Sunday, March 10, 2013

C4T #2

The teacher I was assigned is Beth Knittle. The name of her blog is Beth's Thoughts On Technology in the Classroom. Her blog focuses on education, technology, and learning. The link is Her twitter address is @bknittle. She lives on Cape Cod, MA. About 7 years ago, she abandoned teaching middle school science after 19 years to become the sole K-12 Technology Integration Specialist for a farily big district. Her latest post is as follows: 

Happy Birthday Copernicus

Yesterday Google had a doodle for Copernicus on the occasion of his 540th birthday. There have been many pioneers in science that have challenged current thought and understanding. Copernicus challenged the Earth centered view of the universe and gave us the Sun centered view. He was not correct but based on the evidence he had he came up with a new idea.  He stuck to the evidence and conventional wisdom and gave us the modern science of astronomy. The same could be said for many scientific ideas.  With the advent of new information and new technologies what we thought we knew and understood changes. In science nothing is ever really settled, particularly large and complex systems.
Think about the quest for the elements and the smallest particle of matter.  Once upon a time the smallest particle was an atom, then we split the atom and found Neutron, Electrons and Protons.  Since then we have broken these down into quarks. The ‘facts’ and ‘truth’ for one generation are just steps to the ‘facts’ of the next.  I am thankful for all the scientists who continue to question, challenge, test and explore current theories and seek to find new frontiers of knowledge.  Critical, reflective thinking at its best.
My name is Laura Carpenter and I’m a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. Your blog was assigned for me to read. I’m an Elementary Education major. I’m minoring in English, but I have always taken a special interest in science. I remember studying about Copernicus and his discovery of the Sun centered universe. I agree that in the world of science nothing is ever really settled. There is constant research going on that is always bringing about new ideas. I am also thankful for the continuous work of scientists who question,test and explore current theories.
Laura Carpenter

This is the comment I received back: Hi Laura,
Questioning is a skill that should be encouraged in all disciplines. As an elementary educator you are aware that children are innately curious and ask lots of questions. Why? How come? What is that? A parent of a toddler can be come exhausted by all the questions. But some how as children enter adolescents their curiosity subsides. As A middle school teacher I frequently heard “just tell me what I need to know.” I could tell them complete fibs and they would dutifully write it down. Sadly the curious, questioning nature does not return. So I encourage you to foster that curious nature in your students and model it for the adults around you.
I agree with Ms. Knittle that it is important to foster the curious nature that young students possess. 

Is There a Lack of Computer Science in High School?
By: Beth Knittle

In this post Ms. Knittle begins by describing how she is beginning to examine her son's post- high school life. She greatly admires the school which he attends. Her daughter also attended this school and has remarked that she felt more prepared for college than her fellow freshmen. She points out that her son's passions are computers, math and gaming. As Ms. Knittle and her son have started looking into schools that offer computer science and mathematics programs, she has discovered that many schools ask that he complete such course work in high school. The problem they have run into is that his high school does not offer these types of courses. She explains that they are now looking into her son taking an online class or attending a class a a community college. She sees him gaining this experience as an important aspect because it will allow him to discover if this is really something he wants to pursue and to meet the admission requirements.

In her research she discovered that the need for those in computer science greatly outnumbers those entering the field. She explains that everything from your toaster to your smartphone has some type of computer usage. She points out that although it is a much needed skill, these courses are no longer offered in high schools. She points out that if one of the main purposes for schools is to prepare students for the job market then why aren't these courses offered?

I left the following comment: 

I agree with your thoughts in this post. I remember always hearing the statement “You’re main purpose for being here is so that you will be prepared to enter college and/or the workforce.” The closest course that was offered at my high school to Computer Science was known as Business Essentials. It covered subjects such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Thank you for your resources.

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