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My inquiry eFolio for ETEC 533

  • Writer's pictureDr. Sarah McLean

How do you define technology?

So I am completing a Master's in Educational Technology- so what do we mean by technology? I think we need to consider the WHY of the technology moreso than the WHAT or the HOW. There are a lot of teaching techniques that can be done in a low-tech way; why embed tech if it's not going to enhance the experience? Take a look at my post below about how I define technology. I will check back at the end of the term and see if my definition has changed.

Like Helen, I was most drawn to Dede's definition in the forward to Robert Kozma's work. In particular, I appreciated the point that was made that "emerging interactive media are tools in service of richer curricula, enhanced pedagogies, more effective organization structures, stronger links between schools and society, and the empowerment of disenfranchised learners " (Kozma, 2003). To me, the most important part of this definition is the interactive nature of the media. When I was reading through the definitions, like Alexis, I also thought of the SAMR model from Puentedura. The interactive aspect of the media is important to me as I think this allows for a redefinition of some of the affordances of digital technology. For example, digital technology and media (in particular, social media) have allowed learners to interact across time and space, to collaborate with others that they may not have otherwise had access to otherwise. In this way, the interactive component also allows better connections between schools and society. For example, in my own practice, the educational technology of "Zoom" has been transformative for me during the pandemic. I offer a community-engaged learning course at the undergraduate level where students partner with local healthcare providers to work on mutually beneficial projects. Prior to the pandemic, most of the interactions between the community partner and the student happened face-to-face or over email/phone. However, with the increased usage of video conferencing, my students have been able to excel in the COVID environment and still connect with their community partners. The video conferencing, importantly, also allows for some non-verbal communciation cues to be communicated as well. This was not the case with phone/email and I believe has further enhanced my students' abilities to effectively communicate with their community partners. Furthermore, the video technology has enhanced my students' learning experience as it has allowed me to bring in guest speakers into the classroom that would normally be unable to attend the class physically due to various constraints. As such, I will continue to use Zoom technology in the future even when pandemic restrictions lift.

Kozma, R. B. (2003). Technology and classroom practices: An international study. Journal of research on technology in education, 36(1), 1-14.

Below: some tech that I had a lot of fun using- lightboards to help make "big picture summaries" of content more engaging and easy to understand for students.

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