Friday, January 16, 2015

IW 14-15: January : This Will Revolutionize Education

Welcome back. 
Take a few minutes to watch the below video: This Will Revolutionize Education

Please comment on the following questions:
1. Now that you have watched the video, how do you feel about the profession of teaching?
2. Do you agree or disagree with the video?


  1. Having watched the video, I have mixed feelings about our profession. I love that he acknowledged the true role of a teacher as that can absolutely get lost in translation. I love being reminded that our job is to inspire and facilitate authentic learning opportunities, but it easy to lose sight of that when in the day-to-day world of our job. It is hard to wake up and come in everyday when there is so much in flux, and it is getting harder to find genuine “golden nuggets” throughout our days. If I dig into my room and my students it feels better, but the minute I step outside I am overwhelmed with everything else that is going on around me. It feels like being an inspiring facilitator is the dream to which I am striving for, I just have to search through the fog of testing, new curriculum, new standards, rising expectations, PD coursework, data, and committees first (which is a lot of fog). The positive piece in all of this fog though, is getting a flashlight from colleagues and coworkers who are in the thick of it with you, holding your hand, inspiring you to move forward, and validating the work that you really are doing well.

    I agree 100% with the idea that we are evolving in education, it is is no way a revolution. I was just having this conversation recently with others and I think this is an important distinction to make. Evolution is a natural process that occurs over time, a revolution is a sudden, drastic change that overhauls an existing system or idea. Part of the reason I love education is because of its evolution. It has to change with the times and that constantly keeps things fresh and new. Every year there are new things for me to try with my students, a lesson I can teach a different way, and that is what keeps me intellectually stimulated and coming back for more. I do think though that it is time for a revolution in education, I don’t think we can move forward and evolve without acknowledging the fact that our system is broken. We don’t get the funding we need, we are being asked to do more with less, people are constantly criticizing teachers and what we do, and we are asking our students to test for almost 2 months straight...THEY ARE 9! There isn’t an easy answer to the problems we face in our profession or they would have already been solved - but something has to happen to shake us to our core with an up slope, some light at the end of the tunnel. Right now there is not a lot of light and we are fighting losing battles in many areas. This is stripping us of our joy and passion. I don’t have the answer, but if we really are creating and molding these engaged thinkers in our classrooms every day, then I have to hold out hope that they will have better answers moving forward.

  2. Teaching is constantly evolving. Watching the video, I wonder what it would have been like to teach 30, 40 , 50 years ago. Were students engaged in their learning? Did they have the desire to tackle difficult challenges? Were they applying their learning in real life situations? And, do the kids we teach today face similar challenges to learners from decade ago?

    I am inspired to see that others see teachers as critical roles in a classroom. No we are not just there to impart knowledge, but to “inspire, challenge and excite” the students in our classrooms. We are the social media of their learning. And, I think everyone needs to remember that we are not just teaching curriculum. We are teaching kids how to interact with others, how to react to people and situations that may be unfamiliar, how to work effectively together a team, and how to become a responsible participant, learner, advocator. Our teaching cannot come from just textbooks.

    Has advanced technology made our jobs easier or harder? I’m not sure. Did teachers decades ago face the same discipline issues we have today? Are students harder to teach because they require instant gratification or entertainment to learn? Some of that is true, I believe. We are in the unique position of taking what is “out there” and making it applicable and accessible to kids. Technology makes that possible. I think the video makes that point clear. Technology is the avenue in which we, as teachers/parents/neighbors/etc., have the ability to educate. Students are able to visually see what is happening around the world, and take action. We must allow kids to use the pictures and words in their world to make meaning.

    While evolution is defined as “the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form” (google) and revolution is defined as “a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works” (google). I would have to say that my classroom has undergone a revolution. There has been nothing slow about the added piece of technology in my classroom. I am amazed every week the new “things” we can use to inspire, challenge and excite kids to learn.

  3. I don't feel any different about the profession of teaching now, then before the video. I already believe strongly, as the gentleman in the video states, that the teacher's role in student learning is vital to their learning. Students can learn what they need to know from a variety of places these days, but getting them to want to learn, to dig deeper, to wonder how and why, that inspiration often comes from a good teacher, and from classmates that can share because of the good design set forth by an inspiring teacher. I know my relationships with my students matter!

    I agree with the video presenter’s idea that education is evolving, not revolutionizing (although sometimes change happens so quickly it certainly feels like a revolution). Each student, teacher, classroom, moves forward a little at a time. I, myself, have presented a ton of new technology to my classroom and students this year, but it’s still just a little bit compared to what’s out there and what’s available.

