Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blog Assignment #2

Did You Know? 3.0

In this video Dr. Strange outlines the staggering educational gap between the United States and other countries. It also describes the staggering amount of technologies, such as computers and cell phones, used in the world today. There is an exorbitant amount of children who own cell phones in this day and age.

What struck me more than all the facts and figures were the thoughts at the end. The jobs that my future students will be competing for don't exist at this point in time. How am I, as their guide, supposed to help prepare them for something that is completely unknown? These thoughts had never occurred to me before. They will stay with me forever now and I hope that when I do go out into the educational world that I have a satisfactory answer to this question.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes is a very funny and cute video. I like the simplicity of it. After Mr. Winkle wakes from sleeping for a hundred years, he is bombarded with modern technology. Procedures in business and medicine have advanced quite a bit in recent years. When Mr. Winkle goes to the school, however, things haven't changed quite as much.

The basic format for school has been the same for decades. I can understand the comfort to be found in this. That day by day you know what will happen. You go, you learn (or pretend to), and you go home. But could this be a problem?

The Importance of Creativity 

Sir Ken Robinson explains the importance of the creativity within our children. His argument is that, generally, education stifles creativity. Students are taught that certain things are important such as math and science while things such as music and art are less so. Why the distinction? Because they can't get a job as a musician or artist so they shouldn't try to be one.

Another point Sir Robinson made is that education today trains students that they can never be wrong. Which, to me, is insane. In the words of Sir Robinson, "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original." I couldn't agree with this more. If the inventors of the past hadn't been willing to fail, none of the wonderful technologies would have been invented. Creativity is an important part of the learning process.

Winkle Revisited

As I stated before, the comfort that Mr. Winkle found in an unchanging school set-up could be signs of a problem. Why haven't most education systems changed for decades? Why is there this need to have things stay the way that they have always been?

Today, most schools create robots. You reason things this way because I'm telling you to. You think it should be another way? No. That's wrong and you can never be wrong. This is the thought process of many educators, but sometimes it's okay to be wrong, to maybe think a different way. Free thinking should be encouraged. That way we send creative and innovative individuals out into the world.


I already had a Pinterest account before this assignment and I absolutely love it. I love the idea of using it for educational purposes as well. There are so many ideas out there that others have implemented that can be shared. I never thought of having students use it for projects and other things of that nature. I think it could be useful in allowing them to collaborate with each other. I will definitely be implementing this in my future classroom.

After looking over the 20 Pinterest boards that show the uses for technology in education, I chose to follow all of them. I think their different ideas will help me enhance my classroom and hopefully make me a better teacher.

I think Pinterest will be a very helpful tool for my educational career. It will help me with organization and different ways of teaching what may present themselves as difficult subjects. It will also help me use new and creative ways to decorate my classroom. I think this is very important because the way a classroom is decorated can either be distracting or stimulating.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blog Assignment #1

Meet Me

Hi everyone. As you can tell by the header on my blog, my name is Sarah Lindley. I am a Secondary Education/Language Arts major at USA and I love it. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to teach. Since I love to read, I figured what better thing to do than teach what I love. The reason I chose to attend USA is that of all the other schools I visited, this place felt the most like home. Where is home, you may ask?

Well, I was born in Mobile but raised on the sunny beaches of Gulf Shores. No, this does not mean that I have a perpetual tan. I graduated salutatorian in a class of around 160. Gulf Shores is a town where everyone knows everyone else and they have for generations. While this may be comforting for some, I was ready to move on to bigger and better things.

 I am the youngest of four children. The unique thing about my situation is that there is an eleven year age difference between my closest sibling and me. There is an eighteen year difference from the eldest to me. This led to many people thinking she was my mom when I was baby. Obviously, they were wrong. Despite our age differences, my siblings and I are extremely close and I wouldn't have it any other way.

My Future Classroom

When I would first think about my future classroom, the thought that would come to mind would be a peaceful place with young adults sitting in neat rows eager to learn. Then reality sets in and I know that isn't going to happen. In actuality I will have to think of ways to keep my students engaged. Most will only be there because they have to be and they won't give a rat's behind about English.

In order to help keep them engaged I plan on getting them involved. Instead of having them sit there and listen to me lecture, I plan on having my students discuss things in groups. I will have activities that help them relate material that they may consider irrelevant to their daily lives.

I plan on assigning projects that will make learning fun. For example, when I was a senior in high school we studied the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. Once we had finished reading a few of them, my teacher had us write our own tales. Juvenile? That's what I thought at first, but as I began writing my story I began to have a new appreciation for the story written by Chaucer and the amount of creativity he possessed. I plan to implement such things so my students might come away from class with a new appreciation for literature.

I think the best way to describe my future classroom would be controlled chaos. I want my students to become alive and show their personalities while at the same time learning what they need to.

Randy Pausch and Time Management

What struck me right off the bat with this video was that Mr. Pausch said that Americans don't recognize time as a commodity. I couldn't agree more. I also liked what he said about having a plan. I'm like the people he described. I often don't make a plan because it will probably change, but after watching the video I realize that it's important to make the plan just so I'll have a point with which to start. I have a bad habit of procrastinating, but after watching this video I feel like I have some tools to help me combat that.