MY JOURNEY IN ECI830

GIF via GIPHY

Hello ECI830!

I just can’t believe that our time together is almost over and how fast this semester was and now, I am actually summarizing it and sharing my journey in ECI830 on Contemporary Issues in Educational Technology. This course was very different from the other courses I have taken with Alec. I found the debate format very engaging and an exciting way to learn. I wanted to take this course because I love technology and I think it is very important in education. As educators, I think It is very important for us to understand the issues influencing and affecting educational technology and this course would help me to dig deep into the various questions. Every week in our great Ed Tech debate we discussed different issues pertaining around educational technology.  Each topic was thought-provoking. and the whole course of the debate took me deep into the topic and the issue. Listening to the agree and disagree team’s arguments gave me an insight of issues on both sides which aided my learning process

It was a great learning experience and collaborating with everyone made it more interesting and I gained an enormous amount of information. I would like to thank each and every one of you as you have all contributed to this great learning experience. Every week I was very excited to learn alongside everyone, reading your views gave me a different perspective on each topic and your comments inspired me, I look forward to working with everyone again. Thank ’s to Dr. Alec Couros and my fellow classmates for this extraordinary semester of insight encouragement and growth. Now, let me take you through my journey while I summarize my learning, I hope you like my video.

 

GIF via GIPHY

Advertisements

TECHNOLOGY: CREATING A EQUITABLE SOCIETY

Image Via Signable

Hello ECI830,

The words equity and equality are often used when it comes to education or technology. Some might argue that equity is that everyone gets the same and another could say that it is making sure individuals get what they ‘need’ so as to level the playing field. Of course, there are also conflicting opinions in the field of technology. So here we were Me, Jen and Dawn arguing that Technology is a force of equity in the society. Going into the debate I was enthusiastic and slightly a bit anxious because it was my first open debate and the disagree team had some very convincing and great points.  The debate was a lot of fun and I learned so much from listening to the disagree team’s perspectives but it didn’t change my perspective and I fully agree to our stand that technology is a force of equity in the society.

As a team, we focused on how technology has removed many of the barriers people face in the past. What was unimaginable in the past is practical and common today, how connected the world today is and how it has revolutionized communication and bridged the digital divide. Technology has contributed a lot to promote equity in the society and yet sometimes it is blamed and made a scapegoat. Why blame the technology when we as a user and people who are responsible to deliver it in an appropriate was have failed? We don’t have the will to deliver it in a right way which in return creates conflicting opinions about the technology. The article 6 Ways Technology Is Breaking Barriers To Social Change narrates how technology is changing the world from artificial intelligence to big data to the ubiquity of smartphones, but many working to change society are just starting to understand how to harness tech forces for good. When we are at the phase of understanding to harness these tech forces in the right way, we should not jump to the conclusion that technology is creating inequality in the society.

Image Via Ielts

The disagree team did a great job and came up with some thought-provoking statements and facts. They stated that technology is designed in ways to promote gender inequality, racial inequality, digital colonialism and economic inequality but it was hard for me to agree to this and to be honest as Esther says in her blog post even I never took the time to really think about how technology can actually promote inequality! Their perspective kept me thinking on how can something(technology) so radical and innovative be so narrow? And as Daniel states in his post, even I think that no issue related to technology or its application in society is black or white. There are always nuances related to how technology influences people and society.

However, Technology has done wonders in the field of education. It has been a medium to reach even the unreachable students.  Web-based platforms have allowed us to remotely replace or facilitate many interactive processes such as purchases, booking appointments, and banking activities, buying flight tickets etc. Getting an education online is the next frontier for web-based convenience, and there are a number of reasons why this is an effective and attractive platform. In her ted talk video Daphne Koller a professor of computer science at Stanford University and a co-founder of Coursera explains how College education has traditionally been a privilege reserved for society’s elite, she narrates the advent of the Internet which has torn down barriers to education, allowing the world’s citizens to access higher education online for free. She explains how online classes can provide a “real class experience.” Students receive grades on homework assignments and earn a certificate upon successful completion of a course. The structure of online courses guarantees student engagement and

Gia via GIPHY

interaction. Finally, she states how free online courses elevate education to a human right. Education for all would unleash boundless creativity for innovation and support lifelong learning. The article How OER Is Boosting School Performance and Equity From the Suburbs to the Arctic is another example and speaks of how Open educational resources bringing Equity in education. The article narrates a story of Kotzebue, a village in Northern Alaska, which knows the meaning of “challenge” when it comes to education. With the help of OER, school districts adapted content to meet their local needs, maximize education budgets and ensured access to resources and educational rigor. By being able to serve all student whatever their race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, family background, or family income OER supported the goal of educational equity

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Open Education and Open educational resources, Virtual classrooms and many such technological benefits are leveling the educational playground. There was a time where one was supposed to get this education and knowledge by enrolling to the expensive educational institutions, it was reachable for only privileged class, but today the whole educational arena has changed, the concept of open education and open educational resources has revolutionized the field of education, it has replaced the traditional classroom and made education free, affordable, Flexible and accessible to all.

