For this week’s assignment, we were asked to reflect on chapter 7 of Bates’ textbook. Within sections 7.1-7.4 and 7.7, Bates’ speaks about the pedagogical differences involving media and discusses methods for deciding which media to use when teaching. We were also encouraged to reflect upon our own experiences with learning from digital sources. After reading Bates’ text, I realized the importance of digital sources but also its usage for learning. Before integrating digital resources, a particular purpose of the exercise should be considered, before being utilized.
As listed in Bates’ text, there are 5 critical questions that need to be reviewed about teaching and learning before the teacher/instructor decides which form of media to select. By doing this, the teacher/instructor is able to determine which form of media (text, audio, video, computing and social media) will be most effective in regards to the representation of content and the development of skills.
- what is my underlying epistemological position about knowledge and teaching?
- what are the desired learning outcomes from the teaching?
- what teaching methods will be employed to facilitate the learning outcomes?
- what are the unique educational characteristics of each medium/technology, and how well do these match the learning and teaching requirements?
- what resources are available?
Throughout my schooling experience (specifically K-12), I do not recall many instances when I worked with technology and media. My only exposure to technology was practicing my typing skills using a desktop computer. Sometimes, I got to play Oregon Trail. When research for an assignment was required, the internet was not an immediate source used to collect data. Instead, I was encouraged to use the many books found within our school library. At this point in time, technology and media was very limited. In fact, it wasn’t until my first year of university that I began using technology and media for learning.
However, with technology advancing every day and technology and media available at our fingertips, there are many reasons why teachers should and need to be incorporating technology into the classroom. Today’s technology sources provide many benefits to students, especially for those who require additional support for learning. Technology allows teachers to experience a variety of learning styles, encourages students to collaborate and share, to be actively engaged and more motivated to learn and to gain responsibility and independence. But above all, exposure to technology and media within schools is helping to prepare students for the real world in which they live. With technology entwined in our everyday lives, it is apparent that students are exposed to technology, and what better way to learn about technology and media than in schools where teachers can focus on the importance of digital citizenship and internet safety!
As a primary teacher, I make a solid effort to integrate a variety of digital resources (print, audio and visual) into my daily teaching. Like my peer Lorraine, I enjoy playing Kahoot with my students. Kahoot is an online resource which is very effective for examining content. The students enjoy playing Kahoot because it is fun and engaging. Although Kahoot can create somewhat of a competitive environment, it also encourages cooperation.
Bates’ encourages teachers/instructors to experiment with a variety of digital resources as experimenting with digital resources will produce different learning experiences. However, this process is often a challenge depending on the task at hand and the diverse levels of experience my students have working with technology. For some, signing into their personal account can be a difficult process. Before I integrate technology, I search for digital resources that will assist me in achieving particular goals or learning outcomes. Through this process, I have learned that technology and media are extremely beneficial for learning. However, it is only effective when it is used appropriately and in moderation. Although working with technology creates an intriguing learning experience for both teachers and students, it is important to note that “face-to-face teaching should also be considered a medium”. Furthermore, it is important to take the time to research the digital resources you intend to use before applying them. According to Bates’ “Different media have different potential or ‘affordances’ for different types of learning”. I strongly agree with this statement for the reason that if we take time to research specific purposes of digital resources, we can feel confident while working with technology and trust that the resources we have selected will contribute towards meeting specific learning outcomes, content and skills involved.
What are your learning preferences when it comes to digital resources? What digital resources have proven to be effective for you and your students? Please share as I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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