Blog Post 5

Looking back over the last twelve weeks of EDDL 5151, and reflecting on what I’ve gained from the course, perhaps the most useful piece has been the pedagogical focus of the material. Having taken a few other EDDL courses, I found that having time to examine some of the issues and the theories behind the design and delivery of online and blended models with other educators quite helpful in framing my own practice. With many technophiles, I think there is the temptation to race after the novel. I know I certainly like to experiment with the latest educational apps as they come down the pipe. However, the danger in this, is that sometimes a much-needed intentionality falls by the wayside.

There is no doubt, that integrating new technologies is an important part of an educator’s role. The real work however is in building and maintaining a learning community, wherein new technology will augment the learning, and not detract from it, or simply be innovation for innovations sake. To proceed meaningfully, the educator needs to take the unique needs of the students into consideration, informed also by the nature of the class setting, virtual, blended or in person. As the needs and goals are understood, the design process can begin, and then the requirements of the design can best inform which technological tools are most appropriate.

I think this shift in my thinking has also led me to be more focused in my research regarding which tools I seek out and familiarize myself with. Instead of just surveying various tech websites and periodicals, I can narrow down the ever-broadening field to emerging tech that is relevant and useful. There are a great many demands on the time of the modern teacher. If an educational technology isn’t serving the needs of my students, I likely need to rethink how I invest my energies.

I really appreciated being able to think through the many topics alongside a diverse group of educators. I felt the discussions were always of a high quality; the face that we cam from diverse educational and professional backgrounds ensured a variety of perspectives. I find that often times, the world of education can get a bit insular. We teach together, we socialize together, and we attend pro-D events together. To be able to step outside the K-12 world, and interact with people in business, healthcare, technology and other fields helps me contextualize my pedagogy in light of the larger world. As I move forward with my career and further education, I feel like I have some insight into myself as an educator, and a great many ideas to explore as I continue to learn.

category: EDDL 5151    

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