Monthly Archives: September 2016

Experience is Knowledge

Knowledge is said to be shared information, ways of knowing, an accumulation of answers, a sum of one’s experiences, truth and power. Knowledge has many forms of being presented and represented.  As a parent, wife and educator, I believe that personal experiences have a direct correlation with knowledge and the way we see and interact in the world.  Aristotle is someone I was able to make a connection with in regards to knowledge.  He suggests that if we want to know something, we do it through experience in the world.  I value experiences, the experiences that I have had and the experiences that I would like to have in the future.  John Locke also suggests that all knowledge is acquired through experience; that all humans are born with a blank slate – we have no knowledge and it is acquired through experience.  I can relate in some senses with Locke’s belief, however, not in all fashions.  I believe when we are born we have some knowledge. For example, how do newborns know to have sucking reflex and the variety of wonderful things they are able to do at birth.

There are a few different theories that I was able to relate to my own teaching and learning. The theories I found interesting and connected to were those of Jean Lave and George Siemens.  Jean Lave suggested learning happens in the presence of a specific context.  Typically this happens in a community of people who have a common interest of common goal.  I was able to make a connection to Lave’s theory as many of the communities and things I have been a part of always have a common interest of common goals. As an example, we are all in our master’s classes to continue our learning journey, and to become master’s in education.  George Siemens suggests much of what we learn happens in network spaces, creating a network is essential to our learning and when we make connections locally in sets us up for successful learning in the future.  I believe by creating networks and support systems we are able to enhance our learning and be successful individuals within society.

Having the wonderful opportunity to teach in a community school has been a real eye opener for me in some senses. I have learned throughout the years that every child brings a different story, a different experience and all of these things attribute to who they are, how they learn and what they learn.  Sometimes I find myself stepping away from my planned lesson and focusing on a teachable moment that has perhaps been brought to our attention from a shared story or experience.  Although these stories and experiences may not have a direct correlation with the curriculum, they do have value and are of important.  On many occasions I go to work not necessarily to teach the curriculum but to love and care for the children that I work with.  They all require different things in life and this is a result of their lives, backgrounds, experiences and knowledge that they have brought with them.

teaching-1

In my teaching career, I have noticed that many of our students fall under Bandura’s theory of social learning. Bandura suggests behaviour is learned; therefore if an adult is beating up a doll and the students observe this then they want to be like, act, and model the adults.  I often find myself trying to figure out why a student is acting the way they are acting; then I meet the parents and in my mind I say to myself, “Oh I totally see why you are the way you are”.  I have made a conscious effort as a parent and as a teacher to be a positive role model for my child and my students.  I try to model things that I would expect of them and what is acceptable and what is not.  Often times when my child or my students are misbehaving I try to correct the behaviour. As the teacher I find it hard because I can only correct and work at a behaviour at school. The parents need to be on the same page if they would like to see a positive change.

Overall I believe there are many forms of teaching and learning and we need to find what works for us and our students.  Once we have done this we will be able to create an environment where learning can happen in a positive, productive, fun way.


From Letterless Typewriters to Smartphones….

I really enjoyed going back in time and actually pinpointing when and what type of technology impacted me the most. My most memorable and slight addiction to technology began with Ms. Pacman when I was 8 or 9 years old. Whenever I came across it, I would make every effort to play (even to this day) and during two summer vacations at Kenossee Lake, Sask., I spent quite a few hours putting quarters into my favourite video game. When I made it to “The Chase,” I knew I made it far in the game!

mspacmancabinet

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

If I had the option, I would have spent much more time playing video games than I actually did, due to the simple fact that my parents did not buy my brother and I video games. The only time I played them was at a friend’s house. When I had the opportunity to play on an Atari, I went for it!

atari

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The third version of the Atari Video Computer System sold from 1980 to 1982

