Category Archives: Weekly Reflection 4

THE SESAME WAY

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Hello ECI833,

As a student and a teacher, I have always been inspired by the quote “Education is not the answer to the question. Education is the means to the answer to all questions.” I have been fortunate to see the shift from the traditional idea of schooling, where I sat in front of a teacher in a room seeing her lecturing to the students who were sitting in a well-organized row, to a whole different format of online education. But now, we must acknowledge the fact that the educational landscape is forever changed and thanks to the various formats of technology. Talking about Sesame Street who knew that today in our class we will be discussing Sesame Street? and the value of educational TV shows? At least I didn’t.

Let me start by applauding our classmates Michael, Joe, Sam, and Kyla M for their excellent and well-organized presentation. I must say that they really took us back in time and brought us back. Today we touch base on the history of audio/visual technology and its Impact on education. We witnessed how we transcended from blackboard based instructional setup to technology-based education. As educators in this digital age, we have access to various technological devices to aid our instruction. Integration of technology into the classroom has definitely changed how we teach and how our students learn. However, before the progression of technology within schools, many us learned through watching educational television shows. The notion of promoting education via television was one of the best things which had happened and sesame street is a good example of it.

A television show like “Sesame Street,” introduced what I call a “unique way of learning” in those days and I must say that it definitely posed challenges to educators and school, just like how the current culture of smartphones and the push towards BYOD are posing challenges to us and I think this is exactly what the Postman meant when he wrote “…We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if the school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.”. The whole idea behind watching educational television shows was so that our children might learn while being entertained and Even today we make use of educational videos in our classrooms which is both educative and entertaining to aid our instruction but never to replace formal education. In a way, I think that even though Sesame Street was a change that was really required I do think that it undermines the traditional idea of how students learn at school.

Technology and digital media are altering the meaning of the current format of schooling and creating new challenges for teaching and learning. The concept of AV technologies and open education has revolutionized the field of education; it has replaced the traditional classroom and made education accessible to all. Personalized devices and tools like YouTube, Khan Academy have further enriched the notion of educational technology and has significantly changed the educational landscape. The article Advantages challenges encountered and attitude of teachers in utilizing multimedia in the classroom provided by the presentation team showcases as the best example of the advantages of technology and challenges encountered by teachers. There is no doubt that technology is a very helpful tool for learning and it is also important for us as educators to adapt our teaching practices and integrate the available technology so that the core idea of our profession is best served.  Hamming said it right in her blog post that we cannot be lazy teachers anymore and we should always keep an eye to what is new. Technology is here to stay and we have no other choice than shake hands with it and get the most out of it in a positive and a productive way.

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Education today is drastically evolving and so are our students. Today’s children are budding up in a digital world and technological tools have integrated as a prominent part of our youth and it offers an ocean of resources for both students and teachers in learning and interactivity, there is no doubt that student and teachers benefit using them but in the same way it poses some concerns too. What are your thoughts and concerns about educational technology? and do you think Technology Will Replace Teachers?

In this constantly changing and evolving of teaching and learning, educators are always on the run from traditional schooling to a new means of education model. As teachers, we are constantly exposed to new means of instruction, the new rights ways and wrong, new device, and new technology is always eager to teach the teachers and in most circumstances, I believe it is for good.

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A MAGIC TURTLE CALLED LOGO……

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Hello ECI833!

This week class was one of the most memorable class for me and thanks to the magic turtle which took me back to my primary and secondary schooling, undergraduate days and refreshed my old memories of coding. Before taking up mathematics as a major in my masters, I was a computer science student in my undergraduate days and coding was all I used to do for those three years of study and thanks to the magic turtle which laid a strong foundation for me. For those who are not familiar with the magic turtle called Logo, its simple and I bet you would learn this in maybe 30 minutes. It is all about giving a command to the turtle who incidentally carries a pen to move around and draw whatever you wish to draw. You can make the turtle move forward, backward and turn left or right. This adorable turtle is so obedient that it traces out all the moves you want it to make and there you go by the end of the steps you have your desired image or shapes on the computer screen.

