Did You Know?
Technology is a funny thing. It is constantly evolving and making the world a smaller and smaller place. Dr. Strange points out these facts in his video, Did You Know?. I was shocked by many of the facts presented in the video, but one in particular stood out to me. "In 2025 the number of English-speaking Chinese is likely to exceed the number of native English speakers in the world." I mean, what ever happened to the Chinese speaking Chinese?! It is crazy and at the same time amazing to me how small the world is becoming through technology.
Another fact from the video that really made me think was that as an educator, I will be preparing kids for jobs that do not even exist yet. Wow! What an intimidating thought! I have never thought of teaching in that light, but I am definitely anxious to see what the future holds for technology and education.
At the end of the video, Dr. Strange presents the viewer with a simple question. "Are you ready to be an educator?" Well, to put my answer in simple terms, ABSOLUTELY! I am so excited to teach my students about technology, and I think there are definitely ways they can be prepared to face new technology not yet invented. As a teacher, I plan to encourage my students to experiment with new technology as it comes along and explore the powerful possibilities it has to offer. In my opinion, if kids are used to exploring new technology and learning how to use it on their own, then they are automatically set up for success no matter what comes their way.
Mr. Winkle Wakes
Mr. Winkle Wakes is a video about a cartoon man who wakes up in our modern world after being asleep for 100 years. As he visits different institutions such as an office and hospital, he is very confused about all of the technology that he sees. Finally, he goes into a school where he is pleased to see that nothing has changed in the 100 years he was asleep. He only sees one computer in the classroom, and it is covered in dust and not used.
Although it is definitely an exaggeration, this video made me think about the use of technology in schools as compared to other institutions. In my opinion, it is not necessarily a bad thing that certain aspects of school have remained the same as it always has been. For example, the students still sit in desks and most of the time take notes with a pen and paper. These characteristics of school are the same as they have always been, and I believe they are essential to the educational system. However, I do think that more technology needs to be incorporated into lessons. Kids love working with technology like computers and smartboards, and are eager to learn new aspects of them. Think of how much more enthusiasm there would be about a lesson containing a Youtube video or an educational computer game instead of a lecture or worksheet! Half of the battle in education is keeping the kids focused and eager to learn, and I believe that technology in the classroom can do just that!
Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
Sir Ken Robinson makes some valid points in his speech about The Importance of Creativity. He talked about how today's school system has only one thing in mind, and that is preparing children to earn a degree and go on to get a job. Therefore, the most emphasized subjects in school are math and science followed by languages and humanities and finally the arts. He says that children these days grow out of their creativity as they get older as a result of education. They are being told to be practical in their career choices and this does not include interest in the arts. He goes on to make his point that the arts should be treated just like any other subject in school.
I totally agree with everything that Robinson says in the video, and I really enjoyed the comedy that he threw in to keep the talk entertaining. In fact, the funny stories he threw in were a creative way to keep my attention throughout the talk. I absolutely loved the story he told about a famous musical theater choreographer who was fidgety during school in the 1930s. She was taken to a specialist who turned on the radio and watched her dance to the music. He told her mother there was nothing wrong at all; she was just a dancer. These days, she probably would have been diagnosed as ADHD and put on medication, possibly killing her creativity in the process. I think we are way too quick to label children as having a problem like ADHD. Many of these children could be just like the girl in the story, and no one will ever know it. I think teachers should be creative with teaching methods and include arts within lessons to foster creativity and make the children want to learn, not just have to.
Think About the Future
Watching all of these videos leads me to think about the future. In A Day Made of Glass 2 the viewer is shown what the future of technology could hold. The video by Corning shows a child going through her day with technology of the future which includes a tablet that basically keeps track of her life. It does everything from help her pick an outfit in the morning to becoming a display of what the teacher is doing on her desk at school.
I think that with the proper education for children, the future of this world is going to be a very bright place. I think it is important for students to learn about technology because they are the ones who will expand on it in the future. But if education continues on like the Mr. Winkle video suggests, the children might not receive proper training on the use of technology. The obvious solution to having technology more readily available in classrooms is for more money to be put into education. However, I know that is easier said than done. Besides knowledge of technology, children will also need creativity to expand on technology as we know it. And as Sir Ken Robinson said in his speech, creativity comes from a solid foundation in the arts.
So to wrap things up, although all of the above videos are very different from each other, they are all related to the future of technology. We need to remember that the children we will be teaching one day are the future of technology.