The only video game found in my house was my brother’s handheld Electronic Quarterback game. Surprisingly enough, this game resurfaced this past summer and it still works. Playing it again brought back quite a few memories! When Alec included this game in his presentation last week, I was probably a little bit too excited:(

football

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Nostalgia aside, one of the most valuable (considering I use it every day) learning experience in high school was taking typing. I remember very little about Computer Science class, but I do know that learning how to type in high school has enabled me to type quickly on computers over the years! Who knew that asdf jkl; would be so important! Learning on a letter less typewriter ensured, “no peeking!” But on the flip side, I had to learn typing without the luxury of “delete” when I made a mistake.

typewriter

Photo Credit: Flickr

As I have been reflecting about my experiences with technology, I am surprised to recall that I did not own a personal computer until 2003 when I finally bought a desktop computer during my first year of teaching. Surprisingly enough, I made it through 6 years of university without my own computer. I spent many hours at my parent’s or friend’s houses in order to complete essays and writing assignments. And yet, my brother saved his money when he started university (late 80s) so he could purchase his own computer for the not so low price of $1999.

For myself, spending that much money was not in my budget or at the top of my list of needs. My brother and I definitely had different outlooks or ‘urgency’ towards technology even though we grew up together in the same house. He was focusing on becoming an Engineer and I wasn’t sure what I would be doing after high school. To this day, our technology tools/toys are quite different. I’ve never owned more than my iphone and Macbook Air, whereas my brother (and his family) have many technology tools (video cameras, video games, go pro, desk top and laptop computers, iwatch, ipads, iphones, etc. Perhaps that explains my initial apprehension when teaching with technology and/or feeling comfortable with the latest trending technology devices.

As I looked back through my technology journey, I found myself watching a few videos about the “Evolution of Technology.” I found it quite interesting and saw more devices and tools that I’d never seen before in comparison to the few I recognized. Enjoy, if you have not watched these yet!

Evolution of the Cell Phone

 

Evolution of the Personal Computer

I am becoming increasingly aware of the differences in my understanding of teaching with technology when comparing myself to my colleagues and classmates. The in-depth insights, range of educational technology tools used in classrooms, and level of ease is certainly diverse. I am continuously amazed and curious about the many facets of educational technology used by the educators that I have come to know through Educational Technology courses. Often times, I feel like I’m out of my league. I try to remember to take a step back and just keep moving forward. I appreciated reading Adam’s blog post stating that,

It is vital to take all the suggestions with a grain of salt and attempt to balance what is truly necessary and what might be more of a hindrance on the practice of my personal teaching practice.

Adam’s statement is very true and something I need to remind myself of more often! Clearly, the videos I shared and the videos all of you #eci833 have shared are evidence of how fast moving technology is and how easy it is to feel overwhelmed with new information, especially after staff meetings or workshops.

My eyes are continuously widening and I learn to look at educational technology through a different lens. Postman’s Five Ideas were intriguing and thought provoking to say the least. His ideas remind me of eci830 where our weekly topics were centered around a topic of debate. It forced each of us to think outside the box more than we likely would have, if we had not been presented with both sides of questions in educational technology. It was very powerful and continuously had me rethinking my initial opinion.

Postman states;

First, that we always pay a price for technology; the greater the technology, the greater the price.

Do we truly think about the price we pay for technology?

 

 


Ed Tech and Today’s Society… How have we changed?

This week I have spent a lot of time contemplating and thinking about how I use Ed Tech, but also the why am I using, or am I using it appropriately.  Check out this weeks post for some insights:

Exploring your personal contemporary understanding of educational technology.

