Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blog Post #2

Mr. Dancealot Video by Cameron Hall, Eric Merryman and Ronald Griffin

Two mice dancing
I believe in the “Mr. Dancealot” video, it clearly shows that technology is not always the best choice for teaching. Teaching dancing just through use of smartboards and powerpoint presentations isn’t what will have students learn how to dance. An easy example of how this didn’t work is the amount (about half the class) of students that were asleep in the lecture. Certain subjects require teaching in different ways. The way this teacher chose to teach may have been ok in learning the history of dance, but not learning how to dance. The little physical instruction the professor did give was behind a desk where the students couldn’t see anything. This highlights the inappropriate setting the class was held in. Most students are hands-on learners so a video showing them what to do wouldn't be effective as an in class instructor.

Teaching in the 21st Century by Cameron Hall

According to Kevin Roberts video Teaching in the 21st Century he believes that it would involve students being able to reach their work anywhere anytime and through every technological port available, such as google youtube facebook twitter. But he also wants them to understand the material, analyze it, communicate and collaborate with information retrieved. The main question he asks is if curriculum should be based off of facts and content or skill? I agree that it be a combination both. It be facts and content and skill based off of that. I completely agree with notion that teaching in the 21st century would strongly involve and encourage almost entire use of technology as a greater tool inside and outside of the classrooms. As an educator I think it would be a asset to everyone in the classroom; teachers, students and even parents. It give everyone alternative way to understanding interpreting material. I think it make overall classroom a better learning environment for everyone. It would give teachers a way to evolve into the technological world that our society is towards. For students, it allow them to see another aspect of how technology they are so accustomed to presents another aide to them. For parents out just simply another way to become involved in their child' education. I agree with Kevin Robert's position. It says teachers teaching in the 21st century is a better way for classroom evolve the students.

The Networked Student by Ronald Griffin

The Networked Student was a true story about a 21st century high school student. The story revolved around a certain class he was taking and the format in which it was being taught. The format was called Connectivism, which is based on learning from various connections from people mostly from the internet / social media. The student met with the class three times a week and two other times via the internet. The class centered mostly on the student going out and finding reputable connections to strengthen his knowledge on the subject matter. These reputable connections included scholarly articles, college level podcasts of lectures in his subject area, and other information compiled by current and former students. The teacher of his class was mostly there to help the students along with the process when they got stuck, not for lecture purposes.

There are several things I like about this kind of education. The first thing is the acquisition of research skills. By having to search for connections in his subject area he will gain a lot of experience in research. Having a solid foundation in research is important in many factions of life, not only in higher education but future careers as well. Another positive point about this article is the use of technology. The class is based on technology and acquiring this skill has advantages. One advantage is the fact of technology and research going hand in hand. Using technology in research can yield much more powerful results than not using it. Another great thing this education style uses is people connections. Part of the story included the student making a connection with a documentary filmmaker. This connection led to the filmmaker Skyping with the whole class.

There are also a few things that I didn’t care for in this educational approach. The first thing is only meeting three days a week due to holding class online for the other two days. I think on a high school level students should be in a classroom together the whole time. At the high school age students are really coming into their own on many levels and I think socialization is a very important one. Having face to face contact and having personal interactions with other students and teachers is very important. There is a big difference between sitting behind a computer and interacting with someone compared to doing it in real life. Getting along with, working with, and even joking around and having fun with other students is better in person. Another issue I had was the interaction of the teacher with the students. I don’t have a problem with the interaction as a whole, rather a few minor things. I think it is great that the teacher encourages the students to be critical thinkers and self motivators, but I feel lectures are a very important part of learning. Having the skill to listen and pick out important information from lectures is a rewarding skill to have. In most careers one will have supervisors that lecture in meeting type atmospheres. Having the discipline to be attentive and learn from those lectures may determine the quality of work one puts out. Learning these types of skills in the classroom can prepare one for situations like this. I think this goes hand in hand with the question of why a is teacher needed. Lecture skills can be provided by the teacher in addition to supporting the students in their own research / connection making.

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts by Eric Merryman

According to Vicki Davis’ video “Harness your student’s digital smarts”, she taught her students by allowing them to teach themselves and to collaborate with one another and teach others in the classroom. It helps have students think independently and give them the drive to succeed. When she talks about empowering of the students, she is talking about the feeling of when a student figures something out on their own and they feel like they can take on the world and learn anything and everything. When talking about the subject of having students collaborate with other students in the world, I believe generally that is a good idea, introduces students to new cultures and ideas. However, specifically talking about students collaborate with other students in the world, it determines on the subject to see if it is a good idea or not, some subjects it is wonderful, other subjects it is not exactly necessary, so generally good idea, specifically it depends. With the internet, it does not matter if one is in a rural area or not, everyone is connected. With the internet everyone lives in the same neighborhood and can casually skip on over to your blog or twitter or even youtube video. If you give the student the proper tools and with a little push, the student can harness their own digital smarts and impress and teach even the most advanced of educators.


  1. This comment confers the collaborative part of this post:

    "I believe in the “Mr. Dancealot” video, it clearly shows that technology is not always the best choice for teaching." is this really the main point of the video? You should always start with the main point. Also why the "I" since this is a collaborative post, or at least should be?

    "The way this teacher chose to teach may have been ok in learning the history of dance,..." Was that the learning objective? I think not.

    "This highlights the inappropriate setting the class was held in." setting for the class. You should avoid ending sentences with prepositions.

    " effective as an in class instructor." You need as before effective.

    "Most students are hands-on learners so a video showing them what to do wouldn't be effective as an in class instructor." Why not? I doubt that you could prove this experimentally!

  2. Great job on The Networked Student. Your opinions are very well-organized and well-written.

  3. Cameron, my name is Douglas Jarvis Jr. Im in the EDM 310 Wed @ 6p class and have been assigned your blog as my C4C. Firstly, I enjoyed the picture for Mr Dancealot. I also agree technology is everything however, i feel like that video actually clearly demonstrates the need for long drawn out lecture to be eradicated and supplemented with video and animation. I do agree with you that hands on learning is vital as well. As far as the composition of the blog ,its not bad.I would just suggest two things: read the blog out loud and listen to how it sounds there are a couple of lines that are a little clumsy to read ( teaching students to dance just through the use of ......... make sure u separate list with commas as well. (ex: such as youtube google facebook twitter should be such as youtube, google, facebook , and twitter. All in all I enjoyed your blog and look forward to reading more of your opinions. I hope this helped.