Posted by: Barinas | December 6, 2012

Closing Thoughts about EDTS 523.31

The End - Checkered Flag - MH900430675

This is my final post on the technology in education course that planted the seed for this WordPress blog.  My closing remarks are nothing but a collection of the great experiences and lessons that I learned in this class.  Looking back, my first blog on this post was about learning to dance “techno” in the classroom; that is, to learn about classroom technologies that will get students groovin’ just as learning awesome dance moves can help you bring people off their seats and onto the dance floor.  That is why I am so glad to have learned so many cool dance moves.  Some of them include the…

  • WordPress Bloggie Boogie
  • The Inspiration Shuffle
  • Garageband Rock
  • Wikie Squeakie
  • PowerPoint Hop and Bop
  • Voicethread Rumble
  • … and more!

Oh, and I cannot go without mentioning the “Mac Half-Step”.  For a lifelong Windows user like me who had little exposure to Mac systems, I come away from this course with greater familiarity on how to operate Mac computers.  By working in the Mac lab I learned some cool new steps that had to do with renaming (just click on the title); deleting (drag the file to the Trashcan icon); saving on a subfolder (click on the upside-down triangle of the Save/Save As window); and switching between programs —er, I mean, applications—, which involve clicking on the icons on the right-hand menu.  I can now say that I feel more comfortable with Macs and have a greater appreciation for its user-friendly simplicity and overall intuitiveness.  I think being well versed in both Windows and Macs is of great benefit, because you can be more aware of the strengths and weaknesses that both bring to the table.

Wow, with all these dance moves I could be the king of the dance floor!  Nah, I don’t know if I’ll ever be, say, the Fred Astaire of Educational Technology, but I’m now more confident about busting a move, and tear up the dance floor with all these cool technologies.  However, I appreciate the fact that the class was not just about how to use these tools, but also about why should we use them.  We were taught that technology is only as good as the person who is using it, so its overall effectiveness hinges on how wisely the teacher matches the tool with the lesson he is trying to teach.  Does the technology enhance the learning?  Does it promote project-based, hands-on, and student-centered instruction?  Does it encourage students to use higher-level thinking skills and make students active learners in the classroom?  Those are essential questions that were brought into the conversation, and have broaden my outlook about what it means to be an educator in this digital, Web 2.0 age.

On the other hand, viewing technology as maracas that parents shake to draw their babies’ attention defeats the whole purpose of technology integration.  To borrow (yeah, once again) from the dance metaphor, technology is not about putting a flashy show with Jive, Swing or Cha-Cha-Cha.  We learned that technology is the means, the tool, and the bait, but not the objective of the lesson plan.  The groove, the heartbeat of the lesson, lies inside the teacher, and this is reflected in his ability to regulate and use technology to its maximum potential.  So I am so thankful that this class has not only showed me how to use new technologies, but also inspire me to learn the pros and cons of each tool, so that I can show students the right dance for the song!

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Responses

  1. Well said. If you can express this like you have here, you have indeed learned some essential skills and critical dispositions! Keep connecting to learn! It is the single best way to stay informed, fresh, challenged, supported…

  2. Thank you Dr. Ransom for teaching us so much valuable information, and for pointing the way through your dedication and example.


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