Aug 16

Computers as an Education Guide from Past to Present

The Cybernetic Revolution

Computers have caused a tremendous amount of growth in schools and businesses throughout the years. Computers have evolved into systems from the first computer that filled an entire room to small handheld devices that are easily transported with daily use. Companies have seen big improvements with computers as a benefit to production and efficiency of work and time. The U.S. government supported the use of computers to remain current and ahead of other countries (Cornish, 2004, 17). With government support and push for computer growth and expansion, schools have been forced to increase computer knowledge as well. Much of the early computer knowledge was gained through self-taught professionals and grew into schools investing in computer departments to pass on that knowledge and learning expertise. Colleges developed computer science departments and curricula to teach and train professionals in the field. However, much of the computer knowledge was acquired through hands-on learning experiences on the field and in businesses.

Through knowledge of computer courses in colleges and technical schools, students have developed teaching techniques to benefit younger students in classes as well. Computer professionals have worked to develop methods for young school students to learn with computer programs and educational learning apps on tablets and phones. Students no longer destined to learning from textbooks or paper materials. They have computer programs and apps to supplement curricula. Because students learn in many ways and with different learning styles, computers have opened up many opportunities to present lessons and activities to meet different learning styles and needs. Computers make it possible to think about learning in a new way (Shaffer, Gee, 2006, 4). Because of the advancement of computers and computer-aided instruction, teachers have the capability to meet many student learning needs and structure lesson plans and activities of multiple interests.

References

Cornish, E. (2004). Futuring: The Exploration of the Future. Bethesda, MD: World Future Society.

Shaffer, D. & Gee, J. (2006). How Computer Games Help Children Learn. Hampshire, England: Palgrave MacMillan.

Jul 29

Confusing Technology and Education

techedTechnology plays an important role in education; however, it is not to be confused with education itself. Modern education practices receive benefits from technology as many learners respond to education through methods of technology. As educators think about the future of education, they must strengthen the definition and purpose of education. Education is often compared to two other industries: journalism and publishing (Hieronymi, 2012). That comparison is incorrect on many levels. Education is the training needed to make use of information and ideas while journalism and publishing transmits those ideas. Educators are coaches who provide individualized instruction to transmit information and ideas. Education information is transmitted through technology using computers and devices; however, these devices are methods for delivering information, not understanding it. Educators are charged with coaching students to think for themselves. The capacity of technology should be celebrated but not confused with the training required to gather information and ideas.

The question is presented regarding if technology will replace education or make education less expensive. While educators teach and provide college education, they do not provide complete college experiences. Colleges provide the campus experience, which is an education of a different sort (Hieronymi, 2012). Educators are in the business of training minds, and technology is an element of information transmission.

References

Hieronymi, P. (2012). The Chronicle of Higher Education. Don’t Confuse Technology with College Teaching.

Jul 28

Oklahoma’s pre-k success over other states

vpkThe education system decided to begin pre-kindergarten and give young students an early start. Pre-kindergarten was a successful move by offering students a start at school and preparation for academics and social-emotional development. Historically, Americans operated on the idea that children would just pick up the essentials along the way; however, some were concerned about drop-out rates and poor learning potential. Many states introduced the pre-kindergarten programs where students could enter for early starts and explore learning environments to improve learning potential and enhance learning communities.

While pre-kindergarten programs are beneficial to student growth, development, and education to prepare students for higher grades in school, there is a lack of funding available in some states to provide the program for all four-year-old students. Oklahoma has a high-quality pre-k program and has exceeded the percentage of students enrolled; however, Florida has a less quality program because of teacher qualification requirements and funding availability. The question was discovered regarding the success of Oklahoma’s pre-k program when the state realized the need for high standards as well as highly qualified and highly paid teachers. Their pre-k teachers are as highly educated and as highly paid as their elementary teachers, yet they work at the pre-k level. Many states fail in their pre-k programs by not viewing pre-k on similar levels as elementary school and not giving pre-k equal recognition and funding. Oklahoma’s support of pre-k and the understanding of child development have led them to understand and support early learning efforts at an early age to give young students early starts to school.

Each state’s support of pre-k will demonstrate the focus on early school starts and the emphasis placed on early education. Wherever states place recognition and funding shows the focus and essentials to learning environments. For pre-k programs to succeed states must focus on teacher qualifications and education needs; therefore, they will likely attract teachers to grow the program and give it the recognition it deserves.

References

Lerner, S. (2012, Nov). Pre-K on the range. The American Prospect, 23, 60-65,67,2. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/1272289870?accountid=27965

Jul 24

Schools and Workplace Partnerships

partnership

As students are enrolled in courses and preparing for their career choices, are colleges and high schools preparing them for the workforce? Are they learning appropriate workforce skills, ethics, and professionalism? One of the future trends in education is to investigate how to better prepare students to successfully enter the workforce and be exposed to proper work ethics, skills, and procedures.

