While getting into the business of writing a blog I thought I would look into what else is out there. I feel like there is a certain stigma surrounding blogs and their credibility and/or value but from what I have seen people need to get out there and see the kinds of things people others are writing about. A lot of blogs are based in education and experience and therefore a good place to look for alternate opinions, insightful ideas, and new topics of discussion.
The blog that sticks in my mind is called Mind Shift. This blog is edited by Tina Barseghian who, before launching MindShift, served as executive editor for Edutopia from the George Lucas Educational Foundation, blogged for the San Francisco Chronicle, and worked as an editor and freelance journalist for a variety of publications.
Editor: Tina Barseghian
Mind Shift originated from “KQED,” an acronym for the Latin quod erat demonstrandum (“which was to be demonstrated”). They are based in North Carolina and is meant for everyone who wants to be more. They aim to “change lives for the better and help individuals and communities achieve their full potential.” (KQED, 2013)
The slogan that Mind Shift works around is How will we learn. This is what originally drew me in because it is the first blog I encountered that referenced future learning, how things are changing, and how we can adapt. The blog discusses subject matter that is both interesting, informative and backed by scholarly knowledge from academic journals and the like.
One topic they discuss is whether playing video games might help girls do better in math, backing their ideas by the Journal Psychological Science. They propose that “spatial skills [that are necessary for math] are malleable, durable and transferable: that is, spatial skills can be improved by training; these improvements persist over time; and they “transfer” to tasks that are different from the tasks used in the training.” (Mind Shift, 2013)
This topic is particularly interesting in light of the negative connotation the majority of society places on video games. It just goes to show, there are two sides to everything. Perhaps as an ECE I should think about how I can implement video gaming into the classroom or promote it at home so that girls can work on achieving the level of spatial skills that boys do.
A posting that was recently sent to me is called, How to Help Kids Find Their Aspirations. This post tied in with a discussion in class about Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk about how education kills creativity. In the same sense education or educators/ family kill children’s aspirations. The child who wants to be an artist is told that he can’t do that; he won’t make enough money. The child who wants to be a dancer, won’t make it and should study science instead. In ECE we tend to stifle a child’s need to express their creativity, preferring to stress literacy skills and math skills, although important these may not address the child’s interests. This article focuses on three things that will help children not to lose sight of their dreams; self-worth, engagement, and purpose. A child needs to feel important and involved but also that what they are doing plays a role in achieving their goals. If a child wants to be super man, because super man helps people, then that should be acknowledged. The child could be taught prosocial behaviours as well as about different community members who work hard every day to help those in need; firemen, doctors, nurses, lawyers, etc. If we are not there to help a child realize his or her potential to reach his or her goal we leave it up to the media and outside sources to do so.
Mind Shift also posted quite an interesting article regarding integrating technology into the classroom. On this note I suggest, the following RSAnimate video in which Ken Robinson discusses changing the educational paradigms.
An excellent thought to take out of this talk is that we are “trying to meet the future by doing what [we] did in the past.” Mind Shift reiterates this by saying that in order to be successful students need to learn trust, respect and responsibility for technology. We cannot simply resort to past ways of educating children when the requirements of society have changed so drastically. We cannot simply ignore the fact that we live in the technological age. This is especially difficult when many educators put in the position of using the technology and teaching about technology in the classroom do not know the full capabilities of that technology or feel that technology will decrease their value as educators and do not think it should be incorporated. Author, Matt Levinson, states, “ we are using technology in schools because we believe it can enhance teaching and learning and add depth and complexity to the design of learning experiences for students.” (Mind Shift, 2013) Educators should be constantly researching and keeping up to date on new discussions regarding technology as well as new technologies themselves. Educators must be able to adapt to our ever changing society in order to be able to best prepare their students for their futures.
All in all, I would recommend Mind Shift to anyone looking for an informative, yet interesting source of educational knowledge. In every article I looked at they included a variety of different sources, including authors and scientific journals. They relay information effectively while at the same time peaking your interest and keeping you reading.
Korbey, H. (2013). Teaching respect and responsibility – even to digital natives. In Mind Shift: How will we Learn. Retrieved October 4, 2013, from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/05/teaching-respect-and- responsibility-even-to-digital-natives/.
KQED. (2013). About KQED. In KQED About. Retrieved October 4, 2013, from http://www.kqed.org/about/.
Murphy, A. (2013). Can playing video gams give girls an edge in math?. In Mind Shift: How will we Learn. Retrieved October 4, 2013, From http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/07/can-playing-video-games-give- girls-an-edge-in-math/.
Schwartz, K. (2013). How to help kids find their aspirations. In Mind Shift: How will we Learn. Retrieved October 4, 2013, from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/10/how-to-help-kids-find-their- aspirations/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kqed%2FnHAK+%28MindShift%29.