Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I am part of the “dumbest generation,” so maybe, I take this a bit more personally than say a thirty-two year old reading the book. I don’t know how the author decided to draw the line in the sand at age 30. There are people of every age that take technology a bit too far and forget about the books. Have you seen “The 40 Year Old Virgin?” Case in point, this movie is set in a Best Buy look alike store and the guy is surrounded by screens all day long, every day. I don’t believe he really picks a book, say Shakespeare, the whole movie. This guy is forty years old. It doesn’t matter how old a person is, they are capable of losing themselves in technology and forgetting about real life, books, or music.
Overall, I was severely disappointed in how the author went about discussing the matter. Yes, technology can become addictive and lead to poor writing, reading, and test scores. However, there are those 30 year old and younger members of society, who successfully contribute. There are those who read classics and correctly write. There are those who do well on tests.
I took from this book a lot of negatives. However, there is one positive. I realize that, as a teacher and parent, I have an enormous responsibility to the students in my classroom and my son. The children need to know how technology can take them places they may never see. It can provide many opportunities. It can provide new and innovate ways to learn and communicate. But, they also need to know about all the great books available to them. They need to know life doesn’t revolve around a computer, or any kind, of screen. They need to be able to communicate in person. As adults, teachers, and parents, we need to create a healthy balance between screens and real life. Our students and children are not going to create the balance themselves. It is like when children are learning to tie their shoes, they need someone to show them the correct path.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I am a parent of someone under the age of 20 and I believe that technology and the new digital culture is at an exciting place and that it is these young people that will take us into an exciting future! Like anything in life, there are exceptions to the rule and those that take shortcuts, but let's not forget those responsible young people that want to make the world a better place. Not everyone is being "dumbed down" and spending all of their time in social networking. The author stereotypes young people so much it is infuriating! The world has changed so much and we have got to keep up with it!
If there is one thing this book has done for me, it is to make me even more aware of the huge responsibility that we as parents and teachers have in teaching our kids and students how to be responsible technology users and responsible people and citizens. Parents and teachers must work together on this and we must also teach the concepts of the need for the balance between technology and the "old way" of doing things. I believe kids must be exposed to and taught at a very young age and have opportunities for trial and error when it comes to technology. I am amazed at what my high school aged daughter knows about technology and some of her school assignments she has to complete using the computer. However, I also want her to be able to function by reading a book and doing her own research, should the Internet go down! Thus the need for balance and teaching kids to be responsible people with the ability of using technology, or not, to better our world.
In summary, I'm sure I will think about this book as I continue to teach and seek new, interesting, and exciting ways to help my first and second grade students learn how to be responsible technology users, and to try and rid the stereotype of being "The Dumbest Generation" for their generation and beyond.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
According to Reich, there is a new generation coming, called "The Twixters". These are people age 22-30 years old, have a college degree or at least college coursework, come from middle-class families, and reside in large cities. What makes them different, is how they choose to live their lives after college. This is their time to work different jobs, live at home, and not have too many constraints to tie themselves down. This is their time to prepare for becoming an adult, according to Grossman. What makes this interesting is how the traditional adults in a young persons life responded to this, such as parents, teachers, and society.
It is the authors opinion that todays young adults not only need to be competitive in science, technology, and productivity, but also in the ways of culture. They need a lot of reading and writing and an involved home and school environment. This includes teachers, mentors, and family members who communicate with them when things are right and wrong. It is these formative mentors who need to remind young people that there is more to life than their social life. He reminds us that it takes a village to raise a child. He says it is flexible, but is concerned that it is breaking down with "The Dumbest Generation".
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
With workplace and school success depending on finding correct information from reliable sources, it is troubling that students cannot succeed in this area. EDUCASE, a non profit association, found students ranked the use of technology for learning, at fourth on the benefits list of technology. They also found, students are not able to decide which research materials are best suited in the workplace or school settings. Students are able to do much more with technology, but fail to use it correctly for work and school assignments.
Many schools have partnered with companies and associations, in order to put into place a technology iniative to improve educational outcomes. Schools around the country have sold science equipment, done away with field trips, opted out of music programs, all for the sole purpose of purchasing technology tools and paying the salary of technology specialists. Even universities such as, Duke, have purchased iPods or demanded the purchase of labtops by beginning freshman. The educational goals the school districts and educational firms and associations hoped for have not been met.
The students are excited to have new technology in their schools. However, with educational goals not being met, the learning that was supposed to take place has not made a permanent home in the minds of our students. Students with access to computers do not perform better on reading tests. The scores go down, instead of up, across subject areas. Even if classrooms and computers did use reading or mathematics software, test scores did not improve.
U.S. senators even proposed a bill restricting financial burdens. They didn't restrict or ask for achievement scores. They didn't question if technology is improving education.