I still can remember my school days when I was 10 or 11 years old and that was when I was introduced to Logo and boy! I was so excited. I was not excited because I was about to learn to code but I was excited just to see a turtle on my computer screen and the fact that it could move according to my wish was a mind-blowing experience and maybe I can’t express those feelings in words. I could make it move up and down, to right and left and trace line along its movement. Once I was quite comfortable with making the turtle move according to my wish, I started drawing objects, I learned various functions and procedures and by no time and without my knowledge I was introduced to the world of computer science and mathematics. The real meaning of discovery learning or constructivism was introduced to me by Logo and Today I hold a

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bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a master’s degree in Mathematics and heading towards another master’s degree in Education. After my school days, I never used logo again but the value I learned out of it was the foundation for my further studies. I learned to model things to reality and developed problem-solving skills; eventually moved up to various mathematical concepts. I was introduced to the world of geometry and Arithmetic with a best possible way and maybe the theoretical ways of explaining the same concept would have turned out to be a disaster for me.

I couldn’t agree more with my classmate Daniel when he states in his blog post that Logo programming language is an excellent framework for learning “how to think” in the world of problem-solving. I believe that the Logo philosophy of education is best described as Constructivism and the best way for discovery learning. For a child, it’s the best tool where they learn by modeling reality which is both exciting and appealing. It enhances their mathematical skills and deepens understanding, creative thinking. Constructive play can be rightly introduced by the process of tracing lines, painting, creating blocks and objects. The best part is that the child does not have to think about creating things but as they learn to use it, they create and discover and Thus Constructive learning happens which directly relates to Papert’s theory of constructionism. The Constructionist learning says that it happens when learners construct mental models to understand the world around them and that was how I learned mathematics and was introduced to the world of numbers. My imagination grew and so did my interest towards participation in project-based learning. I learned to make connections and the best part was, for learning the basics of mathematics I never had to listen to lectures and the credit goes to Seymour Papert, Thank you.

 

 

 

LEARNING THEORIES: MY CHANGING TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

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Hello ECI833,

I am a Mathematics teacher and have always been fascinated, proud of my profession and I must say that my teaching philosophy has changed significantly in many stages since I began teaching in 2010. For this week’s blog post we were given a task to analyze the knowledge and learning to underpin our own teaching philosophy and classroom practice; These theories are Behaviourism, Cognitivism, Connectivism, and Constructivism. According to academics, scholars and instructive experts, fruitful education takes place through a practice of investigation in the classroom because learning can take place in many ways. Even though academics or scholars may not always agree with each other’s methodology of how effective learning can take place, they all comprehend that explicit teaching needs to be considered and enabled in order for effective learning to take place.

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As stated above I was fascinated about a teaching profession and when I left the university to become a teacher, I was excited and fully energized with a goal to guide my students in the path of a new learning experience. I was in an assumption that students would be naturally motivated as I was, and they would be learning in different ways. I thought that Inquiry and equitability will be the base of my teaching practice where I will design an experiential learning strategy and my students will be benefitted with a new breeze of the learning experience. I believe that my teaching practice would reflect the theories of Cognitivism and Behaviorism. But my thoughts and dreams were short-lived, just like Haiming states in her blog post, I noticed that every student construct knowledge from both their experience and their interaction in the social environment. It didn’t take me long to realized that my students came to my class with different personalities and background, where I had to act more than a teacher. Teaching was not the only the task I had to perform and sometimes I had to act in multiple roles. The lack of real classroom experience affected me because I started

