Saturday, October 27, 2007

This video is very relevant to me.


Hay said...

For a sober look at modern technology and society, Clifford Stoll's book Silicon Snake Oil is a great read. He speaks a lot of technology in the education system.

Theres something to be said for face to face contact and "unplugged experiences".

I visit my alma mater now and I don't understand the students. Always on cell phones, sending emails, and socializing online, but what do they talk about? Are they living life or simply passing along sound bites?

I've tried my best to avoid multitasking, as for me I've found it results in superficial cognizance (which is bad for a programmer). I've wondered if modern life is creating a bunch of shallow thinkers.

Great video BTW :^)

whall said...

I still get a feeling I can't shake of how spoiled some young is.

Poppy Cede said...

Hay, I actually think technology is not used enough in the classroom. The students are showing the professors, "look, this is how we learn, this is how we grew up" and the profs are standing at the front of the room with a piece of chalk or an overhead projector yelling at the students for not paying attention. Multitasking is a necessity until this culture burns out and we go back to the simple life.

Wah, definitely spoiled. I really still cannot accept the idea that kids under 13 have cell phones. And a few years ago I couldn't accept the idea that kids under 18 had them. At least I'm trying to understand. Funny thing is, now that I have my own cell phone I feel more connected to youth than I did when I didn't have one. I was starting to get into that "scared of the young'uns" old lady phase. And then I got a cell and they became people again.

Hay said...

The ideal teaching situation (IMHO) is one good teacher teaching one student (no technology needed).

Since the late 80s companies like Microsoft, IBM and Apple have been telling schools they need to spend money on technology. They gave schools big discounts on software and hardware. So schools started to spend more of their limited budget on technology (computer labs, multimedia labs, laptops, etc...) Instead of hiring teachers schools were hiring sysadmins.

Meanwhile teachers didn't know how to use the stuff in the classroom, and truth be told Microsoft, Apple and IBM didn't know either. They just wanted students using their stuff...ya know a 6th grader using Windows will use Windows in their 30s!

So teacher salaries were given less priority and salaries remained poor.

Without a salary incentive folks just don't go into the teaching profession. So teacher/student ratios continue to suck more every year. Good teachers get burned out quickly due to the large class sizes and leave. So we're left with big classrooms and bad teachers.

Besides I'm not convinced that more technology will make a bad teacher a good teacher. Although it might make them more entertaining. :^)

Poppy Cede said...

A one-on-one ratio? That's typically called "home schooling" and is not sustainable for the masses.

You know where I went to HS. We were the leader in technology in the state. We still had really awesome teachers at the same time. My favoritest teachers were integrating technology into their curriculum. Each one: My trig teacher was also my programming teacher, my sophomore/senior English teacher was also my yearbook teacher (and we did the layouts in PageMaker), my junior English teacher used Macs to have us write our creative writing assignments. The only teacher I loved who didn't use technology was my French teacher.

I do agree that technology does not make a bad teacher good. I disagree that technology should not be used to further engage students, and doesn't help make a great teacher even greater.

We have to also consider that there is a boom in the total number of students. That cannot be blamed on technology. My high school is already twice as big as it was in student size than when I graduated in '92. That's only 15 years ago. That school began my mom's senior year of high school, back in 1967. That is a HUGE increase in 15 years.

hay said...

I'm a programmer I think in terms of extremes (0, 1 and infinity). 1:1 ratio is best case and the closer you can get to it the better. I know that 1:1 is not reality...half of us would be teachers! :^)

I know your HS ;^)

It has students from some pretty wealthy towns (ya know, wealthy for France), and has a nice budget. Things were different out in the sticks. I admire your HS experience.

In my HS we had computer labs, but they weren't well utilized, and were mostly used to teach typing skills. My junior year they just started using these labs to do the school newsletters. My senior year they hired someone to actually teach programming, she also taught math. (As an aside she had really nice big breasts and never wore a bra...NEVER...we kept trying to figure out how they levitated so nicely. One of the guys in the class actually stalked her after school, but that's another story.) I was in the first programming class ever taught at the HS...a big class of 5 students (not great for a school of more then 1000 students...)

I remember when a company put TVs in every HS classroom my Sophomore year for almost free! Morning announcements were made using these TVs. As expected the company required ads be shown every 30 seconds. Morning announcements and SNICKERS REALLY SATISFIES YOU :^)

The towns that feed your HS continue to be some of the fastest growing in the That's probably not an accident...good schools attract families. Sadly my HS is experiencing a drop in student numbers...sad, but true. Nobody likes living in the sticks...and its cold there (Norther France don't ya know).

I don't disagree in using technology for education, I really don't! I just think it has been given too much priority over hiring and keeping good teachers.

Poppy Cede said...

Two of the five towns associated with my high school are dirt poor. The three towns with money have lower student numbers. This is why the five towns got together to begin with. While in HS I lived in the richest town and the poorest town and then in the richest town again, but I was never rich.

I lucked out on where I went to school. I lucked out on my HS experience. I loved HS, and would never even consider wishing for a different experience than what I had.

I have no point.