These are my comments for Module 2, which I have put in this blog under the category Tech Practices. The tech areas that I chose to focus on were 1. Cloud Storage and 2. Flipped Classroom. To me, Cloud Storage represents the ideal of making new knowledge available (in principal) to the world. Flipped Classroom is a set of tactics and strategies for managing the learning process to take full advantage of the potential of technology and to encourage students to pursue independent thinking and creative exploration.
1. What are your biggest concerns or challenges with technology? Choose two or
three and describe how these things hold you back. It is hard to know when to
use what piece of software. For most tasks there are multiple competing
software tools to use, and each bit of software has a “learning curve.” In
general they all have more features than one usually needs. At the same
time, small differences in feature sets, or just one function missing, can make
all the difference. 2. The Cloud confuses me. I am used to working with my
disk drive in my PC and with local software. Now we have data in the cloud
and on the PC. And we have software applications in the cloud, on the PC,
and in mobile devices. My big question is: where to put the things that I work
2. In “Why Bother With Technology?” many reasons are given for why technology
is worth the trouble. Which two reasons are most relevant to you? Using a
specific example for each, explain how using more technology could make a
difference for you. Access to knowledge on the Internet: IT seems to me that
the new “Library of Congress” is the Internet. I cannot imagine doing any
serious learning activity without connecting to the Internet and using search
tools. 2. Audio/video based learning: In the old days, we taught using a
blackboard and chalk. My first “visual” of an atom was a simple diagram on a
board that looked like an archery target. Well, now we can have
professionally produced video and animations in the classroom, with
excellent graphics and motion that provide a much clearer and more intuitive
understanding of concepts.
3. After reading the descriptions of teachers who have woven technology into
their work and lives, choose two specific tools that interest you and describe
how they might be used in your work. Diig: I am looking for a place to create,
store, organize, and curate curriculum for my classes. Voxer: I want to
create a class collaboration environment that is not locked into a specific
time and a specific classroom.
4. After reading “How to Implement Technology,” choose two tips you believe are
most important for successful use of technology. Explain why. I like the first 2
tips the most: 1. Get clear on the reason and 2. Get into the right mindset.
Technology adds an intermediate layer between students and teachers. Things
do break: at least for some people and most of the time. If one doesn’t have a
really clear sense of “why we are using the technology” the cost will seem large
and the benefit will be unappreciated.
5. Choose one thing you learned from the Q&A section and explain how you might
apply it to your work. What are hashtags, how are they used, why are they
important. Hashtags create a “crumb trail” that can be used to search and
organize information sources. I need to make it a habit to use them.
6. Preview the 30 tool categories covered in the Teacher’s Guide to Tech. Choose
two that are especially interesting to you and explain how you might use these
in your work. 1. Cloud Storage: I need to get my resources off my PC where
only I can find them when I have my specific PC (and only sometimes at that)
and into the Cloud where I can get to them any time anywhere on any device
AND I can get them to my students easily. 2. Flipped Learning: The flipped
learning paradigm teaches students to become learners outside the
classroom. On a practical level it also enables distance learning and
asynchronous on line learning which saves everyone time and money. The
flipped learning paradigm is the essential feature of the new digital learning
environment that we all need to master.