Theories of knowledge in #edtech

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Last week in #eci833 we began our course with a discussion on #edtech and ventured into the philosophical and historical aspects in regards to technology in education. During this past week’s discussion our main focus was on the theories of knowledge and looking at how our learning can influence our own teaching philosophies and classroom practices.

When looking at my own teaching beliefs, I can already see evidence of a shift in my 13 year teaching career and my student’s ways of learning has dramatically shifted. When looking at the theories of knowledge, it is evident that technology in the classroom setting has literally exploded as stated in the article; Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism by Peggy Ertmer and Timothy Newby.

As an educator it is always important to understand where and with whom do we learn, how is knowledge stored and accessed, and how has this knowledge changed over time. For example years ago, if I wanted to do research, I needed to do my research at the library with books and encyclopedia’s as my resources. The internet was still coming about when the modem for the internet was as slow as can be and not yet seen as a valuable tool.

Today my students have easy and great assess to knowledge. This knowledge is constant from their very own finger tips via mobile devices and the internet. As stated in the Ertmer and Newby’s article (2013) the learning is now being “reconceptualised” as a constant conversation with the outside world via other educators and other learners. This learning is constantly being facilitated and supported via the internet and of course the learning is constantly changing.

The constructivist theories like connectivism and constructivism are the main teaching methods and focuses in today’s classrooms. Collaboration learning, project based learning and problem solving learning is being supported via the internet and computers. This learning is very motivational for the learner as it is interactive and the learning allows immediate and direct access to information. Because of this, today it is now expected that the learner know of these new 21st century proficiencies when they enter Post-secondary and the workplace.

It is understood that learning experiences in the classroom have forever changed and will continue to do so. The educator will have to keep up to date on new learning in the educational setting to keep up with theirs students constant knowledge that is ever changing.

One way to for teachers to have access to new knowledge is to access and participate in communities of practice. These social engagements are great for collaboration and learning. A tool that I have always found useful is Twitter where I can connect with other French Immersion and Spanish teachers #spanishteachers. It’s an area where I can collaborate and share resources on a daily basis. Connection is key for personal growth and learning.

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As educators it is always important to ensure that our beliefs about learning and knowledge need to sync with our strategies for learning practices. Learning outcomes must align with our knowledge and the instructional design of our classrooms.

What are your thoughts on this? Which theory (theories) did you prefer or connect with the most?

Thanks

Krista

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Here we go #edtech

Here we go #edtech

For our first EC&I 833 class it was awesome to look back on how educational technology has evolved over the years. When looking back at my own personal experiences with technology and in my own educational experiences I am in awe of how my children and students will view their own experiences differently from mine as it vastly changes over time.

What is Educational Technology?

For me #edtech has a wide range of definitions which will most likely conflict with each other. When thinking about educational technology I think of the integration of technology in meaningful ways in the classroom setting. Using technology as a meaningful tool instead of a novelty for learning. It is basically a tool, a device used for learning and engagement in order to help improve learning.

Educational technology today

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Photo Credit: Skley via Compfight cc

Students today are now using technology in the classroom instead of the normal paper and pen requirements. Instead of laptops high schools in the Regina Public System are now using Chromebooks. Why? It will save on paper and students are now able to email their teachers assignments and presentations.

I will be honest this is the first year that I am seeing/using a Chrome book. I was quite hesitant at first, though because of lack of availability laptops it was no longer an option. I am currently in a new high school this year where there are over 1600 students. I realized I had to jump on the “less paper” bandwagon and attempt using Chromebooks with my students.

I also realized it was now time to try the Google Classroom. So far this past month it has been going well. I do still print out the assignments for my students in case they do not have access to a computer and I also believe a paper base copy is still important for students to have. Though, instead of printing out their assignments, my students can now email their work and I can provide direct feedback privately via the Google Classroom. It also makes the students accountable. If a student loses a required assignment, the work is on the Google Classroom site where they can have access to it via cell phone or computer from home and library.

Being a French Immersion and Spanish high school teacher dictionaries and word referencing is an important tool to have in my classroom. Today my students are able to download apps where they can find the definition of a word instantly. Though I am also finding that students are using (the dreaded to all language teachers) “Google Translate”. This is considered plagiarism by many language educators as students are typing a whole research document and translating instead of using their own learning methods.

In my high school days there were old Windows 95 computers, floppy disks/type writers…a computer was a luxury. I remember having to type out and write out my assignments. Feedback from teachers would be written out in pen. If I lost an assignment I had to ask my teacher to re-print and have he/she explain the required work.

Dictionaries were bibles in my French Immersion and Spanish learning background. Without them I would be lost. There was no such thing as bad translation tools or dictionary apps as I had to use my brain and my big Petit Robert dictionary.

In my own opinion #edtech

Having played and used technology in my classroom for the past 5 years I feel as though educational technology has evolved. #edtech will help enhance our students learning through a variety of technology products and apps to enhance knowledge. Though #edtech is always changing and will continue to do so. With #edtech now also comes the idea of Digital Citizenship as our students our beginning to learn what is right in wrong with social media and with technology in general.

What are your thoughts on #edtech? Do you believe it is important to teach about Digital Citizenship to our students?