Do we really need teachers?

Our EDTC 400 debate was on whether or not subjects that can be searched online be taught or not. This was a very tough topic for me. As an aspiring teacher, I could potentially be out of a job if students were made to learn materials online because, let’s face it, you can learn almost anything online. However, I am not against learning materials online over learning it from a teacher. I had taken a class where the teacher was not very efficient at teaching. The more I tried to understand him, the more confused I would be. Instead of going to his class, I skipped and learned from online sources. This allowed me to learn at my own convenience (because his class was too early for me), and I was given the option of learning from someone that I could understand. Although I had understood it better from sources online, the teacher had a specific way he had wanted us to do the questions and I have been docked marks off because I did not do it his way.

The materials given to us by Aurora and Sydney gave me some new perspectives. This Ted talk has taught me that Google can interfere with people’s searches if they wish to. While I did approve of when they did it for Michelle Obama and not for the terrorist, it is still frightening that for a search engine that almost everybody uses and believes the search outcomes, they have the power to manipulate the searches.

This article talks about how “have a romantic attachment to skills from the past”.

Which I do agree, partly. I talked about in my last blog post about how students are slowly becoming uncomfortable with face-to-face interactions. Is human interaction nota skill from the past that younger generations still need?

I also mentioned in my last blog post that the technology had stopped our ability to think for ourselves and this article shares the same concern.

So, what is my conclusion? I think it matters on the teacher who is teaching the subject. Like this article states, the teachers need to motivate the student. How can a teacher do that? The teacher needs to be passionate about what he/she is teaching, need to be knowledgeable on the subject, and also understands that every student has different mental abilities on learning that varies from subject to subject. The right teacher will eliminate the need for students to turn for online sources to learn a subject.

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Reading Response 5

Before reading:

I think that the curricula are developed by the school board in cooperation with the other school boards from different sections, provinces. The government does have some influence on the development of the curricula.

After reading:

It saddens me to find out just how much the government and the industry has so much say in education. I had hoped that the government had very little say on curricula but it appears that they have a lot of power when it comes to developing curricula. Not only that, big companies have a say in what is taught to. Just like we talked about in lecture, Pearsons will cater to the province who is willing to buy the most textbooks. I had always thought that the textbooks were made as a collective of the education boards but now I realize that it is just made according to the highest buyer. It had made me realize that I was quite clueless about the world of education. I had this utopian vision of education, where the main focus is the students’ learning but that is not the case. The students who are the most affected by the curricula have the least amount of say in the development. I had not realized that there was so much political influence involved in education. This article was an eye-opening article for me and it makes me question if I will ever be able to teach the way I had always hoped to or will I be suppressed by the political influences and made to conform to their ways

Should it stay or should it go?

In this week’s debate, the topic was whether or not technology would be beneficial in the classroom or not. I have no doubt in my mind that technology would greatly help students in their learning IF AND ONLY IF it is used correctly. Here the the pros and cons list:

Pro

-It can help students in their learning.

-The younger generation are more skilled in the use of technology according to George Couros, so why not use that skill to help the younger generation learn in an environment they are comfortable with?

-More ease of finding materials for research, essay, ideas, learning, and even personal reading materials.

-Almost every student has a smart phone now/technology becoming more accessable.

-If class lecture is recorded, students may rewatch or watch it on their own time if they missed the class.

 

Cons

-Expensive. It is expensive to buy and maintain. It had not occured to me the cost of maintenance until Matthew Lynch had noted it.

-Teachers may be inexperienced to how the new technology work. Trying to keep teachers up to date about the technology and how to use it costs even more money, as note by Matthew Lynch again. Some teachers may outright hate implementing technology in to their classroom, which would cause the misuse of technology. Teachers who hate technology uses in classrooms may cut corners on important subjects such as digital identity.

-Not all teachers need technology to teach their classroom. Teachers such as gym teachers do not need technology to teach their class, they need equipment. Would it be fair for other teachers to get expensive technology for the class while the phys ed teachers are short funded because of how expensive the technology are?

