My choice of an Ed-tech topic is…

This week we were able to do our blog post on any Ed-tech topic that we wanted to read about. This week I wanted to look at the topic of Virtual Reality. When I first heard about the concept of VR it was my brother who told me about it. I didn’t really understand the whole point of it because I thought it was just for video games. I soon learned that it was not the case. My dad, kept telling me about the VR room they have in the school he works at. I finally got to experience it for myself last semester and I really understood the benefit. One article that I found called Virtual reality in the classroom it gives the example of a history teacher who could let their students see ancient buildings in Greece. When I used the VR room for myself I used a solar system one and I couldn’t stop thinking how it would be awesome for students for students to learn about the solar system by actually seeing the planets and feeling like you could touch them.

 

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In another article that I found called Cultivating New Levels of Student Engagement through Virtual Reality it mentioned how VR may help students to be more become more engaged in their learning. This article mentioned how a teacher who had students that didn’t often participate in class were more apt to participate while using the VR technology.

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Another article that I found called How our school is using Virtual Reality to prepare pupils for a future dominated by technology  did talk about how VR technology is expensive and that it is better having multiple devices to be effective. This article also mentioned how students are able to have first hand experience with what they are learning as well. One last article that I found called Virtual Reality is Hitting the Books: VR in Education discussed that VR caters to many different learning styles and how it can help students better work together.

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Google and the Great Debate

“Schools should not be teaching anything that can be googled: Agree or disagree?”

Another debate and another topic I thought I had my opinion on but now I have my doubts. The debate this week of whether or not schools should be teaching anything that can be googled is an interesting one. Before the debate I had a strong opinion that I was on the disagree side but I started to change my mind with this debate. While I haven’t fully changed my mind and am still mainly on the disagree side  McKayla’s debate made me question my thoughts a little bit more.

McKayla was tasked with the difficult side of agreeing and she did a very good job and posed a lot of good points. She mainly discussed the use of google within a math classroom. The idea she brought up a lot was memorization how that is what we may be teaching our students. The article she provided Memorizing the times tables is damaging to your child’s mind discussed the aspect that it may be better to allow students to learn ways of how to now the multiplication tables their own way. In my own learning while learning the multiplication tables through songs but that might not have worked for other students so allowing them to google other way may be beneficial to some students. It mentioned how using math worksheets that basically require memorization aren’t beneficial. I remember doing mad minutes and I basically just memorized certain questions without learning how to do them. You of course can also look at math formulas and of course a lot of us being math majors the mention of the quadratic formula and how it can just be googled.  The argument that McKayla made definitely made me think that maybe some things that can be googled shouldn’t take up time in the classroom to teach. I always think back to history class and dates. The dates to me were always memorization and I haven’t used them outside of my grade 11 and 12 history classes. Would it just be easier is students could just google the dates and teachers could teach more about the details instead of the dates? That’s a good question that there are many different aspects and opinions about and even for myself it is an interesting debate.

 

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Now the disagreeing side of the debate. Brooklynn was tasked with the side that I thought she’d easily have most of the votes, give or take a few. Ultimately I am on the disagree side and many good points were made. Again we can use the example of the quadratic formula. Of course we can just google this formula but how are we going to know if it is correct and how to use it. If I was to google the quadratic formula I would be able to know and memorize the formula but you wouldn’t know how to properly use the formula. Like Cassidy mentioned students wouldn’t know what a, b, and c represent in the formula. Jordyn mentioned when she googled the formula more than one came up and she was more confused than she was to begin with. While students are able to google these things how can we assure they are finding the right information and know how to use it. That is a huge reason why we should still teach things even though they can be googled. “In the Age of Google, Should School Teach Memorization Skills?” This article actually explained that sometimes memorization may be beneficial. Of course we can think of tests and how you don’t have access to google and sometimes need to know the formulas. While I don’t think that it is necessary to have students memorize a lot of information it is sometimes necessary for different situations. We mentioned how in jobs when their are sales you don’t always have a calculator and may need to be able to know how to calculate a percentage of an item. Then we have the article Why Students Can’t Google Their Way to the Truth. We of course know the power of fake news and by just having our students use google they may not be getting correct information. Take the article North Korea Lands First Ever Man On The Sun, Confirms Central News Agency. We of course know this isn’t true but some people may believe it.

While students may still use google I still believe that it is important for teachers to be teaching the students so they are getting the right information and to be able to know how to properly use it. Our two debaters did a fantastic job of this topic and really got people thinking!

 

 

 

Does Technology in the classroom enhance learning?

The great debate #1: Technology in the classroom enhances learning.

Going into this debate I had my mind set that I agreed with this statement and nothing was going to change my mind. While I didn’t change my mind completely Melanie’s argument made me think maybe technology isn’t as perfect as it’s portrayed to be. Melanie made me think about how if students don’t have technology at home then there is a learning process for them to learn at school. She explained about the cost and that technology can break. The Disadvantages of Technology in Classroom made a good point that schools may buy technology before the teachers are equipped to use them. For example take the SmartBoard. Teachers don’t know how to use them and then they turn into a glorified bulletin board. You of course always run the chance of having students being distracted by technology but in my mind its not realistic to keep it out of the classroom. The Disadvantages of Technology in Classroom

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mentions that having problems with takes away from classroom time. There Are No Technology Shortcuts to Good Education brings the thought of how just because you use technology doesn’t mean it makes what you are learning better. I think sometimes people think that just because you have a PowerPoint or a video it makes it better but its not the case.

