Tuesday, March 25, 2008

how we learn

There seem to be more and more videos like those above. The basic message is the same "You must teach us (digital natives) differently because we learn differently." I agree and disagree with the whole premise. I agree that technology should be incorporated into classrooms to a greater degree. But do even a majority of teachers need to use a wiki? Do all teachers need to blog? The answer to this is an absolute NO! There should, however, be more of it in schools. Social constructivism is a strong pedagogical method, that when fostered with computer technologies, can lead to great student success.

My major disagreement with this video and others of its ilk is that learning has not changed. Genetically, humans are no different now than they were thousands of years ago. We have not undergone some fantastic punctuated equilibrium of the mind. The mind therefore learns the same now as it did thousands of years ago. The way we teach and present material has indeed changed. My major concern is that we throw out the baby with the bathwater. There is no need to replace good teaching practices with questionable new ones. The goal needs to be to discard the poor teaching practices and replace them with new; possibly using new technology. Can the use of a wiki be shown to increase understanding? Can a class social network boost test scores? Until there is data to support change, teachers will continue teach as they have been. Students will continue to learn just as students in the previous hundred years have.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Class Videos

Showed a few videos in class today.

I also showed several videos of planes breaking the sound barrier.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Flickr Search

(Image by Scott Adams)
Did a quick search of flickr for "Instructional Technology" and this was the first image I found.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Progress: Slow and Steady

When we moved into our new building not much worked. The Starboards (Hitachi brand Interactive White Board) we mounted, but the software wasn't on the computers. The document cameras were still in boxes that were slid under desks or deposited in a corner. The majority of rooms with projectors didn't have them wired up yet. Myself and a few others have toiled away since the move in January to get everything up and running. At the moment the software for the Starboards is being reinstalled. There was a bug in the program that didn't let it work correctly with the dual display mode that we use. The document cameras are also finally getting put together and used. The main issue I've found with the document cameras is the power cord length. The old overhead projects either used a long cord or were attached to a portable cart with a long cord. You also have the added difficulty of having to not only plug it into the wall outlet, but also into the projector. Until the makers of document cameras figure out these cord problems I don't see them becoming as ubiquitous as the overhead was (is?).