Accessibility: Open Education allows students to take courses at their own convenience, on their own time and place. Open learning systems are very effective and importantly Accessible when compared to its traditional counterparts. The rich resources in online communities help students to overcome hurdles. Open education has attracted many students who were very unlikely to gain higher education.

Affordability: The word free attracts everyone and in my view, the concept of free education is best served by open education. There are hundreds of lecture hours

GIF via GIPHY

which are available for free at reputed universities websites such as MIT, these are free and open to anyone and there are many online learning platforms which are also cheap and affordable for students.

Flexibility: Open education offers students the flexibility to choose what to learn and when to learn and how much to learn, in return putting them in control.

UNESCO also believes and states that universal access to high-quality education is key to the building of peace, sustainable social and economic development, and intercultural dialogue. Open Educational Resources (OER) provide a strategic opportunity to improve the quality of education as well as facilitate policy dialogue, knowledge sharing, and capacity building. Technology and Internet are constantly expanding and it can accommodate everyone irrespective of race, culture, socioeconomic status and break barriers. Equity means giving each student access to the resources they need to learn and flourish and technology serves that purpose and acts as a force of equity in the society.

Finally, we have to understand that the power of education is to bring equity in the society and technology aid’s that belief. Technology surely has the potential to enable solutions to some of the most pressing problems the world is facing today and now it is up to us to decide how to embrace it.

Gif via Giphy

IS SOCIAL MEDIA REALLY RUINING CHILDHOOD????

Image Via 2school4coool

Hello ECI830,

This week we had another great ed tech debate which has led me to ask a lot of questions to myself and reflect on my childhood.  My mind has been going in different directions. Initially even before the debate started I thought it would be a one-sided debate but that was definitely not the case. I had been waiting from the first week of this course for this debate and it proved to be very successful, honestly, this was one of my favorites. The topic focused on whether or not social media is ruining the childhood. I found this topic to be very interesting where Melinda, Alyssa, and Lori (the agree side) shared with our class how social media is affecting children in a negative way and is ruining the childhood. While Erin, Brooke, and Daniel  (the disagree side) presented to our class how social media is not ruining childhood and how it can have a positive impact on children’s lives.  Both sides put forth very strong arguments and did an outstanding job!.

Gif Via Giphy

While both the Agree and Disagree Teams presented valuable information which made the debate process stimulating yet challenging for me to pick a side. Personally, I found myself struggling. The agree team arguments was very interesting and thought-provoking. They shed light on many harmful ways social media is affecting children today. Many children have been suffered online abuse and are victims of cyberbullying,  the article Teen Cyberbullying and Social Media Use on the Rise provided by the agree team explores interesting facts and stats surrounding cyberbullying. Their explanation of social media contributing to depression in children, inappropriate online behaviors like sexting kept me thinking. The inclusion of prefrontal cortex argument was something new which I didn’t expect in the debate.

There is also an increase in psychological health issues in children because of stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep caused by social media use. The article How Social Media And Texting Change The Way Children Communicate suggests social media is changing the way our kids communicate and I agree with this fact. We have all seen and heard the negative effects on children because of social media and is it fair to blame the technology itself as the root cause of the problem? I think the negative perception of social media(which might be true to some extent) will continue down this damaging path If we as teachers and parents don’t step in.

However, the disagree team pointed out, the online world can also be a great place for the younger generation. They argued how the benefits of social media outweigh the risks. I couldn’t agree more when they claimed that social media has the potential to strengthen relationships and I truly believe that it has the ability to benefit and enhance personal interactions. The world today is so well connected which was unimaginable decades ago. Their further arguments on social media providing support to mental health and marginalized groups caught my attention. As I further researched on the topic I found many articles supporting the claim. The article 7 WAYS SOCIAL

Image Via mypressreleases.net

MEDIA CAN BENEFIT MENTAL HEALTH narrates how Social media offers the chance to connect with others, and offers enough anonymity to allow people with mental illness to express themselves without revealing their identities. In other words, it allows self-expression without the danger of stigma. Inspire healthy lifestyle changes, Make social support and interventions possible, Build community and strengthen the relationship. I fully agree with the disagree team when they state that social media helps students to develop autonomy, digital identity, and aid learning. There are many examples and articles such as The Effect of Social Media on Identity Construction and Digital Identity and Performance where social media has proved this claim.

