EC&I 831 – Reflecting on Presenters

Each Tuesday in this class, via our Eluminate sessions, we have been fortunate enough to have a variety of guest presenters share their experiences and knowledge of educational technology.  There have been some great presentations on a variety of topics from presenters with varying backgrounds working with Ed. Tech.  Some presenters have shared their practical experiences using technologies in the classroom.  Others have presented theories about the applications of technologies in educational settings.  Some have presented a good mix of both.

The presentations that I have taken the most away from would have to be those by Dean Shareski, Clarence Fisher, and Darren Kuropatwa.  Perhaps this is because I’ve found that these presenters spoke more about their experiences with using technologies in their educational settings.  They provided a great mix of practical experience along with their theories about applications of educational technologies.  This is not to say that the presentations by George Siemens, Richard Schwier, and Sharon Peters were less valuable.  I suppose it is just that I’ve found the others to be easier to relate to as they presented ideas in a more practical manner, rather than theoretical. 

Sharon Peters shared her history of working with educational technology.  I found the most valuable parts of her lecture to be those in which she shared with us how her three children use technology.  Her daughter Meg uses Fiction Press to write poetry and short stories, and her son Nat loves Runescape.  These examples came at an interesting time for me, as I have just viewed the Frontline documentary ‘Growing up On-line‘ with my IP10 class.  While viewing this, I’ve had my students answer questions about their on-line lives, and their uses of technology.  Most of my students have an on-line presence, and many of them have parents that have no understanding of new internet technologies or what their children are using them for.  It was interesting to see a family like Sharon’s who are all very technologically savvy, and open to communicate about their internet and technology use.  The Frontline documentary presents a view that there is a great digital divide between parents and teen-agers today.  Sharon’s family shows us that this is not always the case, and doesn’t have to be the norm.

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2 Responses

  1. Ryan I agree 100% with your comments. While Sharon, George , and Richard provided very valuable theoretical information it is the “hands on” approach that I really appreciate. To be able to take something away from presentations and instantly apply in a short amount of time is the meat and potatoes of educator professional development.

  2. Thanks, Ryan, for the nice things said about my family. I think good quality relationships between parents and children are not given enough credit in the issue of technology and education. They are the foundation to all the healthy (or not-so) choices that our children make regarding lifestyles.
    The students of Alec’s course benefited tremendously from the speakers who were brought in. I learned a lot just lurking! Maybe it was just me, but I really liked Schwier’s and Siemen’s presentations….

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