Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog Assignment 8

This Is How We Dream by Richard Miller

        Richard Miller begins his lecture talking about how he had loved and had books growing up and decided that was what he wanted to have a profession in.  He eventually did write a book and it now sells for 59 cents on Amazon.  Miller explains how he believes we are in a time where communication is changing rapidly in a way that has never occurred and will never occur again.  "Virtual Libraries" allow anyone to "use" books but the supply of the books is never diminished.  We are now able to compose with not only text, but images, sounds, and videos.  It also never ages.  New information is being added constantly, but the traces of history and old information is still there.  You can do nearly anything, the limits are only ones that you place.  Miller makes the example of, without the internet, his lecture might not be publicly published for another two years, but with the internet, it can be public in a matter of hours.
        Towards the end of the video when Richard Miller was explaining how we needed change, I noticed a lot of video clips of SMART Boards.  I found this funny that a whole movie about everything we can do with technology would resort to showing clips of SMART Boards at the end!  I think there are better tools out there as I, and countless others, have discussed in past blog posts.  He next showed his idea of a "Green Building" that relied on solar power and eliminated the parking lot that originally surrounded the building.  However, I am a bit confused by this.  How will students get to class if such a building existed?  He took away the parking lot because it makes the building "greener" but that does not change the fact that students need some sort of transportation to and from class.  Maybe he meant for the students to be forced to use buses or possibly this was his interpretation if the classes were to become completely virtual.
        Regardless of the ending of this video that aggravated me a bit, Richard Miller made some very good points.  This virtual library of resources is endless.  There is so much we can do with it and it is a valuable tool to all students.  In the past I have emphasized how I do not want to be required to use technology in my classroom but I have also said that the internet is a wonderful creation.  While my opinion on this matter still has not changed, for students, the internet really should be at the top of the list for learning resources.

Blog Post #12 by Carly Pugh

        Carly Pugh puts her post together in a very neat and creative way.  She calls for an assignment that would require students to create a playlist of at least 10 Youtube videos that meet the standards for the "fake" assignment.  She then explains how and why this would be a beneficial assignment.  She links inspirational videos that more deeply explain the reasons for this assignment.  One such video, Disability Means Possibility really got to me.  With videos like these, we really can expose children to everyone and show that we are all not so very different.  This fits Richard Miller's ideas by showing how we can learn through the internet about others.
        She ends her post with explaining how videos are a great way to interest all students.  Visuals keep us engaged.  I agree.  I absolutely love making video projects and always have since middle school which started with a very embarrassing 30 minute long video project simply entitled "Chapter 10."  I spent countless hours editing the video on Windows Movie Maker.  It helped me learn what better software was out there and how to make the video more creative.  It was difficult and challenging to make, but I still love rewatching it.  I hope I can one day interest my students in making videos like these.  I could show them the ones I created as a student.   Maybe I can give them resources to create these videos, like a costume catalog, green screens, props, and video equipment.  This is the kind of technology I want for my classroom.  Since I will be a history teacher, I can assign "Critical Moments in History" for the students to create as a video project in which they act out scenes from our most important historical moments.  This would be an assignment outside of the classroom, of course and I would not require them to upload these to the web, but simply bring them to class.  I believe the students would remember and understand history to a much greater extent if they see themselves and their friends as a part of history.

The Chipper Series and EDM 310 For Dummies by Poppy Bednorz

Still Image from
        Both of these videos shed some light on what it feels like to be an EDM 310 student.  There is no room for procrastination and EDM 310 can be very dismaying at times!  As far as videos I would like to participate in, I have always wanted to create a stop animation video.  The possibilities are endless with this technique!!  I am still unsure of what I could actually do to pertain this to EDM 310, but if anyone else is interested, let me know.  We could make a real world stop animation video, like this music video shows or create our own world like this video shows.  Another one of my favorites is this video which puts a new twist on making spaghetti!

Learn to Change, Change to Learn

        This video had many ideas that I agreed with and a few that I did not agree with.  All of these people are spot on when they say that the classroom needs to be more fun and interesting.  Students need more stimulation, ways to expand their creativity.  This can be done through the class atmosphere and assignments. The ideas that I did not agree with were how one lady said, "If I could remodel the classroom of today, I'm not sure it would be a brick and mortar classroom."  Maybe she meant for this to be that we do not always have to learn inside a building, which is true, but there still needs to be this physical building that students go to to learn.  It should be seen as a sanctuary, a place that gets them excited for learning.  Part of going to school, as Randy Pausch would say, is a "head fake."  It not only allows children to learn but it teaches them responsibility and promptness and appropriate behavior to exhibit to others.  Solely internet learning cannot teach this.  Only physical interaction can.  Another man said learning should not be all about facts, but having access to these facts. This is true, but there are some facts that everyone should need to know without looking it up online.  Suppose I asked someone, "Who was the first president of the United States?"  What if their reply was, "Hang on one second, let me look it up on my phone."  I do not think any of us wants this to happen.  Yes, the internet is good to learn how to access information, but there are some facts that people should store into their memory.
        Overall, this video made a very good argument for how schools should change.  It used statistics that were very convincing and an array of highly educated individuals to prove it's point.  However, we simply cannot change everything we have established educationally so far.  I think the solutions to our problems lie somewhere in between.


  1. I really liked your post! I agreed with many things you said. I didn't really notice the Smartboard thing but I do agree there are better ways to spend money. I thought several of Carly's videos were engaging including Disability Means Possibility. And I really liked some of your comments about the internet and facts. Technology is great but only if it increases the acquisition of knowledge. Good job ! Thanks, Jeff

  2. Exceptionally well written. Thoughtful. Interesting. I missed the Smartboards. I'll go back and look. I don't like the sales pitch part of Miller and really ought to edit it out. Easy to do.

    I think Dr. Baggett used some time lapse photography for something. I am sure I have seen it used somewhere at USA. But I can't get a handle on how to look it up. (Another argument for you).

    "It should be seen as a sanctuary, a place that gets them excited for learning. " It sounds wonderful. But not very practical given the crap that rules and regulations impose.

    You get me thinking every time I read your post. Thank you!

  3. Elizabeth,
    Great post! It is so cool that my post got you thinking so creatively! I like your concept for creating Critical Moments in History videos. I also happen to love the stop animation videos you posted with your multimedia writing. This could be really effective if you combined the two to incorporate historical aspects, costumes, scenery, etc. That could be a great idea for a project! Keep us posted if you have any new ideas on this! I would love to help :)

  4. Jeff: Thank you very much for your comment!

    Dr. Strange: Thank you for your comments about my writing. I hope I can have a classroom that can fit both the regulations and a place the students look forward to visiting. That will definitely be an experiment and I will let you know how it goes down the road.

    Carly: Thank you! That is a good idea to put the history and stop animation together. I'd love to do it for this class but it wouldn't really fit the "technology" aspect of the class. If I come up with something I can do, I will definitely let you know! Thanks for the help offer!

  5. Hi Elizabeth,

    I agree with you in all aspects of your blog. Computers are a valuable tool in society. They are needed for some things but to completely take away the interactions students have with books is completely too much. There are books that can be purchased online that will be a better option. You are so right about schools and the learning environment that comes along with classroom learning versus sitting in front of a computer for everything. We still need the interactions of people in our schools.