As an educator, my objective is to personalize and differentiate learning for every student. The students of today are learning in a digital age which requires teachers to “customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.” (NETS for Teachers, 2008) This standard is in line with my Philosophy of Educational Technology.
Whitby (2007) speaks to the idea of a new pedagogical “DNA” for the 21st Century whereby there are specific skill sets to be taught appropriate for a digital age. Young people (students, learners) have a new way of looking at the world, and presently, there is a fundamental mismatch, in some cases, between teachers, their pedagogy, and their students. Siemens (2004) presents the idea that learning is changing and that we are relying more on technology and the networks that learners create to access knowledge that exists outside of the individual. There is a need for ongoing learning in order to stay current and to connect to other individuals, and as Whitby (2007) states, “co-constructors learning with co-constructors of knowledge.” In turn, this will provide a rich new way of teaching and learning, utilizing Educational Technology.
Teaching and learning celebrate the diversity of people. Every student learns in a different way. The paradigm of Universal Design for Learning, which was first developed by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), is a means of respecting a variety of diverse individual learning styles without requiring adaptation. This theoretical framework promotes the success for all learners by inherently having the flexibility to support each individual’s needs. UDL applies to all learners, not exclusively to individuals with disabilities, but aims to provide everyone with equal access to learning. Learning involves all three networks of the brain: Recognition, Strategic, and Affective. UDL principles help educators customize their teaching for individual differences in each of the three brain networks. Flexible digital media and Educational Technology make it easier than ever to provide multiple alternatives and therefore customize teaching and learning.
In my teaching context, grade one, French Immersion, the students are truly growing and learning with what they see. Because these students are immersed in a second language environment, they are constantly seeking different and new ways to understand beyond verbal communication.
Much of learning a second language involves discovery. For example, as students are emerging in their literacy, they discover that combining two letters makes a particular sound, and that the sound is found in many other words. As their vocabulary increases, connections are made and the students “must determine what variables are relevant, what information should be sought about these variables, and, when the information is obtained, what should be done with it” (Driscoll, 2005). My role as a teacher is to present many reading and writing opportunities to my students in order for them to develop an appropriate model of the concept. Educational Technology can be used to afford varied experiences which allow for personal discovery and subsequent learning.
In conclusion, my philosophy of Educational Technology includes personalized learning, respecting the diversity of all learners and providing opportunities for learning through discovery. It it my philosophy that Educational Technology is a tool that affords the opportunity to differentiate my teaching to best meet the needs of my students in a learner-centered environment.
Driscoll. M.P. (2005). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (pp. 227-244; Ch. 7 – Interactional Theories of Cognitive Development). Toronto, ON: Pearson.
National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers. Retrieved October 18, 2009 from: http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_for_Teachers_2008.htm
Rose, D. H., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the Digital Age : Universal Design for Learning Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved October 18, 2009 from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. eLearnSpace, everything elearning. Retrieved October 18, 2009 from: http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm
Whitby, G., (2007). 21st Century Pedagogy. YouTube video. Retrieved October 18, 2009 from:
This week in ETEC 511, we are discussing the History of Educational Technology. DLG5 has put together an impressive wiki designed to lead us through the module. We have been asked to reflect on a sound recording “The Magic Box”. Here are my reflections and a Wordle showcasing the keywords that came to mind as I listened to the sound recording:
Which of the following stages were you first exposed to as a student or later as a professional? Did this change how you operated? In what ways?
My first exposure to technology was in the 1980’s. Thinking back, I remember Macintosh computers and a little later on the Apple 11e. I love the picture you have included on the wiki of the Macintosh computer; that is the model I remember quite clearly! At the time, I don’t think the introduction of computers changed the way I operated. I think I was too young to really “get” computers. In grade 7, we learned how to type on them (the class was called Typing 7), just as we would have learned on a typewriter, so I didn’t really understand other uses. A few years later, we were introduced to LOGO (which I mentioned a few weeks ago) and I found that difficult and frustrating. My true love for computers started in High School. Maybe I was mature enough to realize how computers could assist me. Later as a professional, and as a grad student I am pretty much stuck to my computer; the computer has changed the way I operate. Using the computer is my main mode of communication with colleagues and classmates and it is the way I keep up with trends, news and research.
Did Apple’s idea in the 1970s hold true for you? Have you continued to be loyal to the first computer you were exposed to? If not, why do you think this is?
I have come full circle as I now use a Mac and will never go back to a PC. That being said, I did use PC’s for a long time, however, that was pretty much out of my control. In High School, that is what we were provided with and that is what my family had at home. Even the first computer that I bought on my own was a PC, probably because that was what I was used to. Now that I am back to Apple, I can say that I am loyal to this brand and it is the brand that I use not only for personal use, but also for work as well as my school is completely “Apple’ed” out! I think that Apple has the right product for education. I can see how other industries are loyal PC users.
Thanks for the discussion questions!
ETEC 511: Assignment #1: Defining Keywords in Educational Technology
A mash-up may refer to video, music, web application hybrid, or digital creations:
A mash-up involves the reuse, or remixing, of works of art, of content, and/or of data for purposes that usually were not intended or even imagined by the original creators. It is a derivative work consisting of two or more pieces of (generally digital) media conjoined together, such as a video clip with a different soundtrack applied for humorous effect, or a digital map overlaid with user-supplied data. Mash-ups can be created using different web services or software tools that combine two or more tools to create a whole new service. The term is also used to describe user generated remixes of content from different sources. Mash-ups combine elements from many potential sources, and in the process, open up both creative and legal frontiers that educators and students need to increasingly negotiate.
