It’s Been Fun, ECI830!

overwhelmedI started this journey a little nervous about learning all the new technology such as WordPress, Twitter, and attending ‘virtual’ online classes.  In general, I felt comfortable with technology, but requiring to use a brand new program put a little extra pressure on.  As the weeks went by though, I began to feel more and more comfortable and really started enjoying listening to the debates and learning so much about technology and applications to education!  I loved being able to learn from the comfort of my own home!  I learned a lot of useful tools that will enable me to make connections or keep up to date with technology happenings, such as with Twitter.  After learning WordPress for this class, I even applied my knowledge to create a professional portfolio for my work at Saskpolytech.

The first class debate was titled, “Technology Enhances Learning”. I think that technology has the extreme potential to be used as a tool in education and only to the extent that the user can apply it.  I think as educators, we have the responsibility to stay up to date on all the latest technologies that could be beneficial for our students.

The second debate discussed how, “Schools Should not Focus on Teaching Things that can be Googled”. It was a very interesting debate but came down to teaching students how to use technology as a tool.  We need to teach students research skills using google constructively and how to weed through false and useless information.

In the third debate, students presented the topic, “Openness and sharing in schools is unfair to our kids”.  This debate felt more personal to me as even though I do not teach children, I have a son in grade eight.  I am constantly wishing for better communication with the school, but at the same time I worry about what information exists in cyberspace about my children.  I remember a few years back when as parents taking pics of our children, we were told to shut off our location on our phones.  I think that this debate links back to the idea of technology as a tool.  If we know how to properly use it, with adequate privacy settings, there shouldn’t be any information breaches.  I think that communication is key to a healthy relationship between families and the schools so the answer may be the creation of a secure program used for this purpose.

I and my partners, Melinda and Allysa, debated for the agree side of the debate, “Is Social Media Ruining Childhood?”  I think we made some strong points as did the disagree side.  As educators, we need to ensure children are instructed in proper social media etiquette, to supplement what parents are telling them.  The risk to a child’s digital footprint is so high if social media is used in the wrong way, so proper education will have lifelong benefits.

Unlimited-Human-Potential

In the fifth and final debate, “Technology is a Force for Equity in Society”, it was argued that technology helps to enhance education for students in many ways.  The idea of technology as a tool was revisited and was the argument that when technology negatively impacts society, it is because the program developer has pre-existing biases, not due to the technology itself.

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Over all I learned a ton in this course!  I really enjoyed the debates and will definitely use the knowledge I have gained in my role as an educator, as well as increase my self-awareness of my own digital identity!  Please feel free to check out my final learning summary developed in partnership with Melinda and Allysa by clicking on the big blue button!

 

 

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