Emerging Technologies Summary Project

Evidence: The Tech’knowledge’y Tree Story (February, 2015)

OLTD Learning Outcomes addressed:

  • Be familiar with common terms, definitions and elements related to emerging technologies
  • Consider potential design/implementation opportunities and challenges of emerging technologies
  • Demonstrate basic competency with design and implementation with a variety of online learning environments and tools

Reflection to Support Evidence:

OLTD 509 (Emerging Technology) required students to think about how emerging technology connected to or could be used in education, specifically for teaching and learning. As a means of summarizing what we learned during the 6 weeks, we were tasked with answering two critical challenge questions:

How can you select emerging technologies which fit your developing philosophy of education?

How can you inspire, initiate and implement sustainable integration of emerging technologies in your own practice, and in the practice of others?

During 509 we were treated to many different seminars conducted by our peers on emerging technology. While lurking in the gamification seminar, I became intrigued by The Hero’s Journey, a narrative that describes the typical adventure of a (sometimes reluctant) hero who is inspired to take on a challenge. I am starting to see the benefits of gamification, and was inspired by this outline to create a story that would allow me to show what I have learned. To create the story I followed the general narrative, and compiled the many resources provided by my classmates during their seminars and Google Plus posts. I am thankful to be part of such an amazing group of teachers.

Creation of this story allowed me to explore my limited understanding of gamification. I have struggled with how I might incorporate gamification in my own practice as I don’t completely understand the concept. Hero’s Journey has given me a sense of a quest pattern I might be able to use in my lessons. Gathering together resources to fill the Library of Technology in the story helped me synthesize what I learned through participation in various seminars as well as resources I collected during my own research. To address the issue of how to filter through the technology I revisited my teaching philosophy. What I realized is that while I want to move towards student created content using various digital tools it is important to me to maintain a personal connection with my students. The students and their learning is what is important and I need to choose tools based on how they will enhance learning, not simply because it is the newest and shiniest toy.

The story’s main character experienced barriers in her implementation of technology, much like I would in my classroom. Based on my understanding of emerging technology I was able to identify some potential barriers, such as lack of universal access or knowledge of technology, and provide some resources that may help address them. Curating these resources in my e-portfolio ensures that they will be available to me as a future reference.

Technology is increasingly present in our schools but not necessarily as educational tools. Students often have access to technology and communicate in ways that may seem foreign to many instructors. The reality the students graduate into requires them to be competent digital citizens. As instructors it is imperative that we provide opportunities for students to gain knowledge and proficiency in the use of technology. In order to do that, educators must ensure that they remain current with technology and its potential for educational use. When choosing technology it is important to have clearly defined filters:

  • How will you choose what technology to use?
  • What best fits your teaching philosophy?
  • What tool is appropriate for the skill or knowledge level of your students?
  • Is the tool effective in increasing learning of the concept?
  • Is the tool easily accessed by everyone in the class (universal access considerations)?

Equally important is assessing your own comfort level with the technology; educators should have a basic competency with any tool they ask their students to use. I can implement these outcomes in my teaching practice by ensuring I clearly understand and apply my own filters as I review emerging technologies for use with my students.

Link to evidence: The Tech’knowledge’y Tree Story

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