Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blog Assignment 5

The iSchool Initiative
Many schools around the country are struggling financially. They receive little funding, if any, to provide their students with the resources they need to compete academically with the rest of the world. Travis Allen had a solution. The iSchool Initiative was created when he was a high school senior in Fayetteville, Georgia and his school was experiencing financial difficulty just like the rest of the nation. So, he discovered the idea of going paperless. All of the students would receive iPod touch devices which would replace books. The students could share work over email and have several useful apps. Some of these apps include a Constitution app (you can see every part of the U.S. Constitution), a planet app (you can discover the solar system), and a presidents app (every president is listed with information about each one). All of these could take thousands of pieces of paper to print or you would need an expensive textbook to find all of this information. Not anymore! The overall cost of supplies/books for a student is normally around $600. With Allen's ideas, the cost to supply a student with the same information is roughly $150. This is a revolutionary thought that could save education systems millions of dollars.

I liked how students formed these plans and began to put it into action. They wanted to change the education system because they felt as if they were falling behind the times. Many kids talk about what should be done, but Travis Allen and The iSchool Initiative put it into action. Because of their perseverance, students across the nation are receiving the top technology possible. This is why EDM 310 is so important because students are beginning to receive this new technology and they do not know how to use it. As teachers begin to understand these innovations, students will only grow into better learners.

Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir
In this video, Eric Whitacre created a choir, but not any ordinary choir. The choir includes roughly 2,000 members that send in video of themselves singing. Whitacre compiles them to form his virtual choir. This would be very difficult to perform in person which is why this is so mind boggling. Imagine 2,000 people in one room. It is just not practical!

Virtual Choir

I was so amazed by this video. People with incredible voices from around the world can now sing together without having to travel at all. So many different sounding voices can be chosen by the conductor to place into their song. This can change the future of choir and recording songs. YouTube has already become the stepping stone to stardom for many famous artists and I think those numbers will continue to grow.

Teaching in the 21st Century

Kevin Roberts has a plan for teaching students in the 21st century. Teachers will provide all information for their course on the internet, while teaching them the tools that can be used on the internet. This way, they are learning information while learning crucial technology skills. Teachers will allow for students to figure out how to use tools like Google and Facebook, which in turn will teach them how to problem solve and learn things on their own instead of being spoon-fed by the teacher. Also, teachers can warn them about illegal acts that can be committed on the internet. Some of these include plagiarism, pirating, and copyright. Students will be forced to act in a professional manner at a younger age.

There are so many possibilities for educating students with the technology we have today. Computers and phones will no longer just be used for entertainment. They will be used to engage students and make them excited about learning while it will be meaningful at the same time. As an future educator, I will need to start this revolution. The generation of teachers before me did not take EDM 310 to open their eyes to how important technology is. The teacher can make a difference. If they open these new teaching tools to students, the classroom will be a better learning environment and the students will be more prepared for adversity they will face in the world.

Flipping The Classroom
Lodge McCammon
In a classroom setting, there are three types of students. These include the higher level students (who are not challenged), the middle level (in which the majority of students lie), and the lower level students (the struggling students). With Dr. Lodge McCammon's concept of Flipping The Classroom, all three groups of student's needs can be met. Typically in a classroom, 90% of time spent is lecture oriented and 10% of the time is used to learn and practice a concept. Anything you do not complete is finished in homework. Most students learn better by practicing a concept. By "Flipping the Classroom", more of the learning will be done in the classroom and the lecture will be received outside the classroom via videos created by the teacher. This is better for the student because all levels of learners can benefit. Higher level students can move on to new lessons after they have grasped a concept. Middle level students will be able to easily follow along in class. Lower level students can re-watch the lectures until they fully understand a concept. Also, this benefits the teachers because if a student is ill, the students can go online to see what they missed and will not be behind. What if the students do not watch the videos? Does this help with disciplinary issues? These questions and more can be answered by Flipped Classroom-FAQ created by Katie Gimbar. This seems to be a great solution for engaging all students in the classroom. I will definitely try and incorporate this into my curriculum because i think that it will be very practical.


  1. Amanda, this blog is great! Everything is organized well, and your descriptions of each video were awesome! I totally agree with your comments about technology making a difference. I feel that we as teachers need to learn more about new technology and help our students with that! Technology is so great, but without having proper knowledge about it, we are left behind!

    Great job on your blog Amanda! I enjoyed reading it. There are a few areas I came upon that were missing commas where they should be... but other than that, this was great! Good job! (:

  2. Whoa, Amanda! Your post was well written, creative, insightful, and descriptive! Too flawless to have anything to add or critique! You nailed it! Keep up the good work, smarty pants :D