A certain young student graduated from high school and landed her first job position. She was familiar with basic work skills; however, she was nervous in the interview process and did not wear appropriate interview clothing. Although her interview skills were less than ideal, she showed the desire to learn and was hired on part-time status. She showed learning potential by listening and taking direction well and being flexible with work hours, schedules, and job duties. The leadership encouraged and led her to pursue a scholarship opportunity to further her education, yet she failed to follow up on required paperwork submission. She soon neglected to remember why she was hired and the mission of the workplace. Because she was hired on part-time status, she was given few work hours due to workplace needs; therefore, she began to search for additional employment and landed another position with more work hours. She approached the supervisor one morning to inform her of her departure, effective the following day. She assured her current supervisor that she would report for work that afternoon but would not return to work the following day. At the time for her to report for work, she did not show up and could not be contacted. She did not return phone calls or text messages and would not respond to an exit interview.

This scenario is provided as background in an attempt to answer the question about colleges and high schools preparing students for the workforce. Schools and teachers provide learning material to educate students in required curriculum standards, yet they may not be educating them for workplace and professional skills. Hart, Smith, & Clark (1994) indicated that education and training should work together. Schools and workplaces have much to learn from one another and serve great purposes in collaboration. Schools prepare students in education, and workplaces provide technical training; however, schools and workplaces must collaborate to share common needs and goals. There must be a partnership between schools and workplaces to offer possible internships or work programs to give students work experiences and to provide training on appropriate work stills, ethics, and professionalism.

References

Hart, H., Glick-Smith, J., & Clark, C. (1994). Training in technical communication: Ideas for a partnership between the academy and the workplace. Technical Communication, 41(3), 399. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/220957314?accountid=27965

Jul 17

Technology alters future education trends

networking

With the technology interests of the younger generation, education is forced to keep up with the culture and develop courses and educational settings in regards to technology. Of the list of trends, there are two that are important to the future and direction of education: mobility and social networking. Students are no longer impressed and energized by flannel boards, chalkboards, and overhead projectors. Computers and hand-held electronic devices, especially devices that allow them to connect socially in the moment, drive them. Individuals no longer have to wait for the latest news reports to be published in newspapers or broadcast on television. Through the power of social media, the latest local news and worldly news is immediately available and received. With this kind of immediate technology advances, education is forced to relate similarly and appeal to student technology interests.

Education professionals must learn to provide computer-based course work and forums and even online advancements for students to connect in social collaboration. There is little need for students to attend class in a classroom with technology available to them to connect through online forums and course rooms. They can connect at home, work, or in coffee shops and socialize with others even when they are attending class. For the younger technology generation, life often revolves around community, thus it is important for education professionals to develop methods of social learning communities.

Not only are students interested in technology but many teachers are using computer-driven devices and resources as well. Through social media, teachers are networking with other professionals locally and across the globe to expand their curricula ideas and understand education issues. Many teachers post lessons and activities via online forums for students to receive and respond. They also network with education professionals to discuss classroom ideas and situations and collaborate best practices to share. The future of education depends on technology usage and advances to maintain student interest levels.

References

Wilen-Daugenti, T. & McKee, A. (2008). 21st Century Trends for Higher Education: Top Trends 2008-2009. San Jose, CA: Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG).

Jul 16

How Technology has affected the Learning Environment

sesame

Many educators experiment with different methods of educating and teaching preschool students. They try multiple methods from hands-on activities to worksheets to video games and television. Young students learn in as many ways as there are learning methods and styles. In 1966, a group of friends discussed if television could be used to educate children (Goldstein, 2009). A few years later, after declaring television programs as a waste for young children, preschool educational programs were born. From these findings, scholars discovered and decided that television could be effective tools for preschool education.

Education developers introduced Sesame Street programming, yet had much work to do to determine the direct involvement of the script. Scholars felt the developers should revisit classrooms to determine student needs and interests. Developers had not thought about using television as children’s educational tools and were not sure how to mingle the two. After much study and collaboration with intellectuals and scientists, educators and developers determined that television was not the wasteland of culture it was once imagined to be.

There are multiple teaching techniques and methods to expose young students to learning concepts and developmental areas of learning standards. Educational television programs have been ways educators and media experts have collaborated to teach and meet student learning styles and needs. Televisions have made their way into many homes and living rooms throughout the years; therefore, it has been easy to develop preschool educational programming and be presented to many people at a time. Programs and commercials have opened up many ways to explore modern art, design, and media. Early television programming introduced later technology experiences through videos, computers, Internet, and new media educational sources. Because Sesame Street developers thought of ways to mingle television and education, the creativity of modern art and design has been presented and carried on for years.

References

Goldstein, E. (2009). How We Got to Sesame Street; Art on Screen. Chronicle of Higher Education, 55(19), B13.

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