The Connected Self; Key Interests

What issues, interests, or opportunities do you anticipate arising in your teaching in the near future?

The are a couple of possible issues I see arising with teaching in the near future. I worry that if our everyday teaching becomes internet based and self-directed that some students may fall through the crack. There are always students who will not have access to the internet outside of school and there are always those students who are not self starters.  I also worry about the safety of my students with continuous access to online content. Will they be able to filter the bad out and absorb the good information? How often will they become exposed to content that is not age appropriate? Will they be aware and understand the importance of their digital self?

My interests are piqued when I think about online learning. There are some amazing free online learning resources out there. While researching Khan Academny and Duolingo, I stumbled up some other amazing online learning resources : EdX, Codecademy, Coursera, Academic Earth. I am very interested in learning more about these sites. Many of these courses will provide you with the information and education but they will not provide you with a diploma, certificate, or degree of any kind. Will the new generation of educated people be multi-talented, adverse in many different subjects and not weighed down by the debt that often accompanies a university degree?

Is there a component of this issue, interest, or opportunity that relates to the use of digital technologies?

Students with access to technology and digital technology are constantly plugged into that world. Will they be able to take part effectively in the ‘real’ world? One issue is that those with access to these technologies will be using them safely. Will they know to access good information, ignore any online content that is unsafe?

What curriculum is related to this issue, interest or opportunity?

Health and Careers touches upon internet safety. Teachers are able to create lessons and units that will help students use the internet safely. Also, showing students how to research, how to understand sources, how to analyze the information they receive is a very important part of Social Studies curriculum big ideas.

What pedagogy might be useful for fostering learners’ engagement and excitement?

I have recently read about Digital Pedagogy on learning.instructure.com. The author states that “digital learning (and by necessity, digital pedagogy) takes place all over the web.” The author suggests that the way we think about learning needs to change. The variety of devices and web resources that learners have access to is growing every day. Students will use their smart phones, computers, tablets, apple watches, etc. Teachers will need to see these devices are tools instead of unwanted distractions in the classroom. The interesting part will be learning to navigate the technological world when our students may be far and beyond ahead of us in terms of techno knowledge.

What digital technologies can you imagine contributing to enrich, enable, or enhance learning?

In a perfect world, students at every school would have access to technology every day. How amazing would it be if every student had their own tablet/computer/smart device every day, all day? Upper intermediate students are currently using technology every day. They are emailing, facebooking, snapchatting, adding pins on pinterest every hour if they can. If we bring these programs into the classroom and use them in a way that enriches our student’s education, their connection will be an authentic one. By accessing this online content, we are stretching the boundaries of our traditional classroom and finding common ground with our students.

What are the keywords that you would use to identify elements of this issue, interest, or opportunity?

Digital pedagogy, empower, connected learning, authentic learning, problem solving.

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