I still remember the first time I saw a personal computer. Andrew’s dad was a professor at Memorial University and had given that lucky boy the future. It was a black screen with orange MS-DOS type, hooked up to a dot-matrix printer. I was smitten.
Fast forward several years later. My first glimpse of the Internet. My fellow classmates and I huddled around the one tiny monitor that had a dial up connection. Here at my fingertips, everything I ever wanted to know, that I couldn’t find in that white set of encyclopedias my mother bought me when I was a kid. I was in love.
The first computer I bought for my business was $5000 and had 2GB of memory. I was the computer queen. Twenty years and about seven computers later my latest machine cost far less and has about 2TB of memory. Leaps and bounds in two decades.
What intrigues me is the notion that I can literally live anywhere, such as rural Prince Edward Island, and potentially create content for post secondary institutions anywhere in the world. Beyond that there is the potential to create learning experiences for anyone who seeks it out, beyond traditional bricks and mortar campuses, particularly those in rural areas.
A perfect example, in my opinion, of a website that does this well is lynda.com. With over 4000 courses, this website draws experts, in their respective fields, to share their knowledge is short, digestible videos. It is the type of learning that can fit into virtually any schedule.
My goal for this course is to learn what platforms are available to deliver content to students, in the most interesting and interactive way. If they are in front of me, how do I engage them, using technology? If they are learning virtually, how do I develop the materials to be clear and extremely user friendly?
Educational technology is an exciting place to be right now.
So we had our first day of class, which happens to be my first CAE course. I have to say, I thought I was totally behind in the whole technology thing and after reading the course contract I was even more nervous about this course. After todays class, I was super relieved to see that there are others in the same situation as me! Phew! 🙂
Today we talked alot about what success looks like to individuals. Putting aside the fact that we all have that common goal of passing the course, I love the idea of success meaning different things to different people. After todays class, I’m hopeful to gain more of an insight into how technology can be useful to me.
Although I had a twitter account, I rarely used it in the past because I saw it as another distraction or time waster since I already had Facebook. I didn’t see a need to have another type of social media. However, after today my perspective changed on that. I learned that even though social media can be a distraction or time waster (if I let it be! ;)), it can also be used as a helpful networking tool for my profession. One of my goals this week is to learn more about Twitter and begin to use it in a professional way.
I’m also looking forward to learning about new technology that I may not know anything about.
See you all tomorrow,
Educational Technology and The Adult Learner
First day expectations
When I was first registering for this course I didn’t really give much thought on what to expect. Honestly I was more concerned with making sure I registered for it correctly online. For the past 5 years I had been instructing on a national use of force program for a federal agency. The extent of educational technology was limited to the odd YouTube video, PowerPoint presentations and emails. There was little to no room or flexibility for me to introduce any learning material/ technology into the course that was not directly approved by the training and learning directorate. Now as an instructor for Holland College, I find myself in a position where I have a great deal of room and flexibility in not only what I present in my classes but also mediums that I use to assist in my instructing.
The first thing that hope to get the most out of this course to get exposed and become functional in technologies that I am unfamiliar with whether because of lack of knowledge or personal boycott. In this regard I guess todays exercise of setting up a tweeter account has forced me to enter into a communication medium that I had been avoiding for quit sometime, even though it was for no valid reason. As the course continues I expect there will be several edtech that will be brought up that I am either unaware of or not current utilizing.
I also hope to develop or recognize ways it incorporate technologies into my current course. Primarily, I instruct hands on skills, most of the learning is presented using demonstration either in the gym or other venue with little classroom time. With that being said there is a small amount of lecturing that takes place. As the course continues I hope to identify ways to maximize edtech in my courses, whether it be gathering information for course development and communicating with students and faculty.
Finally, I am looking forward to networking and developing contacts with other instructors. I want hear what educational technologies they have successfully used in their courses. I would like to know what challenges they encountered and how they overcame them, also what has or have not worked for them.
Almost forgot to mention, I would also like to successfully complete the course!
I have not been living under a rock for the 10 years, however, this is my first entry into the blogosphere.
