Monthly Archives: September 2010

Should teachers be replaced by computers?

I found this on a great blog (Cloud Hackz) and had to respond and then I decided to post it on my blog.  A quote from Arthur C. Clark that Sugata Mitra mentioned in the video that got me to thinking, “A teacher that can be replaced in the classroom by a computer should be.”  Replacing people by computers and mentors is not the way to go.  Merging those ideals with a trained educator is the way to go.  The blogger was exactly right in his thoughts that if children are, ” Given access to the internet, broken into groups, and supplied with mentors, could children make better decisions about what is important to learn and what is best left for Google and Wolfram|Alpha|Alpha?”  If and only if, the child is motivated and mature enough to make those decisions and come back to discuss their findings with others including the facilitator.  Too many people believe that learning by computers are interactive-maybe, sometimes.  But, if you hole yourself off and do nothing with the information presented before you, could the computer become just another worksheet-like activity?  In the video Mitra presented students with a series of questions-one being, “Who was Pythagoras?”  In about twenty minutes they stumbled upon the formula.   a^2 + b^2 = c^2\!\,   Wonderful, huh?  I think so, too, but and there almost always is a but, there is much for that child to get to in mathematics to truly understand the Pythagorean theorem. Exposure is great, but learning is guided. Does the child understand that a square is equal on all sides?  Does the child understand square numbers?  Hypotenuse?  Has that child even learned yet how to find the area of a square or triangle? What about the potential holes in students’ learning and the lack of connectedness that educators offer between concepts that computers do not, a connectedness between interacting with peers as well during learning?  How many of our kids already have put aside that Nintendo DS that they just got for Christmas, or that iPod Nano they got for their birthday. How many have embarked on their own educational journeys on their home computers with iTunes U?  I do believe there are children that are gifted and are hindered by the traditional model of school, but we are not talking about large masses of highly self-motivated gifted children, but even those children need a highly qualified teacher.  Don’t think along the lines of replacing great resources such as teachers.  For some child that teacher could be the one that motivates s/he to be the next Bill Gates or  Charles Schulz.

Aisha Smiled Today.

Aisha did not cry today.  At all.  I almost did not notice…Ok. Well, I didn’t notice until almost the end of the day when she asked me for her folder.  I was like, “Ok, Aisha.  Here you go.  Heyyyyyyyyyyy!!! You didn’t cry! Not once!”  Talk about subtle.  I wowed for about five minutes.  Talk about lack of perceptiveness.  I would not have made the cut in the FBI or CIA or Special Ops or military, period.  I need to work on that.  If I ever plan on being a mother, nothing should get by me.  Anyway, I am happy.

Qiana

Tales of the Germaphobe and its Lover, Hand Sanitizer

All around me are germs.  I swear I can almost feel them closing in.  I think I hear them plotting my demise as I’m instructing or doing small groups.  I’ve posted sanitizer all around my room like little grenades.  Yes, my room is a mine-field.  Yet, they seem to choreograph their every move to follow me and get just close enough to make me paranoid.

Not going to happen!  No nasty cold here. Keep your sniffles, your stuffy, runny, watery nose and eyes… Even the flu knows better than to mess with me.  It’s been 11 days and my hands are super dry.  Where did the promise of moisturizer with Aloe &Vitamin E go, huh?  It does not matter.  Every weapon has its drawbacks.  Smelling that clean smell of Ethyl Alcohol, and glycerin, benzophenone, crosspolymer, tocopherols, and water, makes it all worth it.  Although the label says its harmful only to wood finishes, plastics, and oh, it may discolor some fabrics.  It’s okay though.  It promises to kill 99.99999 % of germs…. Aaa ……………………………. A…aaaaa……aaaaaa-chuuuuu!!

Qiana

It’s 3:50 and I Can’t Seem to Turn My Brain Off!

This is why I have a blog. My brain won’t shut off. I might as well be at work.

The End of a Honeymoon

Today was a rough day.  I thought the honeymoon would have at least lasted a bit longer than eight days.

Eight days!  I walk the halls of shame for even thinking it would have lasted longer. 

I was thinking the end of September  or mid October.  Who was I kidding?  It ended this morning at a quarter to ten with the first of three drills (fire, shelter-in-place/severe weather, and lockdown).  We rehearsed, we discussed, and we worked.  Did it help? I like to think it did.  The scary thought is,  What if I did not rehearse or discuss the drills with them?  Hmmph.  I feel a tad better.

This is a very rambunctious bunch!  My lessons must have physical components from the time they walk into my classroom until about lunchtime.  I hope or else they’ll have to wheel me out of school into a hospital.  Well, we know what that means for me.  I’m even more tired thinking about it.  Labor Day weekend can’t get here quick enough.

Qiana