In this video Michael Wesch discusses how the world is drastically changing, yet our schools are not. He explains how students are not being adequately prepared to use the internet and other technology after they graduate. He gave multiple examples of how the internet is bringing people together to do amazing things, but for the most part we are not allowing our students to get in on the action. This is one of the main challenges that I feel I face as an educator. I want students to be able to use technology to explore ideas and make the content meaningful to themselves. However, I feel that this is a daunting task especially when there is so much emphasis on teaching the standards. I would love to have students be able to create their own meaningful projects using technology, but I'm not yet sure how to do that while still having time to teach them all of the math skills that they need to know. I know that it will be challenging, but it is of the utmost importance to have students' education reflect what they will be expected to do in their futures.
This video discusses the differences between residents and visitors of the internet. A resident has a continual online presence, even when they are not logged on. They see the internet as a social gathering place. A visitor of the internet sees it as a "messy toolbox"; they use the internet to get what they need from it and then their online presence almost vanishes when they log off. I thought it was interesting that he pointed out that people who are mainly visitors of the internet when it comes to education are that way because higher education institutes usually create autonomous learners. When I was getting my degree it was not encouraged to work extensively with others nor to use the internet to share our ideas or do research. Thus, I would say that I am more if a visitor of the internet. However due to the online profession presence that I am creating in the credential program I feel that I am becoming more of a resident.
In Will Richardson's book Why School? he discusses how schools are not adequately preparing students to succeed in our technology centered modern world. He explains that the old type of school revolves around teaching to the test, but students will not take standardized tests in the real world. However, they will need to know how to think critically, use technology to find useful information, know how to analyze and use that information, and communicate their ideas. Richardson argues that the world is changing, thus so must schools. He explains two different types of ways that schools can change to integrate technology into their classrooms. He calls these two types of reform "better" and "different". The better way is to use technology to better teach the same content teachers are already teaching and to help student preform better on standardized tests. The different way is to change the fundamentals of schools, curriculum, teaching, and classrooms. I believe that schools need to shift to this type of different schooling. Richardson describes how with this different type of schooling "students have more ownership over their own learning, using their access to knowledge and teachers to create their own unique paths to the outcomes we, and they, deem important" (p.27). I agree with Richardson that since information is readily available to students, as teachers we need to shift our roles from deliverers of information to facilitators of learning. Students learn the most when they are able to discover concepts on their own and find ways to apply them to real world situations. Since this is the way students learn the best and it develops the skills they will need in the future, schools should not only embrace the use of technology in classrooms but use it as an integral aspect of a Richardson's different type of school.
I could commit to the idea of transferring the power to the students. Richardson describes how we need to let students be innovative with technology and the only way to do that is to let them create and explore on their own. In my class I allow my student to investigate the new mathematical concepts we are learning, but I feel that I could transfer even more power to them. If I gave my students more freedom to research what they wanted I think that they would become even more engaged with the subject matter. I want my students to take responsibility for their learning and become innovative, creative, and critical thinkers.
One of the ideas that I would struggle with implementing would be the talk to strangers idea. I would be concerned about what/who my students would encounter online if I told them to find teachers who have specialties in their field that they are researching. Richardson states the importance of first teaching students how to distinguish who is an appropriate person to make connections with. However I worry that even after that lesson some of my students will not be mature enough to make responsible choices when contacting people online.