This assignment was a challenge yet another eye-opener: again, it proved the fact that just presence and accessibility of computers at school absolutely does not mean that technology is integrated and intelligently used for teaching and learning. Nor does it mean that the stuff, faculty, and students know and use technology systematically, extensively, and comprehensively. Still being new to the field of Educational technology, this assignment gave me additional opportunity to look critically at what "Using Technology" actually means.
First of all, I had an opportunity to learn about the "filters" through which technology use plans come into actions. According to "Maturity Model Benchmarks" identified in the "Technology Use Plan Primer" by Peter H.R. Sibley and Chip Kimball, those filters are: "Administrative, Curricular, Support, Connectivity, and Innovation".
According to the 2011 Horizon Report, featuring key trends in educational technologies, the emerging technologies can be classified as follows:
1. Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less (mobile devices and electronic books).
2. Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years (augmented reality and game-based learning).
3. Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years (gesture-based computing and learning analytics) (p.5)
While exploring these trends in Educational Technology, I reflected on my own recent teaching - "teaching while electronic devices "off". Following the general policy, our syllabi officially stated: "All electronic devices should be turned off and kept in backpacks". The idea behind that rule was to keep students away from distructions and focusing on learning.
Plagiarism is a very important issue in the American education system. While students are expected to be familiar with the concept as they first become introduced to academic writing while attending high-school, every university publishes its official policy on academic honesty and conduct on its website. In addition, students receive brief information regarding the school's academic honesty policy included into courses' syllabi.
Boise State University also states its policy on academic honesty on its website:
The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) offers the following definition for the concept of Educational Technology:
"Educational Technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources."
(Januszewski & Molenda, 2008, p. 1)
In addition, every term in this definition can be analyzed as a separate concept of its own. These terms are: Study, Ethical Practice, Facilitating, Learning, Improving, Performance, Creating, Using, Managing, Appropriate, Technological, Processes, and Resources.
While each of the terms adds to the complexity of the definition and has its own significance, I will specifically reflect on and explore the term "Facilitating." As the definition has been evolving "as long as the field has" (AECT,p.1), reflecting the practices of the time, the term "facilitation" has been included into some while excluded from other versions through time.
1972 "Educational technology is a field involved in the facilitation of human learning through the systematic identification, development, organization and utilization of a full range of learning resources and through the management of these processes" (AECT, 1972, p. 36).
This week I am working on my first assignment - My First Memory of Educational Technology. Working on this assignment was an “eye-opening” experience: I realized that I had not really been exposed to Educational Technology during either my primary schooling or higher education (in Russia.) I could not recall a single instance when a teacher would use a video, an overhead projector, or a TV to support instruction, not to mention the Internet or any type of a computer. In fact, computers had not been in use until my third year in university (approximately 1997-1998.) I can recall those lessons in Information Technology – the professor would teach us about the World Wide Web or what a URL looked like and was for using only a chalk and a chalkboard – and we had no idea what he was talking about. Now, looking back, I believe I was curious enough about the subject, if I still remember the lesson. Another interesting point - we had to write down everything the professor taught about those www., http, and URLs, and then report it all back on the exam, without having tried or seen a real computer and working with URLs.
Here I am, starting my second semester as a graduate student with Educational Technology at Boise State University. In my first semester, I took EDTECH 502 course - "Internet for Educators". Learned a great deal - basics of HTML and CSS, became experienced with Dreamweaver and Firefox - Adobe's web authoring and editing software, became a blogger with Wordpress.org (my first blog is in Russian, but your are welcome to visit!), created my own home-page and a few Web-based educational activities, and have got SO MANY ideas to explore and implement during the course of the study. This Fall I am enrolled in EDTECH 501 - "Introduction to Educational Technology" and EDTECH 512 - "Online Course Design." Just into the first week of the semester, and we were introduced yet to another technology - Animoto.com. It was great to work on the assignment and I am already considering using the program in my ESL Reading/Writing class - to create a visual "Hamburger" model to teach a paragraph structure. Stay tuned! Another idea - blogging in the ESL classroom. I would like to implement in it my writing classes, too. Have a great semester, everyone!