(504) Module 1 Reflection

Reflection 1.

  1. Where are you now, in terms of your own teaching and professional practice and the inclusion of educational technology in that process?
  2. What kind of change do you hope to see as a result of this class?
  3. How might your knowledge and experiences influence the actions of those around you?

“Technology is being credited as one of the major reasons for the increased work productivity and economic success of the United States.”

(Valdez, Mcnabb, Foertsch, Anderson, Hawkes, and Raack, 2000)

Prior to taking this graduate class I was firm in my beliefs and self-created definition as to what Educational Technology was, how it could benefit every learner and the direction this new discipline was heading.  Reflecting upon the last two weeks I have found that my definition has been built on shaky ground; however, my ultimate focus is still the same- to ensure that the use of educational technology directs and prepares students for technology rich vocations.

After receiving my undergraduate degree in 2009, I emerged myself in education, specifically working with both underprivileged and special education students.  I have seen firsthand the importance of integrating technology into the classroom as an aide to learning and communicating.  While I look forward to teaching, this experience has provided me with a way to gauge and asses: 1) How well teachers are prepared to use technology in innovative ways 2) How receptive students are to new technologies as a way of teaching and enhancing learning 3) If the technology is effective in reaching its desired objectives.  To highlight one of many frustrating problems I have seen is the lack of hands on experience students receive while attending public schools.  This notion of student activity and responsibility, to me, should be referenced in any educational technology definition.

In reading the required articles I found Luppicini’s article most important as it fell in line with the social and historical aspects I tend to focus on.  Personally, this article excelled my thoughts in the direction of social sciences and in particular technology “that would aid in preparing future professionals for the field.” (Januszweski, 2001) This idea, coupled with others, provides the underlining reason for 1) studying the theory behind this emerging phenomenon and 2) clearly defining the role of how technology will generate such outcomes desired by society.

I agree that technology is the systematic “processes and products to serve human purposes embedded in socio-environmental contexts.” (Luppicini, 2005)  Agreeing to this notion opens a floodgate of questions and further complicates reaching a solid definition.  The key point is clarifying “human purposes” which is by far the broadest and indefinable term.  While technology evolves, so do human requirements and each individual (such as honors and special education students) require technology that caters to their specific needs.

By completing this class I want to:

  • Become a more competent teacher based on the theories I become familiar with through research and then connect such theories to broaden my pedagogy.
  • Answer the question as to how (and why) “the success or failure of technology is more dependent on human and contextual factors than on hardware and software”? (Valdez, Mcnabb, Foertsch, Anderson, Hawkes, and Raack, 2000)
  • Further cement my current outlook on the use of technology which enables lifelong learners to be successful according to society’s expectations and rules.

In doing so, I hope to assist in moving the educational field forward with attractive, hands on instruction which aides students in their post secondary education endeavors.

References:

Valdez, G., Mcnabb, M., Foertsch, M., Anderson, M., Hawkes, M., and Raack, L. (2000). Computer-based technology and learning: Evolving uses and expectations. Revised Edition. Naperville, IL: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service Number: ED456816).

Luppicini, R. (2005). A systems definition of educational technology in society. Educational Technology & Society, 8 (3), 103-109. Retrieved August 26 from http://www.ifets.info/journals/8_3/10.pdf

Januszewski, A. (2001). Educational Technology: The Development of a Concept. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc.

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