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Monday, November 21, 2011

Blog Post #12: EDM 310 Class Blog

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Watch these three videos:
1. "Microsoft's Productivity Future Vision" (2009)
2. "David Truss:: Pair-a-dimes for Your Thoughts >> Brave New World-Wide-Web!"
3. "What Are Our Excuses, Again, For Not Putting Computers in the Hands of Our Children?" by Sugata Mitra
You've been asked to host a presentation to the local school board soliciting funds for technology in your school. These three films were given you by your principal, who insisted you use them in your presentation in that order. Explain why he thinks that presenting them in that order will benefit your school and tell me if you agree or disagree and why.


I believe that my principal would have wanted me to present them in that order to
have the strongest impact! Basically, we see a world that encompasses technology in every possible facet of our daily lives, which is a peek into the future. The title of the first video, "Productivity Future Vision," describes what we will encounter as we move into the 21st century and a global economy. The world wide web had opened infinite possibilities to the labor force, and its ability to navigate exchanges of information that are minute and continuous. The first video really emphasizes the immediate need for technological readiness in our students; the future is just around the corner.
The second video is important to why every individual sitting in that auditorium is there-we are the educators that have to be the catalysts who guide students as they, and we, learn the latest technology. Here is where the benefit of funds being sought can be showcased. When parents, administrators, and members of the community see what the school is doing, and why they share in the common goal, they tend to be supportive, especially when explicit ideas and concepts are presented. Goals should be specific and reachable; these statements allow every person to see the benefits of adjusting today's curriculum to meet tomorrow's needs.
The final video, "What Are Our Excuses, Again, For Not Putting Computers in the Hands of Our Children?" by Sugata Mitra, makes an excellent argument about the "harness-able", natural curiosity in children. The experiment of putting foreign-language-speaking computers in the side of a building just to 'see what happens' raised quite a few eyebrows, and expectations! The children's natural curiosity and intrigue sparked a few more in-depth studies about how young people react to a challenge when left to their own devices. The results were surprising, and offered new information regarding children's motivation-even with no guidance.
The order of the videos suggests that:
A. This is the future - inescapable - and coming up quickly!!
B. This is what we can do to teach our students to be (and keep our teaching) effective, innovative and ultimately successful!
C. If this kind of impact comes about accidentally, or without even trying, imagine the possibilities if we teach aggressive comprehension and readiness skills to our students today in preparation for the global market of tomorrow!
I agree that presenting these videos in this order is the best idea. They tell somewhat of a story, one that describes our vision of today and the wonderful possibilities of tomorrow's classroom through the eyes of technology. Hopefully, this presentation would begin a positive exchange of ideas and proposals among the decision-makers.

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