Sunday, January 16, 2011

Course Reflection!!

General Course Experience (question a)
The part that I enjoyed the most about this course was how it was so different from every other course I have ever taken in high school.  Usually, students are subjected to the same routine of quiz, test, quiz, test exam.  Here, we got to learn new skills and show them off by helping people instead of writing tests.  I think this is actually a better way of showcasing our knowledge, because we are actually applying what we learned.  As well, we usually got to pick what part of a project we were going to do.  This gave me the feeling that this course was treating us as adults, giving us choice and responsibility.
The part I enjoyed least about this course was the net book setup at the beginning.  Although it was interesting at first, in my opinion it lasted too long.  I feel like maybe the groups could have rotated, so that the net book people did not have to be stuck on that one job the whole time.  This was probably why some of the net books remained uncompleted: the group members simply lost interest in their task.

Areas for Improvement (question c)
If I could give advice to future IDC students, it would be this: Don't take this course for granted.   Yes, this may be different than other courses, and there may be no tests, quizzes or exams, but that doesn't mean there will not be a lot of work.  The worst thing someone can do i go into this course thinking it will be a free ride to an A.  With some hard work you can get good marks in this class, but the key word here is work.  The projects that are given in this course still require a decent amount of work, so future IDC students should be prepared for this, and come into this course as work-ready as any other course.

Technology in Education (question b)
I would tell this teacher that the time and energy that they would invest in using new technology would be more than paid off by how attentive the students will be after the introduction of this technology.  The fact of the matter is that students today are caring less and less about books and print media.  Instead, introducing technology into the classroom will mean a more enticing learning environment for students.  One of the number one reasons that students do not pay attention in class is because they are simply not interested in what they are learning.  Technology can help hook these kids on the material by offering a more hands-on way to learn the course material.  It would definitely be worth introducing technology into the classroom because it would help the kids learn.  In fact, some teachers might even see the class average go up after an introduction of technology because of how more involved the students will be in the course material.  By introducing new technology into the learning environment, the learning experience for the students would definitively improve.

Bonus Question
Although I was never given the opportunity to be a group leader, I feel like, no matter what group I was in for a given project, I was always giving suggestions and providing positive criticism to make the project turn out better.  For example, in the Staples video, I was constantly making improvements to the video.  If there was something that I thought could be better, I would say so, because I wanted the overall product to be as high-quality as possible.  The school video was no exception.  I came up with the idea of stop motion, and I was one of the ones to help orchestrate the stop motion intro.  Maybe I could have done more as a group leader, but for the positions I was given, I feel like I contributed above and beyond the requirements. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Resonse to the response to the article we originally responded to (Reading Response 3)

1.  a) There is no evidence to support the arguments being made
     b) Author should have told both sides to the stories, not just blatantly favour one side
     c) There are huge cultural factors that affect each area differently

2. I do.  In some cases, there are teachers who are more "in tune" with today's kids and understand they learn differently.  On the other hand, there are teachers who expect students to be exactly like they were when they were students.  Some teachers have to realize that things are changing, including the ways some kids feel comfortable learning.

3. I think that Mr Tapscott's article better understands technology and our generation.  He does more research into the topic, and comes up with better anecdotes.

For example, in the first article, the author writes how "Vishad starts his homework at 11 pm".  This is seen as a negative.  However, Mr Tapscott sees that the whole day was spent by Vishad editing something for two hours, a skill that he wants to pursue as a career.  Mr Tapscott understands that even though the technology might have prevented him from doing his homework, this technology might also be what he works with as a career, and therefore the time was well spent.

Reading Response 2

1. Nicholas Carr
I agree with his response.  Multitasking is not a bad thing, and it is very helpful in a variety of situations.  However, our society is contantly multitasking, and this is taking a huge toll on us.  We are not giving our bodies enough time to rest; instead, we are expecting our bodies to handle more and more tasks.  This is overwhelming us in a harmful way.