    There’s no doubt education will continue to evolve as technology is revolutionized, but the concept of learning, in my opinion, will always be a social process. One that involves a teacher and a group of students, and interaction between them.

  4. For the past 4 years, I have asked my AP kids about the potential for teachers to be replaced with computers/technology. Every single year, the answer is the same: technology is great, but we wouldn't learn as well. They maintain that we are the piece that keeps them moving. We motivate them, we encourage them to grow, we challenge them, we help them when they struggle - and we are able to come up with alternate explanations for them to better understand a topic. We are the key piece to their success. Technology is a wonderful tool, something that helps us/supports us in the communication of these ideas. We "evolve" education, not technology.

  5. I really enjoyed this video on Revolutionizing Education. I totally agree with the role of teachers being a caring and inspirational coach along the students' path of learning. No technology is going to be the magic tool to "fix" education. It will definitely help us but we are in the classroom to individualize and improve instruction to each of our kids.
    I often use the closed captioning on videos to improve their reading rates and help with comprehension. I wonder if that is too much text with a visual when the goal of the film is more about science or math? Lots to think about! Many of those "revolutionary" practices from the past I do remember! Ha!

  6. After watching the video, I really don't feel all that different about the teaching profession. Don't get me wrong...I found the video to be very interesting and certainly validating, but I've always felt that one of our biggest roles as teachers, is to guide learning and inspire learners. Sure, times have changed and advancements with technology are changing daily, but our role stays the same. We need to encourage our students to use their brains to think, to become self directed learners, to challenge them, and to support them all along the way. I know there's no way, even at my age today, that I can sit in front of a screen, video, what have you and learn better than I could had I had face to face contact with the teaching. Teachers keep the personal aspect, the feelings, the social process of learning, and the promise of personal reward for their students. Certainly, technology can enhance that, but no technological advancement can replace that.

  7. I had to watch this video a couple of times. The video was very interesting, yet it doesn't change my thoughts about my profession. Teaching is about kids. It's getting them to think, do, manipulate, and inspire themselves (and one another) to be learners and leaders of tomorrow. Sadly, as educators we are losing our focus (of what is important) time and time again. It's difficult not to with the demands placed on teachers, administrators, district leaders. At times I feel like it's not about the student but about the test score. We're treating our schools like big business --- who can produce and what's the quickest way we can get there? How do we know when we get "there" by the highest test scores. Society looks for the shiny new toy that will make education better and help students learn. We spend millions of dollars trying to find the "fix" all the while losing site of what matters most --- our students. This video confirms what I know in my heart is best for kids. Show them you care and they'll learn not matter what!

  8. This video doesn't surprise me. I laughed when I heard the part about videodiscs. I remember when they became the "be all end all" in LPS. BIG discs, expensive, and the machines to run them were as well. Those sure didn't last long. I remember first entering LPS as a teacher and using the film projectors...having to learn how to wind the film through the machine then start the machine, hoping the projector wouldn't eat up the film! The presence of tvs at Twain, when I worked there and the VHS players under each. Having the screens high in the ceiling and asking a class of students to watch a tiny times yet we thought they wuld really revolutionize the way wee taught.
    Technology and its inventions have been just technological tools...whether I use them or not, it is still up to me to excite my students. It is still up to me to appreciate them and get them turned on to learning. They need to know and understand and appreciate the WHY learning is important. I shouldn't be the "sage on the stage" as was once thought (when I entered the profession 28+ years ago!). I need to give my students the tools and desire to know how to learn and how to evaluate their own learning and thinking.
    I agree with the video...
    we need to inspire our students to learn, no matter the resources we have, no matter the technology that is available.
    It is the human connection that is every important.

  9. Now that I have watched the video, I feel the same about the profession of teaching. It is a hard job… but an extremely rewarding job. So, I feel same, but it did get me thinking about the perceptions of people who are not in the profession of teaching. Is that what they see on the outside? I loved seeing the Oregon Trail!

    I laughed when I watched the part about radios transmitting lessons into classrooms. But the people who thought that radios would revolutionize education probably felt like the people today who think current technology will do the same.

    Some quotes that really stuck out to me:

    - “we are not limited by the experiences we can give students”
    - “we are going through an evolution, not a revolution”
    - “what really matters happens inside the learner’s head”

    I liked that he talked about how a mix of everything is what works. What works for one student will cause another student a large amount of stress.

    In the end, I continue to agree with the following:
    Guide the social processes of learning.
    Challenge, inspire, and excited students.
    Make everyone feel important.
    We get to use technology and other resources to make those three things happen everyday. I believe that students and teachers use technology to evolve all the time.

