2020 Educational Vision 8-C-1

So what will education look like in 2020? That is a great question and these are just a few of my thoughts on what education might look like in 2020. This by no means all inclusive but will begin to help you reflect on what you might expect to see in the classroom in 2020.

I have been teaching for six years. The changes in education and technology since I have started have increased dramatically. While I teach at a one-to-one school these were few and far between when I first started. In 2020 I think this type of environment will be the norm. Students will have access to the internet in a way I never even dreamed of six years ago. They won’t just have access to it but they will be a major steak holder in the content curation. At one time we most of us just accessed information on the internet. In 2020 I believe the students will create more content then their teachers. Web 2.0 will be 3.0 and transforming into what we may consider web 6+. Technology doesn’t just add to itself it multiplies in leaps and bounds. The more creators we have the more it will be redesigned and reinvented. This initiative will start in the classroom and traverse into industry.

Due to the integration of the internet into our classrooms teachers will now be considered facilitators. Classes will no longer be lead by the sage on the stage. We will be expected to manage our classes in not only a face-to-face role but succinctly in an online format as well. Snow days will be a thing of history, as classes will be held despite the weather conditions.The students will simply work from home. Classes will be “taught” or more likely facilitated 24 hrs a day with due dates that no longer reflect the old school 5 day school week. The students may not live in the district in which they attend, let alone the state or even the country. Students may be enrolling in our classes from Europe, South America, or Africa. The idea of coming to America for an education will be changed to logging into my American school for an education. Students may no longer ever set foot inside the brick and mortar building for their education of the future.

In 2020 textbook companies will employ online technology that facilitates students and instructors creating their own online texts full of multimedia & RSS feeds that will replace the “textbooks” students will only read about on their mobile devices. Wikis will have revolutionized this development. Students will follow the mainstream industry as much as industry follows them. The development of online media will be available to anyone with a mobile device. Processors that are state of the art today will be akin to the floppy disks I used to carry in my backpack with my books. Students who don’t have an instructor available to them will be able to find a class and attend virtually. Workers and students alike will log into virtual reality environments to learn how to complete new tasks and use new machines and tools. Imagine a student from India learning in a virtual reality environment to use a tool or machine of a specific brand and model. They can interact with the machine, learn all of the parts, maintenance and even practice using the machine virtually. They can then physically go and use the machine wherever they are at without ever having an instructor present to teach them.

Paper will be something that is rarely used in the “classroom” of the future. The ability to submit and work collaboratively on items has surpassed my expectations from when I was in high school. This collaboration and the sharing of information will liberate nations in the future as they realize that their leadership has been restricting their knowledge of the outside world. The collaboration will empower the explosion of ideas, technology, and products. Industry will seek out leading “classrooms” of students to critique their designs. Industry may sub out the task of designing new products to leading students who complete the work with their cloud based software. Research for products will be able to be completed by the masses instead of specialized groups of experts with years of training.

The devices of the future will be improving as well. Immediately most of us think of processing speeds and graphics. What if the idea of graphics no longer was limited to the screen. Imagine a world where you no longer went to the movies to see a 3D film. Imagine logging into class, on your device, where your screen is now 3D. What about the possibility of interacting with the 3D holograph to manipulate and use it for learning? Students could learn in a way that was once only possible in person. The idea of being to learn something through touch by interacting with it on my mobile device no matter where I am in the world is exciting. Think about all of the things you have Googled for tutorials. What if you could interact with the tutorial while you are following it step by step. Testing students on their knowledge of subject manner traverses to a new level with this type of capability.

I think about my parents and grandparents. The stories they tell about when they were growing up and going to school. The amount of information that was available to them at that time compared to what is available to the students of today and those of the future. Our notion of what a student is will change in the future as well. It is hard to know what will really be the reality of the future when sometimes I am just trying to keep up with the reality of today. Does it mean that I agree with everything? No, but I want to be informed so that I can make these decisions as I move forward. The challenges we face today will increase as we progress into the world of education in 2020 and the future beyond.

Where do you see us in the year 2020 and beyond? How will the internet and technology impact our schools and lives?

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Web Apps 8-A-1

Students at our school are encouraged to take notes in the manner that works best for them. We have a one to one laptop program. This allows the students to use a number of tools to take notes. A drawback is that many students have issues at some point or another where there laptops are not working. Many of these students do not back up their notes and cannot access the school server outside the building. My suggestion for many of my students is to use Google Drive to keep their notes, documents, and pictures.