Alec has prompted us to discuss our understanding of educational technology and how I might define what it looks like. When I think about my understanding of ed tech I think about how I use technology within my classroom:
1 - I am using Google Apps For Education,
2 - Through GAFE I incorporate a variety of videos to help supplement and aid in my teaching turning my classroom into a blended learning environment.
3 - I have a few students who are supposed to utilizing Google Read and Write program to aid in their learning. I am learning how to use these tools effectively myself so I can help teach with these tools.
Emerging Ed Tech http://bit.ly/1EAAV42
4 - Calculators within math class

With these as my main tools within my classroom I then look to the SAMR model of how I am utilizing the technology. I feel that I am between the Augmentation and the Modification phase. Over the last couple of years I have been working toward changing my units and lesson plans to function in ways that are more tech friendly and open for students to use their own ideas and tools of choice when creating/developing their assignments.




What might a contemporary definition of educational technology look like?

This question I am not sure I can do it justice to answer it myself... I appreciated the definition, from Molenda's Historical Foundations abstract, of a technological advancement of "applying scientific or other organized knowledge to the attainment of practical ends" (John Kenneth Galbraith 1967). Now in terms of how does that connect to educational technology, well I think that educational technologies are tools used within the classroom (physical or distance) that aid in the learning of the courses curriculum. I know it is a blanket statement, but ed tech is so diverse that it needs a broad encompassing concept to cover the range that is holds.

How has your own understanding of educational technology been shaped (consciously or not) by the rich historical and philosophical contexts?

When looking at the historical and philosophical contexts from this weeks readings I found myself consciously aware of how unconscious I typically am. In Neil Postman's reading from this week I found myself comparing the document that was wrote nearly 20 years ago to what was going on in today's society and found that it spoke more (at least deeper meaning) truths now than it did back when he originally said the speech. From culture paying the price, the winners and losers dilemma, powerful hidden ideals, and finally how ecological technology truly is. None of these are stand alone concepts. Some that I see most current would be how ecological the technologies in the last few years have changed the face of the world, especially how it is changing our cultures so drastically.

Through reading about the hard and soft technologies I found myself connecting to a variety of them and how I use them within my teaching. Obviously the hard technologies are easier to pinpoint and notice that we take more advantage of them frequently. How many times have you reached for your phone today? I know I quit counting on Sunday when it hit 100 by noon, but I'm an NFL fanatic so that's my excuse for Sunday Funday...

In terms of teaching technologies I am frequently using the overhead projector, or my laptop for a variety of things. Today my world came crashing down when my wifi key within my laptop failed and I could not be online anywhere within the school. I had to be hardwired in, in the library. This made me work in a very public work-space where I was trying to evaluate and give feedback on individual student assignments. While doing so I had multiple students come up behind me to see what I was doing. I felt that I had to continually hide my screen for fear of another student see the private comments for another student. Partly I viewed this experience as a huge cultural shift, as when I was a kid if you saw a teacher marking, or they were in their desk, students knew not to bother the teacher, but since I was on my laptop it is natural for students to come see what a person is working on. I see this frequently when people are on their phones. How many times do you catch another person glancing at your phone? As adults we know its inappropriate but at the same time its hard not to see another persons phone when they hold it out for everyone. The use of all these new hard technologies are changing the way we respect boundaries and how we communicate in the face to face on a daily basis.

The soft technologies that I've been thinking of is something similar to the ecological shift that Postman discussed and that I mentioned earlier. The communication shift or the concept of how we are communicating has drastically changed. Alec mentioned how the art of sending a message, specifically from a student to a professor or my experience of a parent to myself (teacher) should have a semblance of formality to them, yet they are beginning to lack simple introductions or salutations. The concept or art of print conversation is being lost very quickly.

My other thoughts around this topic of soft technology have been about the aforementioned SAMR model. Would the concept of the SAMR model be the soft technology that a teacher wanting to implement technology across their curricula be the soft technology we should be aiming for? Are there other concepts? I view this model to be more of a teaching approach than a physical tool, similar to how the "Daily 5" is an approach to literacy. Molenda discussed and described a multitude of the tools many of us have heard of, remember using growing up, or may have taught substantial portions of our careers with, but he mainly talked about the hard technologies. Since Alec has brought up the soft technology piece last week, I have been trying to find the soft technologies that I am using within my daily teaching practice. Let me know if you have any soft technologies you rely on daily.