-The younger generation are become more and more uncomfortable with face-to-face interactions. At the 1 minute point of this video shown to us by Ashlee, the student says herself that students lack that skill. I understand that the teacher just wants a way to connect with her students, but isn’t she enabling students to keep avoiding face-to-face interactions with adults? What if the students need to attend an interview for a job, but does not get the job simply because they were nervous and had messed up?

-There is no equality when it comes to technology. As I mentioned before, it is expensive. Students may not have access to it at home and are behind in their technological skills compared to classmates. Schools in less developed commuities will have difficulties with slow or unstable internet connections.

-Lastly, for the cons I want to state that with technology advancing and becoming a huge part of everyone’s lives, the old methods are becoming lost. Skill such as writing, how to find books in the library, and most importantly, how to think for ourselves. What I mean by think for ourselves is that we don’t take a moment to ponder what something behaves a certain way or question why certain animals behave a certain way. If a question like, do bananas grow stem side up or down? (By stem I mean the part in the red circle. Delicious looking I know)

Everyone with a smarthphone would just google the answer without thinking about it, without thinking about what would be the logical answer using our own personal experiences and knowledge. We, as a whole, have lost our sense or wonderment.

 

While I believe technology can be beneficial in the classroom, I am staying neutral on whether or not it should be used in classrooms. There are so many hurdles that needs to be overcome that I just do not know if it is worth the risk of potential harming the students’ chances at improving their learning and their life skills.

Reading Response 4

What does it mean to be a “good” student according to the commonsense?

After reading the chapter, I believe the article’s definition of a “good” student is a student who is compatible with the teacher’s teaching methods. A good student is willing to learn new knowledge but also willing to unlearn knowledge he/she had learned prior. A good student will learn to handle “crises” and to learn from them.

Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student?

The students who are not a minority are privileged by this definition of the good student. People with a physical or mental disability will have trouble learning by the conventional methods of teachers. Like the students M and N in the article, teachers will see them as the “problem student” instead of trying to understand that some students simply have different methods of learning.  Students who have trouble understanding English are also heavily impacted. The traditional method of teaching does not allow for a student to thrive if they do not have fluency in the English language

What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas?

Students who are unique and need different ways to cultivate their knowledge and talents are made to believe that they are failures. Just because the standard method of teaching that is forced upon them do not suit their needs, they are marginalized as the failures or people who will not succeed in life. Just like student N in the article, N excelled in writing a short story that had no restrictions. With the given freedom, N was able to impress the teacher with his/her “complex, long, and lucid” short story. On the other hand, the essay that N handed in, which would have had many restrictions, seemed like it was done in “last-minute efforts”. N would excel at writing book, novels, stories, and should be guided or helped to cultivate his/her skills. N had a mind that could critically think about what he/she was being taught and the manner of the way that it was taught. Should one of the goals of teachers be raising a student that is capable of thinking critically? Instead of encouraging, all the teachers except Kumashiro would punish N for questioning their teaching methods.  By following these “commonsense” ideas it is made impossible to realize the potential of a student.

Technological companionship

During our class, we talked about what our blog and Twitter say about yourself. I had talked about how since both my blog and my twitter were made for the use of in school, they are mostly professional. If a potential employer were to see either one, I believe they will be able to see me as a professional. My Facebook, however, is a little less professional. It contains all the idiotic ramblings of a teenager. It is less professional but it does show better who I am as a person, not a professional. I believe I need to work on trying to have more of “me” in blogs and tweets and be more professional on Facebook. I want people to know that I am a professional but I am not without a personality. I wish to be seen as a person, not a personality-less robot made for teaching.

After listening to the Ted Talk given by Sherry Turkle, one quote struck out at me.

“Being alone feels like a problem that needs to be solved.”

I don’t use social media all that much nowadays, nor do I have the obsessive need to talk to people through my device. Literally, the latest post on my Facebook page is from October 18, 2018 and it wasn’t even by me. 

The latest post I made was on October 9, 2018, celebrating 8 years of Facebook friendship with one of my best friends.

