My post this week was inspired by this tweet:
— Alec Couros (@courosa) March 13, 2016
Do teachers really see the true value in authentic technology integration? Or rather, are we just utilizing popular tech tools because they offer a sense of excitement, even when teaching in the traditional sense. Alfie Kohn makes this statement, challenging teachers to consider how they are using particular tech tools and whether they are substituting rather than redefining: “These are shiny things that distract us from rethinking our approach to learning and reassure us that we’re already being innovative.” This was intriguing to me – I agree that technology in education should be focused on modification and redefinition according to the SAMR model, but even with these best intentions, some teachers may only be using technology as a form of substitution or augmentation.
This video provides examples of the SAMR model used in classroom:
As an educator, how do you plan to ensure you are utilizing tech in an effective and innovative manner, reflecting the higher-order of the SAMR model?
I also found this article, with arguments similar to that of Kohn’s. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely don’t agree with everything said. However, I think it provides some interesting perspective regarding the growing usage of technology in schools. The article discusses the growth of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and online learning, critically looking at whether or not this is always beneficial for a student, regardless of convenience. Do we really receive the same learning opportunities and potential for success by sitting behind the computer screen rather than in a classroom? The article argues, “it might seem appealing to be able to learn at the time and place of one’s choosing, but there is something to be said for learning in the physical presence of others.”
I have to say, I agree with this statement, to an extent…
I have taken online courses and feel like I did not learn a single thing – I have pretty much no recollection of what the course was about and I found the online quizzes to be fairly useless to me. However, this was really based on the program used to deliver the course. For example, ECMP455 is held on Zoom, which allows students to utilize webcam, audio, screen-sharing, chat, and more. The live interaction with both the instructors and fellow students makes for a much more authentic learning experience. In comparison, programs that are only set up in the way that students read content on their own, answer polls or surveys, respond to forum questioning, and take online quizzes seem to be less beneficial due to the lack of interaction (less able to learn from each other).
Am I the only one who thinks this? Have you had any experience with online courses similar to what I have mentioned?
Furthermore, the article suggests, “there are clear benefits to having an expert teacher standing at the front of a class and delivering a lecture.” I have always approached my teaching style in a way that minimizes the “expert” role and focuses more on student-led learning. However, I was intrigued by this statement as it made me reflect on my own teaching philosophy.
What are the implications of this when considering your role as a teacher?