Week 2: Reflection

It has been great to hear so many views on opening learning.  Several ideas/concerns came up that has got me thinking.  I appreciate the emerging technology of open learning, and there are pockets of activity that show promise.  One of the concerns is the viability of Internet connection in remote areas of Alaska.  It’s interesting that we can be so dependent on connectivity that we if don’t have access, we have to abandon its use, and never see the benefits of emerging technology.  Case in point that affected ALL schools in Alaska this year was the outage that affected the AMP assessment administration.  As much as I appreciate technology and the Internet, we can be a slave to it’s problems.  In all my years of teaching, and in all my efforts of using technology in the class, I HAVE to believe that Murphy’s Law is king!  It doesn’t matter what I try, there is always a situation and problem when technology is being used.  It can be as simple as students not being able to log onto a computer, to having the power go out because of bad weather.  I have to admit that I am concerned about my technology session that I am a presenter for in a few weeks.  Digital Photography is my topic and I am trying to prepare myself for every possible troubleshooting issue, but I know that something will come up that I wasn’t prepared for!  Wish me luck…

Another concern that I noticed is the viability of primary grades use of open learning.  How can we have students engaged in their own learning technology when they are barely used to writing sentences and numbers by hand?  I admit there are quite of few resources that elementary teachers can use for their students that are technology related, but I can’t see this operating successfully unless it is severely structured by the teacher.  Khan Academy can be successfully used in primary grades, but as with all things new, we need to have professional development.  I experimented with this OER, but not everyone has the luxury of taking time out of a busy day to learn a new emerging technology.

I hope teacher education programs in colleges are adequately preparing future teachers for the barrage of technology that can be used, is used, and should not be used in the class.  It is terribly mind blowing to think about the amount of emerging technology that is created each year, let alone each month.  New devices, apps, software, hardware, methodologies, pedagogies, and philosophies.  It’s no wonder some teachers find technology a barrier, and not a gateway.  Maybe “old school” is not so bad, and maybe the best emerging technology I can use in my math class is a graphing calculator… although Desmos is a great online app that can do amazing things, and there is Wolfram Alpha, Khan Academy, and …



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