Which emerging pedagogy appeals most to you, and might be most useful for your classroom and students? Why?

As an adult who graduated high school and went to college using only books and libraries to do research with, moving into a technology world of teaching is difficult sometimes. I see all these cool tools that I think I could use in a classroom, only to find out the technology for its use doesn’t exist where I am.   It becomes frustrating to try and see an implementation course of action when you can’t use something. Mishra and Koehler (2007) show an illustration on the framework of TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge), which builds on Shulman’s description of PCK (Pedagogical Content Knowledge).

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In this model, there are three main components of teachers’ knowledge: content, pedagogy, and technology. Equally important to the model are the interactions between and among these bodies of knowledge, represented as PCK (Pedagogical Content Knoledge), TCK (technological content knowledge), TPK (technological pedagogical knowledge), hence TPACK, Mishra and Koehler (2007). I see this as an introduction to the future of teaching, and also a downfall of districts that are struggling to keep up. Another problem I have found is districts spend a lot of money on specialized software and program integrations that are only good for a year or two because technology is advancing so rapidly. This is the frustration that I have run into in the last two years. Looking for a solution, I may have found it in MOODLE. We have MOODLE, yet no one knows how to use it in my grade level. We have not been trained on what it can and can’t do, so thanks to youtube, I spent three hours pouring over the use and implementation of MOODLE. I see MOODLE fitting into the TPACK model, and being a viable course of action in my classroom.

A (not so) emerging technology that I would love to use is the flipped classroom. How cool would it be to have students go home, watch a video and practice a skill to come back the next day with a basic understanding of the task at hand? I could actually spend more time with the struggling students and challenge the ones that have a firm grasp on the knowledge without a thirty-minute lecture. Punya Mishra and Methew Koehler (2007) state “Technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) is knowledge of the existence, components, and capabilities of various technologies as they are used in teaching and learning settings, and conversely, knowing how teaching might change as the result of using particular technologies.” I think this is so true, teaching could change dramatically with the use of technology, and the classroom environment could benefit greatly. The problem I have is less that 5% of my class does or will have Internet at home. There is no library outside of the school, there is no Internet café, and there is little to no cell service on the reservation. There is only one place that has WIFI and it is limited to paying customers only.

As a grade level, we discussed the use of MOODLE last night, and see an implementation course of action for our grade. Once a week our students get computer time for fifty-minutes. We can use that time to introduce a topic using the flipped classroom. It is not the ideal way, but it is something we can do to teach a skill coming up the next week, and have the kids practice up to that point. We can also use center time during the week, to reinforce that skill before it becomes the taught lesson. We believe that using the flipped classroom will help our struggling students see how it is done through a video, then put the skill to use in the classroom, and us, be able to spend the quality time needed to help the struggling students. Whether it works or not will remain to be seen, but I am optimistic.

I see the flipped classroom as a tool of the future, and a way of making learning fun. I know most everyone in this class is tech savvy already, but below is a video from Keith Hughes who make learning fun and easy on a shoe-string budget!

References:

Mishra, P. & Koeler, M.J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record, Volume 108, Number 6, June 2006, 1017-1054.

Koeler, M. J. & Mishra, P. (2009). What Is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.

What do you se as the promise of Open Learning as an emerging technology/pedagogy/philosophy?

Open learning is a concept that has been around for over forty years. Open classrooms were designed to allow children to experiment with learning in a real-world application. Today that same theory has been rejuvenated in the Common Core with group work and discussion. To add the element of technology we now have free online learning groups, flipped classrooms, and free education type material available to increase education development. But at what cost is it really free? Textbooks are not free, journal articles are not free, and complete degree programs are not free. The question is, is it a sustainable program, and is the learning environment a quality environment? As a world community we are trying to start a revolution in learning, but we need to step back and get a better understanding on what open education and learning really means.

In a perfect world open learning would mean that everything is free. Tony Bates (2015) states:

Open education can take a number of forms:

  • education for all: free or very low cost school, college or university education available to everyone within a particular jurisdiction, usually funded primarily through the state;
  • open access to programs that lead to full, recognized qualifications. These are offered by national open universities or more recently by the OERu;
  • open access to courses or programs that are not for formal credit, although it may be possible to acquire badges or certificates for successful completion. MOOCs are a good example;
  • open educational resources that instructors or learners can use for free. MIT’s OpenCourseware, which provides free online downloads of MIT’s video recorded lectures and support material, is one example;
  • open textbooks, online textbooks that are free for students to use;
  • open research, whereby research papers are made available online for free downloading;
  • open data, that is, data open to anyone to use, reuse, and redistribute, subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share.

Today not all this exists. We still have to pay for a lot of the information we need to receive a formal education. Degrees are not free for the taking because we do some online coursework, and publishers are not willing to “give away” their materials just because we have electronic capabilities. Bates goes on to say State-funded public education is the most extensive and widespread form of open education. We still have to fund it through taxes, and there are still fees involved in some materials. If a child has no access to technology, then there is nothing free, they still have a textbook and are still locked in room.

