Technology : Always Changing

February 10, 2009 at 9:11 pm (Rethinking Technology in Schools) (, , )

Technology has been shaping our world for years. From the age when fire was discovered, when we used stones to build, to when we began using metals and electricity and engines. Every year we create new creations, and lately, new models of already invented things. The phone, computer, television, etc. have all gone through remodeling, and it seems as though new technologies are becoming obsolete as soon as you can shell out the money to purchase it.

With such an expanding market and developing technologies what hope can we have for ourselves, as teachers, keeping up with the it, much less our students. However, we are now approaching the new generation of teachers being in the schools. While teachers now have many opportunities to learn about using technology, the teachers who will be employed in schools in the next few years will have grown up with the use of computers, mp3 players, DVD players, computer applications, as well as a profound knowledge of the internet.

While many students have grown up with access to computers and many other technologies, there are numerous students who do not have the means to access such things. Therefore it is extremely important that students have access to computers at schools, and that they are taught how to properly use the computer’s resources.

“Teaching with and about technology is much more complex than the educational climate suggests. Meaningful uses of technology require an integrated knowledge of content, pedagogy and technology and how they work together to comprise learning environments”. It is incredibly important that teachers are given the necessary knowledge and tools and then pass them on to their students. We must be educated to then completely and adequately educate our students.

I only really began using computers at the very end of elementary school (grade 4 & 5) with an introduction to typing in grade 3. However, my knowledge and use of computers was limited to writing stories and book reports on Microsoft word. Grades 6 – 8 (my middle school) were filled with further use of Microsoft word and the Internet. I had essays and projects that needed to be done, but each one only really required Word and the Internet. This continued on throughout High School. Although in grades 10 through 12 I had a mandatory laptop, there was still much to be discovered. I only wish that I had the opportunity to use computers more in school.
There are so many interesting websites and resources now that students have access to; they only need to be shown how. The discovery channel and other such learning websites are at the fingertips. There are applications and games that encourage learning, while are fun and entertaining for the less interested student. More and more schools are incorporating computers into the students daily activities. Instead of just textbooks, students have the opportunity to use both the textbook and the computer. Slowly, but surely an increasing number of students have completely and constant access to these computers. Along with computers in schools come cameras, video cameras, DVD’s, smart boards, etc. While not all schools have access to all of these things, many do. Increasing students’ ability to be creative and technologically proficient.

Therefore, with an increasing number of students who are computer literate it is important that their teachers are too versed in the ways of technology. Without a vast knowledge of all technological practices and the ability to incorporate them into the classroom, how can we hope to educate the 21st century student?

Computers can be incredibly confusing

Computers can be incredibly confusing

A student learning from a computer

A student learning from a computer


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Technology & Media

February 4, 2009 at 9:14 pm (Media Literacy) (, , )

First of all, I know I am not an expert in American politics, but I know enough about the world around me to have a perspective on the subject. I found chapter 6 to be extremely interesting and insightful. It is a really interesting reflection on the media’s role in the United States and how greatly the media affects all of us.

The most interesting part of the chapter was the first paragraph of page 82. This paragraph the media’s role in the lack of public debate about the strike on Iraq in 2003. I know I’m not American, but as a Canadian whatever the USA decides to do, well it impacts my life a lot. When the United States decided to invade Iraq, based on “bogus claims made about Iraq’s connection to al-Qaida” it affected me greatly. The media played such a crucial role. The war in Afghanistan and Iraq were depicted as “an Arnold Schwarzenegger action film”. The US soldiers were seen as kind and giving while the Muslims were just some crazed terrorists. It is an interesting take on examining the war in Iraq, and (at least in my opinion) America’s ultimate failure.

I found the 7th chapter to be slightly confusing, as I didn’t realize until about half way through that Noam Chomsky was talking about George Bush Sr. and not George Bush Jr. I then had to go back to beginning and read it again. I mean, I was a little confused throughout the beginning of it, and the change of person clarified it. Basically this chapter demonstrates how screwed up the world we live in is, and how America plays such a huge role.

Saddam Hussein was portrayed by the media, the intellectual community, and generally the whole of America as “a new Hitler poised to take over the world”. He was the enemy and the USA (Bush Sr.) was the hero, there to save the world, and more specifically, American citizens.

I find it interesting that although I was not old enough to be aware of the President Bush Sr’s actions, I have lived and been able to see first hand Bush Jr’s decisions and their effects. I was also able to learn about and Saddam Hussein and all of his terrible acts, as well as his execution.

Sometimes I forget that there is a war going on, that men and women are dying. That soldiers and citizens alike are being killed because of guns, bombs, tanks, cars, weapons in general. It is easy to disassociate myself with the war because it is happening so many thousands of miles away. I know that I am not an expert on politics or warfare, but I believe that war is wrong. I really don’t think that war has ever solved anything. While usually a “solution” is found by the end, what does it really solve? Does it ever fix the animosity between groups of people. Does it give those who have killed, and the family and friends of those who died a sort of peace and understanding? I couldn’t imagine how it ever could. I have never been affected by the war first hand, I had family members killed in WWI and WWII, but they were people I never knew. I will never condone war, nor will I truly ever understand it. However, I will never judge those who decide to fight for their country, I will accept it, but definitely never understand it.

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