While the advantages of social media tools are bountiful yet it had its own negative outcomes. While social media tools can be a great source of knowledge sharing, interaction it can also be distracting to children since they can easily lose hours together browsing through irrelevant photos, videos, and tweets which can reduce their time spent on educational tasks and other activities, there is a high probability of students developing poor writing skills and the use of text speak in their assignments. The biggest concern of children using social media is Student safety and privacy. As our fellow classmate, Esther talks in her Vlog I agree to most of the things she states and I feel that young children may not be fully equipped in protecting their personal information while posting on social sites and they need guidance and supervision without that it could leave them to open judgments. As an educator we cannot simply introduce them to social media without educating them how to be safe and protect their personal information, it is our primary duty that we educate them about online safety by providing them proper resources that will enable them to educate themselves about online safety. As an educator, we are not responsible for what our children do out of the classroom wall in their social lives but I feel that it is our duty to tailor our students in becoming positive and efficient digital citizens so that they will be safe and successful in the future.

So finally, where do I stand now, I do agree that social media has substantially impacted the children but I do not agree that social media is ruining the childhood and having said that I do believe that Social media and internet is a big scary world for children to explore without the right skills and guidance. So I leave it with this popular Quote “We need to realize young people are on social media and that’s here to stay, now it’s about giving them skills to manage their online lives.” Thoughts?

GIF via GIPHY

 

OPENNESS AND SHARING: A MORAL IMPERATIVE

 

Image Via Hpocenter

Hello ECI830,

The saga of Great Debate continues, this week under the contentious topic “Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to kids”. The great debate in which Amy R, Dani, and Joe argued for the agree with stance and Kari, Esther and Shelly argued the disagree stance. Although by the Initially results one would think it was a one-sided debate, that was definitely not the case. Going into this debate I was already leaning towards disagreeing because of my previous experiences but both sides argued their positions well and gave much upon to reflect this week as I was examining through the recommended readings from both teams.

One of the key reasons why we think that openness and sharing in schools are unfair to children is the question of privacy and having so much information about children online. As the article Dangers of Posting Pictures Online and Rethink Sharing Back to School Photos also narrates the fear about the potential risks of exposure to a world of danger. Online activity leaves a mark, a digital footprint; irrespective whether it is good or bad, everything which we share online can always be traced and it is permanent. These activities can have a significant impact on the one’s future and will either nourish or tarnish their future. The greater the proportion of our identity we give online the more data there is circulating about our behavior. As argued by the agree side there are many potential risks but having said that we cannot sideline the benefits of openness and sharing work online.

Now that being said, there is always concern about Openness and sharing, is not this the reason why we teach digital citizenship and the importance of digital footprints in schools? Is not this the reason why we use social media, various digital tools in education, to educate our children the appropriate use of internet and shape a proper online behavior? Agree with it or not I believe that a good digital presence and a positive digital footprint is very important and essential for the future of our students. As teachers, it is our responsibility that we help them to construct one and that can

Image Via Justinmckean

only happen if we start from a young age. I comprehend the potential risks of over-sharing or a misuse of social media and open sharing sites but that must not stop us promoting the responsible ways of using the technology and this must become a learning opportunity for our students. The fact is that we live in a world of exchange and technology. We must ensure our students face this world with the right skills, be prepared and well adapted for the future. The digital literacy and citizenship skills are so essential for future development of our students and I believe most of us agree to this fact.

Openness and sharing are very important and essential for the growth of today’s digital citizen. sharing the work of our students gives them good motivation to improve their work. Seeing their work published online can inspire a sense of self-esteem and confidence in students, it helps them develop their self-esteem because they have the opportunity to be recognized for their hard work and commitment. Students will be encouraged by the fact that their work is online for everyone to see, which can give them the confidence boost they need to give the best of themselves.

Sharing the student’s work online also works for the benefit of other students by offering a valuable experience. If students can see a good example, they are more likely to improve their skills and knowledge base. In addition, students can better understand how to perform a well-qualified task and what mistakes to avoid seeing the work of others and use this knowledge for their future projects. I totally agree when Esther states in her blog post that, as parents and teachers, we are responsible for shaping a positive digital footprint for younger generations. Today’s children are online and are already publishing, so it is our responsibility to set forth a proper guideline and pave the road for them, in order to protect them we need to educate them ways to promote their positive digital identity. The article Building and Keeping a Positive Digital Identity shared by the disagree team is excellent resources and guidelines for Educators, Students, and Parents to build a positive digital identity.