Google Docs for example has progressed nicely since I have begun to use the program. While the editing features are not as detailed they still contain almost all of the features that I ever really need. As long as you have internet access you can access your documents. If you set your document up correctly you can edit it when you are offline and then it will automatically update when you reconnected updating the changes. The storage space is massive. At times attachments can be too large to send with an email. Instead of attaching items you can simply share and set the rights according to your intentions.

We are limited in creating new accounts and requiring that our students must use. Google education services is something that the students already have school accounts created for them. There are many possibilities for web apps that could be used by students today.

 

Papperless Classes 7-B-1

In some subject areas it can be very easy to find paperless resources that can be used to supplement your classes. Our school is pushing pearls classrooms. Unfortunately there are some areas where the best resources that I know of are still in a book. To go paperless I would have to devote a greater amount of time to dig deeper and create larger networks to find all the resources that I need to teach my classes. This is not a bad thing but something that is usually best done over the summer.

Paperless classes that rely on other types of media can enhance the class greatly. When the resources are updated regularly you will be providing the students with information that better reflects the newest innovations and relevant news to the class. With the advancements in software and online programming the measurement of learning in a paper classroom would not have to change much. Quizzes could still be given in an online format. Papers can still be submitted, just digitally. Entrance and exit tickets can be completed using a variety of online tools. What do we do with the students who require a paper and pencil version of the test if they are in an online class?

Learning networks can be developed for both paper based and paperless classes. While it may take more time to develop a learning network for a paperless class, I don’t think this would necessarily make it harder to develop the network. In the sense that it may have to be developed and revised very often during the first few years of class it could be thought to be harder than a paper class where you could just reference a text book. Our students are digital natives that overall seem to prefer screens to paper pages. While we as teachers may still prefer paper we need to find the balance between both worlds and work to keep up with the needs of our students.

Big Shifts:Teaching is a Conversation, Not Lecture 7-A-1

When I was in high school all I can remember is lectures from my teachers. We were rarely included as part of the dialogue in class. When we were included most of it seemed as though we were just answering questions to see if we were still awake. Today there are still times when information needs to be shared and it may seem to be in a lecture style but I find the conversation style of teaching to be more engaging and productive for my students.

When I was new to teaching I think that I probably used more of a lecture type of teaching style in my classes. As I have gained experience I know that there is no way that I could ever know all of the answers in my field  (technology & engineering education). Dialogue and questions have become commonplace in my classrooms and labs. As time goes I learn more and more from my students as they learn from me. I expect that I will continue to refine my teaching style to know what works best for my students in each of the specific subject areas.

This course has reinforced my beliefs in using a conversation type of dialogue in my classes. Tools that assist in reinforcing dialogue will continue to be prevalent in my classes. These tools will change as new tools develop and fit the needs of my classes. One of the things I want to be careful of is not pushing technology to the point that it detracts from the content of my classes.

Moving forward, may the dialogue between students and staff enrich your classes, answer as many questions as they create, and create an environment where lifelong learns are nurtured.

Responding to Connectivism 6-A-3

Is connectivism a learning theory? Which came first the chicken or the egg? Check out this wiki written by a group contending that connectivism IS NOT a Learning Theory. They make some great points. “Connectivism may be beneficial when applied to specific learning moment or project, but it is too vague to shape full-time instruction”. Why does full time instruction always lead us to a specified cookie cutter answer? Maybe the answer is wrong, can’t we learn from the wrong answers to guide us in the right direction. Why was learning being completed without objectives before the students started.

I am in favor of connectivism. Maybe the issue should be specified as to whether it is a learning theory or a separate issue, like can it benefit our students. While connectivism may not qualify to all people as a learning theory it definitely benefits my students. We use connectivism every day in my classes to deepen our understanding of the subjects we are studying and other elements that apply to them.

Skype Ideas 6-C-2

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Skype is something that has shaped my life. I have used Skype to communicate with other educators. I have been able to share ideas for a research project with someone half way across the country. We were able to talk like we were sitting across the table. I was able to share my computer screen with them so that I did not have to send them the information ahead of time. This was one of the most interesting ways I have used Skype for education.

The largest impact Skype has made on my life was when I was deployed to Iraq. I could call home and pay outrageous rates for phone cards or I could pay for basic internet access and use my computer to call home for free. To make the distance even easier to handle I bought a subscription to Skype and was able to video call with my wife. This made the time much easier to handle. The cost was minimal and other technologies were not available at that time video call like they are today.

