Archive

Archive for September, 2010

 


The Digital Divide

September 28th, 2010 Comments off

I’ve heard the term digital divide before. I knew that it described the have and have-nots. When I first heard the term, it described those that had computers and those that didn’t. Now it has grown to include those that have access to high-speed internet at home and those that do not. Thinking back to the days of my dial-up experience and thinking about what I now do with my internet access, I shudder to think of those that cannot afford broadband access. It was interesting to learn that the have-nots not only refer to those that cannot afford the service, but also those living in areas where the service is not even available. I recently moved to a small town in the middle of Wyoming. There is only one provider here that offers broadband service. It’s expensive and somewhat unreliable in the tiny town that I live in. For some time, I did without access while waiting for over a month for the company to get an overworked technician to my house. That month was a difficult one. I don’t want to think about what it would be like to not have this access all of the time. I don’t think that I could conduct my life without the internet and I certainly would not be able to have the same level of digital convenience.

 


Educational Devices

September 14th, 2010 Comments off

Today’s newer devices like the smart phone, mini-computers, and tablet devices have great potential for the educational setting. They provide an interaction that incorporates all three learning modalities and therefore increases learning. However, just because these devices exist and have tremendous potential does not mean they will be utilized. As Rieser pointed out, the increase of computers in the schools did not have an impact on the use of the computer in schools. Many educators do not want to incorporate new teaching methods, styles, and devices into their classrooms. It’s this attitude that has to eliminated. I feel that the ease of use of modern educational devices will help to diminish this thinking, but other steps must be take to get these beneficial educational technologies into our schools.

Mandatory training and implementation could be one solution. The school district that I work at requires all teachers to submit their lesson and unit plans to an on-line standards mapping application to better track the teaching of standards and help point out deficiencies. Many teachers grumble about this (including me) but it is beneficial and has helped the district increase proficiency in a number of content areas.

 


What We Have Learned from the History of Educational Technology

September 13th, 2010 Comments off

With over one-hundred years of development, the field of educational technology has come far, but one thing that we have learned is that the type of media that instruction is present on is important. Based on Gardner’s research and theories about multiple intelligences and Brandler and Grinder’s research into learning modalities, we know that each medium will not be a an effective delivery tool for every student no matter how well designed it is. To be effective and deliver high quality instruction, any type of educational technology has to incorporate learning activities that address each of the three modalities (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). Educators have to also be aware of each student’s area of excellence to determine if the medium is effective for that student.

With the advent of the internet, multimedia applications, and web 2.0 applications, the potential impact for digital media is staggering. Applications can be designed with a multi-modal approach and increased student interaction. These applications can then be launched and delivered over the internet to involve and engage the student in an interactive, student-directed, student-centered activity to maximize learning.

Let’s face it. Students use these types of applications everyday like Facebook and Twitter; iTunes and Xbox-Live; and YouTube and Google, so the opportunity to introduce similar applications that target learning across the intelligence spectrum and incorporate all there learning modalities is huge and one that we cannot ignore.

 


Facebook Apps for Learning

September 7th, 2010 Comments off

I read the article from TOPYX about Facebook applications for learning and education that Dr. Hutchison posted on twitter. I was amazed and excited to find out about the learning potential that Facebook has. The apps that it offers could be very useful to me in my classroom. I’ve already set up a Moodle site that has a community forum and chat, but to incorporate facebook into my curriculum would motivate my students and possibly get them to participate more in classroom activities outside of class on a regular basis. I only know a few students who do not participate on Facebook. It’s all the craze right now and I can see why. Digital identities are important to the adolescents of today since they spend a great deal of their time in the digital world.

The article has spurred my mind to think of other possible uses that Facebook could bring to the classroom like a forum that students will actually use, a place where students can get help from each other, or a resource for them to use (via the applications). The only obstacles that I can foresee are parental disapproval, the potential for students to get sidetracked, and the fact that my school and many others routinely filter and restrict access to Facebook on school computers. The school content filter might not be that big of a hurdle since what I’m envisioning is a place for students to use outside of school hours, but getting some parents on board (like my wife) so that their children can set up and use a Facebook account might be a little more difficult. As far as students getting sidetracked, well students will always sidetrack themselves if they don’t want to do something and Facebook is always there for them to goof around on anyway. My hope is that since they are on Facebook anyway, they might utilize it to help them complete assignments or get help and advice from each other. We’ll see. I might implement the use of Facebook and Twitter into my curriculum.

 


Greetings

September 7th, 2010 Comments off

My name is Fabio Cominotti.  I graduated from the University of Idaho in May of 2010 with a degree in secondary education.  I’ve always been interested in and enjoyed using technology.  Whether it was running my own business upgrading and building PCs for clients or just playing video games, technology has always been a part of my life.  While I may have been an anomaly while growing up, today’s adolescent has much more technology at their fingertips.  They use it everyday and in almost every aspect of their life.  Why should school be any different?  If educators force them to unplug when they enter the front door, they will be disappointed and less motivated to learn.  By incorporating technology into curricula, teachers can engage students in a way that they are accustomed to.  This increases enjoyment, comprehension, motivation, and interest.  Basically, it increases learning.

My goal is to learn new and innovative ways in which to incorporate technology into my classroom and maybe even start teaching online.