Asian countries, leaders of technology-US, zero

I have never typed a blog before, but I have something that has been on my mind. I think those around me are tired of listening to me about this so here I am.
I have been taking a technology class for the past 4 months. I have become overwhelmed with the amount of technology out there that students and teachers don't have access to, whether it be from lack of know-how or from not having access to the technology.
We (the education community) have to change how we teach and what we teach. Why are we still teaching spelling when word processing programs have spell check? Why waste the time? It's an outdated skill that is not needed anymore. The time needs to be spent on other activities like using web 2.0 applications to do a number of activities, including reaching other classrooms around the world. If the US doesn't take the initiative to transform our education system, we will lag so far behind that we will never catch up to the rest of the world.
Asian countries are, the "top technological areas" in the world. When are we going to wake up and make the changes we need as a nation to become tech savvy?

http://www.digitaltrends.com/features/why-america-lags-behind-the-w...

Views: 86

Tags: 2.0, Asia, of, technology, vision, web

Comment by Denise Bonovitch on December 6, 2009 at 5:11am
I so agree with you Teresa. We claim to be changing with the times but are we changing with the world out there around us. Our biggest competition is Asia. We need to pay more attention to what and how they approach things. Education is an open door for them. They value it more than we do, unfortunately. Their children are taught the importance of learning and utilize good study habits. Hopefully we will wake up and smell the cappucino.
Comment by Michael Zimmer on December 6, 2009 at 8:39am
Well, in Asian and Indian countries I was under the impression that students are given a test in their 8th grade. If they fail it, they go to a 6 year technical school to focus on a speciality. If they pass it, they go to a 4 year high school in preparation for the University. Anyway verify this? Thanks
Comment by Teresa Bartholomew on December 6, 2009 at 3:39pm
Education varies in each of the Asian countries, I found information about each of them on the wikipedia website. Of course one can not always trust information from this website because people can edit it, but for the most part it is accurate. People who submit info on this site usually reference where they obtained the info. At the bottom of the page is a listing of references that one can go to to receive more information. From what I read in S. Korea they are tested but its not a matter of fail or pass, it goes by their score or strengths.
Comment by Teresa Bartholomew on December 7, 2009 at 10:43am
I was rather hesitant about posting the part about spelling, but it does need to be focused on in the elementary school and vocabulary in middle and high school. Some people are good spellers and some are not. Those that aren't shouldn't have to spend hours a day struggling with it.
I agree that most schools focus on athletics instead of academics. I graduated from the University of Nebraska. Just about all of the grants and money was going to the football team. I hated that while I was there, now not so much because the football team represents our state. I'm sure if the university would draw more attention to debate, drama and other activities, they would get more of the attention that they deserve. I believe the US lacks tech savvy because we are more focused on "who in the US we might hurt" such as the auto makers. They should have changed their focus years ago to smaller or more gas economical cars. I wanted to buy an American car two years ago. What I found out was most US car makers were getting rid of their line of small cars and brought back some of the muscle cars from the 70's. I ended up buying a foreign car because of this. Then what happened, we the people had to bail out the car makers because they were focusing on what a small majority of Americans wanted in a car. Now it seems that we cater to big business instead of what is best for our nation. Other countries have more technology in the palm of their hands than we can even imagine. Educators and the nation need to think more globally. We need to look at the big picture and the future needs of students. Yes, other countries use robots to do a lot of work, but then they are training their students a lot differently than ours. Our focus needs to be on the kind of jobs that the current kindergartners will need when they leave school for the workplace.
Comment by Lisa Mackey on December 7, 2009 at 1:03pm
I cannot spell and suffered through college because of it. Of course, back then, we had type writers and correction tape. My son has the same difficulty but has never experienced a problem because he has been typing all his papers on the computer since he was in the 5th grade. I think that spelling should be taught in the elementary grades because everyone needs the basics but beyond that, we need to concentrate on other aspects. I think that there is a lot of fluff and waisted time in the elementary years. I think that there are electives that can be cut out of all levels of education. I know my son dropped band one year and was stuck in an elective that taught him knitting!!! Talk about a waist of time. I do think that the US needs to revamp the educational system.
Comment by Lisa Mackey on December 7, 2009 at 1:12pm
In reply to Michael's post, I had heard the same thing. I know that when I visited China a few years ago, the competition for jobs was so severe, they had to be a high school graduate to work at McDonalds. I think that separating those who do not want to go to college out and providing technical training is a great idea. It can eliminate a lot of problems in the classroom. I have also heard that Germany has a similar system.
Comment by Teresa Bartholomew on December 9, 2009 at 7:24pm
Thanks for the feedback Lisa its good to know that I'm not out here floundering by myself. You have some very good points and I agree with them. I think our government needs to look at how other countries structure their education. Not to say that they need to copy every country out there, but to pick and choose what works with our schools and see where the problems come from and how to deal with them. There are school systems out there that are doing wonderfully. We need more collaboration with other states and cities to help each other teach to our best ability and to pass that onto the students.

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