Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Smarter Than You Think -- Chapter 7

[Smarter Than You Think]

In Chapter 7, “Digital School,” of Smarter Than You Think, Clive Thompson discusses the use of technology in the classroom and its impacts on the culture of learning. In particular, he notes that academic demands beyond high school level can be met by elementary school students through online learning and instruction.

Thompson writes,
 “Most attempts to use digital technology in education focus on having students learn programs: word processing programs, presentation programs, microblogging tools, search engines. But truly clever teachers go one step further: They teach their students programing itself – how to write code. This isn’t just about imparting geeky skills that will be useful on the job market. The teachers know that programming has deeper effects: For children, it becomes a philosophic act, a way of learning about learning” (188).
What did you find most helpful concerning Thompson’s discussion of the advancement of technology in the classroom? Why? Please provide a page number when appropriate.

18 comments:

Mercedes H said...

What I found most helpful concerning Thompson's discussion was the fact that kids now-a-days have the capability of enhancing their skills and knowledge that I did not necessarily have at the time. The fact that kids now have ipads, MacBooks, and tablets as their books and the research equipment has already given them an advantage of learning at a quicker and more effective pace than ever before. They have the ability to access more data and learn in a new and improved way due to the advancement in technology which is at their fingertips. On top of that, they have teachers, who are more advanced then they are, giving them even better ways to use that technology than they could have thought of themselves. Technology is the powerhouse for today.

Brianna B said...

As an education major, I was really interested to see him discuss technology in education. While I have never seen this particular example of teaching students how to do programs, but rather seen teachers utilize programs that students use in order to connect a skill to a real life application. Regardless, I like his idea of teaching students programming as it is a dynamic skill that they can adapt and apply in the future.

Shervonti N said...

I found the discussion in the first section of the chapter quite interesting (Pages 175-178) because of the talk of flipped style classroom. It was interesting to me because I had a class set up like this in high school. It was also a math class but while going through it, I liked it... but I didn't really understand how it could help. I enjoyed watching the videos outside of class because I could do it at my own pace and I could rewind videos when I didn't quite understand something but other than that I couldn't see the benefits. This could also be because I didn't exactly have anything to compare this class to.

Anyway, Thompson talks to a teacher that says that the flipped classroom and the extra videos (Khan Academy) helped students succeed in math. Math is a hard subject and just to think that something so simple, like flipping where students listen to lecture and where they do homework, is very interesting to me. It proved beneficial and hopefully the idea continues to be adapted into classrooms.

Alexandra J said...

Whenever I think of digital technology in the classroom, my first thoughts are always about getting broader information faster, having access to multiple resources, broadening our horizons. The point made on page 176 reminded me of a more important reason why digital technology is important in the classroom: learning rates. Having access to digital technology enables the students that do not pick up on topics as easily to learn at their own rates in the environment best for their learning style. This is important because this concept decreases the learning gaps in the classroom.

Conradette King said...

What I found most helpful concerning Thomson's discussion of the advancement if technology in the class room was his discussion on how technology can help advance the knowledge of students. His point on 176 about how having technology in the classroom can decrease the learning gap children in the classroom really spoke to me. Technology allows students to not only get a better grasp of content, but it also helps them learn that concept at their own pace.

Mikaela Suggs said...

What I found most helpful concerning Thompson's discussion of the advancement of technology in the classroom would be on page 177 when he wrote about using new media tools. In traditional classrooms, everyone is expected to "keep up" with the teachers pace, even if their learning pace is slower. Being able to learn outside of the classroom through the use of technology, at a students own pace can help them grasp concepts easier and be able to apply them when furthering their education.

Andrea R. said...

Something I found both interesting and helpful in this chapter, is how using blog posts to do writing assignments had a positive effect on the students' grammar. The reason why I found this interesting is because it helps prove that the Internet isn't the mindless time-waster that people once thought it was. That when utilized correctly, the Internet can be a tool to help students learn. Another point I found interesting is the discussion on Sam McPherson on pg. 187. Not only because it shows you can learn from TV shows but also because much in the same way that writing blog posts for class helped helped the New Zealand students, writing for Lostpedia helped Sam with his writing. These just go to show that when you're interested in what you're writing about and know who you're writing for, you're more likely to put a lot more effort into your work.

Anitra B. said...

