Educational Technology in My Life

Last night we had our first online class for EC&I 833. The class had us looking back through the years at how education and technology have evolved. I couldn’t help but think back to my experiences with technology and education right from the first computer I had at home (an IBM) right through to my teaching experiences with technology. I decided to create a mini presentation/vlog to share some of my experiences. If you want to hear about my past experiences you can watch from the start until 6:40, after that I discuss how my past experiences have shaped my current philosophy on technology and education.

I took some time to look up some of the educational games I used in the past and it brought back some great memories. Number Munchers, Reader Rabbit and All The Right Type are the programs that stand out the most in my mind. I think we all remember the typing programs… fff jjj faff jjj ff jj fjf jfj …am I right?? As a side note, anyone who was also a big fan of Number Munchers should be happy to hear that they have an app! I was surprised to come across it but I’m not going to lie…I will be downloading it. Anyways…back to the matter at hand.

After thinking about my experiences I started to think about how they impacted my education and how technology continues to influence my teaching practice. Technology has evolved over a long period of time and we’ve seen many advancements from the printing press to the computer. I would like to argue that the computer has had the biggest impact on the way we do things, but I could also argue that newspapers, radio and tv have drastically changed the way we have progressed globally and within our society. It doesn’t matter what type of technology is being introduced there are going to be changes that come along with it. Neil Postman describes five ways things that we need to know about technological change and I believe they are all valid points. I think my favourite point he makes is that every change comes with a trade-off. Some might argue that texting is making our students bad writers while others will argue that it is helping our language evolve.  Either way you look at it, we are trading something off.

Neil also states that “technology is not additive: it’s ecological”. This implies that it changes the way we do things. It impacts everything we do and we need to adapt and change to work with technology. This idea really speaks to me when I think about technology and education. As I explain in my video, technology has the ability to drastically change the way we do education. It gives learners and opportunity to go beyond the classroom walls and make connections that may have never been possible before. I know we have a long way to go as not everyone is onboard with integrating technology and we don’t have the funds to get us to where we maybe should/could be. But we are working on it. It is something that will always evolve and seems to be evolving at a very fast pace. It is our job to do our best to keep up with the times so that students are prepared for the 21st century work force that is seeking critical thinkers, problem solvers and collaborators.

I’m not sure I’ve done the definition of educational technology but I hope you can make some connections to what I have said and that I’ve made you think about your own practices and views on educational technology.

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6 thoughts on “Educational Technology in My Life

  1. Wow Ashley! Great job, this is a wonderful blog post! I really enjoyed watching your video about your experiences/feelings in regards to educational technology. I really felt that I could relate to many of the experiences you shared involving technology. Thanks again for this great blog post!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ashley- always get me thinking!

    All the right type- ha! I remember hours upon hours of that program when I was in the ‘computer lab’ at school. It wasn’t until a class I took as an adult that I learned to type using the home row effectively- and just last week I had a student marvel that I was typing on my computer while I was looking at them and listening to what they were saying!

    That being said, as I type this reply on my iPhone, I wonder the different skills people need to acquire now, to type on laptops, but also Soley using thumbs to type larger messages etc. I believe that my prior knowledge of home row and typing allows me to type with my thumbs faster on my iPhone, but how are students learning to effectively utilize these devices too?

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    • That’s something that I struggle with in my Tech 9 class. Part of high school computer curriculum is to teach proper keyboarding skills, but I don’t type the way I’m supposed to with the proper fingers and form. I have my own style that seems to get the trick done but I’m sure it’s not as fast as what I could be if I had proper skills. Not to mention that I’m sure I will develop carpel tunnel syndrome eventually ha ha. I have decided to leave keyboarding out this year because there are more valuable things I have decided to use the time doing. Maybe after this semester I will switch back and re-introduce keyboarding in my classes. Funny to think about how things change and how we need to re-evaluate the usefulness of them.

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  3. Really enjoyed your blog. Thanks for taking the extra time to make it into a video. Can’t wait until I am at that stage as well.

    I agree that we need to work towards integrating more technology into our everyday teaching. Not sure how we develop capacity in our “front line teachers” without making it feel overwhelming. Constantly concerned about pace of change in education and teacher burn out.

    This class gives us the opportunity to learn more about educational technology but for teachers who aren’t ready for change or who don’t have the time or perhaps the interest to learn, I struggle wondering how we can support them. Do they need our support?

    Lots of good points and thoughts coming to mind after reading your blog/watching video.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    • There are a lot of teachers who feel they aren’t ready to take on all the new technology. I have even been in that position. It can be so overwhelming. It is important that we try to work with those teachers to make the transition easy and make sure they feel comfortable. We may have to take small steps with this but any step in the right direction is progress. The thing that makes it even more difficult is how quickly technology changes. Sometimes it seems impossible to keep up with.

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