From the NMC Horizon Report: 2011 K-12 Edition (http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2011-Horizon-Report-K12.pdf), it is clear that technology has evolved in the use of education. When I was 9 years old, my teacher gave my parents educational PC Games like Math Blaster and Reader Rabbit. I loved playing these games and I was learning how to add and subtract too! Today, students in elementary schools are being taught by using SMARTboards. In college, we are now using Nook or the Ipad in order to download an E-book of our textbook (if it’s available) in order to save money. The Report speaks about six emerging technologies such as cloud computing, mobiles (like the Ipad), game-based learning (which I mentioned about Math Blaster and Reader Rabbit), open content, learning analytics and personal learning environment.
Cloud Computing is used in colleges today. For math classes, the students use Pearsons Math Lab, where the students go online and do the homework that the teacher has posted. The Math Lab online help them by providing hints and there’s a link to send an email to write to the professor. CUNY students use Blackboard in order to obtain homeworks, find their grades, do discussions, and much more. Students and teachers use Youtube and Google in order to find out how to solve their problems online. Some are free and others will need to be paid in order to get the service.
Mobiles have been increasing since the creation of the cellphone. Now it has turned from a regular phone to a multifunctional phone that can scan a picture, take a picture, store memory (for documents, music and etc.), listen to music/audio, watch movies, go online and more functions. The use of mobiles in educational are to be like books (using a tablet to read the passage). Why waste money on a book that you may read it once when you can just buy a nook and download some free ebooks? Nook or a tablet like the Ipad are used to replace the textbooks if available online. I remember there was a student in my Italian class and he was reading his textbook on an Ipad. This saves some money for textbooks. Although the tablets are expensive, it’s a one time purchase. Some ebook are free and other will not, but they are much cheaper than the textbook.
As I have said before, Math Blaster and Reader Rabbit were my favorite educational PC games. These are examples of educational game-based learning that help the students explore and experiment their subject of choice and help correct the wrong answer of some question/challenge. In today’s classrooms, some ESL students are using game-based education online to help learn how to read and speak English. I did fieldwork at an elementary school and saw that an ESL student, who speaks French, was playing games that are in English. She was learning how to put the words together and how the word sounds like. I believe that math game-based education can be applied to anyone since the objective is clear. For example, a French and a Jamaican can view the same problem 1+1 and they would know that the answer would be 2 because mathematics is universal and no matter how it was taught, the answer would be the same.
Open content is mostly used if there’s limited sources in the school. For example, a student with a Nook can share it with another student or when two students are in one computer. Although educators don’t use this method often due to sufficient amount of resources, in other countries like Africa, students have to share books, share computers and more. It’s pretty much just having free resources to help the students learn.
Learning analytics are now being used in elementary school. During the time of my fieldwork studies, students are using an online assessment program in which they do an assessment and the teacher will see what areas the students are in need of improvement. Since this is online, the teacher gives the student a code for the parents to log in online and see their son/daughter’s score and the places that are need of improvement so that they can get involve with their child’s study as well. This is like a Blackboard: the students hand in an assignment online, the teacher posts it on the grade section so that the student can see it.
Based on the report, personal learning environments is not necessarily a technology, but “an approach or process that is individualized by design.” This reminds me of the views of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, an education philosopher who believed that a child should have “open education” and have an environment where the child can develop his/her experiments, exploration and observation in their own pace since each child is different in learning processing. Let the students be the teachers of their own education.
Teachers are now using technologies in classrooms whether they are showing a skit from YouTube or a reading the NYPost online, or viewing photos from World War II from Google Images. Technology in education is going to continue to increase because it’s less money to waste. My only fear from this is that technology will be so excelled and the students would only know how to type than to write in pencil or pen. I know I’m sounding extreme, but we can’t expect the unexpected and maybe it may happen.
I would implement some use of technology by showing a YouTube clip or have them create PowerPoint of what they have learned. I would be more old fashion by having them write their homeworks and handing in to me personally so I would know who actually did do the homework instead of a computer telling me so. I hope that the students are actually learning by using them then just have them sit and play their games that may not even help them learn.