Sunday, February 27, 2011

Final Reflection - EDUC 6715

As the course, New and Emerging Technologies (EDUC 6715) comes to a close, I continually reflect and think about where technology in education has been, and where it is heading. I realize that technology is constantly emerging and that I need to continue to seek out and learn about new and emerging technologies.

In this course I learned about MUVEs (like Second Life), online courses (like Moode), grant writing, and gaming. I know I need to learn more about Second Life and Moodle because they will play a huge role in shaping the future of integrating technology in the classroom. Second Life offers so many professional development opportunities for free. Online courses, such as Moodle allow schools to offer more courses, allow students to study anytime, and a chance to go paperless. I also learned how important grant writing will become in today’s cash strapped school districts that need money for more technology. At my school, the computers in our computer lab are ten years old, so grant writing is definitely welcomed. I also investigated gaming in the classroom; learning how to use it effectively in the classroom and how it engages learners in authentic learning.

Unfortunately at my school, there are a limited number of teachers who use technology, so gaming in the classroom might be looked down upon. In order to use gaming, I need to convince administration, colleagues, students, and parents of the benefits. I need to get all parties involved and through collaboration, implement and use simulation games. I would volunteer to provide professional development opportunities, and would be willing to help any of my colleagues. Using simulations to teach content helps my students who have different learning styles and many of which love playing video games. “Today’s learning generation is extremely game literate” (DeKanter, 2005). I think once other teachers see high-interest learning that can take place outside of the school and outside of the school day, they will jump aboard.
As this course and program comes to an end, I look back a year and a half ago and can see some tremendous growth as a technological leader in the classroom. I now incorporate wikis, blogs, podcasts, VoiceThreads, ScreanToasts, and other web 2.0 tools. I constantly search the site, “Free Tech for Teachers” for new technologies to use in my classroom. I am investigating Second Life, Moodle, and social networking because these educational tools will help me reach all my learners. I realize that as a technological leader, I need to constantly seek out emerging technologies and implement them, in order to help all my students prepare for the 21st century.


DeKanter, N. (2005). Gaming redefines interactivity for learning. TechTrends, 49(3),

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Online Learning

Online learning offers K-12 schools the potential to support 21st century learning and is an emerging technology that could shape the future of our educational system. Course Management Systems, such as Moodle or RCampus give students of all abilities the chance to supplement and improve their education while taking courses online. However, the implementation of online schools does have some weaknesses and faces some opposition.

There are many arguments that I would anticipate from my colleagues who resist online learning. An argument that I would face at my school district would be the lack of technological resources and training. According to Gillard & Bailey (2007), “the level of support that educators receive as they are adopting and implementing new skills and knowledge significantly impacts the success rate”. Given the proper training online education could thrive in a rural setting, like Reedsville. “Teachers need support specific to the technology they are planning to implement, and they need it when they are preparing to use the technology with their students” (Gillard & Bailey, 2007). The Reedsville School District would benefit by giving students more class choices, via online courses created by technologically trained teachers.

Another way my colleagues would be to question the effectiveness of online education. Lemke and Coughlin explain that technology is changing the way people learn in the 21st century; with the unlimited amount of information on the internet, how people learn is vastly changing as well (2009). A poll of registered voters found that 80% said that public education is not working (Young, Birtolo, & McElman). Traditional education needs to change because our students are changing and the skills they need to succeed in the future are changing too.

Although there are many reasons why schools do not use online classes, they are missing many benefits. Teachers given the proper training can create online courses that supplements current educational programs. The ability to develop 21st century skills, accommodate different learning abilities, and collaborate with students worldwide makes online learning a small part of where education is now and gives a huge clue of where it is heading into the future.



Gillard, S., & Bailey, D. (2007). Technology in the classroom: Overcoming obstacles, reaping rewards. The International Journal of Learning, 14(1), 87–93.

Young, J., Birtolo, P., & McElman, R. (2009). Virtual success: Transforming education through online learning. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(5), 12–17. Retrieved from the Education Research Complete database.