Just Google it!

Should teachers focus on teaching material that can be easily googled? Sydney and Aurora did a nice job debating both sides of the argument.  As for me, I personally think that there needs to be a balance between the two – but we’ll get to that.

Sydney’s arguments (Teach Non-Googleable material):

  1. Students will not need to focus so heavily on the memorization portion of education. Instead, they are able to practice their critical thinking skills and have the potential of better overall understanding, rather than solely memorizing facts. This ties into the Blooms Taxonomy and the student’s ability to get higher than just base level.
  2. Technology has changed a great deal throughout the past few years, though instruction and curriculum have stayed stagnant. In general, students are still taught to read and regurgitate information. If teachers were to offer students  the opportunity to spend time learning in a deeper context, perhaps they may thrive and take control of their learning.
  3. Time. It is a lot more time efficient to allow students to use the Google search engine when they need it and have them focus largely on the things that really matter, the problem solving. Sydney used the example of teaching the Pythagorean Theorem. Instead of wasting time having students memorize the formula, why not offer them a resource that they could use to find it on their own? This opens up a lot more time for students to focus on applying their knowledge and frees up the teacher to make adaptations or clarifications for those who need it most.
  4. Focusing on big picture and broad scope ideas will help students develop the skills that they need for real life and the work force.

Aurora’s Arguments (Teach Googleable Material):

  1. Due to the 2.5 Quintilian Bytes  of data that is created each day, there is a lot of data that may be skewed or wrong. Therefore, teachers need to make sure that their students are exposed to the correct information.
  2.  Teaching students factual information in class may help them better recall it in the future. Aurora explained that the students who knew that they could rely on looking up information tended to forget it easier.
  3.  Keeping Googleable material in the classroom allows for the teacher to continue to inspire and encourage their students. Without focusing so heavily on technology based learning, teachers can focus on their passion and mentoring students throughout their learning journey.
  4. Being able to quickly google information has masked a lack of skill for students out there. Instead of figuring something out, students are able to do a quick google search that fixes their problem immediately.

So what did my peers think?

Pre-Debate:

Post-Debate:

I’m not going to lie, this surprised me! I was confident that everyone would say that schools should not focus on things that should be googled. If you didn’t guess already, I’m part of the blue on both polls…

Here’s my school of thought on this topic, though. Just like Sydney had mentioned, I think that teachers need to allow students the opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills. I agree so much with the idea of offering students a place to find key information so that it helps them with their higher order thinking skills. For example, as a teacher, maybe I create a slideshow presentation that holds all the formulas we have used so far in numeracy. From there, the student is given the tools that they need and has the opportunity to show me what they can do with them — that is what I’m interested in! I think that this way of teaching is much more efficient, as students now have live resources. I also think that this is better because it is a step further in terms the future. I think that it’s going to become more and more of the teacher’s job to adapt to technology and figure out the best way to support their learners. To me, it sounds like google takes care of a lot of the little things and we can collectively focus on life’s biggest questions.

Thanks for reading,

Cody

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“Technology in the classroom enhances learning.” … Isn’t This a No-Brainer?

I’d say the picture below speaks for itself when it comes to most young educator’s beliefs as it relates to the title of this blog.

The results of the first poll wasn’t surprising for anyone. The class we are in, after all, is not a required class for the majority of us, so we are probably pretty biased as it is. Despite that, there were quite a few points that were brought up throughout the debate that made a case for both sides of the argument. I have to give props to Raeann who was able to stand her ground against what seemed like an easy win for Ashlee early on. Great job to the both of you!

In any case, here was the gist of what I got from each side:

Technology DOES enhance learning:

  1. Global Collaboration – Using technology, students potentially have access to anyone in the world. If used correctly, students can learn from experts in a particular field about any particular topic.
  2. Resources – Through the use of technology, students can connect with their teacher and the peers outside of class time. I have personal experience with this aspect as this is the way I learned to use Google Classroom and Seesaw. If students had a quick question, say at 7 pm, instead of waiting until the morning, I could take 20 seconds and make the small adjustment or clarification. Additionally, other class members took time to help out their peers, which was great to see.
  3. Multimedia – Technology also offers students a way to engage with material on a deeper level. There are, what seems like, an infinite amount of videos of YouTube, there are audio books, podcasts, virtual reality, and more. The possibilities here are endless and watching students use these tools is both entertaining and well worth it. What do I mean? Check out this virtual reality video I used while teaching about animal cells.
  4. Community – Lastly, through proper platforms, there can be a sense of an online community among the class. Just like I mentioned above, students have the opportunity to help each other and share ideas 24/7.

