The subject of statistical analysis did not have much appeal for me when I reviewed the activities for Module 5, but I was surprised by my interest in the sites and tools I reviewed in the process. Statistics in Sports (http://www.amstat.org) directs the user to professional journals and publications that seem to be a good resource for information beyond statistics. I also liked the free statistical software site as a resource to become familiar in working with statistical information.
In the 10 years since I graduated from high school, advances in technology have changed almost every area of life. Getting a job is no longer just a matter of filing out a paper application and showing up to an interview. An electronic presence is now mandatory and, fortunately, technologies such as LinkedIn, Facebook, personal web sites and professional portfolios make this possible. It occurs to me, though, that these same instant channels of communication and information place a new kind of pressure on their users. Since a person’s achievements and movements are instantly accessible through LinkedIn, for example, some may feel the constant pressure of having new achievements to post and report to the world.
I see LinkedIn as having started on a different level than Facebook in terms of intended audience/users. Facebook had the fairytale start of social networking among college kids. LinkedIn entered the market with a business pedigree, more of a business networking tool and has gained a lot of ground in the professional cyber world.
I am becoming more and more aware of the need for thoughtful editing and restraint when sharing information in any forum. In particular, though, special care should be given before listing personal information in a business or professional setting much as one would be careful about what they would do or say in a business office or workplace.
I found it interesting to read the Info Tech Advisor article describing blogs as "a new avenue of communication." It was a reminder of just how quickly technologies are being imbeded into our everyday lives as the article was written in 2006. This course has helped me appreciate the practicality of using new forms of communication, such as wikis, in my own professional pursuits and I will make it a point to pay attention to new technologies for application in the educational setting.
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.