In the last class of this semester in EDCI 336 we started by finishing the last of the tech presentations, which included place-based education, coding, podcasts, GarageBand, and FreshGrade. I found all of these presentations very informative and helped me dive deeper into topics I was already curious about, and I found it was worthwhile. The presentation I found most interesting was FreshGrade because assessment is something that has peaked my interest throughout this course. It was something I want to look into in the future because it is something that is being reconsidered in the education system now. Even after working with coding during the presentation, I still have many questions. The one takeaway is that the basics of coding are much more simple than I originally thought. Overall, each of the presentations I thoroughly enjoyed, and I’m really impressed with my peers. The presentations took up most of the block because we had five different showcases. After the presentations wrapped up we went straight into a brief overview of augmented reality. I never thought of augmented reality as a teaching tool, but after watching a quick video of how it can be used as a learning tool in chemistry it became clear. The remainder of class was a brief discussing about HP reveal, QR codes, and an app Skitch. HP reveal is an app that you can create an ora to a number of words or objects that can be linked to different websites for further information. I had previous knowledge on QR codes, but I never thought of them in an educational sense. It was fascinating to hear about different ways to use them as a teacher: bulletin boards, worksheets, and professional development connections. QR codes are very assessable and help direct someone to a deeper understanding of the topic. Lastly we touched on Skitch, and it is an app used to blur faces for privacy reasons, and it seems very useful going forward. I had a blast coming into every lesson this semester knowing that I was slowly growing so much in my own tech abilities. I am going to miss this course, but I will try to keep up on technology myself.
In class today we continued with tech presentations, and there were four groups including my own. Two groups talked about classroom blogging and it really aided in solidifying my understanding and my own experience with blogging throughout the semester. Another group discussed photography, and it was very informative and it got me thinking about getting into photography myself. I have a canon camera at home, and I hope with this beautiful weather I can get out myself and take some pictures and build my own portfolio. Lastly my group presented assistive technology, and I was nervous going into it, but it went very well and I’m glad it’s over with.
After taking a short break, the class regrouped to discuss distributed learning. My experience with distributed learning are minimal, but I feel like I dove deep into the process. In high school I took 4 online classes because of circumstantial reasons, and I saw the pros and cons to it depending on the course. I took grade 12 biology and it was different not having that face-to-face contact, but with English 11 it was simple and laid out for you. The role of distributed learning isn’t as emphasized as it should be, simply because technology has just caught up to the times, so many aren’t familiar with it. The role of modality in face-to-face is self explanatory because it involves direct contact between teacher and student, which I believe to be essential for the younger grades. On the other hand, the role of modality in the online realm is more complex, but I think it is a great tool for the upper grades (8-12.) I believe technology is becoming the bases of learning moving forward and it will be very beneficial for both students and teachers.