 

Webster’s argument was the one that I believed I would completely agree with and for the most I still agreed with him but no longer as strongly.  Benefits of Technology in the Classroom provided interesting points as to how it can prepare students for their future. I think this is an interesting point as knowing how to properly use technology can prove beneficial to students in their futures. Of course adding technology can help add and interest factor and have students more engaged.  Technology in the Classroom: The Good and Bad mentions how most students have access to technology in their own lives.  There are of course ways that technology can improve students learnings but like I said already it shouldn’t be used just to use technology!

 

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You and your Identity. Digital Identity.

 

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Before taking EDTC I had always thought it would be best to stay off social media or to have your social media accounts set to private. I have heard many education students say how they have made their social media accounts private before going into the classroom. Now this would have been my initial thoughts and feelings before, but this is not the case anymore. Knowing that we really only have one identity whether it is online or offline it is important to be posting appropriate and professional content that you would be okay with your employers and your students seeing.

The school’s role in helping students to develop a positive digital identity is to help to provide classes and education about creating a positive digital identity and to help to teach the student ways to create a positive digital identity. Schools could provide more classes like EDTC that teach students about the use of technology and how to start to create a positive digital identity.

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The teachers role in helping students to develop a positive digital identity should be to give them a good example. Everything we are learning in class in helping us to create a positive digital identify and it will help us to teach our students how to create their own positive digital identity. Teachers could help to teach their students about the dangers and the importance of learning what not to put online. Some of the things that we are doing in our own class like the blogs and twitter accounts could be helpful to help our own students to create their own digital identity.

 

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I think that for our society to move toward a different, more forgiving, understanding of digital footprints is to understand that people and students are still learning about their digital identity and are going to make mistakes but that those mistakes don’t necessarily

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define them. To be more understanding of digital footprints will require people to learn about the benefits and the downfalls of it and how it is created.  It will require constant learning and teaching and it is important to be open-minded about the whole concept.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technology: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Technology: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

It’s funny to think about the ways technology has changed compared to the first time I truly remember using technology. Growing up we didn’t have the internet until I was in either grade 4 or 5 and that was the time Webkinz were popular. I had gotten Webkinz for my birthday and was unable to use them online because we didn’t have the internet and that was the tipping point that got my parent finally give in and get the internet. I’ve never been one that has been super impressed and needed the new technology, I also had a hard time seeing the benefit of having it used in classrooms.

I have started to come around with help from EDTC 300 and other articles, and personal experience that has made me realize the benefit of technology in the classroom.

 

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Uses & Benefits Of Technology In Colleges

 

Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk “Connected, but Alone?”  discussed many situations where people are feeling very uncomfortable having face-to-face conversations due to the fact they are often texting. It mentioned how people feel more comfortable having texting conversations as they can plan out what they are going to say and are able toedit and delete something if they change their minds. We can also argue the having too much phone time can lead to cyberbullying. Although one article I found discussed how it was important not to ban social media but to teach students to use it properly. Knowing how technology and social media is not going away it is important to teach students about the dangers and how to use it appropriately.

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“Five Things We Need to Know about Technological Change” discussed the idea that with every advantage with new technology brings a disadvantage. This brings to mind multiple things but one main thing was the anonoymus apps. While some people may see a benefit to them they mostly cause problems.

The IRL Fetish discusses many times how people are wanting to disconnect and get offline. It mentions now how it is a thing of pride to stay off social media. There are so many times now that people mention getting away and disconnecting. While you don’t have to cut out social media and technology it just helps to know that you can cut back and not become so dependent on it. As well you can learn that there are certain situations where you don’t need to use your technology. You always hear stories where people put their phones in the middle of the table and the first person to pick up their phone pays for dinner.

Of course it all revolves around the education of technology!

 

 

A little bit about me!

Hey Everybody!

My name is Rebecca Roney and I’m in my second year in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina. I’m in the secondary program and currently majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Mathematics, although I’m in the process of applying to change my major to Mathematics and my minor in General Science. I live in Moose Jaw, Sask. and commute into Regina every day for school. (Trust me it isn’t that bad of a drive.)

In my spare time (procrastinating time) I love to watch Netflix, hang out with my dog Tucker and my friends and family.
I spend most of my time watching sports, mainly hockey and football. I grew up watching sports(my baby book has my favorite shows being sesame street, football, and hockey). I’m a major fan of the Riders, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I have a part-time job at the mall in Moose Jaw and often pick up times where I either score keep or ref basketball.

Before I took EDTC 300 I had mixed feelings about technology and especially the use of technology in the classroom. While I understood that there were benefits to having the use of technology I also thought of my own high school experience where students were often on their phones for reasons that didn’t benefit them in the classroom.

Taking EDTC 300 last semester I wasn’t necessarily sure what I was getting myself into and I didn’t see myself changing my mind completely on my beliefs on technology in the classroom. Through taking EDTC 300 I did change my mind on the use of technology in the classroom and the benefit to it. I found myself looking for resources and tools that could be used daily within the classroom and tools that could be used for different classes and subjects. I do now understand the purpose and benefit of using technology and I’m excited to try out some different tools and resources this semester!

I look forward to this semester and getting to know and work with everyone!

Rebecca