The chapter then changes focus into language acquisition. Students vocabulary grows in school. However, most of the vocabulary growth takes place in play and informal situations. The more time a student spends in front of the screen, the more their language acquisition skills are hurt. This is due to high frequency words and rare word rates on the screen versus play/home situations. If a child is encourage to speak and play, the higher their vocabulary growth. If a child is sat in front of the television, the child hears many words over and over again. They do not hear those "rare" words that are essential for vocabulary growth. By kindergarten, the vocabulary difference between a child who plays and a child who is sat in front of the television is gigantic. This can be irreversable.
Students today see their models through "horizontal" eyes, instead of "vertical" eyes. Vertical modeling is that from maturity improves. It comes from conversations and learning from adults, such as grandparents, teachers, and ministers. However, students today are focused on the constant contact they keep with their peers. They walk in the door and can easily maintain contact with their classmates. This is "horizontal" modeling. Students are centered around each other and therefore, have no room for improvement or not person to look to for improvement. Students can make their computers only give them what they want. The author even states on page 155, "The screen blocks the ascent." He is speaking of adolesents moving into adulthood. In order to do so, students need verbal skills, which they do not receive looking at a screen. With RSS feeds, students can only bring in the news they care about. The one quote out of the book that stuck out to me was, "Reality is personalized, and the world outside steadily tallies the ego inside." (I don't think I'm supposed to put in my own opinion here, but I just have to say how very sad for SOME students to not care about the world around them and what is happening in it.)
The idea is that technology offerings are improving the "high order thinking skills" that video games offer. Students are able to make decisions, create, analyze, and interpret decisions when playing the video games. However, employers across the nation are constantly complaining of how little "low order thinking skills" students have. Students have poor writing, spelling, and grammar. All of which, they need in the workplace.
Some people say what is the difference between book reading and web reading. It is still reading, only using a different medium. However, studies show that when people read online their eyes focus on certain parts of the page and skim, or entirely miss, other parts of the page. Or, if a webpage looks anything like a book page, certain readers will close out of the screen immediately. So are they really reading if they are reading it online? Nielsen's research indicates, "...the Web is a consumer habitat, not an education one" (Pg 149). Nielsen even grants ideas to web designers on how to keep customers on their site longer.
So, who do we blame? We can't just blame the parents who use technology as an improtu babysitter. Parents need time to cook and clean too. We can't just blame the web designers and technology inventors. They need a job too. The author suggests blaming the teachers, librarians, and writers who do not separate the good from the bad, or education from technology. So, who do we blame for the milleanials, who are incapable of low order thinking skills or moving from the teenage years to the adult years?
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Thought 2--Some people just don't like to read. They can and are very capable, but they don't like to spend their leisure time reading. Maybe people are too active and spend their leisure time doing more active things. Is their really anything "wrong" with that?
Thursday, November 11, 2010
That was my basic understanding of this chapter. I liked how it was structured because it made me try to think about some positive affects that playing video games, surfing the web, using social networking sites, and other things of the like. I really struggled with some of the wonderful and positive results that were being listed as a result of playing video games, and was pleased to read a more realistic description towards the end of the chapter.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
We start chapter 1 with a reminder of the "Jaywalkers" segments for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Mark Bauerlein goes on to say that high school students are not uninterested in world realities (history, literature, civics) but that they are "cut off from them." They are more involved with "friends, work, clothes, cars, pop music, sitcoms, Facebook." (page 13)
The middle of the chapter is devoted to surveys and statistics about what high school and college students know (or don't know) in history, civics, math, science, technology, and fine arts.
The next section discusses why students test scores have not increased in social studies over the last few generations. Students know no more now that the generation 50 years ago. (pages 26-30) Yet they have more resources such as libraries, museums, internet, and news broadcasts any where they go. (page 31)
In the last section of this chapter, the author does some comparing of leisure time vs. educational time and the impact the two have on each other.
A quote I kept coming back to is on page 32. "This is the paradox of the Dumbest Generation. For the young American, life has never been so yielding, goods so plentiful, schooling so accessible, diversion so easy, and liberties so copious. . . . The 18-year-old may have a Visa card, cell phone, MySpace page, part-time job, PlayStation 2, and an admission letter from State U, but ask this wired and on-the-go high school senior a few intellectual questions and the facade of in-the-know-ness crumbles."
My question is, "WHY?"
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Section One--Due October 28, Jamie Karabatsos
Section Two-- Due November 4, Nicomas Dollar
Section Three--Due November 11, Brooks Bowman
Section Four--Due November 18, Tasha Ellingson
Section Five--Due December 2, Lynanne Greer
Section Six--Due December 9, Susan Satter and Charles Arsenault