The creative potential of mash-ups is astounding. Educators must understand the reality of copyright and privacy issues, which may have an impact on what they can create, or have students create. That being said, there is an increasingly enormous amount of material freely available to creators of mash-ups. One such resource is the Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that increases sharing and improves collaboration. The Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use legal tools that give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. By searching the Creative Commons, people can find licensed works that can be shared, remixed or reused without penalty. In the domain of Education, there is the Open Educational Resources Commons.
Great examples of mash-ups exist at Open Source Cinema, where you create your own videos online, remix media that you have on your computer, as well as remix other people’s media from places like YouTube and Flickr. You can also connect with others by sending personal messages, commenting on remixes, or even joining projects that others have created.
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.
You can even create a Wordle with your delicious tags! I started using delicious in the Fall of 2008 when I took ETEC 512. This was my first introduction to social bookmarking. Therefore, I have aptly named this Wordle “3 courses later” as it is a word cloud of tags pertaining to my studies thus far.
I will be using Wordle with my grade one students next year. As a first idea, we will brainstorm words that either start with the same letter or have a common sound in them (I teach French Immersion). We will be able to do this with the SMART Board in my classroom. What I would like to do is print off our Wordles and make a classroom book. I can see many uses for this application and am excited to share it with the rest of the teaching staff at my school!
Here is another Wordle! This one is created using the RSS feed of my ETEC 565 blog. John, can you find your name?
Today is the start of a new project of mine. Each day, at 8 o’clock in the evening, I am going to take a photograph, wherever I am, whether I am alone or with people. My camera is always with me as I keep it in my hand bag at all times. I hope to continue this project for as long as possible, creating a record of my days…
To kick things off, my first photo was taken in the garden of my parents home in Kelowna, BC. Being a teacher, I am lucky to have summers off and spend most of my holiday time here in the Okanagan. Follow this set of photos on my flickr page.
I would like to try a similar project with my grade one students next year. Everyday, I have a “special helper” who takes the attendance down to the office and prepares the calendar activity. My idea at the moment is to have the helper take one digital photograph of an activity we do on their day. At the end of the school year, our classroom would have a record, a digital story, of each and everyday in grade one! Each student would end up contributing 7-8 photographs to the collection and would gain valuable skills by using the digital camera.
Please feel free to explore my ETEC 565 e-portfolio and my Synthesis Reflection.
I would like to thank my classmates and instructors for a great semester! The discussions have been rich and I have enjoyed following all of your weblogs.
The past 13 weeks have been instrumental in my development in the field of Educational Technology. Other courses that I have taken have done an excellent job exploring theory and I feel that this course has allowed me to put theory into practice. ETEC 565 has been my third course in the MET program and I now feel that I have developed a strong foundation in terms of technical competencies. I feel excited and confident for the next seven courses! In short, this course has far exceeded my expectations. I have learned immensely and appreciate how my learning was scaffolded, resulting in success!
Take a look at your LMS (Vista or Moodle) site, including images, multimedia, links, tables and frame. Check the “Quick Tips” on WAI and check your work at Markup Validation Service. See updated Web Accessibility Quick Tips based on WCAG 2 at a glance. What did you find? How accessible is your site? What sorts of things might you need to do to ensure it is accessible to all of your students?
Here is a summary of the points that I took into consideration:
1. Images & animations:
I used the alt attribute to describe the function of each visual.
This is an area where I could improve. The checklist recommends providing captioning and transcripts of audio, and descriptions of video. The next time I embed a video, I would also include a written text of the audio and a short description of the video. That being said, I was able to include audio files using Audacity to support students with the reading components of the course. For more information about multimedia used in my course site, please visit my Multimedia Inventory.
3. Hypertext links:
Throughout my course, I endeavored to use text that makes sense when read out of context. I avoided “click here” and generally used text that described the activity. For example, on my splash page, instead of saying “astronaut”, I say “Start Here”.
4. Page organization:
I have used headings, lists, and consistent structure. My course is organized around three (3) modules, A, B and C.
5. Check your work:
I validated my site at the Markup Validation Service and it found 4 errors. All 4 of them were a XML Parsing Error where I had an opening and ending tag mismatch. The report tells you where the error has occurred; however, I am not sure how to find the specific lines and columns. More learning is required in this area!
Overall, because my site is to be used with teacher support and the SMART Board, I believe that my site is accessible. At my school, we are very focused on Universal Design for Learning; therefore accessibility and differentiation are forefront in my mind when planning lessons to meet learning outcomes.
Think about an example of how multimedia has been used effectively to enhance your learning. Feel free to reflect on your MET experiences, or any other.
Over my first year and three courses in the MET program, the multimedia which I feel has been used effectively to enhance my learning has been screen casting. A screen cast is a digital recording of computer screen output, also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration.
It wasn’t until my third course, ETEC 565A, that I was introduced to this technology. Now that I have been exposed to it, I believe that I would have benefitted from other professors using this multimedia to convey some of the course materials. Here is an example of a screen cast that my instructor in 565A put together towards the beginning of our LMS projects. Thanks John! This was an effective method of showing ETEC 565A participants how to set up their course shell and, as was mentioned in the screen cast by John, saved him about a day and a half of work time!
There are many screen casts available on the web, such as this one on YouTube, which explains how to export and resize a photo using Picasa. This particular screen cast helped me to be able to resize a photo quickly, without having to spend time fiddling around with the program. In the end, this gave me time to focus on other aspects of the E-learning toolkit.
Having been exposed to screen casting, I have created a screen cast with ScreenToaster for my moodle course. My main goal in creating this screen cast is to identify the different components we are being assessed on and to highlight some interesting features of my course.
Screen casting is a multimedia tool that I will continue to use in my teaching practice, with students and colleagues. I often do short educational technology presentations at staff meetings, and presenting a screen cast, which can be archived for reviewing, will be very beneficial and appreciated.