In this, my last (or one of my last) blog posts for EC&I 832, I will aim to answer some fairly loaded questions:
- What new understandings of the role of educational technology to support learning have you gained, acted on or perhaps strengthened?
- What has had the most influence on your horizon of understanding?
- What new questions have emerged for you?
It is no easy feat to answer such questions. For me, a course such as this becomes so intertwined with my everyday life; it becomes a part of who I am. It is very difficult to determine starting and ending points or to measure growth. One of the pieces or fragments from this course that will continue to have shaping influence on my horizon of understanding is my knowledge of the LoTi Digital-Age framework. I would consider myself a ‘digital native’, and as such, integration of technology is a relatively natural part of my teaching practice. Before this course, I would have considered myself to be rated quite highly on any scale measuring technological integration in the classroom. However, what I have found is that regardless of my familiarity with technology, the higher level of a framework such as the LoTi levels 5 or 6 are still extremely difficult to reach. Even though I would consider myself a digital native and a daily user of web technologies, I would still honestly rate myself somewhere slightly above average at a level 4a or 4b. Finding ways to broaden students’ horizons and break down the barriers of physical walls; initiating opportunities to encourage students to build networks and to communicate globally; enabling collaborations that extend beyond. These are very difficult things to do, and I suppose that this is one of the most important understandings that I will take with me. I will continue to ask myself how do I do this? How can I create environments in which such collaborations can exist?
From this class, I take with me the challenge to seek to answer these questions. I embark, with excitement, down new paths of discovery and on new projects. I continue to play with new technologies and to find ways to use these technologies to increase literacy and communication skills among my students.