Since I do not constantly try to connect to people on social media or texts, I believed that this quote does not relate to me. However, I remembered that when I am doing a task alone, let’s say a homework assignment, I like to have “background noise” playing while I do it. The type of “background noise” I play are usually shows that I have already watched or am able to not pay close attention to. This may be because I want the sense of feeling that people around me when I am alone. This is kind of ironic because when I’m at school the only thing I want is for there to be fewer people, like a lot less. I had not considered myself to get lonely easily because I often prefer to spend my nights by myself doing what I want to do. The fact that I play a show that has people talking in it may be a coping mechanism to counter my loneliness, even though I was the one who wanted to be alone. This sparks the question, how can we as educators teach students to handle being alone? Is it possible for teachers to teach it to students? We will almost always see students in an environment where there are several people around us. If we educators can’t teach them, how can we guide our students to be okay with being alone?

 

Reading Response 3

“One cannot expect positive results from an educational or political action program which fails to respect the particular view of the world held by the people. Such a program constitutes cultural invasion, good intentions notwithstanding.” – Paulo Freire

I chose Paulo Freire’s quote for my reading response. I chose his quote because as a minority I had some disputes with many of the founding people of education. Like talked about in class, the majority of these people are pale, male, stale and their views on education were heavily reflected on those three traits. Paulo Freire was the first person I have come across in my education studies that account for the cultural difference of people who were not born in North America. This view of Paulo supports the individuality of the students and is respectful of it. As an Asian minority, I had always felt that I needed to abandon my cultural background and adapt to the Canadian culture. Not once in my elementary school and high school days was I ever encouraged to express or embrace my cultural background. This reminds me of the Kumashiro that we read as a class in the first week. It reminded me of Kumashiro trying to colonize the students of Nepal. Kumashiro believed that the “advanced” methods of teaching that he had learned in the United States of America were far more efficient than the “outdated” teaching methods that the education system of Nepal was using. Kumashiro had started using the American way of teaching that the Nepal students were unfamiliar with. This had caused some students to confront Kumashiro and other teachers because they felt that they were not getting a proper education and they rightfully felt so. The Nepal students had grown accustomed to the Nepal way of teaching and would learn more efficiently by the way they were accustomed too, rather than the more “efficient” way of America. Kumashiro had failed to “respect the particular view of the world held by the people [of Nepal]”. Although he had taken a course on their culture to prepare for his teaching job, although his entire article is based on “commonsense”, Kumashiro does not show any signs of commonsense when he was teaching the students of Nepal.

I hope to learn more about Paulo Freire because he accounts for the different cultural backgrounds of the students and respects it.

My Digital Identity

For this week we were asked to look through our social media and to see what they say about ourselves. First I looked through my Facebook profile. While I have no pictures of me drinking alcohol or doing anything that could jeopardize my career as a teacher. However, there were some posts that may raise some red flags.

While they aren’t necessarily bad posts, they may be seen as unprofessional. These posts were made when I was still in high school and I think it is safe to say that almost everyone has made some childish posts on social media when they were in their younger years. I am no exception. These kinds of posts will definitely be better off being deleted than kept on where people can see. However, I do not wish to delete them. My sense of humor has not strayed that far from when I was younger and I find these posts to be hilarious. It shows what kind of person I am and what I will be like in the classroom. In my ECS 210 seminar, the class was discussing what makes a “good teacher”. One of the things was a sense of humor. This is my sense of humor. I am obviously a big fan of poop jokes.

While there are some posts where my language is a bit crude, I believe I will be relatively secure from people other than my friends. My account can only be viewed by my friends and if people try to search me, then they will have a lot of trouble finding me. Since my name is so generic, it is pretty much impossible to search for my facebook account unless we have common friends.   I guess I’m a soccer player! If I look up “Daniel Lee”…..

I become a Film director! How exciting!

The only other social media I use is Instagram and my Instagram page is quite boring. It’s mostly just selfies and cat pics.

For the time being, I believe my digital identity is acceptable for a person pursuing to be a teacher. There are some parts where I will need to tidy up but for the time being, I am satisfied with how I am being represented digitally.

