Exploratory Essay

The base of technology for this research assignment allowed for a tremendous amount of possible directions. Since I’m planning to become a teacher the direction I’m interested in is education and technology. I stumbled upon an article in one of my previous classes that was about global education. It didn’t mean much to me until now. In my search for a TED Talk as a starting point for information I wanted one that addressed global education in some way. The one I discovered was about building a school in the cloud. Students could be in a classroom in one part of the world while working with a teacher on the other side. The possibilities for education with the use of technology are tremendous.

In my TED Talk the presenter Sugata Mitra shows children learning how to operate and understand how a computer functions on their own. Technology is so intriguing to children giving them a desire to learn. As a result of this Mitra’s presentation I wanted to find articles about students using technology to educate themselves or about global education. Can children really teach themselves by using technology and if so will technology take jobs away from teachers? I’ve found articles about teachers as support for students who utilize technology for education. It didn’t eliminate the teachers job but it slightly changed it.

Classroom lectures are rarely something many students enjoy. With the use of technology teachers can record lectures for students to view prior to class at their own pace. This allows for more problem based learning and hands on learning in class. This brings about the question of does technology allow for more productive learning? Also is technology more accommodating to diverse learning? The amount of time students receive on individual subjects has been something schools have been tweaking for years. It may be possible that listening to lectures online prior to class allows for more time to experience the subjects in more ways.

There’s constantly a need for more assistance or tutoring by some students. The increase in learning apps is a tool students can use instead of having to hire a tutor. There are many different apps available to students in multiple forms. There are game based apps and apps that are like flash cards. Students just have to find the one that works best for them. Many apps are designed to make learning more interesting for the student.

Students learn more when they are interested in what is being taught. Children are naturally inquisitive and technology encourages inquiry learning. Is the infinite amount of knowledge available online contributing to an increase in a desire to learn? YouTube has many how-to videos available. There isn’t much that students can’t teach themselves these days.

While technology contributes greatly to self directed learning it also provides forms of collaboration. Students can communicate with classmates on their subjects or students anywhere in the world. This can be done on their own and in the classroom. By collaborating with students in other parts of the world they can learn more about different cultures and interact with people in those cultures. This expands the students perspective and broadens their little world. This is something that will be of great benefit once they enter a work environment.

One argument against online education is the lack of social interaction. While physical social interaction may not be available students are still able to learn in a social environment. Students can  do group work online instead of having to coordinate times to meet at the library or each other’s homes. They can work in teams. Students or teachers can build learning or educational communities.

My seed article provided the greatest amount of possibilities for my topic of interest. However I was a little surprised to find as much as I have after some of the readings we have done in class. The readings haven’t provided much that would indicate technology and education as a team would be beneficial. The readings left me with the impression that people still think traditional education is best regardless of how time is changing.

I was surprised to find ways technology benefits diverse learning along with assistance for special needs. There are computer programs that assist with both. It seems there isn’t much technology can’t do to benefit learning.

It seems that possibly fear is what is causing people to question technology in education. The fear of changing the way people are learning and writing. People are afraid to let go of what they know. Most importantly, privacy. I expected to find a great deal of information on privacy being the reason for the limited amount of technology in many classrooms but I haven’t yet. More than likely I just haven’t looked in the right place because it’s hard to believe this isn’t a hot topic among parents and school officials.

The tremendous amount of tools available through technology for education is exciting. Global education is the area I’m most interested in at this time. Global education includes collaborating, exposure to other cultures, learning communities, and problem based learning. The amount of knowledge that is available to students for educational purposes is amazing. Creating opportunities to experience what they are learning outside of a textbook and encyclopedia.

Global education doesn’t only change things for students but for teachers as well. How do teachers work with teachers in other countries to create learning opportunities that meets the needs of students from different cultures? What type of training and planning is involved? How are they able to find teachers to work with in other countries?

There’s much to discover about this topic. Technology has been working its way into the classroom for many years now. It’s needed in most jobs so using technology as a tool for education seems like a smart way to prepare students for the future.


2 thoughts on “Exploratory Essay

  1. This is my second attempt at leaving a comment and I am sure this one will not be as clever as the one that got lost… ugh. I find your topic to be very interesting. I think that technology has a place in education and should be used in conjunction with the ‘old way’ of teaching. Keeping students engage is probably one of the most difficult tasks for a teacher. There is a lot to be said about hands on engagement and active participation which seems to be the premise for this class. I have reservations with having too much technology as some may begin to rely on it too much…spell check, and formulas that start to think for us comes to mind. It also bothers me as much does these days (must be menopause) that the art of cursive writing is going by the wayside. When I am asked to sign a document by typing in the box… I think, why bother. Times Roman does not a signature make…
    Ok, back to you. Your statement that your topic provides a “tremendous amount of possible directions” is evident in your Mind Map. I have map envy. Great job
    Finally, here is a link to the article on the VAHCC website that we discussed in another very interesting class I am taking this semester, and on page 52 it speaks to “Passport to Education”.

    Liked by 1 person

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