Tech Task #3- Are schools killing creativity?

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I recently watched a video by Ken Robinson called “School Kills Creativity”. He starts off my talking about how all kids have tremendous talent and that we squander that talent. He believes that creativity is an important as literacy and that schools do not focus as much on creativity. Most kids are willing to take a chance at doing things, such as drawing or dancing, but some are frightened to take that chance because they might be wrong. He says “If you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.” Ken also talks about how education systems are running where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. The result is that we are educating people out of their capacities.

Ken talked about a few examples. He mentioned Shakespeare and brought up the notion of what might have happened if Shakespeare was told to put his pencil down and stop writing or if his teacher would have told him to “try harder”. He also mentioned a girl who couldn’t sit still when she was younger and her parents thought something was wrong with her. When they took her to the doctor, the doctor left her in a room by herself and turned on the radio. He asked the mother to watch. The little girl got up and started to dance. He told the mother that the daughter is not sick, she’s a dancer. Take her to a dance studio. So the mother did and she ended up being the choregrapher for some of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musicals, such as Cats and Phantom of the Opera.

I think that some schools do try and hinder a child from being creative. They make sure the students are learning the subjects that they think are most important, such as math and language, but do not realize the importance of the Arts. Why do we not spend as much time with the Arts curriculum as we do with the Math curriculum or the Language curriculum? Children are not getting as much time with visual art, or drama or music. I think that if children had more opportunities with these subjects, they would be able to show their creative side more often. For some, math and language do not come easy for them. They are more comfortable with the arts but do not get to show their talent as much.

I believe that some students are afraid to make mistakes so they will not even try to be creative. They think that they need to get the right answer so that they will make the teacher happy, especially in the younger grades. As students get older, they get even more frightened about being wrong. They do not want to lose their job because they made a big mistake.

A lot of students now a days have a hard time sitting still in their desks. I do not think that this means something is wrong with them. Some just cannot concentrate if they have to sit absolutely still. I think that we as educators should take notice of those students who have a hard time sitting still and try to figure out why they can’t. That will help us to understand our students better and not always have to tell them to sit still and listen.

Overall, I think that as Ken said, we should nurture children’s creativity, not squander it. If we do squander it, then they may never try to be creative again. Children need to know that being creative is a good thing and that it is important.

Tech Task #2

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When looking through the list of writing prompts to use for this tech task, I came across the one that said, “Should teachers be friends with their students on Facebook? Are there certain circumstances when this is acceptable or circumstances when it is not?” This got me thinking. I do use Facebook and have often wondered whether it was a good idea or not to add students as my “friends”. I currently have 4 former teachers of mine as my “friends” on Facebook. I think this is acceptable because I have already graduated and I am an adult. I would never have considered adding them when I was still in high school(although Facebook didn’t exist when I was in high school).  When I posed this question on my facebook for some opinions, one of those former teachers said, “My personal opinion after being on the job for 30 years and after 9 and a 1/2 year of retirement, is a definite NO. Your professional conduct even with perfect intentions could be called into play. It may be innocent, but if construed in the wrong way could be damaging to your professional reputation. You know what I was like in both the classroom and school. I wasn’t “your buddy”, I was “your teacher” and you all turned out okay.I have or have been befriended on facebook by many of my former students who are adults. I had a Prof that said, “If you treat your students like friends, you will lose control of your classroom and no matter how hard you try, you’ll never get the control back.”

There were some people who thought that it was ok to be friends with students on facebook because it was a way to connect with them, as long as you had a professional page. I think I would have to agree with those who said it was not a good idea to be friends with students on facebook, even if you made a professional page that did not have too much personal information on there. I do agree that facebook is a way of connecting to family and friends and to people that you may not get to see or talk to very often. But I think there are better ways to stay connect with a student, such as a blog.

When i googled this question, I came across an audio of two teachers debating this question. It gave the perspective of both sides.

This issue can be a matter of personal preference but I personally think that facebook should be a network  that students and teachers should stay away from while those students are still in school. If they want to be added later on as a “friend when they have become an adult, then I think that choice is up to the teacher. What do you think?



The world of technology

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I thought that I knew about technology but after attending 2 ecmp classes, I realize that I am not as caught up in all the technology as I thought I was.  I have not gotten on to the Twitter band wagon but might be willing to give it a try. I am excited to learn more about ways I can incorporate technology into my classroom. I do not want to become an expert by the end of the class because I want to be able to learn new things with my students. I do, however, want to know more about the different sites I can use and different ways of networking with other people. I love the idea of using Skype to connect with people from all over the world. I think students would find that to be such a fascinating way of learning about people and places instead of just reading it in a book. I can’t wait to see how this semester will unfold and see what new things I can learn about technology.

Tech Task #1

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My name is Aaron and I am currently in my last semester in the Faculty of Education. I’m an after degree student in the Elementary program. I also have an Arts degree with a double major in Sociology and Pyschology. This is my 8th year at the university and I will be glad to be done in April. I am looking forward to finally becoming a teacher and having my own classroom.

I am very close with my family, especially my mom and still currently live with her. I also have a younger brother who has been married for about a year and a half. I also have a wonderful boyfriend who I have been with for almost a year and a half. He recently put an offer on a house and I will be moving in with him in the next few months. I grew up in Regina and have lived here all of my life. I did move to Swift Current last semester to do my internship though. It was great experience and I’m glad I got the opportunity to live in a smaller place. I’m not sure that I would ever move there but if I had to for some reason, I don’t think it would be that bad. I love to read, although I don’t get to read as often as I would like, except for textbooks. I also love to travel and have been to Switzerland, Italy, France, Cuba, California, Florida and Arizona and have many more places on my list to visit.

I wouldn’t call myself an expert when it comes to technology but I do a lot of things on the computer and feel fairly comfortable with it. If I don’t know how to do something on the computer, I usually just play around with it until I figure it out. I had a computer club at lunch at the school that I interned at and had the students go on some educational websites. Their favourite one seemed to be http://www.starfall.com. There are some other websites that I used that I will post later on.

I really like the idea of having technology in the classroom. I am really interested in having a smart board in my classroom. I haven’t really had much of a chance to use one and would love to opportunity to try it out. I have heard there are many neat things that you can do with it. I love how you can connect with people around the world and believe this can have many benefits when doing projects with students in the classroom. Facebook and Twitter have become very popular and are a good way to stay connected with people across the world. I myself have not used Twitter before but I would be willing to give it a try.

I am hoping that I will learn about different applications I can use in my classroom. There are so many out there and I have only heard about some of them. I have tried a few, such as facebook and youtube but really want to expand my horizons. I am excited to have all these resources that I can take to my classroom and try them out with my students. The excitement for this class has already begun!