Archive for May, 2011

Problem of the educator’s new media anxiety…

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2011 by diamondintherough25

Part of my final for this Com 6910 class has to do with the problem of the educator’s anxiety when it comes to the use of media/technology in the classroom. As far as teacher’s anxiety with new media is concerned, the basic conclusion to this issue stems from generational gaps.

The problem of educators and their hesitation of the integration of new media has to do with the fact that unlike millennialist (Which make up a majority of college students today), they themselves were not brought up in the educational system with all the technological luxuries that are available today: they learned differently- were pretty much taught to synthesize information logically  rather than referring to Wikipedia or simply googling something off the internet in order to do research on it.

A solution to this problem is that marriage of the two schools of thought: A synthesis of technology in the classroom as well as reasoning and logical methods of the traditional lecture. One few suggestions* that I can offer in order to make this happen and to help relieve stresses that teachers may feel in regards to being leery about the merging of technology in the classroom is conveyed as follows:

  • Teacher Training- studies have shown that educators who utilize a mentor system or asks students who are more computer literate than they are to assist them in the classrooms are more likely to have a boost of confidence so to speak in the classroom (BNET, 2004)
  • Improved school budgets in order to install better software/equipment in general
  • Attitude/paradigm shifts

*These suggestions are provided by:

Educators Anxiety

Another suggestion that is useful for this technology anxiety issue is this:

The intermingling of games such as Civilization and World of Warcraft in order to teach civilization courses on the aspects of peoples like Aztecs, Romans, and Mongols

Media Merging


Generation Y vs. Generation X

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2011 by diamondintherough25

A Millennialist (otherwise known as Generation Y) is anyone born after 1980. They are characterized as being extremely tech savvy- they are more knowledgeable about  the internet and computers than their parents as well as their teachers. This knowledge contributes to the way that families contact and keep in touch with each other, as well as how young people learn in the classroom (Julie Coates).

According to NAS Insights, other characteristics of the Millennialist include:

  • Adapatability
  • Ability to grasp new concepts
  • Good at multi-tasking
  • Tolerant

In addition to the above pros, Millennialists also possess cons/ undesirable traits. Some of these are listed below:

  • Impatient
  • Blunt and Expressive
  • Skeptical

Sometimes referred to as the “Lost Generation”, the Generation Xer is the group of individuals who were born in the generational period directly before Millennialist (they were born between 1965 and 1980) and are generally individualistic and were often raised in homes where their parents were workaholics. Children raised during this time period are often referred to as “Latch Key Kids” (NAS 2006).

Some claim that Generation Y will become just like the “Lost Generation”, they say that they will experience many hardships such as divorce and the mistakes of this previous generation will repeat onto them  like a curse. In retaliation against these claims, AARP sponsored this message:

The Evolution of Teaching/Classroom Technology

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2011 by diamondintherough25

Through the years of teaching, educators have been utilizing various means of teaching methods. Technology in the realm of education has truly come a long way. The following timeline depicts the evolution on teaching methods, stretching back all the the way  from 1650:

The Evolution of Classroom Technology
Classrooms have come a long way. There’s been an exponential growth in educational technology advancement over the past few years. From overhead projectors to iPads, it’s important to understand not only what’s coming next but also where it all started.

We’ve certainly come a long way but some things seem hauntingly similar to many years ago. For example, Thomas Edison said in 1925 that “books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.” I’m pretty sure this is exactly what people are saying these days about the iPad.

Also in 1925, there were “schools of the air” that delivered lessons to millions of students simultaneously. Scroll down to find out how that worked (hint: it wasn’t by using the Internet!)

Here’s a brief look at the evolution of classroom technology. Do you have a piece of technology that you think should be included? Tweet @edudemic or let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to add it to the timeline! **Updated to include items suggested int he comments! Videotapes, Pens, Copiers, and more!**


Wooden paddles with printed lessons were popular in the colonial era. Perhaps this is where fraternities got the idea? On the paper there was usually the alphabet and a religious verse which children would copy to help them learn how to write.

C. 1850 – 1870 – FERULE

This is a pointer and also a corporal punishment device. Seems like both this and the Horn-Book had dual purposes in terms of ‘educating’ the youths of that era.


The precursor to a slide projector, the ‘magic lantern’ projected images printed on glass plates and showed them in darkened rooms to students. By the end of World War I, Chicago’s public school system had roughly 8,000 lantern slides.


Used throughout the 19th century in nearly all classrooms, a Boston school superintendent in 1870 described the slate as being “if the result of the work should, at any time, be found infelicitous, a sponge will readily banish from the slate all disheartening recollections, and leave it free for new attempts.’


Still going strong to this day, the chalkboard is one of the biggest inventions in terms of educational technology.

C. 1900 – PENCIL

Just like the chalkboard, the pencil is also found in basically all classrooms in the U.S. In the late 19th century, mass-produced paper and pencils became more readily available and pencils eventually replaced the school slate.


At the turn of the century, the Keystone View Company began to market stereoscopes which are basically three-dimensional viewing tools that were popular in homes as a source of entertainment. Keystone View Company marketed these stereoscopes to schools and created hundreds of images that were meant to be used to illustrate points made during lectures.


Similar to the motion-picture projector, Thomas Edison predicted that, thanks to the invention of projected images, “books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.”

C. 1925 – RADIO

New York City’s Board of Education was actually the first organization to send lessons to schools through a radio station. Over the next couple of decades, “schools of the air” began broadcasting programs to millions of American students.


Initially used by the U.S. military for training purposes in World War II, overhead projectors quickly spread to schools and other organizations around the country.