Ed Tech and Today’s Society… How have we changed?

This week I have spent a lot of time contemplating and thinking about how I use Ed Tech, but also the why am I using, or am I using it appropriately.  Check out this weeks post for some insights:

Exploring your personal contemporary understanding of educational technology.

Alec has prompted us to discuss our understanding of educational technology and how I might define what it looks like. When I think about my understanding of ed tech I think about how I use technology within my classroom:
1 - I am using Google Apps For Education,
2 - Through GAFE I incorporate a variety of videos to help supplement and aid in my teaching turning my classroom into a blended learning environment.
3 - I have a few students who are supposed to utilizing Google Read and Write program to aid in their learning. I am learning how to use these tools effectively myself so I can help teach with these tools.
Emerging Ed Tech http://bit.ly/1EAAV42
4 - Calculators within math class

With these as my main tools within my classroom I then look to the SAMR model of how I am utilizing the technology. I feel that I am between the Augmentation and the Modification phase. Over the last couple of years I have been working toward changing my units and lesson plans to function in ways that are more tech friendly and open for students to use their own ideas and tools of choice when creating/developing their assignments.




What might a contemporary definition of educational technology look like?

This question I am not sure I can do it justice to answer it myself... I appreciated the definition, from Molenda's Historical Foundations abstract, of a technological advancement of "applying scientific or other organized knowledge to the attainment of practical ends" (John Kenneth Galbraith 1967). Now in terms of how does that connect to educational technology, well I think that educational technologies are tools used within the classroom (physical or distance) that aid in the learning of the courses curriculum. I know it is a blanket statement, but ed tech is so diverse that it needs a broad encompassing concept to cover the range that is holds.

How has your own understanding of educational technology been shaped (consciously or not) by the rich historical and philosophical contexts?

When looking at the historical and philosophical contexts from this weeks readings I found myself consciously aware of how unconscious I typically am. In Neil Postman's reading from this week I found myself comparing the document that was wrote nearly 20 years ago to what was going on in today's society and found that it spoke more (at least deeper meaning) truths now than it did back when he originally said the speech. From culture paying the price, the winners and losers dilemma, powerful hidden ideals, and finally how ecological technology truly is. None of these are stand alone concepts. Some that I see most current would be how ecological the technologies in the last few years have changed the face of the world, especially how it is changing our cultures so drastically.

Through reading about the hard and soft technologies I found myself connecting to a variety of them and how I use them within my teaching. Obviously the hard technologies are easier to pinpoint and notice that we take more advantage of them frequently. How many times have you reached for your phone today? I know I quit counting on Sunday when it hit 100 by noon, but I'm an NFL fanatic so that's my excuse for Sunday Funday...

In terms of teaching technologies I am frequently using the overhead projector, or my laptop for a variety of things. Today my world came crashing down when my wifi key within my laptop failed and I could not be online anywhere within the school. I had to be hardwired in, in the library. This made me work in a very public work-space where I was trying to evaluate and give feedback on individual student assignments. While doing so I had multiple students come up behind me to see what I was doing. I felt that I had to continually hide my screen for fear of another student see the private comments for another student. Partly I viewed this experience as a huge cultural shift, as when I was a kid if you saw a teacher marking, or they were in their desk, students knew not to bother the teacher, but since I was on my laptop it is natural for students to come see what a person is working on. I see this frequently when people are on their phones. How many times do you catch another person glancing at your phone? As adults we know its inappropriate but at the same time its hard not to see another persons phone when they hold it out for everyone. The use of all these new hard technologies are changing the way we respect boundaries and how we communicate in the face to face on a daily basis.

