Reflections on Class 2

Jumping online for Tuesday’s class was a little difficult, thanks to unsuccessfully trying to get my son to bed before we started at 7. Missed a bit of the first 10 minutes, but after re-checking, turns out the first bit was just spent on reminders and how-to’s regarding Google +, and sharing blogs.

I really enjoyed Rick’s lecture. Up until this point in the class, my mind, having been forced to streamline everything technological into practical application in my classroom, was reset, and I was able to better appreciate the far reaching ideas ed technology encompasses. It’s not just about the newest method of collaborating, or the best way of condensing a web address, but delves deeper into the theoretics of how this technology affects us; in the way we interact with others, the way we learn, etc. When we were talking about who was a Canadian ed. tech. theorist I knew that one photo was of Marshall Mcluhan, but initally I struggled to see the connection. Duh!

I really appreciated Rick’s sharing of prominent leaders of ed. tech., as this will allow me to become more familiar with their contributions, and to have a better idea of the history, and the scope that ed. tech. encompasses.
I found it interesting that while liberating us from a set physical location, the blackboard collaborate poses hindrances. For example, even though we can watch Rick, because we aren’t in the presence of the rest of the class, it is difficult to ascertain, for example, whether it might be acceptable to interrupt Rick during his talk to ask a question. The idea of recording a session also might cause some to feel anxious. So, while this technology enables any number of people to tune in, the ease and familiarity¬†of this interaction is still new to me. As an adult, I can find the program, interact with the software should any glitches arise; in short I am independent, and capable of problem solving. Using this application with younger, and/or less motivated individuals would open up some serious issues, namely getting on blackboard in the first place, without assistance, and secondly to trust that the individual is present throughout the majority of the broadcast, so as to benefit.

These are largely musings about the tech we’re using, no doubt stemming from the frustrations I have experienced in my own class with the accessibility, or rather inaccessibility of provided school technology. Old laptops, no doubt bought because they were at a discount, are unreliable and archaic; the network is unstable, and rarely lets students on; software provided to assist students with LD’s crash constantly, and haven’t been developed from the mindset of easy accessibility. All these factors have the culmulative result of both teachers and students falling back on the ‘tried, tested, and true’ methods involving pencil and paper simply because they have learned to distrust the reliability of what they see as ‘technology.’

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