Future of Education is a Scary Place; Is it Balanced?

{Source: https://www.shoeboxed.com}

Balance, Balance, Balance. Everything should be balanced.

We know that life is not always perfectly balanced but we sure do feel it when we put to much emphasis on one area of our lives and not enough on others. Therefore we have to regroup and adjust. In a time where technology can consume so much of our lives I find it increasingly difficult to find a balance in raising children in a tech filled world. Technology gives us this amazing ability to just shut off the outside world but in doing so what are we giving up? Are we letting our children become unbalanced? Take a moment to think about the time they spend with technology. Does it consume most of their day when they are at home with you? What does their outside time look like? Imaginative or interactive play? How about hands on, messy art projects? Reading time or being read too? Exploration time? We all know how important these areas are in children’s development so my question still begs to be asked, is there a balance? Or are we leaning far to one side and forgetting the importance of the rest. I admit that I fail at times, we become unbalanced, or some days are more towards one side then the other and I see the emotional and behavioral change it causes in my children and myself. In a life that is so busy at times I forget to slow down and balance our lives out.

Excuse the mess, university work was calling… #messyhairhedoesntcare

Here lies my worry for the future of education; will there be a balance?

In the article Future Work Skills 2020 the drivers for change two of the topics caught my attention. The first topic that I saw was the rise of smart machines and systems. Questions that came to the forefront was how much are we willing to give up of our own abilities and capabilities to be co dependent or solely reliant on technology? What does this mean for entry level jobs? Will there be less jobs available overall? Will unemployment continue to rise? We already see the effects of this when we head to Walmart, Superstore, Safeway, Shoppers Drug Mart, with self checkouts. These are jobs that are lost because we as humans can not be inconvenienced with having to wait to purchase our items. Do I appreciate self checkout? Yes. Could I do without them? Yes. I have made observations and a local grocery store who have self checkouts will allow lines to get so long and only have 2 cashier checkouts open. They do not open more cashier lines because they don’t have the people to man them as a result of the convenience of the self checkouts. Job loss due to technology. My last thought that I had with this drive for change was that of laziness. Is allowing for smart machines and systems to do things for us creating a new kind of lazy?

The second driving for change topic that sparked a fire was creating value in social technologies. In creating this value, is there going to be something also created for managing and holding people accountable for things put on social technologies? I am not talking about complete deformation of someone’s character but also the little things, the passive aggressive comments, the things that happen to everyday people that can cause damage. What will the safety and responsibility look like for the victims and perpetrators? We give our students daily reminders of being kind, fixing their mistakes, making things right, but who is going to monitor and how is it going to be monitored?

The article then discussed 10 skills for the future and I honed in on two of them. The first being social intelligence, “Our emotionality and social IQ developed over millennia of living
in groups will continue be one of the vital assets that give human workers a comparative advantage over machines” but how is this going to happen? Kids are losing the ability to have social and emotional connections with people, they are losing the ability to see how their words and actions immediately affect a person because they cannot see the physical discomfort of another person through social medias.

The other skills for the future that caught my attention was the new media literacy. I am left wondering about when will students be taught and become fluent in media literacy, at what grade do we begin? What do we begin with? I believe there may need to be curriculum changes, significant training of teachers & support staff new and old and a whole crap ton of support. Although from reading other classmates blogs, there might have been someone who is looking into this as their major project.

I feel that my post is long but I am not quite done yet… Thanks for holding on

9 Things That Will Shape The Future Of Education” and TEDED articles are the terrifying part for me

A rush of anxiety is what I felt when reading this. I hated it, I hated teaching virtually. I just see students working at their own pace (ha for those who actually could and do not need CONSTANT motivation), it is self guided which almost feels like university classes I have taken in the past. How do children manage this? How do parents manage this? Has the logistics of this been thought through? If so I am really interested to hear it; although I fear that I may leave education if this becomes the norm. I thrive on teaching face to face, my personality likes us to all be together going through a journey and experiencing the ups and downs as a whole, as a family, growing and learning together. The idea of not having a physical space for school my mind cannot understand. We saw what happened when students couldn’t make social connections and their ability to interact became strained, problem solving conflict issues was difficult. If students are struggling mentally we will miss all the physical signs, we won’t “know” our students in the same way we do now. What about children who have special needs and need a inclusion model to learn? I see so many issues, of course I can see some positive but the issues out weigh the positive, it has too. Maybe these changes will occur in the higher levels and not at the elementary level? I don’t know the answers but this makes me sad.

