A Journey Through Technology

Week 2 Reflection

This week gave me a lot to think about. I was so drawn in by the idea of open learning and how it could really change the education scene around the world. I find it fascinating that there is so much free information available, and now I’m trying to figure out how I can get my students to take advantage of it. My sources of learning this week were the readings we had, reading Sara L and Gerald’s blogs, and our Twitter session on Thursday. In her blog, Sara L mentioned open learning allows for helping to differentiate a classroom, which is something I really hope to work on this next school year. Gerald described his personal experiences with open education resources, such as CK-12 and Kahn Academy. I have heard of Kahn Academy, but I’ve never really spent much time looking at it. I hope to spend some time this summer looking at the chemistry resources available there to see the options my students have. I always love the Twitter sessions because it gives everyone a chance to have conversations about what we’ve been reading and share our ideas as a group.

My contributions to the learning of others was through my blog post this week and also the Twitter session. I saw a huge correlation between open learning and the constructivist pedagogy, which others commented on as well. I see myself as a constructivist teacher, and I really think open learning is a great way for students to build their own knowledge.

I felt excited this whole week as I read about open learning and the many open education resources that are available. I am excited to start using this more in my classroom, and can’t wait to learn more!

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What do you see as the promise of Open Learning as an emerging technology/pedagogy/philosophy?

According to Open Education Week (http://www.openeducationweek.org/), “Open education encompasses resources, tools and practices that employ a framework of open sharing to improve educational access and effectiveness worldwide.” To me, this means that anyone with a desire to learn has access to the materials they need, at little to no cost to them. Open education would allow anyone to follow their dreams and learn anything that they want. Below is a video I found online that I think does a very good job of describing open education. (Bukola, 2012)

 

I see open learning as an opportunity for people of all ages to come together and learn using open education resources. “Open learning encourages collaboration, connections, networked learning, and interdependence between educators and learners.” (Graham, LaBonte, Roberts, O’Byrne, Osterhout) I found a website, OpenLearning.com, that offers a variety of open learning courses that anyone across the world can take part in.

“In an online community environment like OpenLearning, the power of the teacher and their materials (as an expert authority) is diminished, and the role of a teacher becomes more of a mentor, to guide, prompt and facilitate discussion. OpenLearning’s pedagogy borrows from constructivist teaching methods (e.g. Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky) with a primary goal for students to learn how to learn, by giving students the power to take initiative for their own learning experiences.”

The pedagogy behind OpenLearning.com is very similar to what I use my classroom. I consider myself a constructivist, so I want to see my students learning how to learn by taking a more active role in their education. When students take the lead in their learning, they take ownership of their education and it becomes more important to them. “An open learning environment and course should offer youth an opportunity to personalize their learning, to make it meaningful, authentic, and engaging.” (Graham, LaBonte, Roberts, O’Byrne, Osterhout)

If we consider open learning as an emerging technology, I can see this having an immense impact on the education system. Last week we talked about emerging technology being something that positively affects education, and open learning can definitely have a positive effect. Teachers always want students to be engaged in learning, and allowing students to learn from a variety of free, open resources, and giving them a choice in which resources they can use, might just be the key to creating a more meaningful classroom.

Open learning also allows students to connect the learning they do at school with what they can accomplish at home. “Open learning and courses in K-12 need to offer an opportunity to bridge the gap between what is being learned at home and school.” (Graham, LaBonte, Roberts, O’Byrne, Osterhout) With open learning, students don’t stop learning just because they leave the school. Open learning allows students to continue their learning anywhere they have access to the internet. One of my goals as an educator is to help my students to become lifelong learners, and open learning could be the key to getting them started on that path.

References

Bukola, O. (2012, October 28). Why Open Education Matters. Retrieved May 25, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHQp33rbg5k

Graham, L., LaBonte, R., Roberts, V., O’Byrne, I., & Osterhout, C. (n.d.). Open Learning in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Environments. Retrieved May 25, 2016, from http://www.academia.edu/10311797/Open_Learning_in_K-12_Online_and_Blended_Learning_Environments

What is Open Education? (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2016, from http://www.openeducationweek.org/page/what-is-open-education

What is OpenLearning? (n.d.). Retrieved May 25, 2016, from https://www.openlearning.com/Pedagogy

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Week 1 Reflection

This week I found it hard to get back into the swing of things. This was the last week of school for me, so I had finals to grade and final grades to submit, plus getting my classroom organized for the summer. I feel like I didn’t start well, so I hope that next week is better for me.

We didn’t have twitter this week, so my main contribution to the learning of others was through my blog post and by reading and commenting on the posts of others. As I read through other posts, I found very common themes that were shared about emerging technology. We all used a lot of the same sources, so it makes sense that our posts are very similar. I read through Sara L, Jessica, Doulgas, and Kayla’s posts this week. It was nice to see everyone’s thoughts on what emerging technology is, and reading through their blogs helped me in my learning this week. The comments I received on my post this week showed me that I had an impact on the learning of others, as well.

Reading about emerging technology this week, specifically the Horizon Report, was exciting because I did not realize the opportunities that were out there for technology in education. I look forward to learning about some of these technologies during this class and hope I get to use a few of them in my classroom.

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How do we define Emerging Technologies?

According to Veletsianos (2008), “[e]merging technologies are tools, innovations, and advancements utilized in diverse education settings…to serve varied education-related purposes.” The 2015 K-12 Horizon Report gives three categories for emerging technologies based on their “time-to-adoption horizon”. In one year or less are “bring your own device” (BYOD) and makerspaces, two to three years is 3D printing and adaptive learning technologies, and four to five years is digital badges and wearable technology. (NMC, n.d.) Walsh (2015) discusses 12 additional emerging technologies that are currently being used in classrooms across the country. These include augmented reality, flipped classrooms, video collaboration tools, and student response systems. I find it interesting that many teachers already use these tools in their classrooms without knowing they are using an emerging technology.

Emerging technologies do not only exist in education. Treder (2010) shares a definition of emerging technologies as technologies that

  • arise from new knowledge, or the innovative application of existing knowledge;
  • lead to the rapid development of new capabilities;
  • are projected to have significant systemic and long-lasting economic, social and political impacts;
  • create new opportunities for and challenges to addressing global issues; and
  • have the potential to disrupt or create entire industries. (Treder, 2010)

Based on the different sources I read and found this week, I would say that emerging technologies are designed to enhance experiences, not only in education, but also in the social and business worlds. I feel like using emerging technologies in the classroom can help teachers engage students and better prepare them for an ever evolving world of technology. Emerging technologies do not need to be new technologies, as older technologies can evolve into more useful tools over time. (Veletsianos, 2008) They are technologies that people might already be using, or they may be just an idea that needs time to become something great.

References:

NMC Horizon Report K-12 Edition. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2016, from http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2015-k-12-edition/

Treder, M. (2010, December 6). The Definition of Emerging Technologies. Retrieved May 21, 2016, from http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/treder20101206

Veletsianos, G. (2008, November 18). A definition of emerging technologies for education. Retrieved May 10, 2016, from http://www.veletsianos.com/2008/11/18/a-definition-of-emerging-technologies-for-education/

Walsh, K. (2015, September 14). 12 Emerging Educational Uses of Technology That are the Most Exciting Right Now. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/09/emerging-educational-uses-of-technology-most-exciting-now/

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