Google Classroom

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I haven’t seen who has covered this already (if anyone!) but I am intrigued by the possibility.

So on Twitter I saw Google for Education, and went into it to see what it was about. It looks like Google “Classroom” will be a new app that will organize the classroom online so that students and teachers can access information, papers, handouts, basically handling all clerical work digitally. After watching a video for it, I looked around a little and came across something similar called Moodle. Moodle is a course management system similar to the idea of Google Classroom. In review, it looks like this kind of modular system works well for teachers, but can be hard at times to navigate for students in terms of interfacing. Of course, different things work for different people, and there is no harm in trying different systems. As someone who is going to probably have kids at a level where they will be tech savvy and able to navigate Google, I like the outlook of Google Classroom, and hope I have a chance to explore it when it becomes available. I also want to try out Moodle at some point too, and will look more into Class Management Systems for use in my own classroom. Looks awesome!

Empowerment!!

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See that’s what I’m talking about!! Bring it into the schools, let them use that passion to drive academics. It was great to hear about the many positive success stories of those kids. They use the internet as an outlet, a channel for their emotion, their love, all that good stuff. Obviously these are all the good stories of these kids changing our world. He stated at the end that we have to let go of our fear, and open out schools up to the possibilities. Fear is hard to let go of sometimes.

There is a girl in my class who is transitioning to 7th grade. She is a girl with autism, and has a vast array of technology her mother bought for her. While she has done some amazing things for a child like her, like create movies and videos, the freedom she has been given has also been detrimental. She has asked several times this year what shemales are, what gender bending is, has been quoting and repeating tons of lines from the shows Futurama, Family Guy, and American Dad, and follows many YouTube accounts that I recognize as what my friends and I watch for fun. I was not totally involved, but her mom gave our department her computer, and there was a lot of super inappropriate stuff she had saved. And she knew what all of it was about. A lot of the learning a child does with their tech is with their parents. They should be the teachers, and not all parents care about what their kids are looking at as long as they are content. There is more to that story, but that’s the basis of it. Fear is a hard thing to let go of. But I think in time, the country is going to get there.

But I think the story about Martha was wonderful. Too much do we focus on the negative (because most of the time the situations are ridiculous), and not enough on what kind of fruit technology can bare. What she did was get the school to re-evaluate, and change. She caused change, and good change. Those are stories that are meaningful, and should be broadcast EVERYWHERE. And she got to meet Bean which makes me totally jealous.

Jamie Oliver is pretty good stuff too.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2649081/Jamie-Oliver-Why-women-BBQ-kings.html

Generation Dislike

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It is conflicting for me. I see the influence, and hear the buzzword “empower,” but what does this empowerment allow them to do as adults? What does being concerned with other peoples opinions do to help aid personal growth? Then again, some kids need all they can get in terms of image boosters.

I think learning this kind of tech is a good thing, overall. BUT, it should be taught early on to be a thing of productivity, and not of social measure. What can students do that would benefit others (and subtly themselves)? How can the student use these tools as creative outlets, without letting the fact that they have no likes or followers be an issue? The case of the girl with the Hunger Games addiction, that was a mixed bag. On the one hand she was really passionate and it drove her to reach out. On the other hand, she was all about her followers and her status in her communities. Not so good.

“Biggest transformation we have had in terms of communicating with consumers.” Is all this about money? I felt an undercurrent with all the talk about companies tapping into the revenue well that is social media. Are the kids intelligent enough to know that their interactions with the screen are sometimes all for profit? Do they care? Probably not.

There needs to be a balance to a kids life. Although we did not get the other sides of the story, one can assume being online is a bulk of their time out of the day. There are some good stories about kids making a living for themselves and their families with their ability to hustle the web, something that was never possible in the past (the web hustle that is). But they are kids, and don’t fully know what they’re doing or who they’re influencing. It’s a weird road.

I agree with some of this, but most of it I see as a degeneration of society. Maybe I’m just old school. But with all things, learning to use something opens a lot of doors, and I think there is a lot of untapped potential out there, just sitting in our classrooms. EDUCATION!!