On the other hand Open Learning is a viable tool for struggling countries and children when education is not free, and not always accessible. Open Learning Exchange-A Global Network, makes education possible for children that may not have the ability to obtain an education. The following video states their purpose and ability to provide that education on a global scale.

This concept is a valuable tool for countries where education to the masses is not possible. Here in the U.S., we have free education, it is funded by the taxpayers and the federal government, and to open that environment to a global community electronically, is not fiscally viable nationwide. The idea of having online programs, courses, meeting rooms, and shared ideas is a great idea, but not all students can engage in that medium and it is not always a good choice for younger learners.

Today in the classroom we have ten and twelve year old students that are writing and typing papers with abbreviations from twitter and texting. It seems to me that as a society we want to interact with people electronically. This explains the lack of social skills our youth have today. It also explains the lack of writing and reading skills our youth have. I see open learning as a great tool for expansion of knowledge, idea generation and collaboration, but not as a solid learning environment.

This concept is a valuable tool for countries where education to the masses is not possible. Here in the U.S., we have free education, it is funded by the taxpayers and the federal government, and to open that environment to a global community electronically, is not fiscally viable nationwide. The idea of having online programs, courses, meeting rooms, and shared ideas is a great idea, but not all students can engage in that medium and it is not always a good choice for younger learners.

References

Bates, T. (2015, February 16). What do we mean by “open” education? (Web log comment). Retrieved from http://www.tonybates.ca/2015/02/16/what-do-we-mean-by-open-in-education/

Week 1 Reflection

Well I read a lot of blogs and everyone seemed to be on the same page.  The Horizon Report seemed to be the top trend.  I had never herd of this before this class and now I know something new.  Jahmila made a good point by saying that she believes emerging technologies are ideas or tools still in the development stage.  Kendra made a statement about blogging and tweeting, and a lot of people talked about the new trend BYOD.  While all this is great, it still comes back to “is the technology relevant to education”, and if it is, is it a useful tool in the learning process.  We as educators get to be on the ground floor of beta testing if our districts are open enough to let us try new things.  If they are not, all this talk is just that, talk, and we will never know if it is a viable tool to learning.  There are so many tools available to us now that are not that old, that could change the dynamic of the classroom, if districts would just stop and listen to common sense and not spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on old technology that has no real use in the classroom.

I still say that emerging technology is a tool that will help us learn.  A tool that will help us be more effecient in what we do, and allow our kids to advance not only in education but the changing of the world.  Not all technology is good, and not all is bad, but there has to be a need for it to be useful.

How Do We Define Emerging Technologies?

How do we define emerging technologies? George Veletsisanos defines emerging technologies as tools, innovations, and advancements utilized in diverse educational settings to serve varied education-related purposes (Veletsisanos, 2008). I say it is technology that could be new or old that is meant to help us in learning. It could be a tool, or a way of doing things, something that is not being used everywhere. Emerging technology has many faces; we see it in business, education, sports, and recreation. Veletsisanos writes that Individuals and corporations see a potential exists in technology, but that potential hasn’t been realized yet. But it seems everyone is trying to get their product out there and used by schools and teachers.

Saga Briggs writes for Innovation Excellence, and uses data from the NMC (New Media Consortium) who has been following emerging technologies in teaching and learning across the globe. One of their research efforts, The Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition listed ten emerging technologies that would impact the world of education within the next five years. Those technologies were: cloud computing, mobile learning, learning analytics, open content, 3D printing, MOOCs, virtual and remote laboratories, games and gamification, tablet computing, and wearable technology (Briggs, 2013).

Combining that list with the list of author Mariana Ashley from Online Colleges.net who had the top ten amazing emerging trends in elementary ed., there was really no match. Ashley had more hand held hardware, and materials that were or are already in classrooms.

The differences I see between the two are, one author is using actual data, and the other is trying to compile a list for parents and educators. The REMC Association of Michigan has a site with a link titled Keeping up with trends and emerging technologies, where they state right off the bat, “Your first step is to read the Horizon Report each year” (REMC.ORG).

I was trying so hard to find the actual technology to answer this question that I lost focus of the question, how do we define emerging technology. I guess the only simple answer is we need to understand what the technology is and how it is going to improve the learning process. The things that work and can be implemented on a larger scale and are backed by a reputable organization will be the emerging technology until the next big thing comes along.

Ashley, M. (2015). 10 Amazing, Emerging Tech Trends In Elementary Education. Retrieved from http://www.onlinecolleges.net/10-amazing-emerging-tech-trends-in-elementary-education/

Briggs, S. (2013, July 29). 10 Emerging Educational Technologies & How They Are Being Used Across the Globe (Web log comment). Retrieved from http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/07/29/10-emerging-educational-technologies-how-they-are-being-used-across-the-globe/#sthash.IrW7P0gb.dpuf

REMC (2015). 21 Things 4 Teachers, REMC Association of Michigan. Emerging Technologies, what’s next? Retrieved from http://www.21things4teachers.net/21-things/emerging-technologies/

Veletsianos, G. (2008, November 18). A definition of emerging technologies for education (Web log comment). Retrieved from http://www.veletsianos.com/2008/11/18/a-definition-of-emerging-technologies-for-education/