While it was originally invented in 1888, it was not until 1940 that the ballpoint pen started to gain worldwide recognition as being a useful tool in the classroom and life in general. The first ballpoint pens went on sale at Gimbels department store in New York City on 29 October 1945 for US$9.75 each. This pen was widely known as the rocket in the U.S. into the late 1950s.


Surviving into the Xerox age, the mimeograph made copies by being hand-cranked. Makes you appreciate your current copier at least a little bit now, huh?


Thanks to theories that students could learn lessons through repeated drills and repetition (and repeated repetition) schools began to install listening stations that used headphones and audio tapes. Most were used in what were dubbed ‘language labs’ and this practice is still in use today, except now computers are used instead of audio tapes.

C. 1950 – SLIDE RULE

William Oughtred and others developed the slide rule in the 17th century based on the emerging work on logarithms by John Napier. Before the advent of the pocket calculator, it was the most commonly used calculation tool in science and engineering. The use of slide rules continued to grow through the 1950s and 1960s even as digital computing devices were being gradually introduced; but around 1974 the electronic scientific calculator made it largely obsolete and most suppliers left the business.


What would school be without videotapes? (Thanks to Jaume in the comments for reminding me about this one!) The electronics division of entertainer Bing Crosby’s production company, Bing Crosby Enterprises (BCE), gave the world’s first demonstration of a videotape recording in Los Angeles on November 11, 1951. Developed by John T. Mullin and Wayne R. Johnson since 1950, the device gave what were described as “blurred and indistinct” images, using a modified Ampex 200 tape recorder and standard quarter-inch (0.6 cm) audio tape moving at 360 inches (9.1 m) per second. A year later, an improved version, using one-inch (2.6 cm) magnetic tape, was shown to the press, who reportedly expressed amazement at the quality of the images, although they had a “persistent grainy quality that looked like a worn motion picture”.


With an adjustable metal bar that helped students tamp down a page, the reading accelerator was a simple device designed to help students read more efficiently. Personally, this looks like a torture device and is probably the least portable thing to bring along with a book. Is turning the page of a book or holding a book really that difficult?


B. F. Skinner, a behavioral scientist, developed a series of devices that allowed a student to proceed at his or her own pace through a regimented program of instruction.


By the early sixties, there were more than 50 channels of TV which included educational programming that aired across the country.


Xerographic office photocopying was introduced by Xerox in 1959, and it gradually replaced copies made by Verifax, Photostat, carbon paper, mimeograph machines, and other duplicating machines. The prevalence of its use is one of the factors that prevented the development of the paperless office heralded early in the digital revolution[citation needed].Photocopying is widely used in business, education, and government. There have been many predictions that photocopiers will eventually become obsolete as information workers continue to increase their digital document creation and distribution, and rely less on distributing actual pieces of paper.


A secretary made this white liquid in her kitchen and sold the company to Gillette for about $50 million. The rest is (redacted) history!


A precursor to the iPad perhaps, this filmstrip viewer is a simple way to allow individual students watch filmstrips at their own pace.


The predecessor of the much-loved and much-used TI-83, this calculator paved the way for the calculators used today. There were initial concerns however as teachers were slow to adopt them for fear they would undermine the learning of basic skills.


The Scantron Corporation removed the need for grading multiple-choice exams. The Scantron machines were free to use but the company made money by charging for their proprietary grading forms. Sneaky stuff.


Personal note: I love the two-tone outfit.

Public schools in the U.S. averaged about one computer for every 92 students in 1984. The Plato was one of the most-used early computers to gain a foothold in the education market. Currently, there is about one computer for every 4 students.


A single CD could store an entire encyclopedia plus video and audio. The CD-ROM and eventually the CD-RW paved the way for flash drives and easy personal storage.


The successor to the hand-held calculator (see above), the graphing calculator made far more advanced math much easier as it let you plot out points, do long equations, and play ‘Snake’ as a game when you got bored in class.


The chalkboard got a facelift with the whiteboard. That got turned into a more interactive system that uses a touch-sensitive white screen, a projector, and a computer. Still getting slowly rolled out to classrooms right now, betcha didn’t know they were first around in 1999! (I didn’t know that, at least)


There are many similar tools available now, but iClicker was one of the first to allow teachers to be able to quickly poll students and get results in real time.

2006 – XO LAPTOP

The ‘One Laptop Per Child’ computer was built so it was durable and cheap enough to sell or donate to developing countries. It’s an incredible machine that works well in sunlight, is waterproof, and much more. Learn more.


Just like the original school slate, could the iPad bring Thomas Edison’s statement to life? Could the iPad make it so “scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.” Only time will tell.

Source(s): New York TimesHistory of ThingsWikipedia


Do you have a piece of technology that you think should be included? Tweet @edudemic or let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to add it to the timeline!

“Kids Growing Up online”

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5, 2011 by diamondintherough25

The issue of a variety of problems educators face when teaching this generation of students is conveyed in an edition of  FRONTLINE PBS that aired on January 22, 2008. FRONTLINE investigated that there are educators who have difficulties teaching a generation of students who don’t read books or newspapers. A school principle said “We can’t possibly expect the learner of today to be engrossed by someone who speaks in a monotone voice  with a piece of chalk in their hand”.

When interviewed for this FRONTLINE documentary, Social Studies teacher Steve Maher shared: “We almost have to be entertainers…They consume so much media. We have to cut through that cloud of information around them , cut through that media, and capture their attention”.

*For more information on this documentary, please follow the  link below: