Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lit Review 2

Resistance to Technological Change in Academia Current Issues in Education [On-line], 11(6). Available:

by Linda Moerschell, Walden University

Upon first finding this article I misread Academia for America, so the idea behind this title seemed a little unfathomable. So, needless to say, I had to read it. This article wasn't a quick, light read nor was it particularly engaging. I had to stop and start up again several times, then research many terms, concepts and theories. But, I didn't want to give up on it, I didn't want to admit to the fact that there was an educationally based article that was over my head.
This lengthy article has two parts to it. I'm going to focus on part one which dealt with the challenges of making Internet2 and all of its glory popular among teachers and administration at Northern New York University 2. (NNYU2 is a fictional school that was created to protect the integrity of the actual school that she researched.) Internet 2™ (I2) is a separate Internet system reserved for research and education applications. It is a member-driven cyber community that promotes partnership, opportunity, and exchange among many disciplines (Building Tomorrow’s Internet, 2007). 
Ms. Moerschell had student researchers study this topic. The attempt to roll out Internet2 started way back in 2003. This was going to be an investment, an $80,000 a year investment.
The resistance was broken down into four parts; limited awareness in educational technology, no motivation from seasoned teachers to change their ways, different types of people handle change differently and lastly (from what I was able to decipher) change is constant but it requires give and take from both sides.
Each of the four resistances that the researched college faced are the common hurdles that many schools would encounter. I find it so hard to believe that at a college, an institution of higher learning, a place that is to enlighten and expand minds would have resistance to technology.
I'd be curious to hear what my peers had to say about this article.

Final EDU533 Blog

How has your opinion changed (or why has it stayed the same) over the past 11 weeks regarding Technology Integration?

To be honest, I don't know if I had an opinion regarding Technology Integration prior to this class. The bare bones concept of using technology, in particular, the internet to enhance a students' learning sounds so civilized.  However, as I wrote about in my last blog for me the actual implementation was the challenge. But,I'm also running an after school program which is completely different than being in the classroom. 

I truly believe that if the teacher has the motivation, patience and knowledge then technology integration can be done. Motivation to constantly research child-friendly websites. Patience to be willing to work with students of all experiences and abilities. Also, the knowledge of what is happening in the ever changing world of technology. The idea of each child having a computer is wonderful, but then what? The fanciest airplanes will never see the sky without a skilled pilot. 

Technology has to be more than an advanced option to hand writing a report. More than social networking, more than a Google search and more than using ClipArt for a report cover. Technology has to become second nature, just another option in a student's arsenal of resources. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Equal Access!?

Teachers need to provide equal access to the digital world to all learners

Equal access; the concept sounds simple enough. Allow everyone to have the same amount of accessibility to something.
One of my goals in the after school program that I run is to have everyone of my students have an equal opportunity to use and become more familiar with the digital world. This is an important goal because roughly 60% of my students have computers at home. Unfortunately, this task is proving more trouble than I originally thought.
For instance- Not everyone of my students will attend on Tuesdays, which is the designated day of the week that the computer teacher will be offering her class. Another roadblock is that there are only 20 computers that are accessible to the students during each one hour class. I will be holding two, one hour classes, so that means 40 children will be able to take the internet class! But, I have 59 students that attend on Tuesdays. Also, even though the two classes are broken down by grade; first and second graders together and then third, fourth and fifth, I still have varied knowledge of computers within each group. Also, a huge factor is learning abilities and disabilities.
We are still in the development stage of this process. Our first class is Tuesday, March 8, 2011, and it will run for eight weeks. I'm excited to see how everything unfolds.

Is the Book Dead? by Johanna Sorrentino

As an avid book reader, the title of this article caught my eye. I was concerned that what I was about to read would insult and discourage the past time of finding a quite place to curling up with a thick novel.

The article starts off with a statistic by The Pew Internet & American Life Project stating that 93% of teens use the internet. That number didn't surprise me at all. The author, Johanna Sorrentino on the other hand feels that with such a high percentage rate that means that the tactile book is getting less and less attention.

The article continues with critics of both sides; paper books and the digital media. Paper books allows the reader to become one with the book, to really develop their understanding of each characters. Whereas the digital media emphases the speed to which a reader can skim a text.

However, one extremely valid point for digital media is the ability to have research right at your fingertips while reading. If there is a word in a text that a child doesn't understand, most won't go searching out for a meaning. Whereas, digital text allows the reader to leave one article to go and search for an unknown meaning. That ability to have a quick answer allows the reader to continue without missing a beat.

Ultimately, according to the article, electronic media is best because it encourages and entices kids to read more. I mean, isn't that our overall goal anyway? We want a society of readers. Perhaps this digital immigrant needs to get with the program?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SiSu- thank you Finland!

I just finished watching Dr. Tim Tyson's webcast. While listening to Dr. Tyson speak, I found myself mentally leaving his webcast to focus my attention on how the topics he was speaking about impact my day. The reason I was able to mentally leave reality was due to Dr. Tyson touching upon some depressing points, depressing because we as Americans created our own bleak future. As a product of this culture and this country, it is embarrassing and disheartening to know we as a nation have invested so much time, energy and financial resources into all the wrong areas (the state of Rhode Island boasting about having the most Dunkin Donuts). The US when compared academically to other nations is lagging in all areas.

I can confidently say that I see myself as an educator that has the will, courage and potential to instill in my students a sense of excitement and curiosity for their future. However, it isn't enough to see, I need to be in the present. I do not have a clear vision of how to accomplish this goal.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


There are a lot of jobs that see "multi-tasking" as a necessary skill. However, we are treating Digital Natives ability to do so, as a negative.  If our goal is to prepare our students for their future, shouldn't we embrace their ability to multi-task?