Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blog Assignment #2

Did you know? 3.0-A John Strange 2012 Version

With the statistics shown, I wonder if the "American Dream" will surpass the expectations of the world from now to the future. I used to think that the "American Dream" involved doing your best and developing a life in which the majority of control is based on oneself, instead of the government. I find more and more that the government and public are more comfortable with the constrictive parameters that the government leaves (until a mishap occurs in which the public can blame the government). Unfortunately, the government seems to cripple the "American Dream" by setting the bar lower and lower, therefore making unqualified people put in the position of overly qualified people, making our performance as a country a constant catch up process. The employed becomes the learner for years to come and the world is stagnant, forever waiting for the future to speedily evolve at its ever increasing speed. All the while we protest our government, elected officials we were responsible for putting into office, and the world around us keeps evolving.
As one can tell, I'm overly bitter about this subject. Who likes to think that their future government has dwindled so much that corruption in the government and people is so blatant? Neither try to hide their fault, and only push the blame. I like to think that people gave this power to our elected officials, by hiring them. When the people want something done, their elected official pushes their agenda in whatever arena they can and when it's all said and done, a majority vote is used. If the agenda wins, I guarantee that the public is whimsically unaware of the backlash that comes along with all of the votes gained. They are ignorant of the many dark alley way deals that are added to the original idea's bill. When someone finally does, it's an ugly process that involves senseless deaths during protests and the cycle continues. Adversely, the public is now expecting our government to take care of the public more than it was intended to (pushing more power into the government's hands). I fully believe that this constant turmoil between the public and government is what stops our potential. The Japanese have an insane technological growth rate on us, because the government realizes their future and constantly goes after it. The Chinese are a largely labored country and their government exploits that and America's constant want to produce an extremely fruitful future. In addition, there are numerous countries that are considered healthier than us, because their government embodies their countries values and pushes for it. We were originally a country based on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but as a country, how much have we really gained from working together?

Mr. Winkle Wakes- (video)

I believe that in Mr. Winkle's happiness about the schools not changing, he is largely right. The schools are highly underfunded, and the most my high school and middle school had was a TV that broadcast major news events (9/11), watching movies, and daily announcements. This was about five years ago, and I highly doubt it has changed since. One educational tool that I think is a phenomenon in the classroom, is the Smart Board. One problem many teachers have is visibility of information for student. Chalk always seems to break and doesn't clean up well; similarly, dry erase markers can stain its white board or run out after minimal use. Both are constant costs (the dry erase markers especially). With a Smart Board, there is always clarity and its overall cost generally stops at its price. Sure, one might need a repair every once in a while, but every campus has a maintenance team, so what is to stop one from putting them through a Smart Board repair seminar? 

Another technology advance that I would like to see more incorporated is the use of the teacher's computer. I know that the internet is a powerful machine that can be an amazing tool in exploring all sorts of subjects. Why not use it? I would deter students from having one at their desk, because it is the equivalent of a video game. If there is paint, hearts, cell, or mine sweep, one can be sure the student will find a way to not pay attention. Even if everything but the calculator is turned off, the student's attention will be on that. With the teacher having the computer, he/she can look up articles about the difference between MLA and APA formats, pull up the different books, videos, and pictures (using the smart board as the projection) and maintain students' attention. Teachers can also post bell ringers, quiz answers (not graded), etc. If someone has a dilemma  about the use versus cost, they should be reminded that the military has put value into these equipment for their classrooms to adequately train soldiers in their given profession. 

Ted Talks- Ken Robinson (video)

That video was brilliant. When I was in school, I wondered about the same thing. I was really good with visual art, but so many people (excluding my art teachers) were quick to ask me: how will you make a living on this? Sure, I struggled with developing my art or developing my science and mathematics, but that was how I was raised. Adults have no idea how words effect the children they talk to on a daily basis. In second grade, my teacher took us aside one by one to test us on our multiplication of twos. She said she would give us three chances in three days to pass on our own, and if we failed, we would get a zero and a referral for after school attention. Day one and two were brutal, because my classmates passed without me, so I came home in tears. I remember running to my dad and crying about my failure. In an instant, he stopped my crying and told me that we would work on this together so I could pass the next day without a doubt. An hour and a half later, I had my multiplications of twos down. The next day, I passed. When I came home, I cheered with my dad for my success.

Though a good of a lesson about hard work, I don't ever remember coming home and cheering about my successes in the arts. My parents looked at it, smiled, told me it was great, but no cheering. Why? Because, how would I make a living on that? My parents are great people, and I'm not accusing them specifically of stunting anything. If anything, they were uplifting people. They taught me what they thought was important. Every parent has done this from past to present generations. Only a handful harbor the artists, and I want to be one in that handful someday. 

Pinterest for Educators

I've already got a pinterest account and explored its world. I knew that it would be a powerful tool for more than the procrastinators, and even before this class, I looked into the world of educators using pinterest. They shared everything from specific lesson plans to interesting tutorials about projects. Overall, I understand pinterest to be a powerful tool for future use. Why work harder when one can work smarter?

The only down side to pinterest is the sifting of information. It's a flood of information that leads to poor links at times, links that one has misunderstood in its descriptions, and sometimes just useless information for what one is looking for. I imagine that mathematics is going to be a harder subject to incorporate from pinterest, but a little research usually goes a long way.


  1. I'm not sure of the connection between Did You know? and your anti-government (and anti voters) essay but I can tell you are passionate about it. When less than half vote, what can you expect. or maybe you would argue that it would be better not to stir up those who do not vote since they might make matters worse.

    "I would deter students from having one at their desk, because it is the equivalent of a video game." Only if used as a game machine.

    " If there is paint, hearts, cell, or mine sweep, one can be sure the student will find a way to not pay attention." Why don't they pay attention? Perhaps they do not want to learn. Or perhaps the setting and techniques being used are not appropriate for real learning.

    "... how words effect the children..." Affect, not effect. the misuse of affect and effect is common but one of my pet peeves. Look both up and learn the difference.

    Interesting. Not on point all of the time, but interesting nonetheless.

  2. America's basics are lacking, and worse, we are in an age and country that applies technology with pleasure (games). It's hard for any one teacher to break that lifelong connection (your slides don't include video games as a technology even though it's the first technology they experience in conjunction with learning) to forward students' technology relationship in any setting. In any case, just because we have technology, doesn't mean we have to apply all of it at once or even semi-often. We could argue, but it might be end up as a "Chicken or Egg?" argument.

    As for "affect" and "effect", this has constantly plagued my life. Out of all the English pet peeves, this is the only one that gives me so much trouble. I'm working on it, haha!

  3. Hi Alice! I really enjoyed your blog post. Personally, I try to steer clear of politics. I prefer to focus on the good I can do, rather than the bad around me; however, you made some very interesting points. I can’t say that I disagree with you.

    Underfunded schools seem to be the norm. Given the shape of our economy and the leaders we have in place, I don’t see this changing very soon. We can only hope that continually raised awareness will benefit dreams of technology driven learning.

    I did have some trouble trying to follow what may have led you to think about the things the way you did. As Dr. Strange said, the connections weren’t apparent. I think that an interesting thought pattern makes for an interesting person though.

    You display a strong passion for the things you do. It’s very refreshing to see. Thanks for the good read.