Technology DOES NOT enhance Learning:

  1. Distractions – It’s become too easy to click open another tab and navigate to anything else but the task at hand. Students are also very crafty and can make it appear as if they are working hard while effectively doing nothing at all.
  2. Cheating – If tests or assignments are online, how hard is it to open a google page, find your answer, and, if your bold enough, copy and paste the answer? Spoiler alert: It’s not. In addition to this, students typically have more than one electronic device and can team up, either physically or digitally, to complete their individual work.
  3. Implementation – Are teachers trained enough to be using technology inside the class? Or maybe all the resources online are becoming the only source of teaching. Why would I explain it when this shiny YouTube video can?

These points were effective in starting a conversation that challenged our bias. Below is the poll from after the debate:

Again, I wasn’t surprised by the results. Katia also pointed out that it becomes easy to poke holes in an argument that’s fully represented at the start.

So, what do I think?

Although I think that the disagreeing side won the debate overall, I think that technology enhances learning. I think that it’s easy to talk circles around people as to how students will misuse and abuse the tools you give them. Though, I’d argue that those same students will take any opportunity to not do their work, technology or not. I also think that the positives vastly outweigh the negatives and hold much more weight. The biggest benefit to me being that my students and I can create an online community to collaborate, differentiate, explore, and grow together. Additionally, I also believe that technology will only become a bigger part in our lives. Like or not, technology is becoming more and more accessible, which mean that schools will be able to have more of it around.

Technology is the way of the future, you might as well get used to it.

Thanks for reading,

Cody

Online Privacy

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved technology. I like being the person that knows the answers to common problems and figuring out neat things that I can do with it. I like the logistic challenge it has always created for me. Furthermore, I think that technology has offered society so much in return. We are in a place right now where we can online shop with just our voice, where everything we need will be delivered to our front door. Pretty amazing. What’s not to love?

Video Credit: Amazon

Conversely though, I despise the way that the average consumer uses their technology. Doing my best to not sound like an old man, I feel social media started out with the right intentions, though people have taken it too far. An online based community that shares their thoughts, feelings, opinions, and information with anyone around the world is a dream come true. I’d argue that this is hardly the case, though. Alternatively, I’d say that there is an ever growing addiction to molding our physical lives into a beautiful digital display for all to see. And I get it, the dopamine hit that comes with every like or positive interaction online is highly addictive.

Video Credit: AsapSCIENCE

So, how exactly can society step away from this collective vanity? Obviously I don’t have an answer, but there are people in the world considering the implications of our current actions. Have you seen this episode of black mirror? Watch it.

Video Credit: Lifestyle King

Privacy has become a big interest of mine over the past few years, too. Because of this, a part of me regrets signing up for all the biggest social media platforms. Facebook, YouTube, Google, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. I may be treading the line of conspiracy theorist here, but at one point or another, I’ve offered my personal data to them for free. It’s theirs now. They get to do whatever they want with it. Period. What do I mean? Perhaps the following video will help make sense of what I’m trying to say:

Video Credit: Technology Services at Illinois

You certainly don’t need to agree with me, and maybe you think I’m being over dramatic. Though I am reminded of this type of intrusiveness every time I forget to turn my location off on my phone. No, Chapters! I have no desire to rate my experience in your store!

Moving forward, I’ve made a personal choice to really consider whether or not I want my name and information attached to a new online service. For most people the convenience of signing up outweighs not signing up because the service uses your data to build a personalized experience for you. But that convenience helps reinforce my argument. What I want, or may want, due to my history is really no one’s business but my own.

Video Credit: Parks and Recreation

What do you think? Is there some truth to what I’m saying?

Thanks for reading,

Cody

My Internet Persona

This is always an eye opener for me.  I don’t Google my name very often, though when I do, I’m always surprised by what I find.

It all started with a Google search:

Most of the profiles there were what I expected to find. My YouTube page, my professional portfolio, and my Twitter page were a given. The one thing that did surprise me was my ResearchGate page.

I created that account in my final year of study during my Kinesiology degree so that I could still see the research my professors were working on. Good intentions on my part, though I haven’t used it since.

Furthermore, I forgot that I had created a Pinterest page too. I mostly use this to find ideas for lesson planning and it has been quite helpful, in my experience. To my surprise, I have 27 followers! Go me!

And lastly, the thing that I always forget about is the picture that was taken of my girlfriend and I at a Ukrainian Christmas party in 2015.

So what do all these forms of social media say about me?

In my opinion, I’d say that I come off okay. I don’t see any red flags and I think that any prospective employer would be happy to see that I have a clean digital footprint. One thing that I’ve come to understand about the education system is that Twitter is a platform that is held in high regard. Assuming that, I think that that would be one of the first clicks for the person sleuthing me.  Because of my assumption, I have used Twitter as a means to display my professional qualities.

I think that I’ve done a good job of illustrating the way that I conduct myself professionally. Just by looking through quickly, I think my profile shows that I am passionate about teaching in an informed, authentic, creative, and fun way. Just take a look — do you see something different?

Additionally, the sleuth has access to my professional portfolio through my Twitter account.

Personally, I think that my professional portfolio is an extension of the way that I am professionally.

