Saturday, March 7, 2009

Technologically Retarded

Americans have an egocentric view of the world. We think that we are the best and that we are the number one source of all things amazing. We are very wrong.

America is lagging behind in many areas, one of which is technology. As I mentioned in my last post I was at the CUE conference in Palm Springs. I learned a lot of really cool things like creating podcasts in the classroom (thanks to my "cyber mentor" Brent Coley) as well as blogging and wikis and so much more. One other thing that was very prevalent at this conference was how very far behind America is in technology. Our students are completely plugged into the world while they are at home and then they get to the classroom and they are offered a piece of paper and a pencil for EVERYTHING they do. They are told to put their iPods away, their cell phones are to stay home and they "need to pay attention." Teachers are still teaching the same way they were teaching 25 years ago when the current technologies did not exist. Our ways of teaching are retarding our technological growth.

I know many of you are not teachers and maybe think this doesn't apply but it absolutely does! We no longer live in a country that is making the most advances. We are living in a country that is so stuck in it's previous ways that our students are being forced to learn in a way that is now unnatural for them. If we do not fix this then our nation will be lagging in the one area that there is still room for growth in.

Kaplan University has an amazing commercial that Brent Coley shared with us today at his session at the CUE conference. It literally made me tear up because I realized that as a teacher I am hindering my students rather than helping them to advance. I am SO motivated to integrate more and more technology into my classroom. We currently have 6 brand new student computers, I just received a teacher laptop and we have all sorts of other cool things either in our classroom or on their way there. Things like microscopes that connect to our digital projector, document cameras, and Interwrite Pads. It's so exciting and I'm so anxious to start applying technology to all areas.

Here is the Kaplan commercial with good ole' Uncle Phil

Here is another commercial shared by another presenter. This one is a little long and not as powerful if you're not an educator but was scripted and taped by middle school students. Very cool.

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