Digital Youth and Howard Gardner

Digital Youth and Howard Gardner

This video points out some interesting topics about the effect technology has made on today’s evolving youth. Three interesting questions about this video are listed below with some insight on my behalf about them.

1. What are specific ethical issues you see kids struggling when they use digital media?

In todays evolving technological society, an ethical issue I see popping up are the various social media accounts. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite when talking about inappropriate accounts, because who doesn’t follow funny meme accounts for good laugh; Although, the people in the memes might have a different opinion! I feel bad for those who have their faces plastered all over the internet due to others using their cameras looking to make a funny meme. No one can do anything goofy or silly in public anymore without risking someone random recording it and having it go viral on various social media platforms. Also, even if you’re doing something normal, with all of the editing apps today, people can turn you into the next viral video without you even doing anything wrong! This is where the question of ethics comes about, is it ethical to post embarrassing photos and videos of people online? Why don’t people consider others feelings? I think that it’s important for people to consider others feelings, instead of just thinking of the hits or views they’ll get for their post. What’s more important, an innocent persons feelings (who you may or may not know), or your own fame (which isn’t guaranteed)?

2. How is our sense of identity changing in the digital world? How can adults learn from kids and guide them at the same time?

I think that our sense of identity is just now starting to become somewhat relevant in the digital world, and people are starting to morph into what they’ve displayed themselves as online. I personally never viewed my actual identity as any different than my digital identity. I think that what you post online should be what you really are, but then again, everyones different. I know people who only post certain photos online with certain filters and photoshop applications. I find it silly that they do this, because they’re completely different then what they portray themselves as online! I think that adults can jump in and guide youngsters into be more authentic in their online presence. I think it’s important for the youth of today to learn that what they see online isn’t at all 100% authentic, they need to know that a photo is worth 1000 words and also a lot of effort goes into getting one perfect photo. The youth of today can teach adults how to use the updated technology, they can also teach them how to visualize their interest, using apps like Pinterest and etc. There are apps that help people get organized which adults can benefit from! Both the youth and adults can learn from each other, they just have to make sure to heed the information!

3. How does teaching and learning change in a world where information is at your fingertips?

Teaching and learning have both changed dramatically with the evolving technology of today. I think that since information is so easily and so readily available to people now a days, that teachers have to take information and turn it into something that students will understand, rather than just memorize. In my day, a lot of the learning for me was just memorizing, and in my teacher preparation program we are being taught how to apply information and how to instill information in students brains so that they learn to understand it better. We are also being taught how to accommodate each student and their learning styles. You can’t google how to teach different students the same information, so there’s a lot of effort and emphasis being placed on teachers thought processes, and the different types of learners. Students are now being challenged with different types of learning activities within the classroom so that they are actively engaged and not just memorizing information. It’s easy for a student to whip out a smartphone during an exam and google the answers, however, assigning a student an engaging project in order for them to display their knowledge is a whole other task in itself. Having students create projects using technology, or other forms of creative material, urges students to think outside of the box, which is the goal of the new era of teaching for instructors in the classroom. With information being so widely available now a days, the approach to teaching and learning has become way more personal with an emphasis on the students and the way information is taught. Teachers need more background in Psychology in order to learn about different types of students and different ways to approach them!

 

TEDxPhilly- Chris Lehmann- Education is Broken

This video talks about how badly high school is structured, how much the repetition of the schedule is detrimental to students, how the material taught in high school is barely used outside of school, and how much busy work is given to students. I agree that the high school model needs to change. High school needs to be altered more to the growing and modern teens of today. High school needs to cater to students interests instead of bombarding them with repetitive assessments that the students might not understand or enjoy doing. Engaging students is key to their learning process, and unless they are engaged in the lesson, there’s a changes that they will not do so great, or that they’ll even do the assignments!