The soft technologies that I've been thinking of is something similar to the ecological shift that Postman discussed and that I mentioned earlier. The communication shift or the concept of how we are communicating has drastically changed. Alec mentioned how the art of sending a message, specifically from a student to a professor or my experience of a parent to myself (teacher) should have a semblance of formality to them, yet they are beginning to lack simple introductions or salutations. The concept or art of print conversation is being lost very quickly.

My other thoughts around this topic of soft technology have been about the aforementioned SAMR model. Would the concept of the SAMR model be the soft technology that a teacher wanting to implement technology across their curricula be the soft technology we should be aiming for? Are there other concepts? I view this model to be more of a teaching approach than a physical tool, similar to how the "Daily 5" is an approach to literacy. Molenda discussed and described a multitude of the tools many of us have heard of, remember using growing up, or may have taught substantial portions of our careers with, but he mainly talked about the hard technologies. Since Alec has brought up the soft technology piece last week, I have been trying to find the soft technologies that I am using within my daily teaching practice. Let me know if you have any soft technologies you rely on daily.






Educational Technology Supports Good Teaching!

When I first thought about educational technology I thought about All the Right Type, where enjoyed racing a boat while typing as quickly as I could.  I remember doing research in computer labs in high school.  Learning how to use word processing tools to create and edit Microsoft Word documents.  Being a daughter to a teacher means summer vacations and long drives.  My dad used to take the middle seats out of our van and put a VCR and TV in, so we could sit in the back and watch movies.  Technology was GREAT but it seems crazy that we went to computer labs or that we actually took a TV in the van. Technology fits in our hands now.  A cart can wheel into our classroom.  We can take it outside, to the gym, to the bathroom if we please.

While reading this week I came to realize that while I was thinking of the computer room/lab as the spaces where technology existed in my education.  Technology is really to be thanked for so many more aspects of my educational experiences.  The chalkboard, the projector, laminated posters, the pencil I used, photocopied workbooks,  printed books and textbooks, the list could go on and on.  I have always had access to libraries filled with information.  As technology has evolved I now have access to an online world full of information.  When we think of technology we think of the current, new, and exciting technologies of our time.  This weeks reading Historical foundations stated the following:

“inventor or introducer of the blackboard system deserves to be ranked among the best contributors to learning and science, if not among the greatest benefactors of mankind.”

While technology has evolved some of the most simple technologies help us progress in new ways.  While the blackboard was perhaps first used for writing and copying notes, it now (whiteboard in many cases) can be used to brainstorm and plan with students.  Technology doesn’t teach.  The teacher uses technology as a tool for teaching.  New technology arises.  We now are seeing things such as twitter, smartphones, ipads, and  blogs just to mention a few.  Technology needs to continue to support good teaching not replace teaching.  Educational technology is a tool in which a teacher chooses to use to assist his or her teaching. I personally believe that technology should be used as a means of enhancing learning and engaging students to explore curricular outcomes.

This futuristic classroom shows exactly how technology could be used to enhance learning in the near future.  The teachers utilize technology as a means of enhancing the learning and engaging students with curricular content.  This augmented reality is upon us.  Technology could allow students to virtually interact with their world.  Crazy!  Teachers and pedagogy plays a huge role as technology rapidly changes.

 


Educational Technology In The Life Of Jayme

As the physical education teacher within my school I can admit that I am guilty of using educational technology in my classroom. Last semester’s class with Alec enlightened me to the many possibilities educational technology can have in a regular classroom as well as the other learning environments.  As Alec mentioned last week when discussing Neil Postman’s article, technology often has a trade-off; there is always going to be something good and something bad that comes out of it.  Technology has become a huge part of our everyday lives whether we like it or not, it influences the way we interact, behave and communicate.  There are many educational technology tools that have and continue to be useful in our schools. As we move to a society focusing more and more on technology we see teachers feeling pressured to incorporate technology into their lessons and classrooms.  From my perspective educational technology would be something that assists students learning in an interactive, exciting, out of the norm way.  The use of computers, IPads, smart boards, cell phones, twitter, Facebook and various other applications are all useful learning tools in the classroom.  There are many teachers in our school that create Facebook pages or Twitter pages so parents are able to stay updated on their child’s learning and what is going on in the classroom.  As mentioned, everything has a good and a bad side to it; I think educational technology is beneficial and impactful for the students and the learning environment. However, I do think everyone needs to be aware of boundaries, safety and how to be good digital citizens.  If students and teachers aren’t following the general guidelines for technology use and incorporation into their classrooms, then technology may not be beneficial for the teaching and the learning that is happening in that environment.