On a side note, I saw this link while lurking on my Facebook. Sadly the page is no longer available but just wanted to show everyone!

Reading Response Week 2

A

“This model is hot on measurability. It implies that
behavior can be objectively, mechanistically measured.”

This quote stuck out to me because when I was in high school, a math teacher thought that I was goofing off during class. He had asked me what this shape looked like.

I replied I don’t know but he urged me to say whatever popped into my mind. I replied a window. It wasn’t the answer that he was looking for but I had answered his prompt to say whatever popped into my mind. Later on in the class, I went up to him to ask if I can use the bathroom. He said to me “Why are you acting stupid in my class.” I was so taken aback. To this day, his comment is stuck with me. He did not specify what he exactly wanted from me. He has taught me before and I had gotten above 80% grade. He thought my moment of confusion was me acting out in class. He didn’t stop to think about how it could be a confusion of the material but had thought it was a behavioral problem.

B

Tyler’s theory is based on four fundamental questions and one of them is “[w]hat educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes”? The problem I see with this is that not every school can give the same experiences to students. Some are more funded than others, meaning more chances for experiences that Tyler is putting emphasis on. There are students who will not be able to pay the fee to partake in some experiences. I was privileged enough to go on a Europe trip with my French classmates. Needless to say, it had cost a lot of money. I had parents who were able and willing to spend that money on me so that I may have this once in a lifetime experience. The school has given options to fundraise the money for the trip but it was an amount that simply fundraising may not be enough to achieve the amount needed. While experiences are influential to a student’s learning, I feel that it should not be considered fundamental unless all students have equal chances of being a part of those experiences.

C

“One way of viewing this is that teachers simply get it wrong – they ought to work with objectives.” After experiencing a less than pleasant professor at the university, I believe this quote could be beneficial. Last semester I had to unfortunate circumstances of taking a math course from this one professor. I had failed his course. The classmates who did pass the course and are taking the math course that builds upon the materials learned in the previous class are struggling. They are struggling because the professor neglected to teach something fundamental about the course that we needed to learn to progress in our math studies. The professor should have had the objective of preparing us for future math courses that build upon the materials learned in his/her class. However, the professor only taught what he/she thought was important or “fun” as he/she had put it. I am glad I am retaking the math course with a different professor because even from just a few days that she had been teaching this course, it is significantly more comprehensible.

Intro to me!

Hello fellow classmates! I am Daniel Lee currently in the secondary education program. I am living in Regina. I know this may seem like an obvious thing to say, but when I took EDTC 300 there was a classmate from the Yukon! Technology is so cool. That being said, I am pretty terrible when it comes to technology. I can go on Facebook or Instagram and just browse through posts, but I can’t do much past that. Also, I don’t go on social media all that much so trying to tweet every day was a real struggle for me. Fingers crossed that I am better this class.

One thing about me is that I am a huge cat person. My friends always say you’re such a cat to me because I can be aloof at times but very needy at other times. Here is my cat Noname Junior.

My whole family is into cats so at one time we had 4 cats in the house. Furs….Everywhere….But totally worth it! I enjoy seeing cats during our Zoom sessions so please let your kitties learn with us.

From EDTC 400 I strive to learn……

  1. How to use social media as a means to network with people. I mainly use social media to just lurk around and pass time but I know that it can be used in a professional manner as well. However, I do not regularly post on my social media so I hope to be better on that aspect as well.
  2. Time management. I am a procrastinator. Like, to the extreme. However, this class does not allow me to procrastinate because I need to do weekly blogs posts and be on Twitter *cough cough* shameless plugin *cough cough* every day to do well in this course. I managed in EDTC 300 but there was a semester in between the 300 and the 400 courses so I will probably have to get back into the habit again. Sad face.
  3. Discover useful tools or apps. In EDTC 300, Katia showed us many useful apps and tools we could use for our future or current classes. Sadly I forgot all of them. Except for the adblocker app! This is super useful! I hope to discover (or rediscover) many useful apps and tools from this course!

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