Friday, March 28, 2008

Education today - Where to from here?

Ok - I looked up YouTube about Education some months ago and found an interesting video that made me think about my support for a new way of thinking and teaching in today's educational environment. It seemed to support some opinions I had heard about the way children are taught today. I thought at the time Maria McDermott (Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Rochester ) made some good points. Something upset me about this and I hesitated to reflect on it because I was nervous that I might have to rethink my basic fundamental beliefs about today's education (both positive and negative).

After a good deal of personal reflection, discussion with colleagues, and research - I am happy to share this video with you, and encourage you to think about it's message - and TO READ FURTHER. Compare this video with the accompaning video below and the post "Back Up Educaiton". Tell me your thoughts, reflections, on what you know, see here and other research you have discovered.

After re-searching for the above video - I also discovered this YouTube video. Watch and compare. I have added the crux of the lyrics (but not the repetitions - you can retrieve all the lyrics from the YouTube site).

what you know about math
what you know about math
what you know about math

hey, dont you know I represent LC
when i add, shorty subtract
Got my notebook
where I'm showin' all my work

Rollin 24s, mathematicians in the business
We'll be your future boss
Don't make us mad or you'll be useless.

ti-89 titanium
know I'm shinin' dog
fresh batteries in the back
to do my natural log

(hey)you know we multiply
(hey)while memorizing pi
(hey)take limits to the sky
(hey)be sure to simplify

graphing utility(okay)
does trigonometry(okay)
I'm goin' to GT(okay)
dont you cheat off me

(oh)distance is rate times time
(oh)the sine graph ain't no line
(oh)exponential decline
(oh)bet your score can't beat mine

(cheah)here everybody hates
(ch-ch-ch-cheah)cuz i can integrate
(ch-ch-ch-cheah)we're bout to graduate
(ch-ch-ch-cheah)not gettin many dates

(what)i got to find a mate
(now what)but girls just player hate
(now what)and always make me wait
(now what)but i know im not gay

calculators too slow
test is done i gotta go
all the maths inside my brain
final grade is 10 Hoe!

(ey)we rollin twenty fo's
(ey)Reimann sums are low
(ey)now calculus is known
(ey)thank GALILEO

few things here i wanna say
I can integrate all day
e to the 2x is fine
gimme something worth my time

so what you wanna do (okay)
derivative or two (okay)
think i know a few (okay)
now i wont be screwed

(oh)see all those like terms
(oh)them things you never learned
(oh)nothin' to calculate
You must have skipped that day

(what)you're stuck in algebra 1
(now what)you'll never have this fun
(now what)quadratic equation
(now what)forgot you're too dumb
(BROCK) -- "I Know All About Math"

---------------------------------------- ----
YouTube Quote "This video was made for the furthering of math by myself and my friend. Among that it was also made for a great math teacher(featured ending) that myself and others have come to respect over the years. I used an idea from the original video( 8nHKPZ5k) and made it my own. This video is by all means a REMIX. Also, this video stands as a response to all others willing to compete with their math-rapping abilities as well as video editting skills. 100% of the video was made by those SEEN in the video. Yes, Steven and I know math and yes we are that funny. Steven really is that white, I really wrote that solo, and I really do play guitar!"

Now read Back Up Education post. Your thoughts are welcome. Please leave your comments.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back Up Education - Marc Prensky

I would just like to acknowledge the great link that Cheryl (kindergarten teacher for the Northland Kindergarten Association) shared with me in a recent comment.

I am just exploring Marc Prensky's website and thus far I think he has some inspiring things to say to todays teachers and parents. Marc has a page in his site listing his writings. Thus far I have read Digital Native, Digital Immigrants and another quick easy read is Back Up Education which you can download as a pdf file to read, keep and share, share, share. What I loved about Back Up Education is how succinctly Marc puts into perspective the role of ICT in today's education environment. ICT is not going away. It is deeply embedded in the lives of young people today - they are as he writes in his earlier publications - Digital Natives.

As teachers and parents we sometimes confuse the methods of learning with the basics of learning. He suggests that we no longer teach children how (the method) to read or make a sundial - because we have newer quicker methods of (the basics) reading the time - with a machine strapped to our wrist. In the same way, why are we so caught up with putting long division algorithm and cursive writing (or any writing penmanship) for example, before ICT, - when we have calculators and keyboards?

Some teachers argue that if this technology breaks down (back up education) children need to know how to do these things manually. Realistically, Marc suggests, that if these things break down - we fix them (and I would go on to say, maybe we need to teach children HOW to fix the technology if it breaks down rather than throwing it out). And if computers, phone lines, satellites, televisions - if this whole IT network breaks down - our children's algorithms and penmanship will be the least of our worries.

You should check out Marc's website and see what else this visionary has to say.
Thanks Cheryl! If you too have any sites worth sharing, or have any views on this post - PLEASE share - Leave a comment - that's what education is about!!