Technophobia (Module 2 – EDS151)

Ertmer, P. A. in 1999 classified the barriers in technology integration as First-order and Second-order barriers. First-order barriers are those that are often seen initially as the obstacles, e.g., the issues of adequate access to the technologies, training, and support without which it is almost impossible to talk about technology integration. As technology and innovation continue to evolve, the goal of devices being user-friendly take on a different meaning. Developers of technology make new versions better, cheaper, faster and as a result, make technology even more accessible. Gone are the days where only computer-savvy individuals use computers. We have reach a point where people of all ages are able to interact and effectively use technologies that are made more intuitive, and require little or no training at all to use.

This makes Second-order barriers the bigger if not the only remaining stumbling block in integrating technology in Instructional design. These are mostly beliefs of teachers that are embedded in their learning philosophy and practices. In my own opinion, a big factor in their hesitations and anxieties is their own technophobia. Wikipedia loosely describes Technophobia as the fear or dislike of advanced technology or complex devices, especially computers. It goes on to suggest that these are mostly users who are “uncomfortable” with technologies and often “unwilling” to learn.

This issue is purely behavioral on the part of the teacher and more difficult to address. There are, however, cases out there of former technophobes who overcame their fear. One example I found is Jim Wilson, A 33-year teaching veteran from a High School in Pittsburg. In his video entitled Conquering Technophobia from Edutopia.org, Wilson offers a few tips for other teachers:

  1. Ask for Help
  2. Learn from Students
  3. Take Baby Steps
  4. Be Precise About Your Expectations
  5. Expect Snags
  6. Allow Students to take the Reins
  7. Beware of Plagiarism
  8. Keep an open mind.

My own advice for educators out there, Wilson’s Tip #8 is all you need.

 

References:

Conquering Technophobia: A Classroom Veteran Warms to Digital Tools

http://www.edutopia.org/freedom-technology-integration-video

Su, B. (2009). Effective technology integration: Old topic, new thoughts. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technlogoy, 5(2), 161-171. Retrieved from

http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/include/getdoc.php?id=4382&article=620&mode=pdf

 

Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technophobia

Advertisements
Posted in Instructional Media Resources (EDS 151), Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Montessori Toys (Module 1 – EDS151)

Dale’s Cone of Experience is probably the best guide for teachers in determining the best instructional media to a students learning. The model suggests that students retain more information from activities they “do” and “experience”, against what they only “read”, “hear” or “see”. The more senses are involved in the activity, the better the learning experience for the student.

I have a 7 year old son, and I recall my wife and I were scouting 2 years back for the best school for him that coming school year. This was going to be his first big school, and he has only been previously enrolled in a more non-formal playgroup type of center. We have seen quite a few schools, both traditional and progressive ones, until we got invited to attend a parent’s orientation in a Montessori school near our place. We both agreed we found the perfect school and program for our son.

The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. In early childhood, Montessori students learn through sensory-motor activities, working with materials that develop their cognitive powers through direct experience: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and movement. Their “classroom” or learning environment is highly non-conventional, and is filled with materials that attract all the senses of the child.

The Montessori Instructional media and materials are one of the highlights that convinced me. The room was filled with materials for children to be sorting, stacking, counting and manipulating, and made of a range of materials and textures. They are all appealing and presented as toys, when infact they all had planned learning. As children carry their learning materials carefully with 2 hands and do their very special “work” with them, they may feel like they are simply playing games with their friends—but they are actually learning in a brilliantly designed curriculum that takes them, 1 step at a time, and according to a predetermined sequence, through concepts of increasing complexity.

We were very excited for my son to start the Montessori program. Instead of the traditional way of starting to learning read and write, the Montessori way is direct and purposeful experiences, more aligned with the bottom section of Dale’s Cone of Experience.

References:

American Montessori Society http://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/Introduction-to-Montessori.aspx
Anderson, H. M. (n.d.). Dale’s cone of experience. Retrieved from http://www.etsu.edu/uged/etsu1000/documents/Dales_Cone_of_Experience.pdf

Posted in Instructional Media Resources (EDS 151), Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Introduction (EDS 151)

I have been working for a global consulting, technology & outsourcing company for more than 12 years now. As part of my job, i am involved in offerings where we design, build and manage Learning Management Systems for big global corporations. Every new day on the job is always a learning experience for me. This has encouraged me to pursue Educational Studies, particular Instructional Design.

