Sunday, November 11, 2012

EDSS 521 Blog Post #4: Project Tommorow

Speak Up Reports: Learning in the 21st Century Mobile Devices + Social Media = Personalized Learning.

I found this report to be interesting and idealistically agree with its message; mobile devices and social media can make education a personal experience for learners. In the report there is a lot of statistics that show the prevalence of mobile devices among students, teachers, parents and administrators, which I found a little surprising. I have quite a few students who's family does not have the internet of even a cell phone. One thing that I did not find surprising was the list of issues that prevent Principals from changing their "no device" policies. I have all of these same concerns, chief among them is the issue of equity.

Videos from Speak Up: Dear Mr. President

I chose to watch the Dear Mr. President video from the Speak Up selection and found many of the students Ideas to be compelling. I was surprised by the amount of students who wanted changes to be made to the way that teachers are hired and paid. This was something I did not expect students to be concerned with.  I particularly liked the idea of doing away with standardized testing as it exists now and found the girl's story about her freshman class "learning for the test" to be indicative of the No Child Left Behind education system. I will apply some of the things that the students asked for by being enthusiastic, challenging them and incorporating technology in my lessons whenever possible.

Youth Teach 2 Learn Program

I really liked this idea and would try to get a similar program, club or group of students by taking advantage of the extra opportunities the "4x4" schedule allows for students by means of electives. By setting up an elective course specifically designed for student teaching, I could have a 1:30-2 hour block everyday to teach the students and have the students go to an elementary school within the district to teach younger students. The benefits would be that it would inspire younger students and teach the high school students about content mastery, teaching, public speaking and community building.


  1. Brandon - I too watched Dear Mr. President and was surprised to hear some of the comments from students. Many of the suggestions were things that we, as educators have control over, like being more enthusiastic. However, doing away with standardized testing, as suggested by one student, would be a little more difficult for me to control. I hope that President Obama takes to heart some of the suggestions by our future contributors to society during his second term as President.

  2. Brandon - I did not watch this video but I find it sounds like more advocacy for technology in the classrooms. I remain open-minded about the possibilities of technology in schools but there is still a piece of skepticism in me. I have yet to see a plausible scenario in which technology can be used to enhance learning WITHOUT providing students with a distraction. The only response to that question I have hear so far is to make instruction more engaging. However, I think this answer is a cop out. When students are faced with the more difficult task of applying themselves to learn something new and challenging or passively absorbing the endless media available to them that requires no thought or effort to be entertaining, I think we as teachers will find ourselves constantly disappointed by which they would choose.

    Shifting gears, I am curious to find out more about this idea of having high school students go into elementary schools to teach. This idea has a lot of promise and I can immediately see the benefits that this theory could produce.