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January 2016

Standards Base Digital Critical Thinking-Post 1

True or Not?

1.  Can we define what it means to be information literate?

The definition of being “information literate” is to be able to recognize information and be able to locate, evaluate, use, and clearly communicate it in different ways. I think this is such an important part of being a teacher, if not their main job. Being able to teach information clearly and make sure your students understand is everything.

2.  Can we teach our students to have the skills essential to information literacy?

I, absolutely, think we can teach our students the skills to information literacy. In the article True or Not, Abilock talks about one school that built an environment where questions like “How do you know that?” and ” What evidence supports that?,” gives students the opportunity to use the information they have efficiently.

3.  Can we truly prepare students to be effective users of the most powerful medium?

I think it’s important for teacher to provide students with the opportunities to become effective and correct uses of information, but I believe we can fully prepare students for anything. It’s up to a students want and drive to have correct information and it’s them that has to face the consequences of misuse. Teachers should do everything in their power to help students, but in the end it’s the students choice to be an effective user of “the most powerful medium.”

 

ISTE Standards for Teachers

http://www.iste.org/standards/ISTE-standards/standards-for-teachers 

Defining 21st Century Learning

In recent discussions of Wikipedia and the use of it, a controversial issue has been whether it is a credited site that should be allowed to be cited on academic papers. On the one hand, some argue that Wikipedia can provide false information and be unreliable source for students. From this perspective, many teacher have ban the use of Wikipedia on research papers. Marc Prensky explains that people are “motivated to read, contribute and change the entry, and often do so on a regular basis.” This concerns many educators. Because Wikipedia allow anyone to alter an article, it’s very easy for the article to provide false information to it’s readers.  On the other hand, however, others argue that being able to alter the information is beneficial. According to this view, it makes it easier for an article to expand and provide more information. Prensky talks about the example of Hurricane Katrina “It is fascinating to see how quickly a Wikipedia article emerges on a contemporary topic, such as Hurricane Katrina, often while the event is still happening. Someone writes a few lines, others add, and suddenly there are pages, pictures, etc.” Wikipedia also allows their readers to view all the changes made to an article in the past, so they can determine for themselves what is true or false information. In sum then, the issues is whether Wikipedia is the most effective internet encyclopedia or if it’s just a bunch of people making up history how they see it.

My own view is that Wikipedia is beneficial to students in research and everyday facts they want to know. Though I concede that many people can alter articles to their own views and provide false information, I still maintain that the main articles and information on Wikipedia and a great resource for people. For example, students use there phone everyday to look up random facts that popped into their heads and Wikipedia is a quick and easy way to find the answer.. Although some might object that Wikipedia shouldn’t be used in the classroom for academic papers, I would reply that it is a great website that students and teachers both understand and know how to navigate it. The issue is important because Wikipedia is a great website every students should have access to.

Introductory Concepts

In recent discussions of technology in the classroom, a controversial issue has been whether it’s helpful or hurtful to student’s ability to learn.

On the one hand, some argue that technology provides a whole new way for students to connect and expand their learning. Thanks to the internet being at student’s fingertips, the students have more control of their own learning, which builds excitement.  From this perspective, educators and students, both, have more resources and material with less limitations.  

On the other hand, however, others argue that technology is taking the place of the pencil and paper activities that reassures a student’s creativity. One article  on this issue said, “Technology should not be used to do what can be done without it.”  According to this view, it’s more beneficial for a student to draw a picture on a piece of paper than on an app. Another article says, that it is important to incorporate both paper and electronics into an activity; this way students can plan their ideas on paper before transforming them onto the computer. 

In sum then, the issue is whether it’s important to have the connection, excitement and resources in a classroom that is provided by technology or if technology is taking away a student’s ability to be creative.

My own view is that technology is extremely important to have available to students in a classroom, but I also think it’s important to incorporate paper and pencil activities, as well.  Though I concede that technology creates more materials many educators wouldn’t have without it, I still maintain that paper worksheets have benefits as well.  For example, a student who drew a picture on a piece of paper is able to take that paper and hang it on the refrigerator at home, but a student who’s picture was drawn on an app cannot hang the iPad on the refrigerator. Although some might object that paper worksheets create nothing but repetition, I would reply that paper is easily accessible and a quicker way to make and share information.  

This issue is important because technology becomes more and more important with each generation. It’s up to schools and educators to decide how much technology they want to incorporate in their classrooms without losing that traditional and effective way of teaching with paper and a pencil.

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