Grade 2 Math class might of been my favourite class ever.  Two words- Number Munchers.  “Today class we have managed to sign out the computer lab, and if we get finished what we need to we will have some free time”.  Out comes the floppy drives and the smiles from everyone quickly followed. The old 8-inch 5.25-inch, 3.5-inch floppy disk, magnetic tape for an old IBM computer, a comparison with Floppy Inside part

Old TV with VCR on the background of wallpaper.This was some of my first experiences with technology at school that really was for entertainment other than hearing the squeaky wheeled TV/VCR cart making its way down the hall.  Sure we had the old school overhead, that felt like if you stood in front of it, you surely would be blinded by it, but really my technology with computers was limited in Elementary school.  As I progressed through the grades, so did the technology.  Creating videos in Media Studies was a highlight, learning video editing software and iMovie.

Then came University and the need for your own type of technology, into the first years of teaching and hearing about all these new types of Ed Tech gadgets being used.  Not until a few years ago did I really come to think of what educational technology really meant or even looked like.  As a broad definition, it’s a series of tools that can be used to serve a function of learning for students.  As the tech shifts, so does the way I use it and see my coworkers use it as well.  With every shift, comes a new learning curve, for staff and students.  The AI generation is here, for some it was a very steep learning curve and continues to be, for others it has been an invaluable resource.  I’d say I’m somewhat in the middle.

The Neil Postman article posted this week, made me think of a Summary of Learning project I completed in EC&I 832.  It still relates to this weeks topic for the main 5 points.

#1- All technology is a trade off-  everything has advantages but what are the trade offs or sacrifices from using them?  The time is takes to learn new skills, or how to properly use new technologies or AI websites, is not necessarily a perfectly quick end all be all.

#2- The advantages and disadvantages are never equally spread amongst users.  Some people are more tech saavy, others not so much.  Whether it is accessibility issues, wifi, not the correct tech or outdated tech, these are all common issues for our students and to some extent even our staff in schools.  Even think of your internet speeds, definitely an eye opener to me when I tested my home network and it was under 5.

#3- Embedded with every technology there is a powerful idea.  Think, McLuhans thought, the medium is the message.  How does the evolving technology make us use our minds?  Or in some cases maybe cause us not to use our minds, and lose the ability to critically think for ourselves and rely on the quick response generated from a Chat GPT prompt.  The challenge is to educate and teach our students how to properly use the tools and promote media literacy strategies when they access their technologies.

#4- Technological Change is not additive, it is ecological.  Social medium platforms, apps, AI, they all have changed the landscape of technology.  The speed at which new technologies are moving is incredible, and extremely hard to stay on top of unless you immerse yourself in it.  I spent two hours with my staff going through new and evolving AI technologies and websites for education.  See ya later SmartBoards.

#5- Technology tends to be mythic, it is our life and the way we operate.  It is not something that we could turn away from and get rid of.  We are automated to use it, and for some without it we would be lost.  How often is a cell phone the first thing someone reaches for if there’s a lull in a conversation or day to day activity, more than what we would care to admit.  Or how much of our lives are consumed with the day-to-day activity of using technology, including phones, computers, automation in vehicles and the list goes on.

Educational Tech has made a world of difference in the way I deliver content to my students and the options it allows them to have is also impressive.  What ways do you find yourself using Ed Tech in your classes?  What new AI do you use daily?  For me, MagicSchool and Diffit have made a huge difference in the last year and my ability to adapt content for ALL of my students.