When I think back to my own experience growing up, I remember always having some type of technology in the classroom.  We had a projector where the teacher would put up notes and we would copy the notes down.  Maybe not the most effective way of learning, however, material was being delivered in a fashion the teacher felt was appropriate with the tools they had available to them.  I remember in grade 5 we finally got a computer lab and were able to visit it once a week with our computer teacher.  I remember doing All The Right Type and when it came to test time we had to cover our hands with a cardboard box to make sure that we weren’t cheating by looking at the keys.  Thank goodness for that computer class, without it I think I would be finger poking keyboard keys for sure! In grade 12 we had a computer lab, and I had a personal cell phone that was prohibited in classrooms.  As an educator, I often find myself saying “pick your battles”, technology if often one of them.  If my students are able to listen to music and work productively, then why not encourage them to do so.  If they have their cell phone and need it to look something up, create/play kahoot, etc., then why not use it to your advantage.  As a physical education teacher I find it hard to incorporate technology into my classroom. We have 75 minute classes once a week and with each class it is hard enough to get through necessary content let alone introduce a new form of technology.  We also have a lack of funding for technology; even if there was funding, I feel they would devalue the importance of technology in a gymnasium classroom, why would you need it in there? Is it going to get wrecked? I’m sure there would be many reasons why technology would not be good in a gymnasium.  Last semester I was able to look into technology and physical education a little further in depth and there were many resources and applications that could be added into our gymnasium classroom.  Things that would be beneficial for not only the students but for the teacher as well.

There are many varying opinions about educational technology and its uses in our classrooms. Although I am not super tech savvy, I do advocate for it and think technology can benefit our students in many ways.  Society is moving in a more technology driven direction! Why not set our students up for success in the future by introducing it now and teaching them how to be good digital citizens.


ECI 833 Welcome Back

Hi Everyone,

I am excited to be taking yet again another course from Alec.  This is my third course from him and I am on classes 6/7 this semester. In response to his questions this week of

Exploring your personal contemporary understanding of educational technology.

Alec has prompted us to discuss our understanding of educational technology and how I might define what it looks like. When I think about my understanding of ed tech I think about how I use technology within my classroom:
1 - I am using Google Apps For Education,
2 - Through GAFE I incorporate a variety of videos to help supplement and aid in my teaching turning my classroom into a blended learning environment.
3 - I have a few students who are supposed to utilizing Google Read and Write program to aid in their learning. I am learning how to use these tools effectively myself so I can help teach with these tools.
Emerging Ed Tech http://bit.ly/1EAAV42
4 - Calculators within math class

With these as my main tools within my classroom I then look to the SAMR model of how I am utilizing the technology. I feel that I am between the Augmentation and the Modification phase. Over the last couple of years I have been working toward changing my units and lesson plans to function in ways that are more tech friendly and open for students to use their own ideas and tools of choice when creating/developing their assignments.




What might a contemporary definition of educational technology look like?

This question I am not sure I can do it justice to answer it myself... I appreciated the definition, from Molenda's Historical Foundations abstract, of a technological advancement of "applying scientific or other organized knowledge to the attainment of practical ends" (John Kenneth Galbraith 1967). Now in terms of how does that connect to educational technology, well I think that educational technologies are tools used within the classroom (physical or distance) that aid in the learning of the courses curriculum. I know it is a blanket statement, but ed tech is so diverse that it needs a broad encompassing concept to cover the range that is holds.