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I remember when I was in high school, I never skipped any of my classes until the end of Junior year and onto Senior year. I remember doing poorly in school during freshman and sophomore year, but when I got to Junior and Senior year, even though I wasn’t attending all of my classes, I happened to be getting all A’s! Now, this didn’t make sense to me while I was in school, but once I graduated and reflected it all made sense to me! I was in the Student Government Association (SGA) during my Junior and Senior years. The environment was so warm and welcoming, Ms. Scott, our sponsor as well as some of our IB English teacher, had such a relaxed classroom setting and structure. In SGA, we did a lot of group activities and committee activities. We were assigned to 3 different committees during the school year, and during our off peak seasons, we’d work on group activities as a class and also work on individual assignments. Even though I wasn’t a fan of my classes, my classmates and school officers in the class would help everyone out with school work and any potential problems. I loved going to SGA! I got my homework done, I got to work on assignments for that class, which were school sponsored activities that we would coordinate and run, and I also got to express my creativity through all of the projects we would get.

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I learned so much more than I thought at the time. I gained confidence in schoolwork, I gained confidence in public speaking, I’m way more organized than anyone I know, I know how to prioritize tasks, and SGA also helped me figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! How did this one class affect me so much? Because I enjoyed what I was doing! We basically learned while coordinating our activities, we integrated English (writing speeches and what not), Math (dealt with a lot of money), Science (we made a bunch of different things in the class that took a lot of brain power), History (we incorporated events in the past and included them), Art (this is where I developed a great painting technique), Organization (everything we did was by the books and on a tight schedule, there was no room for mistakes),  Technology (We provided our own audio and visuals), Real Life tasks (we dealt with the Virginia government on several occasions, dealt with VDOT, security offices, school administration, the whole school, the community outside of school, banks, stores, fundraising, volunteer work, and so on). This one class, that was meant to just be an extra curricular activity, taught me more than I could have ever have learned in all 4 years of my high school career. This class engaged my interest because I felt like I was someone important doing something to benefit something/someone other than myself.

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I think that making high school students participate in activities that broaden their mindset is very important and will urge them to do better. Getting involved in abstract activities, or even having them think outside of the box will help them get engaged in course content and help them succeed and participate. Students should be exposed to things they’ll be able to use outside of school! I think it’s very important to acknowledge that these students will only be in school for the 4 years that they’re enrolled; not everyone goes off to college. I think that learning valuable life skills in school is crucial to the students experience in school! I know that it definitely benefitted me! I wasn’t even thinking about college until my first year in SGA when some SGA Alumni came to visit us and told us about their experiences in college! This made me want to look into it more, and my teacher Ms. Scott provided us with information and even wrote some of our college recommendation letters! I’m so happy to have been in SGA, and if high schools can provide that type of experience for every student, I think a lot of students would have positive things to say about high school!

Education is Broken Video

Generation Like

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How does understanding how children use the Social Web prepare us for our instruction in the classroom?

I think it is important for anyone dealing with children to know how they project themselves to the world. A quote from the video “A profile picture is kind of like how you want people to visualize you, you put your best foot forward and a cover photo is about your personality.” (In reference to Facebook). Students now-a-days put a lot of effort on presenting their best side to the world and hiding anything that might make them seem like an outsider or “not cool”. My generation is something like a mix of that, however I use my social media accounts to share memories/events with friends and family. I don’t usually worry about the type of photo, of the time I post it (yes, there is such a thing as prime time posting time on social media accounts to maximize the amount of likes they get on a photo.) I’ve noticed that a majority of the focus on the social web for youngsters is on aesthetics. People like to see pretty, neat, and organized things. Something to focus on in the classroom to tie aesthetics and instruction together is the presentation of material in the classroom. There’s a site called Teachers Pay Teachers, where teachers come together and provide fun fonts and printouts for other teachers to use, to amp up the aesthetic appeal of materials and decorations in the classroom. I think it’s important to create a nice looking learning environment so that students will enjoy coming to school and enjoy learning. I also use my own personal social media accounts to follow different teachers and I’ve noticed that some of the most successful accounts on Instagram are those who have nice classrooms and provide creative lesson plan ideas. They also post reviews on how their students respond to the aesthetically pleasing environment and lessons, and it’s always positive! I think that to be successful in the classroom with the students, it’s important to stay up to date with the current trends in education and find ways to relate it to the students interests. Students always get excited when they hear that the content is related to something they’re familiar with, like a show or game, especially the younger ones in elementary school! Overall, it’s important for teachers and higher administration to stay connected with current trends on social media so that they can keep up with their students!

