Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Challenge of a Lifetime


After watching this conference I was pretty inspired. Dr. Tim Tyson has a powerful way with words. He has powerful views and opinions and presents them in an amazing tone and persuasive way. He starts outs speaking by saying, "See the forest not just the trees". We tend to blame the educational policy, system, and teachers for problems rather than looking to the broader, more important issues. To be quite honest I have not even thought about the failed system in such a broad way. I always assumed it must be the school or the teacher in front of the classroom that is failing these students. Yet, Dr. Tyson points out that it goes way beyond one school, one teacher, or one district. It is a national issue.

We can attribute a failing education system to ECONOMY, SOCIETY, and CULTURE. These all have a trickle down effect to our teaching. The problems we face as a culture effects the young minds sitting in front of you. If anyone thinks like me, you thought, these large national problems obviously will not effect my young child; however, I was horribly wrong. We are essentially a broken country, The only time I have seen the nation band together is a direct result from terrorist attacks. So we need someone to attack us and kill our people before we will stand together and face issues? As Dr. Tyson points out Finland has something called SISU. Sisu is the strength, the will, and determination as a nation to succeed. The people of Finland act together while all we want to do is oppose eachother. We want to seperate differences rather than drop our differences and stand together.

As Dr. Tyson says, we need to become agents of meaningful change. We need to care about all of the failure in our society (specifically leaders) and take a stand, do something about the issue at hand. Although this is a tough issue to take on, we must try to change our failing system. We do not want our children growing up thinking an education isn't going to get them anywhere. The children of today do not even realize how important education is because of how much it has failed them.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reflection on Digital Nation

After watching this video I was very surprised at some of the topics that were discussed. It really opened my eyes to my own multitasking issue. I try to multitask on a daily basis and I fail miserably every time, but I continue to do it.When I sit down to do a paper or some homework, I always have something else going on. I will have music on or the TV on or blackberry in hand. I know very well that when I am distracted I make mistakes, but it is hard to separate myself from technology. The quote at the end of the video by one of the professors really encompasses the mystery of technology, "technology is not good or  bad, it's powerful". That's just it, it is too powerful for us to even wrap our heads around yet.

I was absolutely shocked at the second world reality. I personally, think that that is just ridiculous. Working from home must be absolutely wonderful for those people and I am jealous, but I don't believe that it can make you feel like you know the others or like you feel in a real meeting face to face. The gaming portion of this video is what really got to me. When all these children are talking about how many hours the spend playing games it is just sad. I believe that if you are a concerned parent and you are involved in your child's life there is no reason why you can not stop them from gaming for 10 plus hours. The fifteen year old boy in Korea who's mother sent him to the gaming treatment for two weeks was crazy to me. She watched as he ate his dinner, cleared his plate, left her there and sat right back in front of the computer. My mother would have stopped me dead in my tracks before I even thought about getting up before she was done eating. I do believe that these games could quite possibly be addicting, but there has to be a line somewhere. The war craft game segment showed a man talking with people on his team, I heard in the background one of them say "I'll be right back I have to hug my boy goodnight". The days are so short and go by so fast, that a father should not be just giving his son a quick hug and heading back to his game, there should be quality, face to face, REAL interaction, none of this second reality stuff. I think technology is putting a strain on relationships, families, and quality time spent with each other has diminished.

I'm not sure what position I take on the technology issue. I believe it is wonderful, and a lot can be accomplished, and you can get creative, but how far we should take it, I can't decide. Even if "netiquette" is taught, there are still going to be issues. I suppose we will see what further research comes about and see if as a society we can come up with some sort of medium.

About Me

Hi everyone! My name is Emily. I recently finished my undergrad in UCONN and now I am in pursuit of my Masters in Special Ed and Elementary Ed. I don't have many hobbies because I don't really have time for much at this point, but I am just starting a few that I have never been very good at  (gardening and cooking ha!) Another one of my interests are pit bulls! I have a rescued 9 month old pit and I am constantly donating to shelters for pits and I am advocate against breed discrimination. That's about it...