This week in EDTC 400, the debate topic was Schools should not focus on things that can be googled. Truthfully, I wasn't aware that this topic was so controversial in education today until listening to the debaters points. Initially I was 100% yes with incorporating Google into our teaching and learning. After listening, viewing and reading more about the debate topic, has my ideologies about google changed? Read more to find out!
In the article, Advent of Google means we must rethink our approach to Education, there are a plethora of great points arguing for the use of google. Sigata Mintra, the author of this article talks about the generational change of education and the out dated methods that are no longer helping our society grow. He says, "we have a romantic attachment to the past," and the main reason for this is the curriculum educators must follow. There are no explanations as to why the curriculum is set up the way it is. In fact, because of the arbitrariness of the curriculum Mintra believes it's the reason our education is out of date, our teaching styles require tedious, old fashioned methods where tests, memorization of facts and lectures are encouraged. However, with the help of Google and 21st-century skills education can and should be relevant to the lives of our learners. Advent of Google article describes an example where a teacher challenged traditional ways of learning and used google search engine to teach her students. Instead of lecturing the class, having them copy notes while unsuccessfully engaging them, she allows her students to be in charge of their learning. In my opinion, this is a 21st-century skill that will help students become lifelong learners. Giving students the autonomy to feel capable to learn on their own validates to students what they can accomplish and leaves them with feeling of pride and success. Using google is not just about getting the facts, learning them and then moving on, much like you see in a traditional learning environment. Instead, google offers a world of learning to everyone. It's inclusive (speech to text or text to speech apps), readily available, provides multiple perspectives and allows students to be at the forefront of their own learning. By shifting education into this phenomenon our curriculum would need to be different, it would have to change. Instead of emphasizing on facts, dates and figures, Mintra suggests the curriculum should be question oriented, tapping into students creative minds and digging deeper for answers. He says questions need to, "engage learners in a world of unknowns. Questions that will occupy their minds through their waking hours and sometimes their dreams." Having the ability to research, gather information and then put facts together to solve problems is a critical skill to have Mintra suggests. Old fashion, traditional ways of teaching and learning are not helping our students develop the essential skills they need to be successful, engaged citizens. Google is here, google is now. Let's use it!
Is google affecting deeper learning and the ability to engage students negativity? Have we become too reliant on using google's search engine? In the article, How Google Impacts the Way Students Think, readers are introduced to ideas on how society is becoming masters of the google search and how detrimental this can be to learning. I am definitely guilty of this, especially being a university student myself. If I don't know a word I've come across in the textbook, google it. If I can't remember a specific theory, google it. Realistically, google has provided the world with a source to E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. According to the article above written by Terry Heick, this type of learning has become problematic. Terry argues that google creates an illusion of accessibility. They explain this by saying, "google is powerful, the result of a complicated algorithm that attempts to index human thought that has been digitally manifest." Because of this power that google has over people, Heick believes an illusion is created, suggesting to people that answers are always within reach even when they aren't. Again, I would admit that I am guilty of this. However, when I go onto Google and the answer I am looking for isn't right at my finger tips, isn't that a positive for learning? It means I have to be creative with what I am looking for, think outside the box and possibly gather other perspectives that could lead me to finding an answer. Looking at this idea from an educators lens, allowing our students to use Google and engage with the internet using critical thinking skills is a positive learning experience. Heick's second point in the article states, "Google naturally suggests "answers" as stopping points." The author suggests that having quick and easy access to information will halt student learning suggesting that the learning task is over and completed. I completely agree with this point, however student learning stops not because of using Google but from the lack of engagement and creativity of what to do with the answer now. Educators should not expect students to use Google, find the answer and then move on. I talked about this phenomenon earlier and said that it applies to traditional teaching and learning. Lecturing, writing down notes and moving on. I'm hesitant to bring up George Couros quote about the use of technology because I have used it in the past 3 blog posts (whoops!). It is just so good! He talks about the teachers role in implementing technology, and I think this is extremely important to ensure Heick's points do not become reality.
In conclusion, as educators we need to be preparing our students for a life outside of school and this includes allowing them to explore Google for learning purposes. Using Google allows us to expand knowledge that isn’t just deemed “important” as well it allows all perspectives of learning. The world is always changing, we as educators need to prepare them with all the information out there and at the same time we also need to remember that google and technology will not and should not replace teachers. Google has changed the way we access information. 21st- century education needs to understand, strategize and and develop ways to enhance engagement levels of students, and I believe Google is a perfect source to do so.
Thanks for reading my opinion on this interesting debate topic! As always I like to end my blog posts with a relevant and meaningful quote. This one came from the article Google not, learn not: why searching can sometimes be better than knowing.
"There is only one cure for ignorance, and that will always be asking questions." - Jeremy Gunter
Last week I wrote about why I believe technology should be integrated into the classroom. Here's why:
1. It's not going anywhere and it is so prevalent in student's lives. By enabling students to use technology in their learning process we are creating authentic, relevant learning spaces for them.
2. Technology can be a means of differentiated instruction. Each student benefits from different techniques, and the use of technology is one of them.