Generation Like Video

Extracurricular empowerment: Scott McLeod at TEDxDesMoines

Technology has advanced so much within the last 15 years! I remember having a big clunky computer in the corner of my room and I remember how long I had to wait to use the internet and make sure no one would take a phone call when I was trying to use the internet. I never had any formal training on how to use the computer though, I wish I would have gotten some instruction or assistance back then so I could be more proficient now! One thing I got from this video is that educating students on the correct use of technology is vital to the learning experience, especially with all of the new advances in technology! Teachers worry too much about students using social media in class, that they banish phones in the room. Banishing phones in classrooms never really work, however, if you were to find a way to incorporate them into your lesson plan, than maybe you could reduce the use of social media within your classrooms!

By banning technology all together in the classrooms, or limiting the usage of it, you are doing a disservice to yourself and your students. In order for students to thrive and to maximize their schooling experiences is to keep up to date with how the outside world, outside of schools, is functioning in terms of how workplaces are run. A lot of businesses have switched over from manual cash registers, or paper and pencil, to digital apps that basically keep all records of all store activities, and tablets and so on. So, in order to prepare the students for their futures, you should allow them to use devices in the classrooms, to keep up with the world! There are tons of lesson plans out there, or training courses teachers can take in order to learn how to successfully incorporate technology into your school day.

Also, it’s very important for teachers to educate students on safe internet usage. Commonsense.org gave a great training course to educate educators on how to do just that. Students should be given proper lessons on how to navigate on different devices, and also how to properly use different devices. There are websites like Netsmartz.org and Ilearntechnology.com that have great options that students can select to learn about internet safety. Educating is key, and if it’s in a  fun way than that’s even better because it will captivate the students attention and they will remember what they learned, rather than let it come in one ear and out the next!

 

The links are listed below if you’d like to check out these sites:

TED Speaker Link  Ilearntechnology  Netsmartz  Commonsensemedia Educator Online Training

 

Digital Media-New Learners of the 21st Century

This video was about the new age of learning in the 21st century. They talked about alternative schools that chose different methods of teaching which provide a new curriculum allowing students to learn more about technology versus the standard curriculum in Public Schools. It’s interesting to see that they are taking the subjects taught in traditional schools and are morphing the lessons to relate them to the theme of learning in the new school. My reaction to this video in relation to the 4 C’s are as follows:

Creativity: The one lesson about Aesop’s Fables, which in a traditional classroom would be read to the students and the most creative thing they would be assigned to do is to create your own fable, was turned into a video game in the new school. The students still learned the content, but rather than having them write a fable, they were instructed to make a game. This level of creativity is complex, the students were told to translate the fables into games. This allowed the students to depict their own perceptions of the fables into the games, and it gives insight on how the students depicted the whole lesson in a fun and innovative way. This gives the teachers a chance to get to know the students better, and also gives better insight on how their brains work to process the information they were presented with. It definitely helps differentiate each student, as I’m sure they can’t copy a game design from a classmate as easily as they’d be able to copy a poem from a classmate.

Communication: The students are able to convey how their brains process information given to them through digital media. They put emphasis on the new forms of communication of the modern generation. They incorporated this means of communication within the schools to keep up with the students and also provide a familiar basis. Ignoring modern forms of communication is harmful to student progression in life. However, just incorporating Twitter into the curriculum is not all they do, a good example was from a Biotech class. Students were given the task to create a new bacteria through Transfection, which is injecting DNA from a virus into the bacteria which then creates bacteria that eats through plastic. When they learn this concept they are then supposed to create a metaphor that uses something else that already exists in nature to explain the process of Transfection. The point of this assignment is to be able to explain the process of transfection to their younger siblings or anyone else without background knowledge of Transfection. In order to complete this task, students would have to learn how to translate this science in a simpler manner, whether it be by making a video or however they chose. With all of the new forms of communication with the use of technology, they are able to provide new means of teaching to those who don’t have access to it on their own. I think this is very beneficial, this video taught me what Transfection was, and I’m sure everyone else in my ED 554 class learned what it was too, had they not already known. This touches base on social platforms like YouTube. Some YouTuber’s are famous for tutorials, which educate viewers about certain products, tasks, or anything else they have questions about. It’s a good way to be informed without having to ask anyone else about information, with hope that it’s from a reliable source!

