Navigating the Jungle of Educational Technology

When it comes to actually navigating the world of educational technology, I can already tell that it’s going to be difficult. There are so many things online that we have to be able to get past (like distractions) to see the gems that are out there. However, I think Ed Tech will definitely help by simply providing a spring board for us to bounce off of and give us some tools to help find our way through the harrowing world of technology.

First, I’ll start out with the class itself before moving on to what I’m really excited about. We had a fun night in Ed. Tech last night! While the class started with a quite the puzzle (Breakout EDU) to figure out, it was ultimately a great experience to have with my new classmates! A little competition to start a three hour class on doesn’t hurt anyone (except for my puzzling self esteem!). We started out with a quizizz quiz – a fun, website based quiz that acted like a pre- and post assessment of what we would learn in the lecture portion of the class. It was really interesting to use and I can see if coming in handy as it gives data for the students and calculates some relevant information for you (what was your toughest question? What was the class accuracy?). Afterwords, we had a discussion about what was in the quiz.

I learned that there’s all kinds of support for teachers when it comes to using technology in the classroom. While it might not be out there in the public eye (in other words, a lot of support can’t be found all over Facebook or Instagram ((though please note – there’s probably a lot of good info hidden on those sites, too!))), it can still exist. And figuring out ways to include technology can help when you look at techniques like SAMR. Here’s an article I found by Kelly Walsh that describes that one in more detail. Maybe my lesson group can bounce off of this style of lesson planning if we get stuck.

Next, the hardest part of lesson planning is actually coming up with ideas. I’ve experienced this a little bit in other classes, but usually, I had something more detailed to go off of. This was a great experience because all we were given was one topic – “curating resources” and then we can run with it. What do we want to teach the class about resources? What do we want them to take away from it? What do we want them to be able to do when we’re done? After those questions are answered, I think it’ll be easier to find ways to accomplish that. One of my group partners and I were able to home up with a stellar idea that I hope will be successful. If nothing else, it’ll be fun to crash and burn with it!

Finally, in order to keep students engaged with your lesson when you’re teaching with technology, you must teach with technology. What good does it do to have them use technology in the classroom for only the sake of technology? Yes – students need to understand how to use technology. It’s not going anywhere any time soon. What will they do in the workforce if they don’t understand how to use these tools? However, everything they will need to know about tech will be addressed in an engaging and effective lesson which uses tech along side the lesson, with it and to the benefit of the lesson and the students. They don’t need to sit at a computer solely so they can get used to sitting at a computer.

A couple of questions, though – I would really like to discuss more about finding support from professional organizations. Is there a place that let’s us know what out there and where to find it? As well, is there a way we can find information about ways to differentiate learning when using technology. While it may be beneficial to some students, I could see some things being harder for other students to use (lights, noises, visuals, accessibility, etc.).

Finally – the lesson! While I don’t want to give too much information away just in case other class members are reading this, I’m super excited to teach it! The partner who was in class and I came up with a stellar and fun idea. Hopefully, all three of us will have some time this weekend to get together and talk about it more. We really want to focus the lesson on getting our classmates to be resourceful and finding ways to collect resources and tips and share them with others (in or outside of the class). In regards to the fast approaching deadline and the work that we’ve set ourselves up with, I will do more research on puzzles and the best websites to share the kind of information we’ll be working on in the lesson.

 

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