Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blog Post #8

Richard Miller: This Is How We Dream

Part 1

Part 2

Richard Miller is a Professor in the English department at Rutgers University.
In his first video he talks about, how he loved books as a child and wanted a career in books. When he was older he did indeed write a book, it was a print based document that eventually ran its course. His book is now out of print but, it can be purchased via electronic download on Amazon. This seems to me, to be a precursor to how things are changing so fast! E-books were not readily available several years ago and now, e-readers are popping up everywhere. I am sure that writers and book publishers of long ago, never thought in a million years paper books would become obsolete.

Multimedia is the newest form of communication and education. And learning how to effectively use the technology available to us is the key to educating students into the twenty-first century. I am sure it won't be long before the passing out of books,paper and pencils will be done much less than it is now, especially at the high school level.

If I was asked right now if I am prepared to write with multimedia, I would have to say no, but I am willing and ready to learn how to do it. I am sure that students are already learning how to do this in some capacity and my future students will probably be a whiz at it before I graduate. But, if they are not, then I will be well prepared to teach them. Educators should want to learn new things, as learning is an on-going activity. It is when you stop wanting to learn something new that will make being an educator obsolete.


The Chipper Series
EDM 310 for Dumies

These videos were awesome! I like that they were put together with actual EDM 310 students. I think the overall message in, "The Chipper Series" was all about putting forth the effort in college to achieve your goals, even when life gets in the way.
"EDM 310 for Dummies" was me all over. I "tried" to take EDM 310 this past summer, and on the first day of class, I became overwhelmed and aggravated because I didn't understand or know how to do all of the assignments that were outlined in the instruction manual. Although this was not the main reason for dropping EDM 310 it came in a very close second for my quick departure. However, this semester I decided that I would take it one day at a time and get my work done and I am so glad I did. Every time I complete an assignment I have this sense of accomplishment and makes me so proud of myself that I didn't let fear get the best of me.

As for a video that I would like to see created would be, "What to do to fail EDM 310"


"If I can do it you can too" in which I would take a movie camera around with me and record all of the different things that go on in my day, raising 7 kids, going to school full time, taking care of a home and husband, working part time and all of the other various activities that go on in our house.

The Secret Powers of Time by Philip Zambardo

Mr. Zambardo talks about how people in today's society live in 6 time zones. 2 focus on the past, 2 on the present, and 2 on the future. Those that focus on the past are past positive or past negative. Those that are present oriented are hedonistic. And those that are future oriented are focused on the future and trust in it. He compares Catholics and protestants and explains that his family comes from Italy. They are part of a movement that wants to cut Italy in half, due to the differences between the north and south. When you have a number of people who share a certain "time" perspective it affects them in very profound ways. Time perspective is how people divide their own experience into partitions and how much time expires while you carry out daily activities. People of different cultures and cities can be put into different paces of life, high or low. He states that, "all people are born present hedonist. The purpose of school is to make present oriented kids into more future oriented students." He says that kids these days are more wired for technology and kids are bored with the traditional ways of teaching. People need to understand the power of technology and use it to educate these kids, whose brains are wired more differently than ours.

How does this video affect the growth in people's education and their drive for success?

The drive for success is not about technology and how we teach or do not teach using it. It is about personal conviction, and the desire to achieve your goals. Whether or not using technology is the focus of a classroom, does not affect the way students perceive their future. Students can be taught in a variety of ways, and although the use of technology is a good way to engage students of this era, it certainly is not the only way. I know that technological skill is a great asset in today's world. But, what are we saying to students in today's society? Are we telling them that if they do not become technologically literate they will not succeed in life or just because someone doesn't know how to work a computer their drive for success is somehow compromised? I am all about technology, I think it is useful today and is becoming more integrated into our educational systems, but I do not think that it should be our primary focus in life.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by David Pink.

This video is all about what motivates us as a society. There was a study done in which students were given a few challenges and the incentive was money offered at 3 levels. If they did well they got a small monetary reward, if the did medium well, then their reward was more than the small monetary reward and if they did really well they were offered a large sum. The end result was not what economists expected. The economist expected that the larger the reward the better the students would do. However, that is not what happened. It was found that students did great at basic tasks but when they were given tasks that required rudimentary cognitive skill the worse they did. They repeated the study with a different set of people and got the same results. Money is a motivator in the work place. If people are not paid enough they wont be motivated, but if you pay people enough they forget about the money and are motivated. Three factors that lead to better performance are: autonomy (self direction), mastery and purpose. By encouraging employees to be self directed, they become engaged and have a purpose for doing their work, which make for happier employess and a better work environment.

I applied this to the educational aspect of things and this is what I came up with. Schools now-a-days are offering all kinds of rewards for good grades and good behavior, which can be a great motivator for kids in the classrooms. But, I do not think it works all of the time. What about little Johnny, who does not score well on his tests but has come a long way in the educational process. At the beginning of the year Little Johnny was falling behind but, by the end of the year his scores improved but they were not well enough to be on the honor roll or be given a certificate. I think that just because a student hasn't made all A's or B's that doesn't necessarily mean that he/she is not deserving of some kind of recognition. All students no matter how big or small the achievement should be rewarded in some kind of positive way.


  1. I also enjoyed Miller's lecture/video; the ideas of what he lays out, and subsequently how those dynamics will affect education, is evidence of the importance of classes like EDM 310. Educators must be prepared to guide students through their journey in this vast wealth of knowledge and instant access.

  2. Hey Kelly. I loved "The Chipper Series" and "EDM310 for Dummies" too. I feel they both held a very important message about the necessities of college. I enjoyed the fact that actual EDM310 students made the videos, as well, because they have actually experienced the class and know what it takes to make it.

    I can definitely see why you felt overwhelmed the first time you tried taking EDM310; that first night of class was a tad scary. But good for you for giving it another shot! Good luck with the rest of the semester.

    Kelsey Robinson

  3. Verybwell done. TimIng is indeed important. We missed you this summer but I think you made the correct decision. Keep up the good work.

    Glad you liked the Chipper series!