Task 1: What do I want to learn about edtech?

Technology is going to have a greater impact on education more and more as the years roll by. It is imperative for a teacher to have the knowledge to use devices/gadgets/websites/apps to better prepare their students for life after school. This is why I feel it necessary to learn the basics and beyond about technology in the classroom. First off,  I think it is essential to close the digital divide. In the two classrooms I have worked in (3rd grade and 6th grade), there have been students who had the latest version of a new phone and students who had obsolete versions of phones. To close the digital divide would not necessitate having a fundraiser to get every student on the newest, most updated form of technology, but rather to find a compatible system/app that works on all versions of their technology. For example, I would love how to show students how to use their cell phones as word processors. Since they (the 6th graders) are on their phone any chance they can get, it would behoove them to have homework where they need to write a few paragraphs using their phones. It is counterproductive to try to get students off their phone as much as possible because they are going to be on them no matter what. I believe it is crucial to find some way to use their personal technology (phone) as a method of learning in school.

I’d also like to explore the realms of collaborating digitally. My former 6th graders would have benefited immensely if they had to make a video on a YouTube channel where they spoke about the ancient Romans, teaching the class through their project. What are some different types of platforms on the web that students can use in order to teach the class about something (other than a PowerPoint)? Also, through learning about different types of platforms, I’d like to talk about “sharing” these projects with the student’s classmates. I am not too keen in online sharing and I think that would be essential to a student project.

I think (as of right now, at least) that the two most important modes of technologies in the classroom would be 1) utilizing the phone and 2) using technology for group projects. I look forward to seeing what other people think are the most important uses of technology in the classroom!

5 Replies to “Task 1: What do I want to learn about edtech?”

  1. I love your idea of students being able to teach others through their technology use and projects. It seems like such a great way for students to be active in the classroom and to participate in their own learning.

    I would also be interested in other platforms besides PowerPoints. Maybe they could teach using Coggle like we played around with in class. One idea, they could create a video and use something like Edpuzzle which allows you to insert questions into videos and do multiple other things. Just an idea! I enjoyed reading your post.

  2. Three worthwhile goals:

    1. Ideas for helping students use BYOD regardless of digital divide
    2. Explore the realms of collaborating digitally.
    3. What are some different types of platforms on the web that students can use in order to teach the class about something (other than a PowerPoint)?

  3. Ryan, we definitely need a brainstorming session about the issue of creative platforms. The problems we are both confronted with are so in sync it’s nuts. For me, I keep coming back to the phrase “dynamic engagement”, but your question touches on the point Hannah posed about consuming versus creating media within the technological landscape. I think we could come up with a few really solid performance-based assessments that could really revitalize how we look at EdTech.

  4. Absolutely – keeping it real and looking for material that is actually valuable to students’ real lives should be at the forefront of our planning.

    You bring up an interesting point about the tech divide. I can’t say I completely agree about the cell phone issue. On one hand, working with what you have, going with the flow, and turning annoyances into opportunities by channeling cell use toward classwork could be a solution. However, I think sometimes students’ use of cell phones is addictive, an unhealthy habit, a crutch, or a distraction that is detrimental to learning even if used with the best of intentions. I found this study of how use of cell phone use among college students correlates to GPA.
    The article also brings up the idea that student performance is closely linked to perception of self-efficacy, and as such, the ability to maintain ones focus as a regular habit will make students feel more capable of persisting and learning. Throw an addiction to cell phones into the mix and students will beat themselves up about not resisting the urge to keep checking their phones rather than get their work done. So it would seem that the cell phone is not actually the problem; rather, the behavior surrounding the cell phone puts students into a state of having less focus and belief that they will learn, which of course will detract from their abilities. Still, I don’t discard the possibility of working cell phones into the mix in certain situations or for certain purposes. This is controversial subject and one we’ll have to keep studying in order to understand and act. I appreciate your ideas on the matter!

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