and is willing to fail to succeed, he or she will stumble, and then stride smoothly, armed with the know-how of a true learner.
When I scroll back to the early blogposts of previous students of EDM 310, I see each post begin to blossom, with richer language, more examples of text fonts and colors, more pictures and images, and even more links and embedded videos. It is a nice testament to what practice and participation can eventually create.
I would like to create or be in a video that follows a student's blog from the sparse beginnings to the more sophisticated, graphically enriched blogs of better development, brought about over the course of the class. It may even be a good assignment, to take a blog from another student and chronicle the development as it blooms and unfolds into a more professionally-developed blog! I hope that we all are 'guilty' of this by December!

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

"This is the death of education, and the dawn of learning", says one of the film's speakers, and he is right! The jobs that children in school today will be doing require one to have different abilities than a modern education teaches. It's not the learning of facts or historical data that comprise the strengths of a 21st century worker; it is knowing how and where to get information, how to best analyze it, and how to use it creatively to solve problems.
It is ironic that students do more creative learning outside the classroom using social networking and techno gadgets than inside the classroom, where these devices are sometimes banned. I think this video has a very strong argument that the school system and education itself needs a major overhaul to be relevant and serve the public like it was developed to. The statistic that education was ranked #55 among the 55 top industry sectors according to their intensity of IT level is indicative that if we don't make changes soon, the gap between those who are seeking jobs and those who are actually employable will widen tremendously. 
As someone who is seeking a teaching position, I can make a difference in the quality of education in my classroom. If I can help students be confident, unafraid of failure in seeking success and enthusiastic to see where their curious minds will take them, I feel that I will be doing my part to make the future a better one for those who may otherwise choose a dismal path. I concur wholeheartedly with the viewpoints of these people in this video. I share their belief in a better world through a better learning platform.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Gretchen! You really have a good sense of the assignments that we assign to you. I also like the way your post is structured. I like how you alternate colors from one topic to the next. One thing that you could do to make it even better is to add links to your post. If you do this, then everyone who is reading your blog will have direct access to the information you are summarizing.

    Good job,

    Stephen Akins