I go back to my question from the very beginning, will there be a balance?


Dipping my Toes into The Major Learning Project

Choosing the option was an easy one: Personal journey into media! I mentioned in my introduction on the first day that I have a teenage daughter who uses certain apps and would like to use others but doesn’t have permission to yet (insert hashtag mean mom) because I do not know how to use them and I want to protect her and be an informed and lets me honest a nosey parent. I also chose this option because I want to explore some apps and programs that would benefit my professional side within the classroom.

Here are my app and program choices so far, just need to narrow them down

Personal Apps:

  1. Instagram- I have it but I don’t really use it, can’t figure parts of it out, haven’t really tried
  2. Snapchat (I use this one but have come to learn there is much more to this app then meets the eye; not just filters).
  3. TikTok– This one scares me, looks like it could be fun, heard it’s a rabbit hole, my daughter wants this one but does not have it, many students talk about and use it. This app I think is high on my list to base part of the project on.

Professional Apps:

  1. Edsby– Our division has implemented the use of Edsby to use for attendance, gradebook, access to student information, report cards, online learning, etc. Because I teach grade 4 I found that using google classroom was easier for my students for online learning, the platform was less intimidating, and is easier to navigate. I feel that if I want to teach the upper elementary grades that learning to use this tool is going to be imperative. Thus it is high on my list here.
  2. Flipgrid– I have heard about it, never used it or looked into it.
  3. Twitter– I am not a Twitter loving fan but I am learning that many division level professionals use it, my school division really likes it and also encourages the use of it by its cliental. Also it is one of the requirements for the class so it would be a good idea to learn how to use it.

Hello EC&I 832! A little About Me

Welcome to my first ever blog! I hope I can do it justice.

Who am I? That is such a great question, I am many things but before all else I am a mom first, to my 2 beautiful children; Hannah and Logan, and a dog mom to two dogs; Trigger and Pope (only Trigger is shown in the top picture because my husband surprised me and brought home our new dog a few weeks ago). I am a wife to my husband Gord; we have been together for 14 years, married for almost 7. We have created quite a life together.

Third I am a teacher! My time as a teacher has been nothing but amazing and full of new experiences. I took my undergrad degree at the University of Regina specializing in Middle Years Education. My first job was right out of the gate; being one of two lead teachers in the Raphael Centre (formally know and the Developmental Centre at St. Michael School in Moose Jaw). In is this position I was surrounded by the most beautiful students with such unique gifts that allowed me to grow significantly in my teaching abilities. Here I had the upmost pleasure in teaching (and learning with) 18 studens who had various severe special needs, was responsible for 10 Educational Assistants (and let me tell you these ladies were amazing!), and 2 of the most nurturing and loving nurses. This is where my love and passion for inclusive education ignited and my desire for advocacy. Realizing quickly that I needed more education if I truly wanted to do my students any justice and I obtained my Certificate in Extended Studies in Inclusive Education from the U of R. I spent half of my career teaching in the center and then went into Early Elementary and taught grade 2; FYI early years teachers you are a true blessing, I don’t know how you do what you do. I taught grade 2 for a couple years and then was on maternity with my son. When returning from maternity I was given the assignment of teaching grade 4 and this is still where I currently am four years later. After being in the mainstream classroom, I have once again realized that the needs of my students continues to require more education and that is why am back at the U of R taking my Master’s today; I want to be a kick a$$ (am I even allowed to say that on a blog?!?) classroom teacher who has a full tool box to help all who enter into my classroom. I have a passion for teaching reading & writing which I am sure you will see throughout my posts in this course. Eventually I want to enter into administration but I know my heart isn’t quite ready for that yet, one day though, and I want to be ready in that area too!