Thursday, March 10, 2011

Last Post & Summative Project

Wow, I cannot believe that our last day of classes in Education has come and gone, and although I'm glad we are near the end of our university experience, I'm going to miss all the great professors and classmates I've gotten to know over the last two years. I really want to thank Mike Nantais for all the opportunities he gave us this semester to listen to experts in the field of education that use ICT to their students advantage in the classroom. I also want to thank Mike for giving me an extension to get my summative project done. I hope that we can take these ideals we have formed throughout this class and see them come to fruition as we go about our careers in teaching.

For my summative project, I constructed a video using pics from Google Images to highlight a narration of my thoughts and summary of the Internet for Educators course. Enjoy at your own risk!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Dilemma

I didn't have the opportunity to hear Dr. Alec Couros at Westcast or through the Internet for Educators class. In both cases, I was away living the dream and playing volleyball for the BU Bobcats. This left me with a problem; how was I going to create a blog post based around the thoughts of a guy I've never met? Then I remembered, this course is about thinking in new ways using technology and the internet. I thought, how much information could I pull up on Dr. Couros through Google. Certainly there would be enough to blog about. My instincts proved correct and the first Google hit gave me what I needed, Alec's blog called open thinking. Through this online source, I was able to watch Alec's presentation on "Teaching & Learning in a Networked World" that he gave at the Quest conference in Richmond Hill, Ontario (see below). Watching this video, along with perusing through Alec's other blog posts has given me enough insight to comment on his thoughts and impact the way I see myself teaching my own students in a networked world.

The one quote that stuck out for me during this video presentation was "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Usually when people talk about this, they are talking about someone getting a job that they may not have deserved because they "knew" someone who had influence in the hiring process. However, the way Alec refers to this idea of "knowing" people is the importance of networking in building modern community. In our networked world, community remains important to learning and the sharing of ideas; however, what community looks like has changed drastically. For example, you may be closer to someone across the world than your own physical neighbour because of the interconnectivity of technology today. For future teachers like me, this means that I cannot assume that just because I physically meet with my students five times a week, that I am creating community. Because society is spending more time online creating community, teachers must set students up to connect with each other and the rest of the world for the purpose of collaboration to meet curricular outcomes. Instead, of viewing internet access as a potential distraction and a threat to student learning, teachers must view the online world as another realm and resource for students to connect with each other, create a network of learning, and ultimately become a community based on creating, combining, and sharing new ideas.