My final summary of learning for EC&I 830:
The last week of EC&I 830 has arrived and I am happy with my growth as a learner and educator. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that I have been implementing a lot of the educational technology ideas mentioned throughout the course. But there are many practices I have not been implementing, like seeking student consent and permission to post online and only relying on a parent/guardian signed media release.
After reflecting on my current use of technology in education, I made the realization that sometimes I resort to substitution or replacement models. It’s not always intentional, but could be because it is easy and what has always been done. An example are the very fancy projectors that were installed in my school this year. While we had training on the various capabilities and functions (touch screen, whiteboard, saving images, etc. – similar to a SMART Board), I often found that function would not work when I needed it, so I stuck with using the tool simply as a data projector. There is nothing worse than trying to get technology to work in a room full of students, breaking the engagement and losing focus. But, one day in the fall I decide to do a little research (thanks, Google and YouTube!) and really figure out how to use the projector, including an app that could be downloaded on my phone to act as a document camera or tool to share images directly to the board. Now with my knowledge of the TPACK and SAMR models, I am excited to use this example of technology in more innovative and exciting ways. It is as simple as taking the time to learn about the tool myself before implementing with my students.
As I reflect on the course, “Contemporary Issues in Educational Technology”, it has been apparent to me that the issues in educational technology continue to change very quickly. With the rise of new apps, devices and technology access for young people, our roles as educators are constantly evolving. Some common themes that have been woven throughout the class discussions and debates for me:
-the importance of teaching digital citizenship
-thinking of technology as a tool
-teacher roles are shifting to the role of a facilitator
-we must teach critical thinking skills and technology can be used to assist this teaching
-technology can enhance student learning by promoting engagement and help with motivation
-educating students and families about how to create a positive digital footprint and identity online with appropriate safety and privacy measures.
I have learned a lot throughout this course, but I most excited to take away fresh and innovative technology ideas to incorporate in my teaching. It is important to continue to focus on safety and building a positive presence online. Since students have easy access to technology all the time, our role as educators is to teach students and families proper digital citizenship and how to build positive digital identities.
For my summary of learning, I decided that the best way to share my learning as an Arts Education teacher is through song. At the beginning of the course, I tried to use images “fairly” in videos and blog posts, but I simply relied on the fact that it was for “educational purposes” to justify my choices. Our class discussion in the Google Plus community made me realize that I maybe don’t quite understand all the ins and outs of fair use. One of my classmates, Brooke referred to Common Sense Media in her blog post, and after a bit of Twitter following and searching on YouTube, I found this great video from Common Sense Education:
I wanted my final project to fall into fair use guidelines, so I composed my own song (lyrics and music) and used my nieces and nephews to create a music video to go along with the song. This allowed me to talk about consent and permission with their parents and the kids – explaining how the videos would be used. They were pretty excited about the idea, and I used it as an opportunity to practice how to explain building positive digital footprints for Kindergarten to Grade 9 students. Thank you to Sarah (15), James (12), Claire (7), Ella (6) and Patrick (6) for helping me create the video!