I have a very specific goal/activity that I would like to become more familiar with heading into this course:
Each year I have students do a short (5 minute) group safety presentation that focuses on personal protective equipment (PPE), hand/power tools, and stationary power equipment. This year I would like students to use their smart phones to video their presentation, upload it to you tube, and share it with the class.
This is not a new idea. I had a co-worker who took this course a few years ago and applied this activity in his classroom. He has since left the college to pursue a career with the Charlottetown Fire Department, but the activity he created worked so well that the new learning manager that replaced him (who is not at all tech savvy) continues to use it.
I would prefer to gain confidence and understanding of the necessary steps and use of technology before applying it in the classroom. Perhaps I could even improve the idea using a new form of technology that was not available a few years ago. Another thing I have been thinking about, is timing of this activity in relation to the school year. Safety, tools, and equipment, is the first course of the year and I believe that if this activity happens to go south, it may give students the wrong impression of my teaching ability. Although I like to try new teaching strategies in the classroom, I am cautious not to get in over my head, especially with the use of technology.
There is also the Twitter thing. I have used twitter and tweet deck in a couple of other courses and tried to use it a bit on my own, but quickly lost interest. I am willing to give it another attempt and hopefully get a more use out of it this time around.
I thought our first class went great, not only did no one cry, nobody got up and left ether. I am enjoying the witty humor both from classmates and our instructor Dave and I am looking forward to streching my mind with the group during our time together.
I am still not sure of what my expectations are of the course as of yet. Today seemed to go by very fast with a lot of communication, which was much better then being stuck on a computer. It was good to see some familiar faces from other courses and meet some new people. I enjoy social interaction and would much rather have a face to face conversation with a person, instead of sending something in an email or text.
One goal for the course would be to learn more about technology and find better ways to utilise it in my subject matter (firearms). Right now I feel because of what I teach, the use of technology is very limited to power points or videos. I have had little to no exposure with the use of technology myself, however, I really hope this courses opens up some new avenues for me to proceed down as an instructor. I would like to take away some new forms or mediums that I can incorporate in my class to keep the lecture side of things interesting. I hope to discover some new types of technology that will assist in this goal.
One idea that I had today while driving home was to develop a website, where I could upload some safety training information or videos in relation to firearms training, as the safety aspect is the same for all weapons systems and all levels, be it a recruit level or instructor level. As my current students range from in house Cadets, to shift workers living everywhere from Nunavut to Ontario, I think having this information available to them at their convenience would be of great benefit. Again this would be a pre-course assignment, as I would still have to cover the information in class, due to the seriousness and complexity of the shooting on a live range.
I’m feeling the flow of a lot of learning and networking happening. It seems to be a supportive, work at your own pace environment. Today I’ve resurrected my long forgotten twitter account. It was good to see some familiar faces from previous classes, and the opportunity to meet and work with some new people.
The idea of blogging is still brand new for me. In the past my only blog experience was reading the odd mommy blog I’d seen linked on Facebook. Oh, and my friend’s daughters blog about her adventures teaching in Vietnam. Although I enjoyed those I never thought I’d be writing one of my own.
I like stretching out of my comfort zone. I was actually surprised at my growing confidence with technology since starting courses here at UPEI. I’m becoming more comfortable with Blackboard Collaborate, Google Slides, Powtoon, Power Point and Twitter. Today went rather smoothly for me technologically. A year ago I would have had a minor panic attack at the thought of anything computer related (outside of Facebook that is). I’m now at a place of, hoping to expand on and learn some new techie skills. As well as some new platforms to use.
I really like having choice when it comes to assignments for this course. I like the flexibility the syllabus provides. However, I did feel like a bit of a tool when I learned classes were over on Tuesday the 12th. I was really thinking they went until Friday the 15th. Ooops!
It seems as if there will be a lot of content to cover in a condensed time frame. The shift away from the online moodle courses, where tests are given in a multiple choice format, with lots of heavy textbook reading is refreshing for me. I like the idea of a course like this one. More open concept and challenging that encourages you to think for yourself. I think we’ll really get out of it, whatever we choose to put in.
Thanks for reading my rookie blog post!