Technology and Learning

March 27, 2009 at 8:16 pm (Uncategorized)

Technology helps us to learn in multiple ways.  The forms of technology we use allow us to have hands on manipulatives in order to grasp knowledge in different ways.  Games and interactive sites allow drill and practice in order to gain skills.  Educating with technology allows one to create a more engaging experience (environment) for students. 

Technology relates to learning in many different ways.  As mentioned in The Children’s Machine, technology creates an atmosphere for learning.  Not that it is always the best choice; however, when given the opportunity, students can learn a lot from technology.  When I think of technology and learning, I’m trying to think of the vast term and how they work together.  Many of my students, including myself, learn easier using technology.    Technology can be blogs (used among students and teachers), websites for research, and communication among others (from different cultures).  In my opinion, learning can and will in most cases occur through the use of technology.  The forms of technology continue to improve and change; therefore, creating more opportunity for change learning.  Making meaningful opportunities for learning that can connect to numerous ideas (such as technology) creates an atmosphere for more learning to occur (and more concrete practice of skills).

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Papert’s View of the World/ Any Changes?

March 14, 2009 at 7:15 pm (Uncategorized)

I would consider Papert’s view a dream for all.  If his effort for educational reform were to put in action we would most definitely see positive changes.  More involvement from all could only mean more educational value.  In order for us to move into “the age of learning,” one must be ready for the change ahead.  Schools today are not ready for this change; yet, they still embark on unnecessary adventures.  I must agree totally with Papert’s view of schools (having a one way to know and learn).  They do not promote healthy change as they are more focused on testing and reading as the key to knowledge.  We feed children with words and algorithms and expect them to remember for life.  We don’t allow them to explore and own their learning. 

Papert’s view on using explorations to help children learn is a wonderful idea.  The children’s machine (knowledge machine) can help many gain knowledge.  It is full of ideas and explorations that can lead to knowledge (beyond tests and books).    Mega change MUST occur before we can truly bridge the gaps.  As Papert mentioned, it will take the efforts of many to make this mega change and schools are not ready for this change (until they put aside testing and accountability).  We do need more involvement from the community, educators, parents, and students.  We need the access to such knowledge machines to allow for exploration.  Yes, the mega change must occur within us before it will change for our children. 

This book has helped me to review my own philosophy in my classroom.  I must say that many changes have evolved since the book was written; however, we’re by no means near the age of learning.  As an educator, I want my students to learn as much as possible, but to really make that difference will require effort on more than just (the teacher) me.  I think we’re closer than before due to the manipulatives and resources we have available.  As a child, I can remember having few/ limited resources in my classroom.  We learned solely using textbooks and chalkboards.  Today we have much more such as computers, SmartBoards, Airliners, software, interactive books, etc.  The knowledge machine has made a huge difference in our modern world; however, we’re still lacking the involvement of many. 

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Cultural Antithesis

February 22, 2009 at 2:24 am (Uncategorized)

I totally agree with Clarence Fisher as he explained that we should really teach our students about cooperation and collaboration. That is truly the most important traits one should have in order to survive in society. Competition is already at the utmost high because so many individuals want to be the best (deep down) and keep up with the Jones. Many want to look like the celebrities at any cost. Everyone wants to be a winner but with competition, there can only be a few. Where does that leave the losers? No matter what road the student chooses to travel, they’ll need to know how to cooperate with others and work together (college, work place, laws, etc). The world is full of collaboration, in and out of the classroom. What better trait to teach and pass forth to our next generation. If they grow up always competing, how will they learn how to cooperate and work together? They’re always competing against each other. I understand that competitions can also help students be recognized for their gifts and talents; however, making the world one big competition is not the answer.

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What can be done? Silicon Ceiling

February 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm (Uncategorized)

Just as Matwyshyn mentioned, one must chip away the silicon ceiling making way for both male and females in the educational setting.  Making information technology exposable to both and encouraging both to use technology is one way to address the issues discussed of the silicon ceiling.  Matwyshyn made many accurate statements such as the increase of information technology among low income and minority households.  However, their main problem appears to be income.  When one can identify the poverty areas and allow federal funding to make technological access possible, we may see less of a divide.  Schools are bridging the gap; however, once students leave the classroom they do not have the access that others have available.  She also states that “research suggests that access divides increase informational equity, but will not necessarily assist society or increase economic equity.”  I totally agree!  Until students in the classroom are assisted with economic poverty, equity will always be an issue.  What can be done in the educational setting?  It is important that we encourage and expose ALL (regardless of race, economic status, gender, etc) to some form of technology.  In my opinion, allowing students to explore is the number one key.