This week I debated how technology is actually enhancing student learning. You can find my debate video below to view the four reasons as to why I believe technology is enhancing student learning.
My first and main point in the video talks about global collaboration. This idea came to me in two separate occasions. First, the CNA Speaking Exchange video (shown below) is an inspiration for many. Students in Brazil were able to enhance their english speaking skills by communicating with seniors in the United States through video chat. While they were developing their english speaking skills, they were also developing strong relationships with the person through the screen. This video will warm you heart, and give you a deeper understanding of how technology has brought people closer from all around the world.
My next inspiration came from one of my idols in education, Pernille Ripp. Pernille talks about the power of technology and what is has done for her students. Technology has not only provided students the necessary skills to excel in the 21st century, but it has also allowed students to feel a sense of belonging. To understand that the world we live in is kind, and that somebody out there believes in you. For some kids, learning can only take place when they feel accepted, and through this feeling they can gain the confidence to be who they want to be. Pernille writes about the TRUE power of technology, and I couldn't agree with her more. It encompasses growth, learning, skills, identity and so much more. Read her post here
An area of controversy that concerns me about the use of technology in classrooms is the discussion that technology is "too distracting." There are many aspects of school that are distracting for learners and yet educators have found strategies and techniques to focus the attention back on the learning. For example, classroom management is essential for student learning, teacher learning and an environment where everyone can be successful. One strategy that I see frequently used in today's classrooms are visual schedules/goals. A visual that helps students understand and focus on what their goal is for that day. Similar strategies should be used for integrating technology. Plopping down a computer in front of a student will not enhance their learning. If there is no direction, no expectations then yes, this device will be a distraction. If you were to put paper and pen in front of a student with no direction, this could also be a distraction. In my last blog post I quoted George Couros, and I think he is a mastermind for saying what he did because it is evident and relevant when it comes to student learning. I will quote him again because I don't think we can hear it enough times. He says, "technology will no replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational." This is pure gold, I love is so much! In conclusion, I believe it is important for educators to engage students through authentic, relevant, fun and creative learning opportunities. To me, this is finding ways in which technology will enhance the engagement of students which in turn will enhance their learning. Half the fun of incorporating technology into the classroom, is learning creative ways into what this looks like!
I would love to know how you are incorporating technology into your classroom in meaningful and engaging ways! Comment below or tweet me.
I have come to the end of my blog post, which means... quote time!! I brought in two of my favourite education guru's throughout this blog, so it's only appropriate I quote them! This one is from Pernille Ripp and I chose it because it really spoke volumes to me. I think it's an idea that you can explore in many directions, just like you can do with technology!
"I became a teacher not to kill a child's love of learning, but to protect it." -Pernille Ripp
Have a great week!
Okay, so I am not sure I have anywhere on my portfolio that screams "I am a technology guru/lover/it needs to be implemented into everybody's lives" but I am a technology guru/lover/it needs to be implanted into everybody's lives! There I said it. And I say it for numerous amounts of reasons. You will actually be able to check out these reasons in my next blog post where I announce why I am 100% YAY for technology. However, the issue I am going to be talking about today is why technology has a bad rap and how can educators create a space where learning is demonstrated and encouraged through the use of technology.
Being an educator, and currently taking education courses there are many discussions around "too much screen time," "the kids get enough technology usage in their daily lives," or "I don't see the benefit, I don't know how to work these things so I am not using it." These are all what I like to refer to is a lack of understanding creative ways to implement technology into the classroom. One of the most common misconceptions that focuses on integrating tech into learning spaces is that now students are being exposed to too much screen time. Chris Bergman, a writer for NYTimes and chief executive for ChoreMonster wrote an article challenging this phenomenon that kids are receiving too much screen time. Throughout the article, Bergman speaks to his own experiences and how he was affected by controlled screen time. He is now an advocate for allowing kids to have their own autonomy over their screen time. He states, "Technology is not going away or becoming less popular. We should let our teenagers build on MineCraft, mess around in Photoshop, and make music in GarageBand. Eliminating screen time is a thing of the past, and if we want to stay technically savvy through our 60s, our kids will be the ones to teach us all the new tricks." I couldn't agree more with Bergman in that technology. is. not. going. away. In fact, for my EDTC 300 class last semester I created a video that focused on how video games in the classroom have a positive affect on student learning. You can check out my rationale here!
I wanted to bring up this argument to fight against something I learned in class this past week. Carl Straumsheim wrote an article for Inside Higher Ed called Leave It In the Bag. Straumsheim argues that using technology in the classroom actually hinders student learning. According to Straumsheim, the study presented in the article suggests there are many reason why using computers will result in poor grades. However, in my opinion, the use of technology is all about context. I am going to repeat it again for the people in the back, how we use technology is all about the context in which you use it. In other words, how the teacher has decided to incorporate specific technology is the key determinate of the learning taking place. For example, in edtc400 one of the main components for this class is to create a Twitter page and the expectations is to be as active as you can on it every day. However, the expectations that were given to us by our instructor enables us to learn from using twitter. This has been successful because of the WAY our instructor integrated technology into our lives. Not simply by telling us we are going to be using twitter, and scroll for hours on end in hopes you find something. From the student perspective, I understand that by using twitter I am staying connected to current events and building a digital identity for myself. I understand how my learning is relevant to my life, and my career. Another example I like to refer back to is my high school math. There were so many moments where I questioned why I was learning something. Constantly nagging the teacher, "why are we learning this?" "How is this relevant?" Or, "when will I ever use this." The reason I shared this experience is to show the learning capacity that may or may not have taken place, regardless of the technology integration that was used. George Couros speaks to this, "technology will not replace great teachers but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational." It is not about what we are teaching, but how we choose to teach.