Finally, Technology, sharing, digital tools, and social media have become an integral part of our youth and schools should not be an exception. This medium offers an ocean of resources for students in learning and interactivity, there is no doubt that student benefit using them but as an educator, I feel that it is our duty to tailor our students in becoming positive and efficient digital citizens. It is often claimed that openness and sharing and using various digital tools is a distraction and potential risk but when it is carefully used it can be a useful tool and a medium rather than distraction or a disaster and that is where we educators come in, if we are properly equipped with the right knowledge of the technology which we are using and promoting in our classrooms and exploiting the concept up to the fullest that is when we can deliver it to our students and make them a positive contributors and excel in this digital world.

GIF Via GIPHY

 

“GOOGLE” THE FOUNTAIN OF KNOWLEDGE ?

Image Via Marketingland

Hello ECI830!

Are school and teachers the fountain of knowledge?  My response to this statement is that the school or teacher are no longer the fountains of all knowledge but they were once. I agree with the fact that Google has affected the way students learn but having said that I do not agree with the statement that schools should not focus on things that can be googled. Now, with the arrival of many virtual assistants and search engines information can be accessed very easily, just say the words and you’ll have your answer. But with so much information easily available, does it make kids smarter? The notion of schooling is to make our students educated and not just literate. Technology and digital media are altering the meaning of literacy and creating new challenges for teaching and learning and in this media-saturated culture our kids spend a great amount of time on the internet and they access an enormous amount of data from many sources. It is very important that they are equipped with right knowledge of analyzing information and be a critical thinker and that is where schools and teachers come in.

The great debate this week was interesting and was focused on one of the questions that we educators will always think of but hardly discuss “Should teachers teach anything that can be Googled?” Both teams of the debate presented a well organized and strategized approach and were very informative. The recommended readings and articles further supported their stand and even mine. The Ted talk video by Pavan stunningly explains that knowledge is obsolete and 65% of our students will have jobs in the future that we have never heard of. His further explanations were quite convincing and to an extent real and I believe that technology by itself will not make anyone smarter. In his thought-provoking speech! I especially like the notion that we should teach our students to be creative instead of teaching them tasks which will be obsolete by the time they’re old enough to use them.

The word which highlighted my thoughts in the whole videos was TEACH, yes, we as educators must teach our students. Just because the information is available on google doesn’t mean that our students can analyze it in an appropriate way. we must teach our students to understand themselves as learners and understand how to access material, we must make them critical thinkers to analyze the information, our learners need

Image Via Thepeakperformancecenter

guidance and I believe that the internet is too vast, disordered and dangerous for learners to find their way alone. My thoughts reflect on Shelby’s blog post and I completely agree when she states” Things like facts, should be checked and students need to figure out how to weave the web to find the good stuff, the right stuff and make educated decisions based on the information found” I believe that we as teacher must actively engage our students in the process analysing information, what is right and what is not. In short, we must aid them in the process of weaving the web and if we do not focus or do not teach things that can be Googled are we being fair with them and doing justice for our profession?

Gif Via Giphy

Further focusing on the arguments about memorization, I think it is very important that we teach these skills to our students. I may sound like an old school but I often hear this statement from parents that their kids don’t remember. The reason they don’t remember is that they are not taught how to memorize. In his article “In the Age of Google, Should Schools Teach Memorization Skills?”  Dr. Bill Klemm states that the reason students don’t remember is that they are not taught how to memorize. Why is that? First, there is a cultural disdain for memorization skills. Who needs memory skills today? Not only do we have books where we can look something up, but now we can always just “Google it.” But Google can’t learn a foreign language for you. What about students trying to pass high-stakes exams? Google isn’t made available. And can Google make businesspeople more knowledgeable and competent? “So, to conclude, I think that the more one remembers, the more intellectual competencies one has to draw upon for thinking, problem-solving, and even creativity.

Finally, to wrap this post I want to state that I am not against Google or any technology and I believe in integration of technology in classroom and teaching practices but I also believe that technologies could never replace great teaching and with the hype of Technology in education let us not forget the importance of teaching and learning. What do you think?

GIF via GIPHY

TECHNOLOGY- ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING

Image Via Educacao

Hello ECI830!

