Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Module 6 - Learning in a Digital World

Being a fellow "techy", I can definitely say that technology has had a vital impact on my life and my education.  Sitting in class hearing a lecture is often difficult to me because I become bored easily and lose interest.  During my third year of college, I discovered distance education and changed up my way of learning completely.  I began checking for my required courses and seeing if distance education was an option.  When it was, those sections were the ones that I chose.  I wasn’t a fan of having to watch videos and what not, so once I was able to work with an interface such as BlackBoard and WebCT, I was sold that distance education was definitely the way to go for me.  My life is very busy, so having the power to interact and get the same end result with an online environment helps me meet my needs without being stressed with cramming travel to and from campus into my schedule.

When it comes to education, I think that working collaboratively with groups should be a requirement.  It allows students to interact with others, gain new perspectives on particular topics and also creates a better understanding through courses.  Another plus to having students collaborate is that it is very relatable to the real world since we constantly have to interact at work and throughout our everyday lives.  Through teaching and learning I have also learned the importance of pacing and setting deadlines.  This allows the student and the teacher to progress through the curriculum smoothly and prevents a huge back up of assignments at the end of the course.  I have seen the importance of connectivism lately in my course work thanks to networking with others through social media and other mediums.  I have been able to learn many new things from connecting with others and have found that I can often talk with other classmates to get answers rather than having to contact the instructor in many cases.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Module 5 - New Technologies

When I first began working in the field of education, SMART Boards were the newest thing and I was fortunate enough to be one of the first teachers on our campus to get one.  We were trained hands on with this new device and were expected to use it daily in our classrooms.  Many of the teachers, however, did not utilize this equipment when they were able to get one in their classroom and it was instead just taking up space in a corner. 

It was disappointing because there were many other teachers who wanted to have the equipment that others weren’t using and in many instances they could not get them.  The teachers felt that they could do the same thing with their traditional white or even chalk boards that could be done.  They were accustomed to using something old and close minded about trying something new.  Whenever someone asked about getting the equipment from them, many were hesitant or insistent on keeping the equipment in case they would use it “eventually”. 

Using the ARCS model, teachers could be encouraged to pay attention to how others were using SMART Boards so they can possibly implement some of the same strategies in their own classrooms.  Relevance can be used in this way also by seeing who on the grade level or subject area was using the boards, or through finding information on ways that the SMART Board could help drive instruction.  Confidence can be built by allowing teachers opportunities to practice using the technology before having to do so with their students.  Teachers could gain more satisfaction with the technology by having the support and training available to them that they feel they need.