Louise’s Blog

The state of educational technology

Bates in Teaching in a Digital Age (2015), offers a more recent view of online teaching. He does not try to coerce the reader, but, instead, mentions “that every subject is different, and every instructor has something unique and special to bring to their teaching.” He guides the educator / teacher / facilitator to make the appropriate choices.

English is a super course to teach if you want to integrate technology. We are encouraged at my school to see technology as a partner in teaching.  The new BC Curriculum (grade 9 English) includes a variety of media, which invites the use of the internet.

In my field, and for my own use, the following points:

  1.  YouTube (visual) is great for music, snippets of plays, interviews, reading of stories and poems, biographies, historical information, explanation of grammatical concepts, etc. Students love watching the videos, but are not so comfortable creating their own. Many dislike seeing and hearing themselves – something I certainly can relate to. Because of so many student-generated material on YouTube, choosing the right material is imperative. Students must be warned that not everything is good or correct.
  2. Podcasts (audio) are great for reading of short stories, poems and interviews. Students will present recordings of interviews (as on a radio), or readings of poems written by them. They are more comfortable with recording just their voices.
  3. With the blog I try to limit the carbon footprint, but many students still ask for a hard copy. When I find an audio version of a book, short story, or poem I like to give the students the text so that those who want to follow can do so.
  4. I love his suggestion of making seminar a workable format. I can see this working in my classroom setting, more specifically when I do “Lord of the Flies.” We chat about the appeal of dystopian, the Milgram Experiment, the Stanford Experiment, The Cold War and propaganda, and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Groups could research a topic and present it to the class. Love the idea!
  5. As a school, we have been discussing the creation of viable space for cross-curricular connection, and project-based learning. There is a definite movement towards this goal. We will achieve this soon!
  6. I use email frequently to remind and inform. Google Docs are great for tests loaded with photos, graphs and graphics. Students repost to Google Docs when they are done.
  7. The blog as a form of social media is still under-utilized. I plan to get the students more involved by creating more posts for them to comment on – something like a forum.

The possibilities can actually get quite overwhelming. Especially in my field, there is just so much you can do. Choosing what works for you in your environment is the way to go. You’ve all heard this one: “It is far better to do a few things well, than to undertake many good works and leave them half done.” (St. Francis de Sales)



1 comment so far ↓

  • #   keith webster on 09.28.16 at 23:53     

    Hi Louise,

    I can certainly agree wit your point about picking a few technologies and implementing them well. I think it’s important to develop a specific learning opportunity and then determine what the most effective technology for support would be.

    I think that as you look for a cross-curriculum community that there are several themes for WordPress that may fit the bill, particularly BuddyPress is an add-on that turns a WordPress site into a ‘community of practice’ sort of site with spaces for blog posts (personal and institutional), forums for discussion and resources.

    Keith


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