“Any teacher that can be replaced with a computer, deserves to be.” – David Thornburg
Another look into Web 2.0
How fitting is it that President Obama addressed the need for technology in the classroom during his State of the Union Address last night? Of course, in this high-tech economy (that will only continue to grow) we must create compatible high-tech schools where America’s future workers can study, create, expand, and develop technologies that will change the way this world works. He’s right. Why should we be putting all our focus on high standardized test scores when other countries are making technological advances that we could never even imagine? It’s time we get with the program! Let us promise decent jobs to hard workers right out of High School who are experts in computers and engineering. Let us guide our students into the future, rather then holding them back in this outdated educational system.
“…Let’s also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they’re ready for a job. At schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York Public Schools, the City University of New York, and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering.
We need to give every American student opportunities like this. Four years ago, we started Race to the Top – a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future…”
How can you feel at ease when a digital forensics and data security expert says to you, “internet privacy and protection is a MYTH”? … When he tells you he has explored countless cases where children have been vulnerably exposing themselves to a much bigger and scarier world then Instagram and Twitter? … When we find out our fifth graders are bullying each other on Facebook, our 4th graders are putting pictures of their houses on their public Instagram, or when our 3rd graders are tweeting provocative pictures of themselves for anyone looking at “#selfie”? … #WAITWHAT? #STOPTHERE
Of course the first thing that comes to our minds is stop it, block it, take the big bad internet away from them! The fact is, we just can’t do that. The internet is in their schools, in their homes, or sitting in their pockets. Protection is a myth, instead we must teach, monitor, and trust our children to use the internet for good not evil!
When I was a child the best piece of technology I owned was a razor cell phone. It flipped open, had a sleek design, and offered a free trial for a car racing game. I sat in class texting my friends, playing mindless (un-educational) games, and changing the background on my phone… A few years into high school the “smart phone” was introduced to my generation, and we were hooked. We now had unlimited access to the internet, every social media cite, countless apps and games to keep us occupied for 25 out of the 24 hours in a day! The schools response was outdated and boring, “No phones in school!” They were stuck in their ways and unable to see all the great opportunities they had to connect with the students! Every students full attention was at their finger tips while the teachers were demanding them to look up at a boring, old white board.
I believe Patrick Larkin has the right idea of what education of the future should look like. He gave his entire high school body ipads to use throughout their years at the school. This opened up countless opportunities for learning, connecting, and changing the old-school education system into a fresh-faced, technology friendly learning environment. Technology is the future, today’s students are the future, why not connect?
After listening to our class speakers talk about difference makers I wanted to do more research on technology that is making a difference in classrooms today. I came across a lot of information on technologies that help special education students communicate and learn along side typical students. I would be very interested in learning more about the technologies being used in today’s special education classroom.