Most of us would probably agree to the fact that technology has revolutionized almost every area of life and education sector is no exception, I believe that technology has so much to offer especially in education and for an educator to get closer to our students and deliver the knowledge effectively and efficiently. I think that no digital tool is fundamentally evil and If someone wants to be mischievous and misuse it, they can and they will find ways but the same platform can be used positively in many ways. Technology in the Classroom Makes Learning Fun and interesting. Technology in the classroom is a great way to attract students towards interactive education. In this digital age, our classroom must not necessarily be, how it used to be decades ago. Technology in education has been the biggest game-changer in teaching that we educators will ever see. So, I believe that technology in the classroom enhances learning.

There has always been a heated debate about the effects of using technology in education and this week’s great debate was prodigious and I respect the views of both the sides. I was also quite surprised when I learned that few parents are opting to send their children to schools where there is no technology and for me, it was hard to digest but yet it seemed to be true. I do agree to the fact that it is the teacher who has the responsibility to steer the students towards success no matter with or without technology but without technology are we being fair with our students? are we equipping them with right knowledge so survive in this complex digital world and preparing them for the digital future?

Technology is already sweeping through classrooms and as educators, we are well aware of it. Education today is drastically evolving and so are our students. Today’s children are budding up in a digital world and Social media is integrated as a dominant part of our youngsters. Teaching in this digital era for the students who consider themselves as digitally a step ahead of their teachers poses many challenges for educators. We are sometimes worried that what we produce does not extend beyond the walls of our classroom and thanks to technology that perception has changed. Today we can take teaching and education beyond the walls of the classroom.

The effect that technology has had on schools today has been quite substantial. This incorporation of technology has totally changed the way educators teach and children learn. Emerging technologies such as tablets, iPads, Smart Boards, computers and various educational applications has changed the whole game of teaching and learning and transformed the traditional classroom setup. By adoption and integration of technology in the classroom, we are equipping our students for a fruitful life after school.  There are many advantages of using technology in classroom and school, some of them are stated below.

Technology in the Classroom Makes Learning More Fun:

In a review led by Quizlet, an online learning tool provider finds that most educators say technology makes learning more fun and students say it helps them learn. While another study conducted by CompTIA finds that students want to increase the use of technology in order to make learning “more fun”. Technology has the potential to transform the old perception of a boring classroom setup to a fun and an interactive experience. Whether we agree or disagree It is important to acknowledge that students are already absorbed and engaged in using technology, rather than viewing this as an alarming and disturbing development we have to see this as an amazing opportunity for schools and educators to benefit from integrating technology in the classroom and make teaching and learning more effective.

 Technology in the classroom is a great way to attract students towards interactive education:

In this digital age, our classroom must not necessarily be, how it used to be decades ago. For educators, there are many exciting tools to help our students. Incorporating technology in the classrooms is one of the easy and effective ways to make education fun in the classroom and to take it way beyond the classroom walls. Technology encourages collaboration, today’s children are already collaborated outside school but in a different context, but if we incorporate Technology in school activities we can collaborate students about the school activities in the school and also beyond the school walls. It helps to build a community within the classroom, students engage in knowledge building together around a new topic or an idea. It helps to build creativity in students while they are given a task, it also aids to showcase their work and get instant feedback. This helps students to refine and develop their artistic abilities and provide them confidence.

Technology encourages individual learning:

GIF Via GIPHY

Every student is different and their learning styles and pattern are different. Technology offers great prospects for making learning more effective for everyone with diverse needs. Children can learn at their own pace, review tough concepts and be confident with them by referencing. Technology can offer more opportunities for students with difficulties or disabilities. Internet access gives students access to a wide range of resources to conduct research in different ways, which in return increase engagement.

Technology improves engagement:

When technology is integrated into the classroom, students will be more interested in the topics that they are learning. Technology offers several prospects to make learning more exciting and pleasant in terms of teaching the same topic in a new and exciting way. Furthermore, technology can encourage more dynamic participation in the learning process, which can be difficult to achieve through a traditional teaching environment.

There are many such advantages of using technology in the classroom and the list goes on. The impact that technology has had on today’s education has been quite significant and I completely agree that technology in the classroom enhances learning. Having said that technology by itself will not enhance learning, Dani in her blog post stated that Technology for technology sake will not enhance learning and I completely agree with her statement. As an educator in this digital era, it is our responsibility make this notion into a reality.

Finally, to wrap this post I would love to hear your thoughts and concerns about the use of technology in the classroom. Do you embrace technology in your classroom? And what other benefits do you think technology can offer in your classroom? And the ultimate question, do you believe that technology in the classroom enhances learning?

GIF via GIPHY