reflection

reflecting connections (2)
Marblerock Lake, Marble Meadows, BC. Photo credit: Tessa Stiven

I write a final blog post for EDCI 336 on the road. The beauty of a week-long roadtrip in Washington and Oregon is that my cell phone is blissfully on airplane mode and my laptop is making its sole appearance today. After three months of being more engaged in the digital realm than ever before in my life, I am suddenly abstaining….and it feels so refreshing.

However, my current digital disconnection is a mindful choice, and not my previous knee-jerk reaction to my unexplored assumption of the harms of technology.

EDCI 336 has completely reframed the way I view technology in my life, and in education systems. I have recognized that the power of technology lays in the hands of the user, and how the user chooses to apply technology to their life and learning. Technology has incredible potential to help learners curate resources, find inspiration in diversity, critique perspectives, and become producers of their own knowledge. Intentional technology use is not about careful selection of what technology to use, but rather careful examination of why we are using technology (thanks David Shortreed for first introducing me to this thought). Therefore, it is not a matter of what technology I will incorporate into the classroom in the future, but rather how I will align the learning I want to be developed and shared, with the resources (including technology) that can be used to support the desired learning. Exploring different uses of technology this fall has encouraged me to believe that there is unlimited potential for using technology to inspire, scaffold and share learning.

My major take-aways from this course include:

  • An understanding of a personal learning network (PLN) and the power of online networking to expand learning. Specifically, I have grown to recognize Twitter as a powerful facilitator of connecting people and ideas.
  • An appreciation for the blogosphere as a vast resource of curated experiences. I have experienced the blogosphere my being an active participant: creating my own blog, and carefully following others through feedly.
  • A deep reconsideration my dichotomous perception of technology and nature. Through unpacking my assumption of technology as a detractor from nature-based learning, I have developed an open mindedness to seeing technology and nature as mutually supportive tools for learning, and have enjoyed challenging myself to find examples of synergy between technology and nature in learning.
  • A recognition of the power of collaboration through the digital world. Previously I have always viewed online collaboration as a second best to in-person collaboration. I now recognize the huge potential the digital world offers to share and build upon other’s ideas. I love the interplay between collaboration on multiple platforms such as twitter, YouTube, and google docs. Inspiration from online collaboration can bring a richness of examples and resources to face-to-face collaboration. I see online and inperson collaboration as working in reinforcing feedback cycles that can be personalized to situations and personal needs.
  • An appreciation for technology to aid students ability to work in a state of flow. I have been very influenced by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explanation of Flow state, after his ted talk was shared by a classmate on twitter. I have been keenly aware this term of when and why I find myself working in a state of flow. In find myself most often in academic flow in two ways: in group project work with classmates, and in online research. I recognize that the interplay between videos, text, images, blogs, and online books offers me the diversity of ideas and perspectives I seek to fuel deep questioning and synthesis of ideas.

The ability for me to translate my new-found open mindedness to technology and education relies on developing a high level of digital and media literacy. I have developed digital literacy this term experientially: creating a blog, using google docs, engaging on twitter, using new aps, exploring freshgrade, attending EdCamp, using google hangouts and skype for online group collaboration, etc. I want to continue to seek new applications and technologies, as a means of both expanding my PLN and education resources, as well as experientially developing my digital and media literacy.

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