Sunday, November 11, 2012

Futurism and change

How will tchnology change education in 10 years? This is what I was asked in one of the interviews. I did not have a good answer at that time. Now, I still do not know the answer. It is hard to imagine the impact of technology on education with my knowledge. One thing that I can sure is that we will still have the traditional face-to-face classroom with a teacher and students in 10 years. However, the classrom will be equipped with technological devices.

What kind of technological devices will be availabe in the classroom in 10 years? Maybe a simulator? Students may be able to perform a task as a doctor, a judge, an Amazon exporer, etc individually or in groups. They may need to research a given topic and collaborate to complete the given task in the simulation. Would it happen? I don't know. What I know is that teachers should be prepared for new changes in society and education.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mobile learning

One week ago, I bought a Samsung Note 2 cellular phone, which can be extensively used for mobile learning. First, it has a big screen (5.5 inches). Second it has a stylus and lecture note tool which can create text, graphs, mathmatical symbols and insert images, videos, idea maps, maps, and so on. Now I write my notes using the stylus on my phone. Soon, we will be able to see people taking notes on their phone during a meeting or during a lecture. I also downloaded Netflix, a movie watching app, and let my daughter watch educational shows on my phone. A new phone enables me to do more things than one week before. I am sure that young students who are good at new technology will be able to use this kind of new mobile device in many different ways, not only for their leisure but also for their study.

My students already use their cell phone during class to review the powerpoint slides and word documents that I uploaded to Laulima. They search a word in a free online Korean dictionary and listen to audio files of the textbook from the textbook website. They use free apps to learning Korean numbers and basic words. For now, they use their device to view information and learning materials.

However, I think we should encourange students use their mobile device for collaborative learning. For example, they can use Twitter, Facebook Group, Google+, and so on. I have to learn more about mobile learning and encourage students to try. One problem is that not all students can afford to have a smart phone or any other mobile device. Maybe later, schools may be able to rent a mobile device.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Distributed Learning

The chart on the short synopses of Vygotsky's ideas shows easily that Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development (ZPD) is what we can do with help. The ZPD emphasizes not only the role of a teacher but also the role of peers in development and values social learning. The first synopsis says, “full development of the ZPD depends upon full social interaction. The range of skill that can be developed with adult guidance or peer collaboration exceeds what can be attained alone.”

 This reminds me of the online learning environment that I have explored in ETEC622. With the guidance from Dr. Kimura, Eddie, and Ross, I have learned a lot by doing the assignments. I also learned more from collaboration with other peers and from their feedback on my work. The online learning environment and tools enable us to interact more than the traditional classroom. Students get more engaged in learning than in a traditional class.

It is important to note that technology expanded the learning environment from school/home to everywhere. We carry mobile devices, get help from people and search information on web sites. We can also reach students at a remote place.

One thing to think about is how we can persuade students who believe that they can only learn from teachers. Some students do not take collaborative learning seriously because they think they do not learn from peers. It is challenging to make them engaged in collaborative work. What shall we as teacher do?

 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Resource Pages

For my group's resource page, I volunteered to create a web page on my personal space at UH. I am an amateur web developer, but I don't have my personal web site. My busy life makes me postpone the project for my personal web page. Week 7's assignment inspired me to create not only the group page but also my own page. I usually create web pages from scratch. This time, I decided to try free templates. I was amazed by the number of free web templates available. I appreciate people who created and shared their templates with others. For my personal page, I just chose a template but did not post any content yet; for the group page, I could fill the template with useful information thanks to my group members, Susan and Eileen. Without the content, templates are useless.

We found a lot of great tools that teachers can use for educational purposes. Many of them could be used for free. I was wondering how the companies make profit. It seems to be very important to train teachers to use those useful tools for their teaching. I knew a lot about technology in education before.  However, I have not updated my knowledge for a while. Now, I am excited to learn all the new things. I look forward to implementing what I have learned in ETEC622 to my teaching.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Internet Communications Technologies (ICT)

The Skype and Google Hangout trial with my group was very interesting and inspiring. I only used Skype for work-related purposes before, such as a job interview, consultation, etc. It was fun to talk while watching the videos of my group members. I found that the sound quality of Skype is great.
I did not know about Google Hangout at all before. I was surprised that Google+ provide a number of good tools for free. While the hangout, my group shared a Google Doc, which worked better than Blackboard's white board. However, Blackboard seems to be more appropriate for a large online class, because it can control who can speak and create participants into small groups.

Each tool has its strenths and weaknesses. However, we may run into technical problems anytime using them. It is important to expect technical difficulties and provide technical support.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Screencasts

I learned a lot of hands-on skills. I did not know that I could capture the screen and insert narration at the same time for free. One of the reason that I stopped learning and using technology was because I could not afford it. As a lecturer, I did not have fund to try new technology in my teaching. I was amazed by how easy Screenr is. A few weeks ago, one of my colleagues asked me how she could make online teaching materials with audio files included. I wish I had known about Screenr at that time. Immediately, I called her and shared my new learning with her.

One thing that I know from my experience is that learning videos should not be too long. The viewers will not watch all if it is too long. It is better to divide one long lesson to several short lessons. However, when I created my screencast for custom animation in PowerPoint, it was so hard to make a short, concise, and easy one. It took a long time to prepare and created the screencast. But it was definitely fun. I also learned new things from others' screencasts. I liked the idea of making a movie in Window Movie Maker with PowerPoint slides saved as images. I also learned that there is a free tool that I can create a conversation with my students. Everyweek, I learn new things. I look forward to learning new things next week.

Library resources online

I was very happy that I could access UHM electronic database. One of the reasons that I am taking this class is to have an access to the UH Manoa libaray system. After I finished my degree in 2008, I couldn't read adademic journals. Even though I work for the UH system, the electronic journals are only for UHM students and faculty. Now, I can search and read journal articles because I am a UH student. Yeah! I learned that many things have changed and improved in educational technology. I mainly read technology in language learning and learned that educators and researchers are interested in blogging, video/audio conferencing, social network tools, etc., which we try in ETEC622. I downloaded and read several articles. I also investigated general educational technology. Many new things to learn! I am excited about new learning in ETEC622.