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Digital Technology

February 20, 2009 at 4:22 pm (Uncategorized)

The digital opportunity one has makes a difference in their contributions to society.  Those with access can do more with technology and interact with others via technology.  Those without access do not have that benefit.  Digital technology improves the level of equity because it allows more people to communicate and learn from one another.  Schools today are becoming more digital, allowing students a better chance for a diverse education.  That improves the level of equity because more access is becoming available.  Students who do not have access at home will likely have access at school.  It still doesn’t bridge the digital divide because those students do not have opportunities such as Facebook and MySpace.  Students have limited access at school; however, they’re still being exposed to technology.  How does lack of access effect culture?  Without access, their culture is affected because they only have one perspective and their judgment may be hindered based on their opportunities.  They’re less likely to use the resources because they don’t understand how.  We then have statistics that state more males/ females use technology more than the other, when the real problem is lack of education.  Our culture is effected by the lack of access because some cultures do not see the benefits of technology; therefore, limiting their willingness to use such.  When thinking in terms of technology and access, I think it is all based on one’s experience, attitude, and culture as to how it is utilized. 

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Critical Factors in Assessing Educational Equity

February 20, 2009 at 4:08 pm (Uncategorized)

The most critical factor in assessing educational equity is that we have the same opportunities regardless of race, economic status, gender, etc.  After reading Chapter 14, I realize how important an educator’s knowledge can be.  As an educator, it will be my responsibility to expose my students to technology.  If I’m not technologically inclined, how can my students use the available resources in my classroom?  There must be a connection in order to expose students to the society we’re living in.  Educators must have that knowledge in order to bridge the gaps (from a technology aspect).  There are many critical factors that stand in the way of educational equity; in my opinion, gender being one of the least.  I feel the most critical is one’s economic status, which contributes to the opportunities they will have.  I don’t see gender and race being a true issue.  I think their economic status is the key (which is a critical factor).

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Mob Rules- Education/ Learning/ Equity

February 14, 2009 at 6:23 pm (Uncategorized)

As the article mentioned numerous times, everything is changing. When relating the rules to education, learning, and equity; I see how changes can be made with each. Education is always changing and students are expected to transition as well. Therefore, learning will also change with education. As technology and software become available, equity will change as more people will have access. When referring to the Mob rules, education and learning is everywhere. Technology is faster, smarter, and much stronger than we are. It is a great form of advertisement that does not require business models. It will sell itself! “If your work isn’t what you love, then something isn’t right,” a quote taken from the article, relates to all three. Education, learning, and equity; making it possible must be something you love. If you’re passionate about your work, it will become a masterpiece. When thinking of education, administrators and educators should want to see the systems change with the updated world (in order to achieve partial equity).

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Educational Equity

February 14, 2009 at 6:03 pm (Uncategorized)

Educational equity links to physical and instructional access for all. 

Educational Equity- making it possible must mean that everyone has similar materials to use (with accommodations). When referring to education; instruction , materials, interactions, and language are a big part of making educational equity possible. Students should have the same opportunities and educators should not take a bias approach towards access. When considering gender, it seems there are a lot of females taking online courses, using technology, etc. In my own classroom, it seems the boys are less likely to interact with technology verses the girls. Educators should make sure they interact with all students regardless of inabilities. When considering equity and NCLB, equity is the main key to leaving no child behind. Making access for all and meeting the accommodations for students (modifications with instruction, materials, language, and assessments) will allow you a better opportunity to meet the needs of your students and bridge barriers in the classroom. In terms of reality, I do not see equity being possible. There are too many factors that correlate with equity (parental issues being a main factor and the economy). The only way I could see equity being possible (not absolute solution) would be President Obama giving each family a sufficient amount of money to end the recession. That would allow more families to buy technology for their families (if spent correctly). Remember… I stated a possibility. Instead of belling out Banks and mortgages firms, they could give the money to the tax payers so they could make more access for their family. The money would be put back into the economy making it easier to survive. Yes, what about those that do not pay taxes…there should be stipulations for such stimulus packages (technology, etc). Is it desirable? Being an educator, I feel it is definitely desirable. I would love to see my students have the same access and opportunities (regardless of equity issues such as gender, economy, etc). Just my thoughts.

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Literacy

February 6, 2009 at 8:20 pm (Uncategorized)

What makes up literacy?  In my opinion, literacy is made up of everything we use to communicate.  Regardless of the format; whether it is written or oral language.  Each format can be carried out by using numerous devices such as computers, telephones, software, books, paper and pencils, etc.  As discussed in chapter five of Solomon’s text, literacy is a term that is not easily defined.  It can be interpreted many different ways.  In my own opinion however, I see literacy as any form of communication that helps us to interact with one another.   

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Study of Distribution and Learners

February 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm (Uncategorized)

What can a study of distribution tell us about learners?  It basically boils down to the simple fact that our world is changing greatly with technological advances.  Learners will be more responsible for their learning as they will become the ones who educate themselves (through the use of technology).  The more opportunities that arise such as online lectures, reports, etc., learners will not rely heavily on instructors (physically).  It will not matter “who” but the quality put forth by the instructor.  This study shows us that more students at even earlier ages are using online resources; therefore, replacing the need to ask an instructor first hand.  Online courses have shown us that we do not need that face to face interaction.  Through the use of email, instant messenger, blogs, etc. we can communicate our needs and wants.

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