Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blog Assignment #2

Did You Know? 3.0

There is no greater shock than to learn most of what you think you know ends up a lie. This statement seems to place the majority of my reaction to Did You Know? 3.0 - A John Strange 2012 Version and Did You Know? 3.0 by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. Society makes the United States out to be this almighty place that ultimately acts as the "boss" of the world. That may have been true in years past; however, this just is not the case in our quickly changing world. I was not surprised by the estimation that there will be more English-speaking Chinese than the entire United States population by 2025. I can thank my parents for providing this information to me prior to even knowing I was going to enroll in this course. My mother has made some of the same predictions, but for a short time frame. For years I have been told to take interest in mastering the Spanish language, which I have no interest in perfecting. More recently I have been advised to consider one of the more prominent of Chinese vernaculars.

Another fact that stood out to me was the comparison of newborns in the United States, India, and China that were born at the same time. It is almost humbling to realize that while we think of our country as high and mighty, we are really drawing closer to the lowly status of mediocre. Let's look more specific at what Mr. Fisch and Mr. McLeod were trying to convey to us. According to the facts in their video 67 babies were born in the U.S., 274 in China, and 395 in India! Both India and China have a substantial difference than the U.S.. If hundreds of lives are being brought into the world in less than five minutes, can you possibly begin to imagine how truly outnumbered our feeble nation really is?

On another note, should we really act as if this information is a shock? I want to take a quick moment and ask you to do a simple task right now. Look around you. How many objects have that little, white sticker that says "Made in China"? What about the clothing you are wearing? When I look at the few items that are within arms length, not one of them was manufactured in the United States. Even the computer that I am using says, "Assembled in China". We are no longer at the head of the pack in the world we live in. This is the unfortunate truth, and the big picture.

Mr. Winkle Wakes

Mr. Winkle Wakes is a twist to the age old tale of Rip Van Winkle. After awakening from his 100 year rest, he begins to wander about to discover the changes in his surroundings. The first place he came upon was an office building with many odd machines and noises that were baffling. People were using some of these same objects to speak with others thousands of miles away as if they were sitting in the chair next across from them. As confused as Mr. Winkle had become, he began to wander to a hospital when he felt ill. Here too, he found an abundance of bleeping and humming unknown machines. He could not fathom that such things were possible before he laid his head to rest.

Feeling overwhelmed by all of these foreign sights and sounds, Mr. Winkle continued his adventure into a nearby school. Inside the classrooms, he finally found something that was familiar. Eager minds still sat neatly in their rows, focusing on the teacher that provided them with a wealth of information. Although the world outside of the classroom was constantly changing and evolving, education will remain a firm foundation for the basics. We will always need to provide younger generations with fundamental skills and knowledge before they can venture out and be able to find the rest on their own. I feel like education does evolve with the rest of the world, but you cannot escape the basics. It is like learning to walk before you can run. You have to know your "ABC's and 123's" before you can put them towards much higher applications. However, you must also include the leadership for students to want to learn on their own. We cannot allow students to believe we will do the work for them. After all, our job as educators is to prepare them for the future, and I believe that includes a level of education to teach students how to be self-sufficient.

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity

When I first ventured to watch Sir Ken Robinson's talk Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity, I was almost immediately confused by the title. Above the video was a separate title that read, "Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity". I was baffled. How on earth could someone propose such a statement? Once I was a few minutes into his lecture, I began to understand his direction. Mr. Robinson said, "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original," and I could not agree more. I feel that I am highly creative, but I can bring my ideas to life because they do not match what I see in my head. Those images are almost always derived from original things other people were able to create. Does this make me any less creative? No, I do not believe it does, but I do not have the ability to take the risks that others used to their benefit.

Mr. Robinson goes on to explain that our education systems are focused on academic ability. He always suggests that education became more firm in order to meet industrial needs. When I sit back and ponder this, I certainly have to agree with him. Just as I am understanding his exact point, he discusses that, as students, we are pushed towards subjects that will provide the highest success rate and away from those that may play up our individual strengths. I have even heard his exact phrase, "Don't do music, you are not going to be a musician. Don't do art, you won't be an artist". Beyond this, Mr. Robinson states that "many highly talented, brilliant, creative people think they're not. Because the thing they were good at in school wasn't valued". When I heard these words, it was almost as if a bell went off in my head. I cannot recall how many times I felt these exact emotions. I still feel this way frequently because I am not a "math-wiz" or a scientific "braniac". I highly recommend anyone who has not heard Mr. Robinson's speeches to look into them. They are intriguing, comical, and extremely thought provoking.

The Future At Our Fingertips

With so many resources becoming available over the internet, one of my favorites lately has been Pinterest. Pinterest is a virtual pin board that offers a plethora of posts to meet your every desire. I have been familiar with Pinterest for about a year now, and have found many education related ideas. When I read Four Ways to Use Pinterest in Education, I found that I had already been drawn to posts that fulfilled all four uses. Whether you are searching for lesson plans, organization, or spreading the word to your students or other educators, every idea under the sun is conveniently located in its own "Education" category.

Of the four suggestions that I read, lesson plans and organization stood out the most to me. I thoroughly enjoy finding creative ways to be organized whenever it comes to my work or education. I also find that using unique forms of learning helps me to retain more information. Who wants to learn something that practically bores them to tears? The ideas that I have found on Pinterest give a new meaning to education. They provide lessons that are hands-on, fun, and interesting.


  1. Leah,
    Nice blog! You are a great writer and thinker! Good job linking your post back to the articles you read, as well. This is good etiquette, and it helps your reader easily find the articles you refer to.

    Sir Ken Robinson is one of my inspirations for genius hour. In fact, we have a Twitter chat for #geniushour the first Wednesday of the month, and in December and January we had a book talk about his book The Element, where he fleshes out the ideas you saw on this video.

    Thanks for the comment on my blog. I answered you back here.


  2. You make amazing points with all of the articles. I am so glad you mentioned Mr. Winkle being like Rip Van Winkle. I had not made the connection at all but it makes so much sense. It just brought him in to the present world. I feel like this is much more relatable and easier to comprehend.

    Thanks for a great post!

    1. Also, The first section of the post about the "Did You Know? 3.0" is a little difficult to follow. Perhaps you could elaborate more on the points you are making.

    2. Alexandria,

      Thank you for your input. I will certainly be keeping this in mind for future reference to improve my posts. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. This assignment was certainly a lot of interesting information.