31 January 2012

Blog post #2

Did You Know?
I absolutely love this video. It really puts the current technology "situation" into perspective. Being 32 years old, I remember when the internet was just in it's infancy for the general public. Almost worthless for anything other than chat rooms, it was accessed by 28k dial up modem in our house. When the 56k modems came on the market, everyone was talking about how much faster it was than 28k... The wireless DSL in my house claims it has an 8mb service... That is 7000 times faster! Our hard drive on that same computer was 32 gigabyte, loud, large, heavy, and slow. We thought that we would never fill it up. My cell phone has a 16 gigabyte data card in it now that is the size of my thumb nail, has no moving pieces, and supplies the data almost instantly... They have recently released a 32 gigabyte data card that is the same size as the one I have. The only problem is there are very few devices made that can even accept a card with that large of a capacity.
I have children that are in there early teens, and like most kids that age, they are right on top of the technological innovations, but it is starting to even overwhelm them. You almost have to be devoted to following technology to be able to stay step for step with the rapid changes. And it is only getting faster... As the old saying goes - get in, sit down, shut up, and hold on! I imagine the next 20 years will be interesting to say the least!

Mr. Winkle Wakes
This video really hits the nail on the head. All around the world, we are experiencing a technology explosion that seems never to slow down, and yet America's class rooms are about as untechnological as they could be. In our local high school and middle school, they have started to install smart boards, but most of the teachers either don't know how or don't want to know how to use them. They still use the overhead projectors... Really? It is 2012!! School is boring, dull. Just ask some middle school students, they would be happy to tell you what is wrong...
My child is asked to calibrate one of his teacher's smart boards on a daily basis because she is ignorant of how it works... How ridiculous is that? She IS the educator! That is her profession!  How does someone earn the respect of their class when the students have to show their instructor how to instruct them... There absolutely needs to be a technology revolution in the schools... But with what money??

Sir Ken Robinson: The Importance of Creativity
Ken Robinson's speech really hit home with me. I have some of the same thoughts about our current education system and medical diagnosis of ADHD and ADD. For starters, there is way too much emphasis placed on state testing in the Mississippi public schools. It seems like that is the main focus of the curriculum. I understand that is how the schools receive money, but at what cost to our children's education? I absolutely agree that the current education system is almost brainwashing the creativity out of our children. It doesn't matter if little Johnnie has a beautiful imagination and story telling, if he can't write a five paragraph essay following the grammatical laws, he fails his English class and can not continue on to the next grade. Humans are exceptionally unique at birth all the way to school age. At that point, we try to mold all of them in to this preconceived idea of what a successful academic should be. It is all way to standardized in my opinion.

A Vision for 21st Century Learning
"If you applied yourself to your school work like you do those video games, I bet you would have straight A's". Words spoken by my Grand Father about 16 years ago. He figured this all out then... The major hurdle would be making the video game competitively entertaining. Could this be done? I think so, but it would take some trial and error and a company not afraid of going bankrupt if it didn't work out as well as planned...

Video games and the class room. I have heard this kind of talk for years... The only difference now is that there is no doubt we have the ability to make happen, but I don't think the country is ready to invest the tax dollars needed to make something like this a reality. The United States of America - The name used to be synonymous with being a world leader, a mold breaker, a nation on the cutting edge of technology, but we aren't willing to bring our education settings into the 21st century? Those children are the future of our great country. They should have everything at their disposal. What is invested now will be returned multiple times over in the future.

it is a small world after all

26 January 2012

Project #2

this is my wordle

Blog Post #1

Hello! Thank you for visiting my blog! My name is Robert Freeland. I am a resident of Hurley, MS and attend the University of South Alabama in pursuit of a Physical Education Undergraduate Degree. I plan on working at the high school level and coaching football. I have been married for 9 years to Dana Freeland and have five children: Courtney Marshall, Caitlyn Marshall, Joshua, Jacob, and Jessica Freeland.

As a young child, my mother and I moved around a whole bunch. I attended 7 different schools through 6th grade and lived in Louisiana, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. I moved to live with my Grandparents in Hurley, Mississippi shortly after I turned 12 and attended East Central Middle and High School through graduation. I attended Mississippi State University for two years before moving to Atlanta Georgia to pursue a career in the golf course maintenance industry. Towards the end of 2003, I had the call to serve my country and enlisted in the Army. I separated from the Army on 31 July 2010 and moved back home to Hurley, MS and started classes at USA.

Randy Pausch on Time Management
I found Mr. Pausch's ideas on time management to be right on point. I especially enjoyed the part about not focusing on doing things right but rather focus on doing the right things and his advise on starting on the more difficult or less favorable tasks first. Too many times people chose to do the easiest things first and when they get around to the difficult task they don't have the energy or motivation left to accomplish it.
I felt that there was one idea left out in Mr. Pausch's seminar. In my time in the Army, we were taught to finish each task we start before moving on to the next one. This is extremely important when managing time. Having multiple tasks that are only partially completed is very confusing and too frequently most are never completed.