I agree with his solution.  It is melancholy to see the number of youths who have not read a novel outside of school in their lifetime, because of the technological distractions that are available to them.  If we disconnect ourselves from the powergrid of distraction, then our minds will start to relax and a lesser toll will be taken on our bodies.

2. Gary W. Small
I think that Mr. Small is being a little unrealistic.  He wants people to stop multitasking, to say it bluntly.  As we advance,  our society is going to be demanding multitasking more and more.  I think that a better solution would be to learn to deal multitasking, and to make the act of doing multiple things at once more efficient.
It is inevitable that we will be continuing multitasking in the future, so we must learn how to multitask better, not to stop multitasking. 

I do, however, agree with him that we should disconnect ourselves from technology once in a while.  It will be a nice break, and will "recharge our batteries".

Overall, I think it is important to manage the technology we have and make sure it does not overwhelm us.  Taking breaks from technology will have benifits that everyone will be thankful for.

Web Design Project Placement.

I would like to be in the video group.  I was in the group when we made the Futureshop video, and I feel like I made a good contribution.  I gave ideas and helped direct Vlad when he was acting.  Also, I was in the lion costume in the video.

The only one I would not like to be in would be the website group.  I have no experience with it and I feel a much better contribution could be made by me in the video group

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Article Response - Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction

I can definitely see the point that the researchers in the article are making.  The Internet, along with other technology, are definitely distractions that lower the academic interest of students.  What student could resist the lure of video games?  Distractions such as Youtube, Facebook and video games are much more appealing options than time-consuming homework.   In my opinion, kids today are more obsessed with things that will affect them in the now:  facebook (social interactions), video games and youtube (leisurely please) and others.  They do not care so much for things that will affect them in the future, i.e. grades, homework, scholarships etc...

When I play video games, I have one cardinal rule: I don't play the night before a test or exam.  The reason for this is that video games are hyper-stimulants, and my brain fully focuses on the exciting distractions.  When I go to sleep, instead of reviewing the main points in my head, my brain would be still focused on the video game.  Also, studies show that it takes longer to fall asleep after exposure to hyper-stimulants than if I were to be studying, reading a book or exercising.  Not only would I lose sleep, but I would be distracted and not using my brain to its full potential.

I do think that schools should be embracing new technologies, after all, everything we use in school, from pens to calculators, were new technologies at one point.  Just because something is new does not mean it is harmful to youth.  I think that the schools must, however, take precautions when integrating these technologies in school.  If they want to use more advanced computers, special care should be taken to ensure that students are not visiting unwanted sites on the internet.  The schools must ensure that the technology is being used as it was intended.

Overall, I believe that technology is not the problem.  The problem is that kids do not know how to balance this technology with their education.  They must be taught that their future is just as important as what is occurring now, and a healthy balance between the two must be met.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Placement Update

1.  Last week David and I met with Dr. Burt.  She told us that she wanted to incorporate technology into her classroom, but that she did not know exactly what she wanted.  She tasked us in brainstorming ideas that could be useful in her science courses.  Last week was spent looking for websites and tools that could help Dr. Burt.

2.  This week we will meet with Dr. Burt and present our ideas to her.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Placement Blog Post

1.  My top skill from that list would be teaching students and teachers to use the software.  I am a youth leader for a youth group and I really enjoy teaching and helping people learn.  The second strongest skill would be the Movie maker instruction, because i have used that program before and am comfortable with it.

2.  a) 8.  I very much enjoy writing my own music, and i can come up with new ways to solve problems.
b)6.  I don't have the greatest memory in the world, but when situations arise, I act responsibly.
c)0.  I don't have any experience designing websites.  If I learned how though, I could apply my creativity towards that.
d)6.  I enjoy taking charge in groups and coming up with plans.
e)9.  This is a strong skill of mine, and I enjoy teaching people new things.
f)8.  As long as I write down what is due, I will meet the deadline.  The problem is when I have to remember something without writing it down.
3.  I am comfortable leading a group of students.
4. I would prefer to work with a partner.
5. I would be most comfortable working in English and Biology, but there are none there that I would not be comfortable working in.