Technology in Education

jspohrer's picture

Tips for Working with New Software Tools

One thing I have learned from the NGLC blended learning and from working with various edu-tech tools and developers, is that the market is very much in flux. Inspired in part by the success of blended learning and the buzz around MOOCs, many companies are working on many different innovative tools and courseware packages, often in response to real needs identified by teachers and students. This is great news, but for the immediate future it means that most of us at some point will need to teach and learn with a tool that is still "in beta" and lacks the robust customer support or functionality of older, more established software.

I've written before about how difficult, yet ultimately rewarding, it can be to get used to working in a "live beta" mode, in which you publish or publicly try something you know to be half-baked, in order to get feedback on how it works in a real-world setting. A recent EdSurge article also offers some concrete logistical tips for instructors who find themselves in this position, due to the newness of the software tools they are trying to use -- such as workarounds for tools that lack "single sign-on" functionality.

Silentp's picture

Ptolemyrulz Minecraft Diary

This experience has been both frustrating and illuminating.  My expectations of how intensely frustrated I might get during the first few attempts at Minecraft have been exceeded.  I almost quit… several times.  Thanks to Youtube, last night I had a breakthrough.

Salopez's picture

Course so far

One thing that I have learned from the course so far are the different kinds of technology that are present in the classrooms as well as their implications. I have always looked down on technology since I find it to be a distraction rather than a aid in learning. Our outlook on technology in the classroom is forever changing and we definitely take technologies (both old and new) for granted. My rose would be the encouragement to "think outside the box" and participate in different ways that differ from my math education. My thorn would be that because my computer is broken, it really discourages me from doing my readings online and participating in the types of technologies we're learning about.

meganholt's picture

the end of the beginning

I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of time we have dedicated to discussing the "social justice" issues that technology raises. I don't think I was anticipating this being as much of a part of the class as it is, but I find it really fascinating and important to discuss these issues of technology and education, especially when we consider the process of lifelong learning. I have always thought about the place of technology in formal school institutions, but I think that considering the role of technology in other, less formal, but equally as important settings, and what we can do, both as teachers and as members of society, to use technology as a tool for bettering the opportunities that all individuals have access to, is incredibly inspiring.

One thing that I would like to do more of, is to experiment more with different forms of technology and online resources and tools.

aamer's picture

Ed, Tech and Society: Unit 1

I felt like this unit was a good introduction and laid down the foundation for the class: defining the terms and posing the big questions to contemplate over the course of the semester. It has encouraged me personally to engage with and explore technology that I have been reluctant to experiment with in the past, including prezi and instagram, and I am excited to continue to learn. We have also established initial contact with our pen pals in Ghana and while we are uncertain about the development of that relationship at this point, I am excited about the possibilities. The prospect of an undeveloped structure to this part of the course is exciting but at the same time, a bit anxiety provoking, and so I hope we can help future participants by laying down some sort of structure for them.

nina0404's picture

Interesting Article on Technology in the Classroom

I found this NYT article on Twitter and I feel like it links to our conversation on "effective" uses of technology in the classroom as well as the teacher vs technology debate.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/magazine/no-child-left-untableted.html?pagewanted=7&_r=1&smid=tw-nytimes&partner=rss&emc=rss&

Srucara's picture

The Science, Ethics, and Politics of Water - a Curriculum

Hi everyone, please download the following files for my curriculum and my rationale.

maddybeckmann's picture

Questions up Now? (our placement questions)

What are the intentions behind supplying schools with the most recent technology? 

Is it just tho keep it current? Comparing expectations to actual use by teachers and students?   

How is (or isn't) technology incorporated in the classroom? 

Who determines the effectiveness of technology? Teachers or students? 

What is Clark forgetting/leaving out? Where is technology not a 1st priority in the classroom and how do our schools' models and policies promote and inhibit learning in the classroom? 

How can issues of saftey in the classroom affect the ways in which tech. is neglected or misused or even perpetuate inequalities and achievement gap (safe environments achieve more than unsafe ones)?  

Nan's picture

Half the Sky

Hey everybody, I don't really know if this has any place in this Ecological Imaginings class, but maybe if we can imagine the preservation of women to be a form of ecology, not unlike the preservation of all plant life, animal life.

I just wanted to call everyone's attention to this excellent documentary currently being shown on PBS on Mon & Tues nights at 9:00 PM.  I imagine you guys have lots of time to watch films, yeah!  But this is an amazing series.

"Half the Sky" about gender based violence.

Here's the link to the first & second segment:

http://video.pbs.org/video/2283557115   

http://video.pbs.org/video/2283558278

hweinstein's picture

So what do we learn?

I'm still struggling with figuring out what should education provide for humans, considering the new role of technology.  I keep hearing the opinion that with computers around to help us, we can bypass the basics of math/science, depending on the computers for that knowledge, and skip right to the quantum mechanics and other higher-level ideas that we haven't taught computers how to do yet.  My hesitation is that I am not convinced that higher-level ideas can be accessed without an understanding of how the basics work, especially when we want to put our current ideas to the test.  I have trouble imagining a creative scientific process that relies on information feeding from computers.  Also, I think it would be really difficult to solve a higher-level problem without having first grappled with the lower-level ideas first.  Just because a machine can produce relevant information instantaneously doesn't automatically give this information meaning.  What are ways a teacher can facilitate a deeper understanding/meaning to a concept, not burdening the student with calculations that computers can do, but still bearing in mind that any program created to help foster this understanding is a human creation and can still be (and should be) called into question.

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