Here it is, my Summary of Learning for EC&I 830!
I am going to kind of reverse engineer this for you. This week’s blog will begin with where my summary came from, and the production can be found at the bottom!
Summary of Learning
EdTech, as I reviewed at the beginning of this course, is a constantly changing field that includes anything that alters the engagement of learning. There are risks and rewards with technology, it is not going anywhere anytime soon, and will very likely look very different by the time my teaching career ends.
Having the opportunity to dig into contemporary issues in Educational Technology was a great way to cap off the elective portion of my Masters in Ed Leadership, and connected with the other EC&I Ed Tech classes that I have taken. The opportunity to learn from this diverse group of colleagues and Dr. Alec Couros exceeded my expectations!
During the term, the most influential resource was Paul Davis’s TedTalk on digital citizenship and online behavior. Davis stresses the significance of being accountable for our actions on the internet and comprehending the impact they have. He asserts that it’s easy to hide behind anonymity in the digital world, but doing so can be destructive. Davis emphasizes that creating a culture of accountability is crucial and that educating young people on digital citizenship is necessary. Nonetheless, he admits that the online world is intricate and constantly evolving, making it difficult for teachers to keep up. Although Davis advocates for more education on digital citizenship, he recognizes that it can’t be solely the responsibility of teachers. Overall, Davis’s TedTalk provides valuable insights on this topic and serves as a catalyst for greater education and accountability in the digital space.
I also thought that this video, although used primarily in the context of debating who should have the responsibility of helping students develop a digital footprint, could be applicable to nearly all of the other topics we discussed in class this term – technology enhancing learning, social media, equity created via technology, social justice, or AI in the classroom, Davis’ message is applicable to all.
From the debates, I learned that there is a lot of grey area when it comes to current issues in Ed Tech. Even after hearing opposing views on a topic, I still needed to carefully consider all of the points that I heard before doing my post vote, and even then it wasn’t blatantly obvious to me. I attribute how tight the agree/disagree split in all of our debates was to two things… great work in the debates by all participants, and issues in Ed Tech are complex. What did this mean to me though? What did I learn from this?
I learned that even as educated professionals in the field, there is still a lot of work to be done to address the issues that were presented to us.
I experienced cognitive dissonance during my own debate experience. I came into the topic hot. Yes! Social media is ruining childhood for sure! Then as I conducted my own research and listened to Valeska’s findings, I realized that maybe I’m just an old man yelling at a cloud. During the debate, it was difficult to defend a stance that I came to terms with was maybe not how I truly felt. At the end of that debate, I actually voted against my own arguments as I understood that social media is not ruining childhood, it is a part of childhood. I was romanticizing my own experiences growing up which is not anything like what young people today experience.
Much like my EC&I 830 colleagues, these Grade 8 students (digital residents) also had a hard time coming up with a solid stance on the topics we discussed. I rounded these videos up as the students were wrapping up our cardboard boat races. They were given the list of debate topics and I gave them 3 minutes to come up with a response. I am very proud of how the managed the pressure and the responses they formed.
NOTE: I reached out to parents to see if they would be ok with their students helping me with a project for class, and within 24 hours I had a third of them respond with a yes! I’m very appreciative of them, and the students who were willing to step in front of the camera for me.
There is a place in education for teachers and the system to take on a role of leadership – influencing students
The rapid change of technology shows why students need to be exposed to this much sooner than later. If we wait or keep dragging our heels in getting students immersed in this topic, technology will change and what we know may no longer be relevant. Now is the time to start having students consider things like their digital footprint and the consequences (positive or negative) that go with it.
The Feature Attraction
— Bart Mihalicz (@MrMihalicz) April 11, 2023