Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blog Post #8

Richard Miller: This is How We Dream
   In parts one and two of this video, Richard Miller discusses changes in the way we write and share knowledge. In today's society, our workspace is a desktop. A desktop where we can type on Word Processing applications and you can research anything you want that is stored on the web. Books now have two forms- in print and a virtual, online form. The print form can disappear, but the virtual form will be online all of the time. Having dual forms makes the possibility of sharing knowledge infinite. Online/Virtual texts bring together text, images and videos all in one space. You can see things in an instant. One quote that really struck me was this "Ideas don't belong to us individually, but they belong to us as a culture." We can access almost anything we want to on the internet, and as teachers it will be our job to share our ideas without hesitation. Miller believes that students will eventually compose using digital composing materials instead of word processing. Composing on the web itself allows us to speak our dreams and share them with other people through the internet.
   I do not know that I am prepared to write with multimedia. It seems extremely detailed and intense but it makes sense as to why it is coming. Technology is our future. I think that if things continue to develop at such a rapid pace there is no question whether or not my students will be able to do this. That being said, if my students will be able to do this then I myself must also learn how to do this so that I will be able to help my students.
Chipper Series & EDM 310 For Dummies
    I thought that both of these videos were very interesting and well thought out. Both groups had very creative ideas and really made them interesting to watch. It's hard to watch other people's work then have to think of ideas for your own because you have that mental block where all you can come up with are the ideas you have just seen. For my video I think it would be fun to maybe do a talk show, or a reality show with different characters and contestants and scenarios. I still need to put more thought into it, but I think if I carried it out right it could really work. The primary message of Chipper Series was that you have to step up to the plate and do the work for yourself. If you go through life expecting other people to pick up your slack you are not going to make it very far. Life is hard, work is hard, but if you want to make something of yourself, you have to be willing to do the work and to make the effort. The primary message of EDM 310 For Dummies was that at first the students did not really understand the class or what they were doing in the class and thought it was pointless. They did not understand the websites they were being told to use like twitter, blogger, etc. However, once they learned how to use the tools properly and to the best benefit, they realized how beneficial all of it really was. The tools we learn in EDM 310 really are very beneficial. What we are doing in EDM 310 is not a waste of time, it is very helpful for us.
The Great SmartBoard Debate
    Both Michael Staton and Bill Ferriter's posts argue strongly against Smartboards. Staton argues that all Smartboards do is keep teachers from having to use a mouse and allows teachers to save content on the whiteboard which is something they could already do using screen shot. He notes that Smartboards are just a more expensive version of something that classrooms already have. They do not change what the teacher has to do nor do they decrease their workload. He also argues that they are an "administrative cop  out." The administration likes to spend money on technology and they like to spend it on big things that they can point to and count up. Ferriter agrees that Smartboards are no good. After using his Smartboard for a brief period, he actually gave his Smartboard away. He said that it was useless and did not make teaching his required curriculum any easier. Ferriter thinks that "Interactive whiteboards are an under-informed and irresponsible purchase." They do little to promote independent learning and imagination in children. He feels that by purchasing Smartboards, people are actually trying to buy the change they want to see in the classroom.
    However, in a blog I found by Patrick Black he strongly argues for the use of Smartboards linking them to special education. In his post "Smartboards & Special Education," he lists 5 reasons why Smartboards should be included in every special education classroom. 1) It's big; special education students respond well to visuals and using Smartboards teachers can implement very large visuals as well as share information with the entire classroom at one time. 2) It's flexible; Smartboards allow teachers to change what they're doing or looking at while still teaching without any major disruptions. 3) It's interactive; students do not have to worry about operating a mouse and a keyboard with a Smartboard. Instead they can just use the touch and click method and use pens if they wish, it's really much easier to use. 4) It's easy; most people can jump right into using a Smartboard, it may require a little training at most. Also, software works seamlessly with Smartboards for easy use. 5) It's fun; there are an endless number of fun activities for both student and teacher to do using the Smartboard technology. For information about his thoughts on Smartboards and their benefits you can visit his blog here.


  1. Morgan,

    I read your post and you did a great job. Did you grow up in school with Smart Boards? Do you feel that smart boards should be in every classroom? What if we took smart boards and gave them to the special education classrooms and gave regular classrooms more computers for all of the students instead? Would that help more students and change the traditional lecturing?

  2. Ms. Miller,
    For the majority of my elementary, middle, and high school years I did not have Smart Boards. In fact, I only had a Smart Board in one class my senior year of high school. Of course, all of the classrooms got them after I graduated :). I think if we took the Smart Boards to the special education classrooms they would be much more beneficial and serve a greater purpose. The students in regular classrooms would definitely gain more from doing their own work with computers rather than watching a teacher do it at the front of the class room.

  3. Excellent post Morgan!

    My main position on the smartboard debate is that its just like anything else, everyone has an opinion and people will debate just about anything. But comparing the smartboard to the chalkboard is about like comparing picking cotton by hand to using the cotton gin, it defies common sense. The smartboard is a great tool and its effectiveness depends on the user. If the teacher has an open minded and creative attitude it will be extremely beneficial for all who are involved. If the teacher is not open minded and has a negative attitude about the smartboard it will be useless. It is as simple as that. SS