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teaching straight out of university and my approach to instruction was very organized. Every topic and chapter for the day involved a precise method which was encompassed with instruction, an activity, and an assignment. Even though I started my career with a thought if inquiry-based learning principle, I slowly realized that I was basically following a traditional practice and this did not prove to be effective. As I progressed gradually in my career, I adopted new and distinct teaching strategies which would fit the need of the individual student and I witnessed that my teaching had transitioned from Cognitivism and Behaviourism to constructivism and connectivism. I started to realize that my students were understanding the concept in a much clearer way. I used to plan every chapter and each topic in such a way where every student had multiple ways to learn each topic. Mathematics class is considered one of the boring and disliked session and the more I talk to my students about math, the more I used to hear these words: “I don’t like math, because math problems have only one answer. I’m really bad at math how can I get better but things turned around and the same math session became an interactive journey of a learning experience.

Finally, with everything that being said, I feel that I might change my teaching philosophy and classroom practice again and I also feel that for every educator instructional practice is never constant and we can’t help but change and teaching can never be constant. There is no one singular learning theory that outperforms the other; each theory has a place, and each theory has its advantages and disadvantages just like not every child learns in the same way, and not every class will be taught in the same way and what are your thoughts about this? and what learning theory do you think finds best for your classroom environment? And will it be constant for every year?

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MY THOUGHTS ON EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY

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Hello ECI833!

Most of us would probably agree to the fact that technology has revolutionized almost every area of life and education sector is no exception. when I reflect on Educational technology my words change and the advantages it has to offer, possibilities are limitless or maybe the sky is the limit.  I believe that technology has so much to offer especially in education and for an educator to get closer to our students and deliver the knowledge effectively and efficiently. This week when we were posed with a question to define educational technology; I was paused and overwhelmed because, how can I define something which is ever changing? Even as I type there is something new. Well, here is my best shot. I think Educational technology is a tool used to facilitate learning and aid in an instruction which will improve, enrich, enhance teaching and student understanding and performance.

I think most of us can undeniable agree that the major drift in the education today has one or the other means of entanglement with technology integration. As schools explore different ways to embed technology into the classroom, educators are trying different methods for effective incorporation that promotes student success and knowledge gain. Technology has provided us and students with many vibrant

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learning tools and these tools are the most adaptable learning tools in the history of education; where our students have immediate access to enormous amount of information which is both informative and collaborative. Technology incorporated in education has many advantages and serves multiple purposes. One of the vital and notable benefits of educational technology is that it improves overall access to education and Assistive technology has gone a step ahead and has become a boon for students with special needs and I believe that it is one of the best forms of assistance in today’s times which is the gift of technology.

I think it is pretty safe to say that digital world has arrived and will continue to flood every part of our lives in the future and education is no exception and as educators, this is the world that we should be preparing students for. Educational technology which is facilitated by direct use of technology or digital tools will be a likely game changer for educators to boost student learning and teaching moments in the

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classroom. Students who will be entering the future workforce will need various skills such as collaboration, tech knowledge, critical thinking, ingenuity, problem-solving etc. and as educators, it is our responsibility in getting them ready for the digital community and digital future. As discussed above Assistive technology will not only be a boon to those special students but has also modernized their system of education. Pritha Paul in her article How Disabled Students Benefit From Assistive Technology In Classrooms explains how technology has modernized the system of education for students with various disabilities, making it easier for them to keep up with academic curriculums and even compete with their peers in classrooms.

Amy Cross blog post reflects my own experience that my understanding of educational technology has definitely been shaped through my own experiences with technology both in my personal and professional life and I couldn’t agree more with her definition for educational technology. I completely agree with Amy and also believe that most of us have definitely experienced both the negative and positive sides of technology and having said that I think that no digital tool is fundamentally evil and every one of us might have a different opinion depending upon the positive and negative experience from the past but the same platform can be used positively, productively and powerfully in many ways.

Finally, I am quite curious to know your personal experience of how educational technology or integration of technology into your classroom has enriched your teaching and learning experience?  If your school is not using technology, why not? That’s all, for now, folks and thanks for stopping by!

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