Module 1 Reflection-
EDTC6431 Learning with Technology
As I started looking and reading over course materials for this class I had an overwhelming sense of drowning. I know that I will study it, learn it and understand it… but the amount of information over my head on day one was enormous! But I began to see it as an opportunity, an opportunity to push myself and find new ways to succeed. If my children can get this technology stuff, I guess I better so I can use it and teach it right? Deep breath…
Many of my classmates, in this my first college class in over 16 years, have been in school for a while now. They have learned about technology as it became relevant in the classroom. They are very involved in social networking and have developed many different groups to share information both academically and socially. I have been volunteering in a classrooms: painting pictures, reading, singing, working on projects, changing diapers, doing laundry, driving from one event to another, making copious pots of coffee and traveling a bit, but not really keeping up with technology as much as I thought. I really felt that I had some grasp on the technology that is available for social networking. After all, I have email, Facebook, the internet to SKYPE friends half a world away. I created a travel Blog and can look up all sorts of information for projects, recipes and hobbies. However, this module illuminates the fact that new technology is evolving on a near daily basis. I say bring it on! I want to learn and I want to see the change in the technological world. I want to adapt and be able to use the skills we are learning; admittedly it is going to take time. I don’t want to be the “old lady student” but my age and time away from academia may dictate this to be the reality of what/who I am. However steep the learning curve may be, I can begin to see the peak. Just yesterday I described the benefits and procedures for signing up for Google reader. This from someone who before starting the course did not even know that Google reader existed
I found that while searching for information on each site, I gleaned a bit of knowledge whether, I found exactly what I was looking for or not. I loved the comment from thirteen year old Mosea in the article, Kids Create–and Critique–Social Networks, that we read. He says, “I didn’t learn from anywhere particularly, I just experimented“. I think this is great and so simply put. Without trying a student can learn as they search for support for an idea or knowledge about a subject. I think that this is where I can see a tool like Ning.com working in a classroom. This site serves as a very good tool to help connect people by setting up different groups for social networks and knowledge sharing. Although I found it a bit choppy to locate what I was really looking for, I was able to eventually get some great information. Moreover, along the way I was absorbing bits and pieces of information without even trying.
Another tool we explored was Edmodo.com. I instantly like what this had to offer. With this tool a teacher could set up a social network with students, other teachers, or parents to communicate and share information, present assignments, or just give a quick update in a safe and controlled environment. Essentially, adding a way to connect to a population of students with a tool that they can relate to and a format they are comfortable using. It might take the teacher some to get used to, but I think the students would have an easy time adapting to many of the uses.
Additionally, I was inspired by the video we watched about the teachers and the work they are doing with students on Edutopia.org . The presentation about “Engaging the Digital Generation” was enlightening to listen to. I valued how teachers and parents were working together with the students to come up with creative and innovative ways to tell stories, share ideas and knowledge through technology. The push to always improve upon something you have done was refreshing. Edutopia.org was an easy site to navigate and one I will visit often for ideas and support with curriculum.
Lastly, I am still a bit confused about RSS. I have read and re-read the article. 7 things you should know about… RSS, but I still find myself lost in all the computer jargon. I get what it does and how to connect it to the pod-catcher but it is the idea of having to explain it to someone that scares me.
I see this course as an opportunity to share knowledge. Some of these tools will be invaluable and some may not but all will help me to be successful. The idea of sitting in a lecture hall, completing assignments with paper and pen, then handing them in during a professor’s office hours is NO MORE. Learning should be dynamic! So having said that, I am headed to my computer to finish the next assignment that I will send electronically as part of a virtual classroom with colleagues I have only met on-line. Whew! This is a lot of change, but each day I am learning and getting more confident with the tools for Classroom 2.0; out with the title “old lady student” and in with the new “Techno-Savvy Grad Student”. It‘s got a nice ring to it, don‘t you think?
Weir, Laila. (5/27/2009) Kids Create — and Critique — on Social Networks. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-youth-network-literacy
Educase. (April 2007) 7 things you should know about RSS, Creative Commons. Retrieved from http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/