Sunday, September 15, 2013

C4T #1

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Miguel Guhlin is currently the Director of Technology Operations for the East Central Independent School District. What Miguel Guhlin posts on his blog is just for fun. He plays with ideas and also explores the intersection of education, technology, and spiritual beings.


This eCard went viral, and was emailed to fellow teachers within a particular school. One teacher in passing replied, "I really don't like when teachers post political stuff on staff email. Actually, I don't think we should be getting involved in politics at all. Maybe privately, but not publicly." In Miguel Guhlin's blog post "Techapathy" he claimed that ten or more years ago he would have agreed with the teacher's complaint about keeping your personal views on political stuff private and not public. After observing political issues within the school system for many years, Miguel Guhlin lost his ability to not intervene. His attitude soured towards politicians, including the current president and his administration, as Miguel Guhlin watched politicians do whatever they thought was convenient, yet possibly immoral. As a result of this, Miguel Guhlin claims that it is easy to have no feelings or lack of interest in trying to change policies because there are so many forces overwhelming you, but freedom has to be won the hard way.

What Do I Take From This?
Although I am not a teacher yet, I can imagine how difficult it is to be positive about certain policies when you have strong negative feelings towards them. When is it appropriate to speak up about the way you feel towards controversial subject matters? Should controversial subject matter be discussed amongst teachers and principles? In my opinion, open conversation about any and all political subject matter, controversial or noncontroversial, should take place amongst teachers and principles. I am definitely not saying to march around schools with posters chanting your feelings, I am saying that if a teacher has any kind of concern about policy or what is expected of them, the subject matter should be discussed in a professional manner. Jokingly sending out eCards to fellow educators through a staff email is inappropriate. Teachers should always want quality education for their students, even if it means collectively as teachers taking action towards policies being changed. For example, the burp-back education versus project-based learning. When I become a teacher, I am more than willing to fight for an end to burp-back education because I personally believe that project-based learning incorporating technology is 100% a more effective way of preparing students for their future outside of the classroom.

My Comment to Miguel Guhlin's Post "Techapathy"
I commented on Miguel Guhlin's blog post "Techapathy." In my comment I introduced myself and I asked Mr. Guhlin if he could share some advice on how to keep a positive attitude towards controversial political issues within the school system. I also asked him when he thought it was appropriate to speak up about a political topic that didn't quite sit right with him. I hope I get a response from him!

Miguel Guhlin's Response to My Comment on "Techapathy"
Miguel Guhlin did not respond directly to my comment left on his blog post, but he did answer my questions in a very surprising way! Mr. Guhlin responded to my questions by creating a new blog post titled "Atrocious Acts." In this post, he provided with me with tons of information on how to appropriately approach a necessary conversation. Mr. Guhlin also went into great detail on how important it is to question authority and to strive for the absolute best for your students, no matter how uncomfortable it may make you feel. Mr. Guhlin shared very interesting books that I should consider buying and reading before I become a teacher, which is something I will definitely do. I greatly value the time and information Miguel Guhlin gave me!

"Shaping Up - Me and My #iPad"

Miguel Guhlin's blog post "Shaping Up - Me and My #iPad" was very interesting to read. In this blog post, Mr. Guhlin writes about how the iPad is not just a gadget, but a current educational tool that engages students in learning key skills and strategies that are valuable today. He shared Sylvia's blog post "What the iPad Is and What it Isn't" and refers to someone's comment on this post. In this comment, a lady named Kathy shares that it is not about the iPad itself, it's how the teacher has students use this piece of technology. Mr Guhlin shared three links that belong to Kathy's blog: "Digital Storytelling," "Authentic Learning," and "Screencasting as an Assessment Tool". Mr. Guhlin adds that these tools are not used just for the fun of using a microphone, for the fun of blogging, or to just practice typing. These tools are used because they are current and they engage students in learning key skills and strategies that are valuable to the student today. Mr Guhlin concludes his post with a quote by Marshall McLuhan, "We shape our tools thereafter our tools shape us."

What Do I Take From This?
As Dr. Strange has stated, just like any other tool, an iPad can be used productively or it can be used for totally frivolous purposes. It is up to the teacher to provide students with opportunities to engage in educational activities that are beneficial to the student. If I am given a tool for my future classroom, such as an iPad, I would take full advantage of that tool. I would do daily research on ways to incorporate this tool in a beneficial way for my students. Why any teacher would object to a new tool, that if used correctly, could enhance the student's learning experience, I have not a clue! If a teacher objects a new tool like an iPad, it is probably because they do not want their teaching methods to change. The learning experience in the classroom is constantly changing. I definitely didn't have an iPad, or even a computer to use as a tool in my classroom in elementary school! The computer and iPad are both tools that can engage students in learning skills and strategies that are valuable. Our world is constantly changing, and as a future educator, I need to be comfortable with change in order to assist my students in gaining an exemplary education to prepare them for their future outside of my classroom.

My Comment to Mr. Guhlin's "Shaping Up - Me and My #iPad"
In my comment, I introduced myself and thanked Mr. Guhlin for replying to my previous comment I left for him in an earlier assignment. Next, I mentioned how I thought the iPad, if used correctly, could be such a beneficial tool in the classroom. I also mentioned that I did not understand why a teacher would not engage in and take advantage of such a useful tool for his or her classroom. I then asked Mr. Guhlin's thoughts on whether or not he finds that the teachers who think an iPad is just a "gadget" have a hard time accepting change. I also asked Mr. Guhlin if he thought the negativity towards the iPad is due to the fact that some teachers are intimidated by this tool. I look forward to receiving a response from Mr. Guhlin.

Mr. Guhlin's Response to My Comment on "Shaping Up - Me and My #iPad"
I have not received a response to my comment.

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