I found the discussion concerning how to integrate new-media tools into learning on pg. 177 interesting. I like the idea of integrating technology into the classroom as we advance, and I think that Thordarson's way is a good idea. Her way of letting the kids watch Khan Academy videos allows the kids to learn at their own pace at home, which I think is important because not everyone learns at the same speed. This also prevents "slowing down" the other students. Her way is also smart because the next day she clarifies any problems and reviews with the children which just reinforces the material and helps it to stick better. It is evident that her way of teaching works by the stats on pg 178, so I hope that this program continues to be integrated schools.

Tiera Williams said...

The thing I found most helpful concerning Thompson's discussion is children having the resources to be able to teach themselves. I think he makes a great point in discussing the advantage of being able to go at your own pace. A lot of time as a student I find that the issue is never the comprehension of the material, but rather the pace of the teaching.
On page 176 they mention a tool students use called Khan Academy. I took pre calculus in high school and this is one of the resources that my teacher recommended we use. I personally didn't use it as a tool when I was taking it back then, but now I find myself using it as a tool in college. Technological advancements at home contributing to being able to take full advantage of having a teacher in the classroom is definitely a great thing.
- Tiera Williams

Tracee Williams said...

On page 176 when he speaks of the technology helping the learning is what i find most helpful. I think a lot of students learn differently and at different pace as other classmates. With technology and kids learning early, they can also learn through programs designed for their learning style like games, video, or just reading.

Jessica Oranika said...

What I found most helpful about Thompsons discussion is the idea that the technology that children have today can help decrease the learning gap. I think that it speaks to the effectiveness of teachers to be able to intergrate new and growing technology into classrooms and make it benefit their students. With the amount of resources available, it makes sense that they should be used in classrooms.

Joi M said...

I find it most concerning that his statement about kids being taught programming instead of skills is true. By learning to do things such as programming it activates a deeper level of thinking. I believe it is troubling to just try to get each generation equipped to use new software, instead of thinking more critically. I feel that is an area in which many students are lacking. Instead of using technology as a shortcut, we need to use it as a gateway to enhancing our cognitive abilities.

Sierra Ewing said...

I feel like intentions of technology's use in the classroom is a step in a positive direction, but there is often a disconnect in the execution. I believe that children definitely need to learn how to manage and manipulate technology with the speed at which technological advancements are moving; however, I think that careful monitoring and applicable skills are lacking. I think that traditional learning should not be replaced by the use of technology in the classroom, but hopefully technology can supplement the learning that should already take place.

Belainesh Nigeda said...

I found it interesting when the author discussed Khan Academy on page 181. Khan Academy has online videos where you can basically have a 5 minute lesson on something that you need extra help with. I use it mostly for organic chemistry mechanisms. I think that this further explains why "digital schooling" can be beneficial to children. Specifically in this chapter, helping children with a learning gap secondary to their family's language barrier (182).

-B. Nigeda

YaQkeha Witherspoon said...

I think that it is important for teachers, like Thordarson, to find ways to use the technology available to actually teach students and monitor their progress. Teachers are only making students aware to the basic uses of technology, but not really teaching them how to use it to actually educate themselves. In my opinion the way teachers use technology in the classroom is for their benefit and not necessarily the students. They no longer have to figure out a student's handwriting, because now every paper is typed on word documents. I also think that the use of technology is starting too early in classrooms however. In Kindergarten kids are learning how to use a computer instead of how to do things the old fashioned way.

Paris Smith said...

I think that having technology is very useful in the classroom because kids learn differently and it gives kids different ways to learn and it helps them adapt better to the classroom. Also, now they have e-books so you don't have to carry books to class. Instead of carrying a heavy book, they can carry their phones or their lighter tablet. Technology makes it easier for kids to learn better and helps communicate with the teachers better.

Kelsey W said...

In high school I never liked when they talked about starting to go toward online school and classes and such. After reading this chapter though, it made me realize it can actually be used in a very helpful way. In the beginning when they were talking about the kids learning trig and stuff just shocked me. I didn't take it until my junior year and I didn't understand it at all. I have heard of Khan though and now I wish I would've looked up some of his videos. The writing idea that the teacher in Canada gave was also very interesting because my English teacher right now is having us blog because of the audience aspect. Overall I think its becoming a good idea if used in an appropriate way.

Kiana S said...

I found that the fact that the children and students can learn at their own pace. With the advancement of technology in the classroom it allows students to make up for lost time. I never really thought of the perspective before (177-178).