What an interesting discussion in our last class regarding the CMS/LMS/VLE and other various platforms such as schoology and google classroom. Since I began my Master’s Degree journey a couple years ago, I have become quite familiar (and impressed) with all the different capabilities of Google Drive, especially when working on group projects.
My son is in grade nine and his school uses Google classroom extensively. To help him study for his science exam recently he used Google Classroom to read his ‘virtual’ study notes and practice exam. It was great that he didn’t have to haul a big binder full of notes back and forth.
They also use a ‘reminder’ feature to remind students of upcoming assignments or tests. All these features really help my son stay (somewhat) organized. Kids seem much more likely to use digital resources over physical agendas or written notes.
At Saskatchewan Polytechnic, we use the Brightspace D2L platform to run our online (hybrid) classes as well as our course pages for on-campus courses.
I use Brightspace to post course messages or class powerpoints. There is a virtual ‘dropbox’ for students to submit assignments. Recently, I facilitated all of our pre-lab prep quizzes to a digital format.
This saved us tons of time because the digital exam instantly graded the quizzes and it provided the students with answer keys so they saw where they went wrong. Prior to this we had been manually marking the quizzes in lab which took up about half hour of each lab. Now we can spend more time teaching skills!
I enjoyed reading ‘Beyond the LMS’ by Audrey Watters (2014). She offered some unique perspectives about LMS which included the idea that there is a tendency to serve administrative functions rather than learning in the design of LMS, even when it is reinvented. She stresses that we as educators have to ensure that edtech is used in such a way to maintain and promote learner-centered education. There is a real danger that data is being mined from educational information so we have to remain aware and be sure to have safety guards in place to prevent this. Watters goes on to state that, “Ed-tech must not become an extraction effort”.
The Watters article certainly opened my eyes to the possibility of misuse of educational data. I saw a parallel between owning your own educational information and owning your own medical information, through my healthcare lens. Taking ownership of your own medical data gives you control over your own health. Having information available digitally opens up whole new avenues for personal data ending up in the wrong hands, whether related to health or education.
New educational technology must remain secure and continue to enhance instruction while maintaining learner-centered education, so the learners’ best interests are kept at heart.
On the chat room in last class, ‘retro gaming systems’ came up in the conversations. I know this is really gonna date me… but my first gaming system as a kid was the ‘Atari 400’! It was state of the art because we actually could write programs on it! Mind you, it took about one day to turn the screen another color – but it was so much fun!