We live in a time where the options for different types of media have become almost limitless. There is almost a custom made medium for every different situation and circumstance. In learning, whether in work or in an academic setting, there is now almost no excuse to fail. The downside to all these technology is how we can manage to increase our attention span and focus on the more essential components of learning. After a few years of online distance learning with UPOU, I have trained myself to instill self-discipline to maintain that focus. At the end of the day, success will depend on the individual.

This discipline also extends to protecting oneself from falling into Plagiarism. In my work, we are always reminded, in writing and contractually with clients and other stakeholders, that we uphold and respect intellectual property. I may have done Plagiarism in the past, nothing major I can recall right now, but as I become more aware of the importance of any form of valuable information, including intellectual property, the most I give it importance. To avoid it in the future, we should all go just back to one simple rule and abide by it, and that is, if you take someone else’s property and passing it as your own without permission, that is stealing. Plagiarism is definitely stealing.

Posted in Instructional Media Resources (EDS 151) | Leave a comment

Standards (Module 2)

Most professions nowadays have very strict set of rules that govern their practice. Most of them even have regular certification and continuous education to make sure the level of professionalism is upheld as a standard.

It is only therefore fitting for the teaching profession to follow the same procedure. I used to think that teachers follow some timeless and universal code of conduct but after the reading in this module, the more “democratic” and adaptive definition of profesionalism seems to be the more ideal school of thought. In this way, it keeps the teachers relevant to the times and responsing to the current needs of the students.

Posted in EDS111 - Principles of Teaching, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Apprenticeship (Module 1)

My TPI results were relatively flat. As mentioned in the video, this is a tendency of newbie teacher who will try to be everything to their students when responding to the test. My two best perspective were Apprenticeship and Developmental. Although this might be common for most results, I believe this to be accurate for me. Teaching for me is more effective when a teacher is modeling a set of traits or skills to the students. Rather than just learning these skills directly, modelling promotes better assimilation of the concepts by the students.

Hand in hand with this, the Developmental perspective is also important. The teacher needs to understand the point of view of the learner to be able to better help them.

Posted in EDS111 - Principles of Teaching, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Final Score (EDS113 – Mod4)

Teachers and students should always keep in mind that test scores are ultimately feedback for both the teaching and the learning. More than just being a number, a score should be meaningful, effective and easily understood to be able to affect changes in those involved in the learning process.

To align it with the definition and characteristics of feedback, test scores should be most of the following:

Constructive – To focus on the positive and encourage the area’s for improvement.
Timely – Should be provided at the right time to give time to act on changes.
Consequential – To allow students to act on “action needed”
Supportive of learning – Should provide student his or her standing in relation to the outcomes.
Efficient – Required outcome should be realistic and manageable by the student.

Ultimately, the impact of the learning activities to the student will provide the final score. The most ideal outcome can only be achieved with continuous and meaningful feedback.

Posted in Principles and Methods of Assessment (EDS 113) | Leave a comment

Variety in Assessment (EDS 113 – Mod3)

We have all been brought up in an education system that employs traditional and summative types of assessments. Unfortunately, for some learners, this arrangement only encourages the wrong motivation for students. We enrol into a class with only one thing in mind, to get the best final grade, mostly determined by the score of your final exam.

Of course, our educational systems continues this practice because majority of students are affected by this positively. However, we all have experiences where we dread taking tests, even for subjects that we were interested in.

If there is one important thing that I learned in EDS 113 this term, it is the importance of diversity in Assessment with the ultimate goal of providing valuable feedback to the learner.

Variety in assessment activities will definitely help to motivate students with different experiences, learning styles and skills. Different assessment activities also provide opportunities for students to develop a greater range of skills through varying experiences provided by the assessments.

Ultimately, the goal of assessment is to provide the most meaningful feedback to the student and how this can improve both the learning process and the knowledge and skills acquired by the student.

Posted in Principles and Methods of Assessment (EDS 113) | Leave a comment