Skype can be used in the classroom to connect with experts in places far away that would typically be out of reach for the students. The ability to connect with outside knowledge bases is an excellent example of connectivism. This past summer I met a welder and fabricator in Alaska that is willing to talk with my students and Skype would be the perfect way to complete the connection between this expert and my students in the classroom. When we use our network to share and learn we provide validity for the information that the students are learning in class. We haven’t reached this point in the class yet but I am looking forward to linking the students with this new resource across the continent.

 

Podcast in the Classroom: 5-B-3

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While I listen to podcasts on a regular basis I decided to go find a different podcast for this assignment. The podcast I found was “Teaching Exceptionally Podcast” and the title of the specific episode was “Co-Teaching in the Real World”. I am the only teacher in my discipline in the entire district. So the idea of co-teaching is novel to me. What I began thinking about while I listened to the podcast is that not all co-teaching is done by instructors of the same discipline. The idea of sharing “your” room and different teaching styles of the co-teachers made me realize the importance of the communication and planning that must take place for this to work efficiently.

I began to think about how I could use a podcast of another instructor and supplement my class material by using their podcast for my students to get another perspective on a topic. While this would be neither strictly podcasting or co-teaching it would be a way that I could combine the two topics to enhance the classes for the students. I always want to be improving my materials and work on providing multiple ways for my students to access class materials to better meet their learning styles. I will have to spend more time finding podcasting resources related to my field in technology and engineering. Feel free to share any resources that you may have for me related to these fields of study!

Using Flickr in the Classroom: 5-A-1

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Jackson, W. H. (2002, December 11). Devil’s Gate Bridge. Retrieved February 11, 2016, from https://flic.kr/p/jfCNGS

Flickr provides an extensive resource of photos that can be searched according to their creative commons designation. This system of designations takes the confusion out of the copyright process. Pictures like the one above of Devil’s Gate Bridge can easily be found for my subject area, and it is easy to know what the intended use is for the picture. The use of Flickr would allow my students to find pictures that fit their intended use. The pictures would also allow me to plus up my documents and presentations. In Technology/Engineering education we often think critically about inventions and innovations and their impact on our society. There are a number of aspects we could consider from this picture. I could use this picture to talk about items like structural integrity, technology systems, and the development of the railroad to name a few examples. Fair use is a tool that is very helpful for teachers but still can be confusing.

While there are many great photos on flickr it is not all encompassing but will enable my students to get a good start and make it easy for them to understand what they can and cannot do with the pictures. I thought their reference guide on the right side of the page was a great quick resources on what each of the designations of Creative Commons really means. For more information on Creative Commons please follow the link.

Wikis in the Classroom 4-D-1

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While I have used blogs for students to have a collaborative reflective space, I have not used wikis in my class.

While learning about wikis and reviewing some example wiki pages I have come to see the  possible value they can contribute in a classroom. For someone who is new to wikis the closest thing I could relate them to is Google Docs.

In my area of teaching I could see implementing a wiki to guide students in creating  resources for their classes. There are many online resources available online that could be organized easily and clearly in a class wiki. Many of the students prefer online resources and will value their wiki more if they are the ones who create this resource. There may be some time that is needed for buy in before they realize its potential.

This online resource can be then passed on to new students in the class or to create a specific text for the class. This will probably take a number of years to develop completely. This will end up being an extremely important resource for the students and myself over time.

I am excited about the possibility of wikis in my classes. Now it is time for me to get things rolling.

 

Week 4: Wikis & Wikipedia 4-A-2

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There are so many collaborative online tools. Where do you start when your trying to work with others? For me it began with Google Drive. My classmates and I would all share a doc, presentation, or even a sheet and compile our information. While every program has its strengths, each program has its weaknesses as well. Wikis are a great way to collaborate effectively online. The structure and content are created and shared by the users. I admit I have done very little with Wikis in the past.

There is probably one Wiki that everyone has heard of……Wikipedia. Wikipedia is as far as I know the worlds largest wiki. When I ask students to look for information there are two questions that come up; “Can I use Google” & “Can I use Wikipedia”. What the majority of the students do not seem to realize is that wikipedia has become the online encyclopedia created by its users. As a teacher this fact can be scary to think about. What if the wrong information is posted to the site? While not everything posted and approved is correct there is so much good information available for reference. The amount of information available in this online wiki would fill buildings full of paper books. Try it out! Look up your local school or organization and see what information is available.

Week 4 will be another great week of learning about how we can employ wikis & wikipedia to create better online environments full of rich resources for our students. How familiar are you with these tools? What is the coolest activity that you have ever done using these tools or what are your ideas?

Looking forward to learning with you this week