Sunday, July 12, 2015

First post for my specialist course!

Question: What is your vision for technology use in education? How does this compare or contrast with the required readings? 

I really liked the first quote in the Achieving Excellence required reading that read :

"We want schools ... where students will feel free to dream about their futures, where they are able to connect their passions with possible career options, and where the opportunities and resources needed to support these decisions are provided. "

This quote shares my vision for technology as it enables students to not only explore and find what really interests them but it seems more inquiry based as apposed to traditional teacher facilitated learning.  I do envision students of the future to be the ones learning on their own because that is how they will develop problem solving skills which is pertinent for their future careers.  No boss ever has liked someone asking so many questions because they are either too afraid to take risks or they do not have enough knowledge to work independently!  I find students at the moment are used to the teacher directing their learning and when they get a chance to do something on their own, they are lost and overwhelmed.  If they got used to this bit by bit in elementary school, I feel they will be great problem solvers and independent workers by their teenage years.  This is a domino effect as if students are confident and engaged in their learning, they will be less likely to want to leave the education system too early thus our 83% high school diploma rate as mentioned in Achieving Excellence (although I find that a bit low, I account for the fact that in the area that I teach, there is probably a 99% diploma rate).

I also envision many teachers using technology in their daily practice.  This would mean that they would have the budget to have technology in each classroom as well as the opportunities to teach PD around what teachers should know/use.  I was pleasantly surprised in Achieving Excellence that it is a goal of the Ministry of Education to do so as outlined in the following quote:

"Provide new online learning and professional development opportunities for both teachers and students, particularly those in rural and remote communities, ..."
I do know that in my board, consultants are constantly engaging teachers to use more digital resources in their daily practice.  

I also like the emphasis on digital literacies on the Digital Learning article and how it is important that we teach how to go online properly and what the implications are if we post/write/say negative or inappropriate things.  Even if students don't have a computer at home, they have or will have a smartphone in the future, they already have access to computer at school and the library so they will need to know how to act appropriately online.  The problem at the moment with this push for technology in the classroom is the bandwidth in the schools.  It is not strong enough to handle soo many devices online at the same time. What ends up happening during class time are students not being able to connect and therefore becoming frustrated that they cannot go along with the class and end up missing important steps in their learning.  What I would like to see is state of the art wifi/bandwidth so that these problems do not happen as often.