Week 10- Futures of Education

I was very interested in the videos and readings for this week, partly because I see some of it in the district I work for now. I haven’t seen the “admin” side of things, but i think we have the same thing going on in our district. We use the “Thin Clients” and “Blade PC’s”….or at least a form of them. I know that there are some computers within the district that don’t have an actual tower with them. There is a thin little device that it connects to. The only thing I’m not sure about is the fact that it connects to multiple monitors. Not all computers do this, but I know that there are groups of ones that do. Every computer in the district can be logged into either as individual teachers, students, or room numbers (in elementary school). Each high school student has their own login and password, but kids in elementary school just log in as their school and room number. I have never really thought about how cool this is, but the more I think about it, the more awesome it is.

There are a few downfalls that we have seen here. When i taught ELD last year in elementary school, we couldn’t use the “n-computing” grouped computers in my classroom. We could not use them because the system couldn’t run Rossetta Stone and log all the kids on individuality. I know there are always glitches, but that was the only one that I saw. I’m thinking this is the same type of technology that was talked about in readings this week.

I think this kind of technology hits a few NETS standards. The first one being NETS-S 6a: Understand and use technology systems. The second one being NETS-Tb: Address the diverse needs of all learners by using learner-centered strategies providing equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources. If students have constant access to their own “computer” they can always be working on their stuff at their level. They can be in different places all the time and work on their current projects.

I also find gesture-based learning very exciting! I have an iPhone 5 and love all the cool things it can do. I really think that this type of learning is going to become more and more vital in an educational setting, especially elementary age kids. If this stuff isn’t taught in elementary classes, they aren’t going to know how to use the technology as they should.

This type of technology is also already in my district. There are class sets of iPod touches in every classroom 3-5, and many more in other classrooms. (I use my personal iPad in my class to run my smart board… it cuts down on time for kids to get up and get to the board, they can just do it on the iPad as I walk around the room…it also keeps them engaged because they want a turn to use it!) Teachers write grants for these devices (and others) all the time, and many of them get the grants to purchase the items! I think that having these tools only enhances learning. yes, you have to monitor and be careful to make sure kids are doing what they are supposed to be doing. But, if they choose to use it inappropriately, it gets taken away! I love what mobile technology and gesture based devices are doing for education. I’m very excited (and a little nervous) to see where it takes us!

NETS-Sc: Troubleshoot systems and applications. When kids are using these devices daily, they learn how to “fix” it when needed. They will need to have this skill for the rest of their lives!
NETS-Sb. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats. Dealing with many different types of media will only help these kids learn how to talk with different audiences and use them to the best of their ability.

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