7.1 Emerging Technologies and You
“What can the Web do for you and your students that would otherwise not be possible?”
Ok – watch me grow (or my brain at least)! I started this week’s activities with what seemed like the easiest entry point. I think I was feeling the overwhelm again. The Edutopia article, outlining PLN’s and ways to grow and develop my own was a motivating read, and I took away a few great ideas. The practice of devoting 20 minutes a day to working with a new online tool is possible and important as I need to know how to use the tools I am exposed to. Prioritizing a manageable amount of time each day to achieving this goal suits my schedule and makes an overwhelming task achievable. I also appreciated the reminder that collaboration between motivated, engaged and lifelong learners is one of the gifts of being an educator and that it is my responsibility to partake in this process.
On that note, I happily turned to my peeps in SD 22, and my colleagues at work as a part of my PLN to learn about new tools to address specific challenges I faced at work this week. I’ve reached out and inquired about excellent social skills development apps for students on the ASD spectrum. If any of you have an app you like and can share with me, I’d greatly appreciate it. I want to have specific skills modeled by other children (i.e. listening to adult instructions the first time) for one of my students (grade two) to refer to and then practice this skill (role play)in person during his face to face time with me each week. He could then use the app at home with his family to practice listening to his mom (which he does not do well) and self-regulate (he actually is a safety risk to others – his mom included). Any ideas out there???
I continue my technology tools inquiry – I’ve bravely used Diigo to open and annotate the document the 2013 Horizon Report for K12 and “Emerging Technologies in E-learning,” and am feeling a little smug about how much easier it is to highlight and track important information this way, then to do it the traditional way – pen to paper, which I’ve been doing up to this point in the course. I’m beginning to see the applicability to my students and potential crossover of other technologies (i.e.Fluency Tutor® for Google™ , and MindMup 2.0) to help my students with learning disabilities be more successful with their learning. I feel so excited! If you haven’t figured it out about me yet, now is the time where I bravely share that I am pretty technology phobic when it comes to using it with my students (despite having taken a technology based job – online teaching and learning) and have not had a lot of practice doing it. I am a risk taker though ,and am not afraid of challenges so I keep trying. What can the Web do for me and my students, that would not otherwise be possible? Well, I’m thinking that we’re going to learn how to use specific tools to access, process and then integrate information, together. We’re going to practice using these three specific tools (Diigo, Fluency Tutor® for Google™ , and MindMup 2.0) and then report back on learning. We’re going to be creative and be a part of a “movement toward student-centered and collaborative learning” (Delich, P. et. al., 8). “Collaborative learning, which refers to students or teachers working together in peer-to-peer or group activities, is based on the perspective that learning is a social construct” (Delich, P. et. al, 49). My newly developing theory of learning in action!
The Web is opening doors for me, my students and my district. Our entire alternate schools model is being reviewed this year and recommendations will be put forth by a committee in March. We have recently invited the community to participate in the development of a five-year plan – with a focus on creativity, communication, collaboration, and technology. “…Two long-term trends: redesigning learning spaces to accommodate more immersive, hands-on activities, as well as rethinking how schools work in order to keep pace with the demands of the 21st century workforce and equip students with future-focused skills” (Delich, P. et. al, 1), seem aligned with our DL context and I am excited about the future career possibilities and growth of our program. Now, back to my plan. One step at a time.
Delich, P., Kelly, K., & McIntosh, D. (2008). Emerging technologies in e-learning. In D. Harper (Ed.), Education for a digital world. Vancouver, BC: BCCampus and Commonwealth of Learning. Retrieved from