It’s my hope that if an employer is looking into me, they will stumble across my Twitter and portfolio.

Lastly, I’m sure you’re asking “what about Facebook?” Yes, I have Facebook and I was quite satisfied when I wasn’t able to find myself. When I was starting my pre-internship I took the time to change my name and privacy settings so that I would not be so easily found by someone. I’m not completely invisible, though I’m not easily found, which is exactly where I want to be. In my opinion, Facebook is my most personal social media account, and therefore it is my most private. I do not have anything incriminating on there, this is just where my comfort level is, so I choose to hide in the background.

Feel free to sleuth me! Can you find anything else?

Cody

 

 

Hello #EDTC400!

My name is Cody Biever. I’m from Regina, Saskatchewan and I’m 25 years old, as of the publishing of this blog post. I’m also a 4th year student studying Middle Years Education at the University of Regina. I’ve just finished my internship at Wascana Plains School, here in Regina, and it was a wonderful experience that was challenging, exciting, and a source of great memories! Furthermore, I’ve just become a Saskatchewan Certified Teacher and EDTC 400 is the final class that I need to take before convocation, in the spring. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Technology and the ways in which it can be used to supplement education has become a huge interest of mine. I was incredibly fortunate to be mentored by Aaron Warner during my internship, who not only embraces edtech, but thrives with it. During my time with Aaron, I’ve learned the ropes of Google Classroom and the ways it can be used seamlessly with Seesaw, among a multitude of other online tools. In my opinion, edtech has offered teachers the ability to differentiate easily and quickly, provide timely, responsive, and valuable feedback, and it allows parents be a part of their child’s learning. Fortunately for me, edtech is relatively new and will only grow throughout my career.

In terms of goals for my career and for this class, I have many, but these are my top 3:

  1. To be able to understand the ins and outs of digital literacy/citizenship and be able to effectively translate that into meaningful experiences inside the classroom.
  2. Learn further about the options and strategies I can use for both formative and summative assessment.
  3. To collaborate with others interested in this area of education to hear their opinions, ideas, beliefs, and share resources with.

Thank you for reading,

Cody

My Learning Project Wrap Up

It may not seem like much, but I’ve come a long way in terms of learning how to Travis pick.  Here’s how the story went:

Before I had joined EDTC 300 I heard that we needed to pick something for a learning project. I was super excited, but I didn’t know what to pick. I flirted with a few ideas like yoga,  dog training, learning sign language, and learning piano. I would have definitely picked the piano if I had one laying around — but I didn’t… Eventually I decided to follow the theme of music that I had over the past year and chose to learn the art of Travis Picking!

Admittedly, I had already started to learn the basics of this technique from sixstringcountry, though had only marginally dipped my toe in, so to speak. From there, I decided to work on the exercises that sixstringcountry had recommended. It looked like this:

Very simple, boring to watch, and boring to listen to. It was a start though! It’s even fun looking back on this video now because I can see I’ve come a long way since I posted it on this blog back in May!

The next week I had posted this video as a part of my third week blog:

One weeks practice and you can see that I had developed in terms of clarity, dexterity, and execution. I had also learned a few tips from Tommy Emmanuel‘s 4 step’s to fingerstyle guitar.

Shortly after I had a change of heart. Initially I had stated that I was going to go through all of sixstringscountry’s lessons in order to develop my skill. Well, I got bored. After watching Tommy Emmanuels next video, in which teaches the song Freight Train, I had set my mind on learning that song! There were also tons of videos on YouTube giving lessons of that very song, so I figured I was in good shape.

For the next few weeks I took a little time off camera to practice the song. So, because of this, I was given the opportunity to talk about my guitar journey and how I used the internet to learn over the years. This was also during the time that Katia had given me some helpful feedback and I began adding hyperlinks to my blogs for my readers to take advantage of!

After a few weeks I had eventually reached the point where I could play half Freight Train fairly well:

Yes, the video is short, but it’s an insanely hard skill to learn! I should also mention that the video above was part of a blog where I shared the resources that I most heavily relied on during my practice!

And that’s it! Just check out the first video compared to the last. Lots of growth there! As of right now, my practicing has admittedly slowed down because, well, the end of the semester is not a time for hobbies or the progression of them! Though, it’s not the end of my journey! I am incredibly intrinsically motivated when it comes to the guitar and my progression! I know I will, at the very least, be able to play the song fully one day. Also, in conclusion, I have found so many more valuable resources online that I will continue to use to fine tune my craft!

Thanks for reading everyone!

Cody

 

Well, Its Come To This!

Hey EDTC 300!

I just wanted to share my Summary of Learning to this page! I decided to make a video that had me speaking about my experience throughout the semester. I had a great time and it’s bittersweet that the class is coming to a close!

Without further ado, here is my Summary of Learning:

Thanks to everyone in EDTC 300!

Cody. Out.

GIF Credit: Giphy.com