Snapchat Murders Facebook
Social media platforms continue to change every few years. From Friendster, to Myspace, to Facebook, to Instagram, to Snapchat, new ideas and new ways of sharing and communicating things with friends, or even the general public continues to arise. So what is so great about the most recent platform of Snapchat? It is categorized as a "live action" media tools that allows you to see what your friends or idols are doing in that moment, or within the last 24 hours. It tells you what is happening now, and then becomes unavailable 24 hours later. Because of the fact that it disappears, it creates a sense of urgency for users to constantly check the feeds, as well as a need for them to post more to still have something on their story. With the platform not being as permanent as Facebook, its users have found more freedom with it because they do not feel judged since the comment feature is private, and not available to everyone who views your posts.
Just like social media platforms, education is constantly changing. From the content we teach, to the standards we have to meet, to the ways we are told to teach it, to how we test for knowledge, and to how our students learn, it is an ever changing machine. With how quickly technology continues to change and with how much we have become an instant gratification society, it is forcing us to change how we run our classrooms and how we teach the content material to our students. How do we keep their attention? In my opinion, we implement the technology tools that appeal to them. Create a social media platform to communicate with your students. Have students that were absent? Post a picture or a list of what you did for the day, and the new assignments that were passed out. Keep your students informed on a platform that they will pay attention to!
C. (2014, October 02). Snapchat Murders Facebook. Retrieved October 17, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKSr6h5-fCU&index=10&list=PLbRLdW37G3oMquOaC-HeUIt6CWk-FzaGp
The Backwards Brain Bicycle
I am sure that most of you have heard the saying, "it's just like riding a bike" implying that the task at hand is an easy one, or that once you learn something, that you will never forget it. Well this video did a great job of challenging that widely accepted saying. Once you have a rigid way of thinking in your head, sometimes you can't change it, even if you want to. At least not right away anyways. That is why learning and even teaching can be frustrating at times. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of patience. It is important to remember that knowledge does not equal understanding. You may know the steps to solving a problem, but truly understanding how to implement those steps and what it means for the context of the question is a different task entirely.
Another good point the video made, is that after you have learned how to do something one way, it is very difficult, and takes a lot of time to learn how to do it a different way. I think Common Core is trying to address that. It takes the approach of student discovery and allows for multiple approaches to a problem. Showing students a variety of ways to approach and solve a problem is a great way to teach and a great way for them to learn.
One thing this video demonstrated is that children have more neuroplasticity than adults, meaning that they have a more plastic brain and can learn new concepts faster than adults. I think that is why society has put more and more pressure on students to learn things while they are in school. They have a higher chance of actually learning it and retaining it, but does that mean that we should be shoving as much material down their throats as we can? My freshmen in high school are learning graph theory, a concept that I didn't dive into until I was a senior in college.
SmarterEveryDay (2015, April) The Backwards Brain Bicycle [Video File] Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzDaBzBlL0&index=2&list=PLbRLdW37G3oMquOaC-HeUIt6CWk-FzaGp
Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist from Kansas State. In the video above, he gives a TED Talk about how technology provides the opportunity for us to go from being knowledgeable to knowledge-able by allowing us to connect, organize, share, collect, collaborate, and publish. He says that being knowledgeable is just knowing a bunch of stuff, whereas being knowlege-able is being able to find, sort, analyze, ultimately criticize, and create new information and knowledge.
I found it interesting that he highlighted how the introduction of television sets in family homes changed the way families arranged the furniture in their living rooms. We went from a society being focused around human interaction to one being focused around technology. It changed the content of our conversations. Initially it was a one way conversation, where you only had a voice if you had air time on television. Now, with the internet and social media, anyone can have a voice, and the conversation can spread like wild fire around the world.
I agree with his thinking that students have a voice so it is important to think about what their needs and interests are. How can we get them to change from being a distracted classroom of students, to an excited crowd at American Idol. We want our students to be excited about learning in the same way that we as teachers are excited to teach. The key question is, how do we do that?
One way I would like to implement Wesch's ideas in my own classroom is to allow my students to have a voice. In the video, a student reported that only 18% of teachers knew her name, indicating that it bothered her. I intend to know the name of every one of my students and greet them by name as they walk into the classroom. I want them to feel welcomed and comfortable in my classroom so they know that they matter. I always take a few minutes at the beginning of class as well to ask the class how they are, how their weekend was, if they're going to the football game, etc. I want them to know that I care about them personally.
That's just the beginning of how I would set the stage to give every student a voice. Asking their opinions and collecting their feedback is also currently in my teaching wheelhouse. I would love to hear what you do in your classroom in order to give your students a voice! Please share in the comments below!
Wesch, M. (2010, October 12). From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able [Video file].