Frau's Blog

EDUC 6715 Reflections

Posted on: April 25, 2010

In addition to this being the final assignment for this course, it is also the final assignment for my masters program! It is  hard to believe this program is over. It went by so quickly and I have truly learned so much.

The portfolio assignment for this course was to create a lesson using gaming, multi-user virtual environments (MUVE)or an online learning module. I chose to form my lesson around the technology I was the least familiar with, and that was the MUVE. Over the course  of my life, my family and I were always very up-to-date with new technology. We always had a computer and we were some of the first in my town to the get the internet when it was first introduced. I was surprised when I learned about these virtual environments as a part of this course because I was really unaware of their existence. I had use chat rooms when I was in middle school, and I was familiar with games like World of Warcraft, but I had never actually been a part of a virtual environment the way they are currently. This was something unexpected for me. I always thought that I was keeping up with new technologies as they were becoming available, but as it turned out, I was not quite as current as I thought.

What I think will influence my teaching the most is the concept of McLuhan’s Tetrad. McLuhan said that with each new technology, it will enhance, make a former technology obsolete, it “reverses” or rekindles something from the past and finally it retrieves, or will eventually be pushed into something different which will cause itself to be obsolete (Thornburg, 2008). The biggest adjustment that I can make to my teaching is to be prepared for new technologies and be aware of what technologies will become obsolete. Even the overhead projector, a staple in every classroom, will eventually not be needed anymore and that is in the process of happening already. Document cameras, interactive whiteboards and even S-video cords that take the  image on the computer screen and share it with a television screen all can replace the function of the overhead projector. And eventually new technologies will replace document cameras, interactive whiteboards and S-cords.

Each year, many publications are released that inform people of new and emerging technologies. One of these publications is the Horizon Report. The Horizon report actually includes new technologies and their implications for classroom use and adaptation. By reading this report and others like it, I will be informed on the latest technological resources available and how I can begin implementing them in my classroom. By using the latest technologies with my students, I can be sure that I am providing the best opportunity to be a 21st century learner.

Reference:

Thornburg, D. D. (2008). Emerging technologies and McLuhan’s Laws of Media. Lake Barrington, IL: Thornburg Center for Space Exploration.

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