And if you know me and have read previous blog posts of mine, I love to end on a quote! So, with that being said I will leave you with the amazing words of George Couros.
I would love to hear your opinion on the way you view technology in the classroom.
Thanks for reading!
It's 2019 and I can count on one hand the amount of people I know who do not engage in social media in one form or another. I cannot however, count on one hand the amount of people I have encountered that portray their online persona completely different than their reality. And I would definitely be lying if I said this didn't include me. Social media has become part of my daily life, and this week I was challenged on reflecting and questioning how my online presence reflects who I am personally and professionally.
The first thing I did was Google myself. To be honest, this was not my first time popping my name into the search engine of Google and it probably won't be the last. Because I am very active on different platforms of social media, the likelihood of my Google search potentially changing is high. So, I Googled myself.
Was I surprised by my results? Was I ashamed or embarrassed of anything that came up? Is my online persona a clear representation of who I am in reality?
These were some of the questions that I believed were important to keep in mind throughout this process. If I am being completely honest, I wasn't shocked at all. Everything in the Google search is exactly who I am. 1. A volleyball player in her 5th year that is mentioned in photos, articles and interviews. 2. My active and open to the public twitter account. These are two aspects in my life that I am passionate about and have worked hard to grow and portray this specific identity for myself. Being digitally connected as an educator is important and critical for global collaboration, continuous learning and accountability. I remember being in Junior High and High School and going home and looking up my teachers online. I wanted to know who they were, what they did and any gossip I could find to share with my friends. It always turned out to be a giggle session because the security on social media platforms wasn't great, so it was pretty easy to creep. Reflecting on that experience, it would have been beneficial for me as a young teenager to be able to search up a teacher and find out that they are active online, but active in an engaging and inspiring way. Not in a way that displays what they did on their Saturday night. One of the main reasons I decided to have such a dominant presence online is because when people search my name, I want them to go back to their friends and say, "have you seen Miss. S's twitter? She is all about learning for social justice!" One of my goals is to demonstrate what a safe and appropriate online presence can look like.
What about Facebook, Instagram and other popular forms of social media platforms? Over the last week I have engaged in conversations about this with friends, colleagues and classmates. Some agree that all social media cites should be clean, professional and open to the public. Others believe you are allowed to separate personal life from professional life. While these both have valid arguments formulating pros and cons, I have to admit that I am somewhere in the middle. Much like others things, I look at this as a spectrum. There needs to be a balance between the relationship of professionalism and personal accounts. Because I love social media in many ways (sharing experiences with others, engaging online with people I can't otherwise communicate with, learning from others around the world) I believe it is important to understand what balance means to you. For me this is creating multiple accounts using different platforms of social media. I love to use social media for personal gain (examples above) as much as the next person. I also love to use social media to connect, network and learn from other educators around the globe. The balance I have created for myself allows me to be successful in both these areas. So far, having different accounts for professional and personal gain has allowed me to be who I am while maintaining an appropriate and professional online identity.
To end, I want to speak to how I want to improve my online presence to ensure everything that is online is a true representation of who I am and what I believe in. One area I'd like to continue to update, create content for and engage in, is this blog! Everything on this page is authentic, pure and comes straight from the heart. And I hope to continue to create content that is a reflection of what I believe in.
If you've read my other blog posts you know that I love to end on a meaningful quote. This week I read this quote and it spoke volumes to me! "Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance." -Verna Myers
- Miss S.
Three goals I have for this class:
1. To better understand my role as a technological literate educator. When we talk about 21st century competencies and the skills that are going to help our students be successful (problem solving, critical thinking, creativity), I want to think critically, question the fears/norms of technology and understand how myself as a young educator can impact and help my future students develop these essential skills.
2. One area I could improve in, is my ability to write code. I would be what you would call an intermediate block coder, but a very new and beginning writer for different coding languages such as Java Script, Python, HTML, etc. Hopefully through developing resources and potentially through creating a digital literacy lesson I am able to expand this skill.
3. This is my last semester of classes and following this is my internship, which will take me to graduating at the end of Fall 2019, which means I will hopefully be entering the field very soon! One of my goals for this semester is to create a positive digital identity for myself. I believe having an active online presence develops transferable skills, forms a sense of community and networking and offers a wide-range of resources to help me continue to learn to be the best teacher I can be.
I am very excited to engage and learn alongside everyone in #edtc300 and #edtc400! Feel free to check me out on twitter (@ashleesandy) or comment below!
- Miss. S
Ps. I always love to leave quotes at the end of my blog posts so here is one of my favourites!
"Every Student. Every Day. Whatever It Takes." -Jimmy Casas