How has your own understanding of educational technology been shaped (consciously or not) by the rich historical and philosophical contexts?

When looking at the historical and philosophical contexts from this weeks readings I found myself consciously aware of how unconscious I typically am. In Neil Postman's reading from this week I found myself comparing the document that was wrote nearly 20 years ago to what was going on in today's society and found that it spoke more (at least deeper meaning) truths now than it did back when he originally said the speech. From culture paying the price, the winners and losers dilemma, powerful hidden ideals, and finally how ecological technology truly is. None of these are stand alone concepts. Some that I see most current would be how ecological the technologies in the last few years have changed the face of the world, especially how it is changing our cultures so drastically.

Through reading about the hard and soft technologies I found myself connecting to a variety of them and how I use them within my teaching. Obviously the hard technologies are easier to pinpoint and notice that we take more advantage of them frequently. How many times have you reached for your phone today? I know I quit counting on Sunday when it hit 100 by noon, but I'm an NFL fanatic so that's my excuse for Sunday Funday...

In terms of teaching technologies I am frequently using the overhead projector, or my laptop for a variety of things. Today my world came crashing down when my wifi key within my laptop failed and I could not be online anywhere within the school. I had to be hardwired in, in the library. This made me work in a very public work-space where I was trying to evaluate and give feedback on individual student assignments. While doing so I had multiple students come up behind me to see what I was doing. I felt that I had to continually hide my screen for fear of another student see the private comments for another student. Partly I viewed this experience as a huge cultural shift, as when I was a kid if you saw a teacher marking, or they were in their desk, students knew not to bother the teacher, but since I was on my laptop it is natural for students to come see what a person is working on. I see this frequently when people are on their phones. How many times do you catch another person glancing at your phone? As adults we know its inappropriate but at the same time its hard not to see another persons phone when they hold it out for everyone. The use of all these new hard technologies are changing the way we respect boundaries and how we communicate in the face to face on a daily basis.

The soft technologies that I've been thinking of is something similar to the ecological shift that Postman discussed and that I mentioned earlier. The communication shift or the concept of how we are communicating has drastically changed. Alec mentioned how the art of sending a message, specifically from a student to a professor or my experience of a parent to myself (teacher) should have a semblance of formality to them, yet they are beginning to lack simple introductions or salutations. The concept or art of print conversation is being lost very quickly.

My other thoughts around this topic of soft technology have been about the aforementioned SAMR model. Would the concept of the SAMR model be the soft technology that a teacher wanting to implement technology across their curricula be the soft technology we should be aiming for? Are there other concepts? I view this model to be more of a teaching approach than a physical tool, similar to how the "Daily 5" is an approach to literacy. Molenda discussed and described a multitude of the tools many of us have heard of, remember using growing up, or may have taught substantial portions of our careers with, but he mainly talked about the hard technologies. Since Alec has brought up the soft technology piece last week, I have been trying to find the soft technologies that I am using within my daily teaching practice. Let me know if you have any soft technologies you rely on daily.







ECI 833 Welcome Back

Hi Everyone,

I am excited to be taking yet again another course from Alec.  This is my third course from him and I am on classes 6/7 this semester. In response to his questions this week of

Exploring your personal contemporary understanding of educational technology.

Alec has prompted us to discuss our understanding of educational technology and how I might define what it looks like. When I think about my understanding of ed tech I think about how I use technology within my classroom:
1 - I am using Google Apps For Education,
2 - Through GAFE I incorporate a variety of videos to help supplement and aid in my teaching turning my classroom into a blended learning environment.
3 - I have a few students who are supposed to utilizing Google Read and Write program to aid in their learning. I am learning how to use these tools effectively myself so I can help teach with these tools.
Emerging Ed Tech http://bit.ly/1EAAV42
4 - Calculators within math class

With these as my main tools within my classroom I then look to the SAMR model of how I am utilizing the technology. I feel that I am between the Augmentation and the Modification phase. Over the last couple of years I have been working toward changing my units and lesson plans to function in ways that are more tech friendly and open for students to use their own ideas and tools of choice when creating/developing their assignments.