  10. IW Blog Bost “This Will Revolutionize Education”

    We have the opportunity to inspire learning and are encouraged to do so through our given profession: teaching. Wonderful!! How do I feel about my profession? Frustrated but continually hopeful. I see daily opportunities to open up discussion in many topic areas. I see an opportunity to present curriculum, giving the students a chance to interact with one another to share their thoughts. If given the opportunity to sit with colleagues to plan or problem solve, I see this as well used time. If given the opportunity to join a meeting where the speaker presents with little or no interaction, I dread it. Why would my students be any different? So, yes, I agree with this video. Why my frustration? When in the classroom, we have marching orders. We need to follow a timeline and make sure that the objective is met. We continually battle “time” while taking a moment or two to get great dialog from our students. Critical thinking at its best!! The best lessons are the ones where we actually plan into the lesson the ability to have dialog. Do we take the time to do this? I am hopeful. It seems that this is the time that students remember the lessons.

  11. One result of the video is that I am reassured about my value as a teacher. Even though I noted that one of the hoped for results of the innovations was that less teachers were needed, it hasn’t worked out that way! Teachers do make a difference and parents or students themselves often tell us so if we are listening.

    Overall I agree with this video. As a teacher who is old enough to have witnessed many of the innovations mentioned, I have also witnessed the disappointments when the innovations haven’t made a big difference in students’ learning, at least measured by test scores. Our school has begun working on increasing student learning by teaching our students some habits of discussion. I believe this will make a difference in our student engagement and therefore in their learning.

  12. I agree with Sue Setzer's reply about feeling much more valued as a teacher after watching this video. I, too, have seen a lot of "innovations" come and go throughout my career. What has evolved for me is my part in helping students to become the best human beings they can be along with becoming the best learners they can be. It allows them to grow into respectful and responsible citizens, aware of a level of empathy and consciousness that they need to have in a classroom community as well as a worldwide community. I do want to continue to challenge myself to be aware of the new technological opportunities that are out there, and I have loved getting out of my comfort zone to teach my students as much as I did this year! For me, it will always be in the BALANCE of utilizing technology and being the genuine person that is there to teach them "life lessons" as well as the required curriculum. Knowing I am there to inspire the "wanting" to learn is always a challenge and privilege that I look forward to with each new class!

  13. This video resonated with a lot of "gut instinct" feelings I have about my classroom and some opposing classroom styles. I loved the point he made about teachers being obsolete IF their primary roles is just to transmit information from their brains to their students. This hits the nail on the head of why the teaching profession is so important… teachers are there to give kids the tools to find that information but the job requires so much more. It’s a teacher’s job to make students feel safe, confident, daring, and resilient. None of that can be accomplished by “transmitting information” to students, no matter how innovative the technology is being used. I wholeheartedly agree with him that no matter how “revolutionized” the technology is, it’s irrelevant if students aren’t coming to a classroom that is challenging them on a human level to engage and interact.

    In today's world of testing pressure, I think it's so important to hold onto the important anchor that students learn because of their relationship with others and their teacher. It's why I love my job and my relationship with my students. Whether it's an evolution or a revolution, I have faith in the difference teachers will make if they hold onto that important dynamic.

  14. 1. Now that you have watched the video, how do you feel about the profession of teaching?
    Now that I have watched the video, I have many questions that I’m wondering…

    -How does this idea affect college-level teacher preparation programs that my future colleagues are involved with?
    -What are the ramifications for an evaluator of Teacher Effectiveness?
    -Do adjustments need to be made by teachers/school districts who are driven by data to take the assertions made in the video to heart to ultimately benefit students?

    2. Do you agree or disagree with the video?
    Yes, I agree with the video because I was originally a face-to-face classroom teacher, then was involved with a pilot school-based-online education hybrid program for a year, then returned to the traditional classroom.

    I recall feeling apprehensive about the online component of the program initially because I was worried that was taking part in what could be the death knell of face-to-face education (at that time there was a great amount of attention focused on online schooling through virtual academies). Then, as the pilot continued, initial questions that adults had about the lack of social interaction with peers (except for Specials which were delivered at the school face-to-face with peers at the same grade level) continued to play out despite best intentions on all sides. The children continued to want additional face-to-face time with their school classmates, despite experiencing success academically using cutting-edge technology access.

    I have lived the Veritasium speaker's’ assertion that there has been an evolution of tools available to educators, but no revolution. It all comes back to coupling the individual learner’s motivation with the best-suited/supported educator for that child.