I really learned a lot about Open Learning as an emerging technology in education, especially in regards to K-12. I received both my bachelors and now I am working on my Masters online through the open learning experience. Even in the last five years technology has come a really long way in it’s delivery and efficiency of open learning at the collegiate level. Gosh, in one of my very first distant education classes I had to watch video, listen to audio recording and participate in call in classes. Even Blackboard continues to emerge and become more user friendly and student controlled. I fully embrace the Open Learning platform. I now just have a nice fancy name to attach to it! However, when it comes to young learners I believe that teachers need to act as facilitators. I’m not quite ready to let my kindergartners take off and create their own open learning experiences with their peers just yet. I do see a ton of value in the teacher as facilitator. I would be finding the content to share with my class and giving them access to this information in a more controlled setting.
Open Learning is a philosophy of student education that promotes and appreciates the practices of constructivism and connectivism (Grahm, et. al, nd.). At it’s best an Open Learning environment in the K-12 classroom blends face-to-face, computer augmented and use online resources or activities (Harasim, 2011 as cited in Grahm, et. al, nd). This understanding of blended and open learning stands on the belief that knowledge should be free and that students and educators should be able to contribute the collective wealth of knowledge available.
I agree that there are many numerous positive outcomes to blended learning environments and that with clear objectives (teacher created) an open learning experience can be extremely inspirational. In Alaska with our hundreds of villages this is only more apparent. Open learning also helps teachers to fulfill the necessary requirements for technology engagement in the CCSS and likewise the AKSS.
As I began researching safe and reliable sources of information for K-12 teachers to use I ran into a several difficulties. Kahn Academy is one source and we as a family have used it as times to help redirect our own children with their homework. This has stemmed mostly from the “That’s not how my teacher does it” wail of frustration we are often met with around the dinner table. Kahn to the rescue! Somehow when he explains it to our kids all things are right again with the world. But since that resource has already been shared by others I wanted to try and come up with something different.
AKTEACH is an online, homeschool, and blended educational resource that is really starting to take off here in our state with numerous benefits to students and families. Any student can access this resource, however students must be enrolled in the program so it isn’t something families can access independently. However, the benefits for learning our many. Students can take one or all of their courses through this program and can be in traditional brick mortar classroom or be completely home-schooled. To me this program really exemplifies the amount of virtual learning that can take place in our state, especially in regards to STEM learning. If you haven’t checked out this program is worth looking at. As a plus Dr. Grahm will be the keynote speaker at the conference they are hosting next week here in Kodiak! Maybe I will see your Dr. Grahm. (Although I will be attending other PD oppurtunities).
TED Ed is another online educational platform resource that teachers can use to provide access not only to educational videos and resources but also to share teacher and student created animated videos emphasizing learning topics. This platform provides to create their own interactive lessons for classrooms all over the world.
Graham, et. al. (n.d.) Open learning in k-12 online and blended learning environments. Retreived from: https://www.academia.edu/10311797/Open_Learning_in_K-12_ Online_and_Blended_Learning_Environments
Week 1 Reflection
Please excuse my confusion! I thought I needed to post my two additional resources here in my reflection. I realize now it needs to go into the first post. Whoops! Any how emerging technologies was a topic for my husband and our best friends around the campfire last night. Praise God for the amazing weather we have had here on the rainy rock of Kodiak. So we were talking about this and we came up with the idea that American’s in general are slower at accepting changes than many other countries. We pride ourselves on our nostalgic mind set and and “good old days”. I think this is a part of our culture and certainly more true for people who live in less urban areas. So perhaps this aversion by many to accept changes in education are a part of this nostalgic culture.
At the same time we realized that Facebook is always emerging and has connected millions of people together. I know I use it to plan all of my activities and find out what is going on. I have a FB page for my classroom and my church has one as well. My best friend has a store on FB and makes hundreds maybe even a thousand dollars a month selling clothes on FB. Isn’t that amazing! If you don’t have a FB account today people find it strange!
My kids go to a school that embraces technology very much. Robotics classes and World Bridge which is a STEM school are highly sought after classes. In fact the Bridge team won First place in a world competition in Italy last summer for their early earthquake warning system. Right now they are working on an agricultural project to grow grass on desert floors.
Here is a video of my son’s robotics team at his school. He is the one in green with the stocking cap on. It really starts about 1:25 before that his teacher is doing some instruction.
Anyway this to me is an emerging technology that is on the horizon of becoming more commonplace. Especially if we consider technology to be the agent of change for our world. This Scientific American post lists all different types of technologies that are shaping our world and driving innovation. I do feel like we as teachers are innovators we are learning new things about our students and about our teaching everyday. I’m excited to see what I can learn from this class about introducing technologies into my classroom.
I just finished reading the article by George Veletsianos on emerging technologies (2015). I appreciated how he attempted to define emerging technologies. Even though it took me about three reads to get through it! Emerging technologies versus established technologies has defined by George are:
- not necessarily new
- coming in to being (meaning they are developing)
- go through hype cycles
- are not fully understood (how will they shape education in the future ?)
- may not be trusted
One of the statements that Veletsianos made that really stuck out to me was in regards to education and it’s resistance to change. Education in general may not always embrace emerging technologies. This is because the impact on student learning is not fully understood. Perhaps sometimes classrooms/districts that embrace technology are seen as not to be trusted. Many parents want their children to have the same learning experiences that they did. I wonder if time will change the perspective of education and what it means to have fully integrated technology in every classroom. I think of my children 7th, 9th and 11th grade in the fall as the pioneers of education and technology. I wonder if their children will be the students who truly see the impact of what emerging technolgies will have on education?
As a parent I’m learning to embrace what their schools are starting to focus on in the classroom. As a teacher I’m learning how to embed technology in my classroom.
The 2015 NMC Horizons Report emphasized that time is needed to allow for teachers, parents and districts to catch up to what emerging technologies are beginning to offer. Also reliable and equal access to the internet should be considered as a contributing factor. I know I have a lot to learn not only as an educator but a human who is learning to embrace technology.
NMC Horizon Report K-12 Edition (2015) Retreived from: http://www.nmc.org/publication/nmc-horizon-report-2015-k-12-edition/
Velestianos, George (2008, November 18). A definition of emerging technologies for education. Retrieved from: http://www.veletsianos.com/2008/11/18/a-definition-of-emerging-technologies-for-education/#sthash.6xHTIVNg.dpuf
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