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And the journey continues………

This week we continued to explore the role of technology in education through summarizing and discussing a few connected articles from the “Second Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education“. 

After viewing the videos and summaries, and reflecting back on my prior posts, a few things stood out to me, and, I believe I have, as a result of this, created a new vision for myself as far as what I want my teaching to look like as well as what direction I would like to take with my literature review and further research.

A few things I found interesting….

One thing that I found interesting, particularly given that some of the groups discussed the use of games and multimedia, was the distractions I experienced as a viewer of these videos. One video in particular that affected me this way was the one created, appropriately, by the group ” Advanced Principals in Multimedia Learning”. The video contained, what I know was a very informative dialogue; however, with all of the exciting “Star Wars” action in the background, I’m sure if asked about the video after viewing it, I would only be able to tell you that it had to do with multimedia. I wonder about the intentionality of both the assignment and the way this particular assignment was put together as I received a very practical lesson in what happens to learning when cognitive overload in one domain occurs.  Interestingly, in addition to this group, a few other groups touched on this concept as part of their topic summaries.  One other group that that discussed this was the group that covered “The Basic Principals of Multimedia Learning “.  In their discussions around the “Split Attention Principle”, “Modality Principal” and the “Redundancy Principal”, they noted the benefits of mixed mode media but also discussed the negative impact of an excessive cognitive load.  When students experience excessive cognitive load due to the amount and type of media, learning will be hampered; sometimes, presenting information using a singular mode will be the most effective. I’m sure Clarke would have some thoughts regarding this!  One other interesting point this group made was in their discussion around the ” Signaling Principal”, in connection to eye tracking and fixation in order to lessen cognitive load.  I found the topics covered by this group to be both interesting and practically applicable. I would like to explore this area further to ensure that I am using best researched practices when it comes to using multiple forms of media. 

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Some commonalities…

Amongst the groups and sections reviewed, there were a few other commonalities that came up connected to teachers/schools inability to keep pace with new technologies, their uses/implementations and the lack of teacher training. The section we summarized also spent time discussing this along with the mismatch between how teachers think they should be teaching and how they are teaching.  These ideas were also mentioned in connection with assessment in the sections reviewed in the Technology and Assessment in the 21st Century group.

Technology and assessment…

Assessment is arguably a current hot topic when it comes to teaching and what is best for students. I often see Tweets connected to assessment and to what makes good assessment on my Twitter feed; the section we reviewed as a group also pointed out that assessment is one of the areas that needs significant revamping when it comes to 21st Century curriculum so I felt it important to include this within my post. The group that summarized information connected to Technology and assessment in the 21st Century discussed some of the technologies available to be used for assessment, particularly those built into games. They also note that technology is underutilized when it comes to assessment. 

My connections to technology and assessment may perhaps be different from many educators due to the platform we use to manage our classes. The assessment that is built into the courses may be different than traditional assessment as some assessment and feedback is instant.  Tests that contain multiple choice, matching or true and false questions give immediate feedback to the students as they self mark as soon as they are submitted. They also give immediate feedback to the teacher as the results clearly identify mastery as well any concepts that the class as a whole may still be struggling with.  Feedback can also be given in the form of feedback files; students are able to review the work they submitted along with corresponding comments.  The group that discussed Assessment in the 21st Century, ” Using Information Technology for Assessment: Issues and Opportunities”, also discussed the use of  video, text or audio to provide feedback. The options of video or audio is something I would like to explore further as the Moodle platform we use would have the option to upload video or audio feedback files for students instead of, or in addition to, text based feedback files.  I wonder about the benefits of some of these other options.

A connected podcast I listened to this week ( “On Purpose with Jay Shetty”. Laurie Santos: ON Teaching the most popular class at Yale University) discussed grades in relation to satisfaction and concluded that students who strive for A’s are the least satisfied/happy and enjoy learning the least…...interesting...…..  .  I am curious about assessment as a whole and would like to research this area further. 

Other thoughts….

Our group in particular discussed 21st century skills and the need to keep pace with technology as well as including curriculum that prepares students for the world they live in now and the one they will live in in the further.  One of the groups mentioned that current employers and employers in the future are looking for problem solvers, a 21st century competency.  This led me to wonder about teaching kids to develop problem solving skills, and about 21st century skills and the role of assessment. I wonder how to best sort and determine what is most useful when it comes to tech so that I am not using it just for the sake of using tech; and, that I am considering cognitive overload. I wonder about digital literacy and teaching this to students; training students to filter and to be critical viewers of information. I wonder about fostering self-regulation and self-motivation. And, I wonder about how Professional Development can be changed to reflect the needs of the teachers and students.

I found myself very interested in some of the research shared by the group that examined, ” The Learner and the Learning Process”.  I would like to further explore a few of the articles included by this group: the research article connected to technology and the enabling of collaboration “Computer-supported argumentation: A review of the state of the art.”, “Location matters: Leveraging knowledge building with mobile devices and web 2.0 technology.” ;
and, the article, ” A model driven framework to address challenges in a mobile learning environment”  that examined a newer model connected to incorporating technology, specifically mobile learning.  This article may have some application possibilities for the program I work in. 

Questions…

A few questions/ideas I have connected to topics presented by groups are:

What is the best way to implement technology and to make sure that I am including it with purpose? What is the framework I could use to guide my teaching? Is there one or should a combined method work best?

What is a way I can use the Moodle course platform to build on the idea of pervasive learning? Are there other tools I can use to build pervasive learning into my courses? How can I use this to create and foster community and collaboration?

When using online platforms, how do we protect student information?

I like the idea of community building within a classroom/cohort/school conjoined with technology while simultaneously building 21st century skills ….

This all led me to…….

Collaborative Cross-curricular Instruction using Technology and Mobile (Pervasive) Learning

These are some connected articles that I would possibly like to explore further as part of my Literature Review

Teaching in a Digital Age: How Educators Use Technology to Improve Student Learning

Computers and the Collaborative Experience of Learning