What might a contemporary definition of educational technology look like?

This question I am not sure I can do it justice to answer it myself... I appreciated the definition, from Molenda's Historical Foundations abstract, of a technological advancement of "applying scientific or other organized knowledge to the attainment of practical ends" (John Kenneth Galbraith 1967). Now in terms of how does that connect to educational technology, well I think that educational technologies are tools used within the classroom (physical or distance) that aid in the learning of the courses curriculum. I know it is a blanket statement, but ed tech is so diverse that it needs a broad encompassing concept to cover the range that is holds.


How has your own understanding of educational technology been shaped (consciously or not) by the rich historical and philosophical contexts?

When looking at the historical and philosophical contexts from this weeks readings I found myself consciously aware of how unconscious I typically am. In Neil Postman's reading from this week I found myself comparing the document that was wrote nearly 20 years ago to what was going on in today's society and found that it spoke more (at least deeper meaning) truths now than it did back when he originally said the speech. From culture paying the price, the winners and losers dilemma, powerful hidden ideals, and finally how ecological technology truly is. None of these are stand alone concepts. Some that I see most current would be how ecological the technologies in the last few years have changed the face of the world, especially how it is changing our cultures so drastically.

Through reading about the hard and soft technologies I found myself connecting to a variety of them and how I use them within my teaching. Obviously the hard technologies are easier to pinpoint and notice that we take more advantage of them frequently. How many times have you reached for your phone today? I know I quit counting on Sunday when it hit 100 by noon, but I'm an NFL fanatic so that's my excuse for Sunday Funday...

In terms of teaching technologies I am frequently using the overhead projector, or my laptop for a variety of things. Today my world came crashing down when my wifi key within my laptop failed and I could not be online anywhere within the school. I had to be hardwired in, in the library. This made me work in a very public work-space where I was trying to evaluate and give feedback on individual student assignments. While doing so I had multiple students come up behind me to see what I was doing. I felt that I had to continually hide my screen for fear of another student see the private comments for another student. Partly I viewed this experience as a huge cultural shift, as when I was a kid if you saw a teacher marking, or they were in their desk, students knew not to bother the teacher, but since I was on my laptop it is natural for students to come see what a person is working on. I see this frequently when people are on their phones. How many times do you catch another person glancing at your phone? As adults we know its inappropriate but at the same time its hard not to see another persons phone when they hold it out for everyone. The use of all these new hard technologies are changing the way we respect boundaries and how we communicate in the face to face on a daily basis.

The soft technologies that I've been thinking of is something similar to the ecological shift that Postman discussed and that I mentioned earlier. The communication shift or the concept of how we are communicating has drastically changed. Alec mentioned how the art of sending a message, specifically from a student to a professor or my experience of a parent to myself (teacher) should have a semblance of formality to them, yet they are beginning to lack simple introductions or salutations. The concept or art of print conversation is being lost very quickly.

My other thoughts around this topic of soft technology have been about the aforementioned SAMR model. Would the concept of the SAMR model be the soft technology that a teacher wanting to implement technology across their curricula be the soft technology we should be aiming for? Are there other concepts? I view this model to be more of a teaching approach than a physical tool, similar to how the "Daily 5" is an approach to literacy. Molenda discussed and described a multitude of the tools many of us have heard of, remember using growing up, or may have taught substantial portions of our careers with, but he mainly talked about the hard technologies. Since Alec has brought up the soft technology piece last week, I have been trying to find the soft technologies that I am using within my daily teaching practice. Let me know if you have any soft technologies you rely on daily.