Q: Do you feel school is preparing you adequately for your future. Why or why not?
A: Simply put, no. But my opinion was not always so blunt and pessimistic. No, believe it or not there was actually a time where school gave me hope for my future. When I was in elementary and middle school my life was nothing more than ensuring a certain level of academic success, participating in extra-curricular activities and hanging out with friends. Anything outside of those topics I considered a “grown up thing” and something I was sure I would know once I came of age. Fast forward maybe 8 years, I am turning 18 this January and have little to no knowledge about finding work, paying rent or really anything that has to do with a bank. I was always told that if I focused on school and my extracurricular I would be ready to take on the world when I graduated. That planted the idea that success came from mindlessly chasing perfection in academics while being apathetic to everything else I would need in life. I feel like high school especially has that effect on kids. You walk in on your first day of 9th grade and that’s when it hits you “I am technically an adult in four years”. School became more about getting a good grade than actually learning or feeling ready for what lied a head. Even when school tried to teach us valuable social skills like taking responsibility or working in groups, all that really proved was the quality of work you could produce at 2am running on nothing but cold black coffee as well as how you can’t trust anyone to do anything because no one wants to contribute and while you curse their name with every sentence you’re forced to do for them you pray your teacher will mark you all separately. So if life is about implementing the quadratic formula in to everyday tasks then you bet I’m ready. But if at any point in the future I find myself having difficulty trying to understand how mortgages work and the only thing that comes to mind is that a mitochondria is the power house of a cell, well I have school to thank for that.
Q: How do you personally use technology to learn?
A: As I got older my dependency on technology increased greatly to the point where I used technology for a myriad of things in school. One of the simplest forms could be using my phone’s camera to take pictures of friends notes or the teachers lesson. Creating an email and Facebook account in middle school gave me the opportunity to communicate with my teacher and peers outside of class. With google drive and classroom I was able to save and access files across several devices and hand in assignments with out the teacher being present. The internet has obviously eased every aspect of learning from research to unit review. Along with the above examples every course the revolved around technology (ie. computer programming, media art, etc.) has introduced me to new aspects of technology (coding in java) and reinforce any experience I already had (adobe illustrator).
Q: Do classes that use more technology appeal to you? Is it easier for you to learn the content?
A: I feel that it is essential for classes to reach a certain balance between using technology and more traditional methods to learn. Though there are certain aspects of learning that I would have a very difficult time using technology for. Take textbooks for example. I prefer to have a physical book that I can hold and turn pages, this also helps me absorb the information more efficiently. Whenever I am presented with a large body of text on a screen that I must read I have the tendency to skim over it and not want to read it all. Though this may be a bad habit and is condemned by many I write small notes in the margins if textbook as I work through them and even answer questions right on the page. One aspect that I would prefer to use technology for are smart-boards. They are a helpful replacement to chalkboards and allow teachers to access many different resources that they can easily integrate in to there lessons for a more thorough learning experience.
Q: Does it matter to you if a teacher uses technology in class? Why or why not?
A: As I stated above I feel that it is very important for teachers reaches a certain balance between using technology and more conventional methods for teaching. The right technology in proper doses can make for a more immersive and thorough learning experience. On the other hand if a teacher is using technology simply as a substitution for conventional ways of teaching it is easy to see through the fad and notice that the technology really isn’t adding anything to the lesson or assignment and may just be disengaging or distracting to students.
Q: What technology would you like to see teachers use that is not currently being used? Why did you choose that technology?
A: The technology I would like to see in schools are 3D printers. These printers open a world of oppurtunities to students that may have been impossible or very difficult in the past. Printing in 3D provides a tangible element to learning that was once unimaginable. This tool will help students better visual certain aspects of the subject making for a more immersive lesson. Along with teaching, 3D printing gives way to a wide variety of new assignments and porjects to go along with the initial excitement of new technology in the classroom.