The iSchool Initiative
The iSchool Initiative is a video from Travis Allen, a student from Fayetteville, Georgia. Allen is a 17-year-old student that takes the initiative to try to help the education system today because of tremendous budget cuts, class size, and teachers are laid off. Allen believes technology should be a useful source in the classroom and by having technology; in return schools will save money. According to Allen if an iPod Touch is used; textbooks, paper, writing utensils or copy machines would not be needed to educate students. iSchool involves purchasing various apps geared to the subjects that are taught and allows students interactive involvement while learning. Allen also points out that the iSchool will be helpful to parents so that they are involved with their child's progress in the classroom.
Allen being a 17-year-old has impressive ideas on how to improve the budget crisis with education in America. I agree with Allen when he states that technology needs to be in every classroom, and the budget cut crisis in America needs to be fixed. However, I do not agree with making everything technology based, because technology has some downfalls and glitches. If everything is technology based students have a better chance of cheating on assignments and students do not have the classroom interaction, in which some students may need. I also will be cautious with allowing students to have such expensive and fragile equipment outside of the classroom, which may lead to the risk of damaged or stolen devices. I do not think schools should eliminate paper and pencil work; however, there should be some classroom assignments to ensure we are reaching each learning style. Overall, Allen's presentation was impressive, and I am sure in the near future, many schools will adopt the iSchool initiative or an initiative similar to Allen's initiative.
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'
When I first watched the video, I did not see the point of the video and thought it was extremely annoying. After watching the video again, I understood the purpose of the virtual choir. The video is an example of how technology will change a classroom and in this video, technology is changing a regular choir room. It will be weird and would take some time to get use to, but now, I cannot fathom having a virtual choir. Having a virtual choir takes the joy of seeing the students dressing in their choir clothing and watching them in a traditional setting. I do agree that technology should be included in classrooms, but I do not think changing to a virtual choir would be a good idea. I could understand practicing online with students, but with the actual performance, I think it should be in a traditional setting.
Teaching in the 21st Century
Teaching in the 21st Century is a powerful eye opener that allows teachers and future teachers to see how students should be educated. As educators, we must realize that time has changed and how children are growing has changed tremendously. Technology has changed so much in the last 20 years, or less and children are dependent on technology for just about everything, therefore, as educators, we have to use the resources that will reach students and engage them in learning. The video reveals that to be an effective teacher we must engage students in learning and get out the habit of teaching students information that they can learn on their own. Educators have to challenge today's youth by engaging them in the lesson and not just entertaining students. The video is also a great indicator that we must create lessons on higher level thinking, according to Bloom's Taxonomy, where students can analyze, evaluate and create.
Why I Flipped the Classroom by middle school teacher, Katie Gimbar and Flipping the Classroom-4th Stem by fourth grade teacher, Ms. Munafo are both great videos on how to change teaching. Katie Gimbar and Ms. Munafo discuss how flipping the classroom is helpful in math classes. Flipping the classroom, introduces a new way of teaching that capture every student in the classroom in learning and using applications. Flipping the classroom allow parents and students to preview the material that will be taught the following day through their computer; however, if a student does not have access to a computer then the student will be allowed to watch the video at school. These changes in teaching allow teachers to create activities for students that allow them to apply themselves and work at their own pace.
When watching the videos, I had a million question, but thanks to the Flipped Classroom FAQ most of my questions were put to rest. Flipping my classroom is an excellent way to engage every child in learning and the allowing students to work at their own pace. I like the idea, if students do not have access a computer at home, letting the student preview the video that morning or a designated time. I never imagine teaching this way, but with flipping the classroom, as the teachers have mentioned, lecturing in front of the class only meets 1/3 of the student’s needs and either leave the other 2/3 of students behind or have students wanting more. I would love using this technique in my class, because when teaching every teacher expects to meet each need of the students they are teaching. Integrating flipping the classroom means that I can interact with my students more, and students are applying what they have learned to various activities that are assigned.