Critical Thinking: There was a gentlemen talking about the Quest School and how it’s based on Analogy and how creating video games enhances critical thinking. They showed in the beginning that they students created maps which helped with their game design process. He made a point, in that, teaching students basic facts that have been taught for several years and aren’t useful outside of school is not beneficial to them. With the complex and quick changes regarding technology in the 21st century, it is important for students to be up to date with the new technology. Giving them insight on how to design games in relation with old school concepts is a great way for them to think critically about how to translate old content to new content. Game design is as complex as it gets, and by teaching them one lesson and having them turn it into a game, they mentioned that by making as many options available to the user will have them playing more due to the availability of options. If this was translated into a game about, let’s say the Civil War, they would have to incorporate as much information about the war into the game in order to have people continue playing the game, all while learning about the Civil War. There are plenty of examples of games that relates to problems in the world that have to be solved.

Collaboration: Social and Emotional needs are met in this school through technology and peers working together. Students are given games to work on together, their ultimate goal is to win the game. By playing multiplayer games, the students are urged to work together, communicate, respect each other, and also learn how to effectively strategize and win the game. This takes away from the stereotype that gamers are antisocial, in fact this school proves the opposite. The multi-player games encourage teamwork and one benefit is that once they’re done playing the game, they talk about it outside of the classroom, which encourages social interaction. Emotional needs are met by socializing, that’s how kids find their friends. They can make so many social gatherings out of playing games, they can host competitions and have discussion groups about different strategies to try out. It’s just a whole other ball game when it comes to the gaming world. I think it’s great because students who would normally be taunted, lectured, or punished for playing too many video games, are rewarded in school and have a positive community to reach out to that understand their interest and joy of technology and video games. Also, this school doesn’t solely focus on video games, there are many different electronic platforms that they are able to work with, which benefit them in the long run with all of the advances in technology.

Overall this video is very informative and interesting to watch, this type of evolution of education should definitely be spread to more schools!

New Learners of the 21st Century Video

Focused Standard: 1st Grade English

The standard that I am using as a target of focus this semester is of First grade English. There are three different focuses in this standard: Oral Language, Reading, and Writing. I will be focusing specifically on Writing. There are three standards listed under this section:

1.12  The student will print legibly.

    1. a)  Form letters accurately.
    2. b)  Space words within sentences.
    3. c)  Use the alphabetic code to write unknown words phonetically.

      1.13  The student will write to communicate ideas for a variety of purposes.

      1. a)  Generate ideas.
      2. b)  Focus on one topic.
      3. c)  Revise by adding descriptive words when writing about people, places, things, and events.
      4. d)  Use complete sentences in final copies.
      5. e)  Begin each sentence with a capital letter and use ending punctuation in final copies.
      6. f)  Use correct spelling for commonly used sight words and phonetically regular words in final copies.
      7. g)  Share writing with others.

        1.14  The student will use available technology for reading and writing.

 

The way that I will be linking the 4C’s to this standard are:

Critical Thinking: The students will be asked to revise written works on paper and online. They will be asked to read through, identify mistakes, and asked to correct them by filling in the correct answer. This will help them read, revise, and think critically all while improving their revision, spelling, and reading skills. This will mainly touch on 1.13.

Collaboration: Students will have access to the SmartBoard during school hours, where assignments will be posted for everyone in the class to see. They will be able to work with their group using whatever is displayed on the SmartBoard to help them with their work. This mainly touches on 1.14.

Communication: Students will be able to learn how to identify letters on the keyboard so they are able to type out any assignments if needed. This will mainly touch on 1.12 and 1.14.

Creativity: Students will be able to use programs on the computer to write their own stories. It doesn’t have to be too long. They will be in charge of writing a completely unique story and they will also be able to illustrate the story once they have revised it and printed it out. This will mainly touch on 1.14, as they will be using technology by writing their stories using the computer program.

 

 

Source for Information: VDOE