Technology is so influential in our life. I mean, it is such a big part of our day to day activities that I’m sure some people (just like me!) are actually ashamed of their “screen time report” that pops up on their iPhone every Sunday morning. But I don’t think that technology (as a whole) is such a big hit because it’s addictive, but rather because the human race realizes how valuable of a resource it is.
This week for Ed Tech we were tasked with watching the video:
The keynote speaker in the video, Michael Wesch describes how technology has developed into a what some may call a culture. And that technology as a resource links people like never before. His video explores the impact of the first ever online viral video and explains how many people participated in watching the video sensation. He himself then wanted to explore the affects of uploading videos online geared toward hitting a large audience. The video Wesch created was the number 1 bogged about video, it reached over 5 million hits on YouTube, and even gained attention from the TV news outlets. At the time, this was such an incredible phenomenon. Yet, in present day, videos which reach an astoundingly large audience are the norm, proving how much media has infected the masses since the spread of the first video.
Obviously, since technology has worked it’s way into our day to day lives, it has also worked it’s way into the school classrooms of the world.
But how does such massive participation in technology affect education in present day?
- Is a staple in day to day classroom activities. Now technology is used for everything in the classroom. Technology has now taken over the way attendance is taken, the way I store my teaching resources, the way I communicate with the colleagues during the school day, the way I research new topics, the way I project information to my students, etc…
- I feel it provides an unlimited amount of resources for classrooms, teachers, and students. With the click of a button millions of resources are presented on the search criteria. In days following, millions more are added. This to me is a positive and negative thing. At times, the amount of resources available is overwhelming and sometimes unwanted. This too can also be problematic because since everyone whom has access to technology has access to upload content, not all content has validity to it. However, on the flip side, it provides opportunities for teachers and students that may have never been thought of. It spices up previously boring lessons and provides new updated material to engage students/provides students with more ways to express their creativity.
- Allows students to connect to their learning in any way they can imagine. Students can use technology to enhance their learning whether that be through the use of apps, websites, or documents. This can be used to help students not only with inspiration or ideas for projects and work, but can be used to assist students whom have exceptionalities. There is now so much content on the web for apps that help the hearing impaired, or the visually impaired. Apps which help students organize thoughts or writings, apps which help students learn their shapes, colours, letters, etc. It also provides options for those students who may have a physical exceptionality and are unable to write with a standard pencil and paper. Technology can allow students to type their work or speak into their device and have their work recorded of them or digitally appear on a document. The options are endless.
- The frequent use of technology in education provides a stage to talk about online awareness. Students use technology outside of the classroom for social media (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, etc). Using tech in the classroom can allow for there to be open conversations with students about how to stay safe on the web and how to create a positive digital footprint. This knowledge will be transferred to the tech time students have outside of the classroom as well as within the classroom.
There are so many ways the technology has influenced education that I could rant about it for an entire month. This is just a little snapshot into the ever evolving world of technology and education.
Apps I have stumbles across:
- “Best Apps for Teachers and Educators” alot of these are really practical and useful in the classroom. Some of them you have probably already used, however maybe you haven’t given some others a try yet! For example, Remind is a great app and I think seriously undervalued in the classroom. It can be used send out texts to students/parents about upcoming assignments, field trips, or spirit days at school, yet phone numbers are never exchanged.
- “Apps for students with special needs” I have not used any of these apps myself, yet the descriptions of each seems promising.