My review of the productivity tools for 2012 listed in module 3, was a fascinating exercise that opened my eyes to the possibilities within education. I currently use 6 of the top 20 learning tools listed. Hey moodle made the list at 11. I was surprised to see twitter at number one. Youtube, which holds the number three spot would have been my guess for number 1.
The suggested reading and site review in Module 3 provides very useful information about the impact of the internet within the field of education. I was surprised to learn that online education is a $34 billion industry and that projections indicate that by 2019, 50% of all classes taught will be delivered online. This makes me wonder what impact these developments will have specifically within the field of physical education, not only because this is my personal education field of choice, but because of the nature of the direct instruction required for teaching P.E.
In 2006 the authors of Using Podcasts as Audio Learning Objects stated that "podcasting aims to distribute content to be used with mobile and digital audio/video players such as iPods including all other MP 3 players, cell phones and PDAs." Today in 2014, this use of podcasts is no longer a projection for the future, instead it is state-of-the-art technology. Podcasts are a very essential component of the online masters program we are enrolled in and have become as essential as prior modes of technology we now consider commonplace. Remember the intercom? How about the conference call? My initial experience with using podcasts in the classroom came a few years back when I was working as a substitute teacher while pursuing my teaching credential. On one of my first assignments, the teacher left me a lesson plan via podcast. I found this to be of great assistance as a new teacher and made the experience enjoyable for the students.
KIN 710 has been a pleasant surprise so far. Before starting this course, I considered myself sufficiently tech savvy, but 710 has opened my eyes to the enjoyment and potential opportunities for learning and incorporating technology into my teaching methods. I have especially enjoyed building and using my Weebly website and discovering Pearltrees. The creation of a Facebook fan page has become a very useful tool in separating my professional and personal activities. I sense that these technologies and skills will continue to be part of my daily routines, both personally and professionally, long after this course is over.
An examination of Generation Always On brings mixed reactions. On one hand, technology leaders predict a future of new opportunity and expanded horizons for this generation comparing it to a revolution. For example, Dave Rogers of Yahoo stated, “It’s still early, but I believe we will see significant, positive, and even astounding improvements in the cognitive abilities of young people within the next five years.” Danah Boyd of Microsoft Research put it this way, "There is no doubt that brains are being rewired." Concerns about this trend, though, have also begun to surface. Injuries and fatalities caused by texting while driving are on the increase causing mobile phone companies to start campaigns alerting their customers to the dangers of this practice. More long range concerns include short attention spans and decreased social skills. I believe that despite these immediate concerns, being hyper-connected is a fact of life that teachers and educators must adapt to and use to guide their students to more productive uses of technology. Teachers may prove to be the leaders in reminding students that interpersonal social skills will continue to be a very important part of their personal development no matter how advanced technology becomes.
I consider myself to be part of “transitional” generation where technology is concerned. I did not have a personal cell phone until after I graduated high school. My interest in and use of technology current to the time I was in grade school was impacted by various factors. For example, I grew up in a rural area in which the school district I was a student in did not have the resources to provide advanced technology. For most of those years I did not have access to the internet in my home. It was not until I entered undergraduate school that I began to incorporate technology into my everyday life. Now 10 years later, I cannot imagine functioning without my smart phone, tablet and laptop. These are tools I use daily in professional life and expect to do so throughout my career. Social networking in the educational setting is simply a fact of life today. Educators must stay current about trends in technology in order to best serve their students. Prior to starting this class, I did not view Facebook as a learning tool, but now I am beginning to see the value this type of social media has to offer educators and students.
I chose Pearltrees as my tool to set up a PLN. I am learning how to navigate as I go so more information on my new PLN to follow.