Monday, December 27, 2010

Super Focus or Zero Focus?

These days many people, especially teens, are "addicted" to their hand-held devices, whether they be i-phones, other smart phones, or video games, etc.
Research is showing that this development might be detrimental to the ability to focus on other tasks, particularly ones that require extended concentration and reasoning.
Leaving that issue aside, this preoccupation with gadgets of all kinds has reached almost epidemic levels, and is problematic in many settings.
Recently, I was teaching a class, and half the students were checking their email, texting, or even playing games on their phones.
I was not really surprised or insulted, but to show them what their life was like, I had them check out this absolutely AWESOME video commercial (on their cell phones). I love this video and think it's brilliant advertising (not sure whether for Microsoft or their competition). It also really drives the point home. We can't let technology replace life. This will be the fine line that educators must walk when using and teaching about technology.

K12 Education - Technology and Video

Educators are starting to realize that in order to be effective at what they do (i.e. teach our youth), they need to communicate in the same language as their students. School principals and district superintendents have begun to see how technology can be harnessed to save time and create a more productive and efficient administrative staff and teaching faculty. Teachers are increasingly using the internet and video to communicate with students and parents.

Below are some great YouTube clips that highlight these points and even showcase some products that are designed to improve educational practices.

A Vision of K12 Students Today
This video highlights the catch-up that teachers must play to enter the world of their students!!

Scheduling Software for Parent-Teacher Conferences
This clip is from a company, PTC Wizard that focuses on parent-teacher conference scheduling.

A Brief History of Technology in Education
Here are some ideas of how teachers can leverage technology in the classroom.

Parent teacher conferences - How to have productive meetings
These next 3 clips provides some excellent tips and food-for-thought for parents and teachers....before going into a parent-teacher conference.

As you can see, technology and education are really merging very quickly and hopefully schools and teachers will begin leveraging what's available to the benefit of their students.