ETEC 524 Portfolio Reflection

CHANGING FLIGHT PATHS

When I initially started the ETEC 524 course, my goals were threefold.

  • One, I wanted to have a better understanding of technology from an administrative end in order to better assist my colleagues with the implementation of technology in their elementary classrooms.

  • Two, I wanted to better understand how to develop strong pedagogy in a 1:1 device classroom, and how to train teachers to work with these devices in their classrooms. 

  • Three, I wanted to examine constructivist pedagogy (and more pertinently, constructionist) and how this pedagogy can support learners in cross-curricular specific environments. 

 

LOOKING BACK

Perhaps for me and my future goals of being a (hobbyist) educational video game designer, the second week’s readings were the most beneficial. Reading through the SECTIONS model allowed me to think of various audience frames of view that I had not considered before. The thing that I loved about the SECTIONS model was how broad the categories were and how I could quite easily apply this model onto just about any technology for any purpose within my classroom. This allows me to come to a better understanding of not only how to implement this technology in my classroom, but to truly understand why I was choosing this technology over another. As a lifelong pragmatist, I also loved that the model was sort, sweet, and to the point. It was functional, and everything I was looking for. I imagine that SAMR would have been more impactful had I not already been using SAMR regularly since its inception back in 2010. 

Unfortunately, the next few lessons and readings became more unrelated for me in my current situation, as well as for my goals in the course. As I work within an in-person environment, examining the uses and design of solely online work like in Benade’s 2017 paper, felt disjointed to me (outside of my own personal experience being in a fully online program). Mobile technologies became of particular relevance to me as I wanted to examine 1:1 courses, and Ciampa’s paper on the motivations of students was particularly useful in my own practice. While the results of the study were not particularly surprising or groundbreaking, it is nonetheless, a good reminder to continue to capture student’s motivation for work. 

Perhaps one of the more surprising ideas that I came across was CAST’s universal design for learning (UDL). I did not know it at the time while studying the content, but looking back on the content now, and what my future goals are with personal projects, the UDL framework will greatly assist me in development of a financial literacy game. I would have continued to view this game through my own lenses, without considering how I can make this game accessible to all parties interested in financial literacy. 

Discussions & Assignments

What was great about the course was the weekly discussions, and being able to converse with my peers about the content week to week. Unfortunately, the in-class discussions were not as lively as I had hoped, perhaps due to the restrictive nature of many of the case studies versus being able to talk about content that was of interest to myself as a student. 

To combat this, after the first assignment was finished, our small group continued to talk with one another on a Google Hangout separate from the course structure. Here, we could flush out ideas informally with one another and not have to worry about developments for grading purposes. I believe that much of my learning around concepts for the week was had during these informal discussions as we could focus on specific points of interest, rather than case studies that I found irrelevant to my own practice (which I am aware was not the experience of everyone). 

The most frustrating part of the course for me was assignment 2, including both parts. The criteria was unclear, and I ended up completing an assignment that was very much different from the criteria outlined in the assignment itself. This was frustrating to have to complete the assignment again, and to criteria that I felt was baited and switched once handing in the assignment. In any case, it was completed, but the vast frustration I experienced in the completion of these assignments to fit them to the changing criteria caused me to mentally check out of this assignment in order to fulfill criteria, rather than completing a course that would I perceive would be relevant to my own practice. 

Looking Forward

Next steps for me are to work on projects of personal interest. I have been, up to this point, an excellent example of being a lifelong learner and love to acquire new skills. It is almost as if being a Jack of All Trades is a hobby of mine. In the past, I’ve learned how to weld, forge gold & silver, built an igloo, and even made a bed float. Most recently, I’ve been learning how to program in the Open source, Godot game engine. Programming has been a lot more difficult than I had originally anticipated, however, it has given me a stronger appreciation for all of the technology that I do use inside of my classroom. 

Over the next few months I will continue the development of my video game in the Godot Game engine. I’ve begun prototyping a simple game, INVESTios: Moving on Up. INVESTios: Moving on Up is a Novel style RPG that follows James, a recent new highschool graduate, on his way out to university. The player will need to balance their budget while living away from home and become more financially literate along the way. If you’d like to play the short demo, you can check it out here

I’m passionate about financial literacy, and realized that there is little financial literacy content in the curriculum that exists in an exciting format for students to engage with. Most of it is worksheets, or doing sample tax work in grade 10, which students find irrelevant and mostly forget by the time they make it out into the real world. Through the use of the SECTIONS model, I’ll be able to better design my financial literacy game to not only be engaging for students, but also make the game consider all players on the implementation decision panel of the game, in order to best extend the potential reach of my game into schools. 

REFERENCES

Bates, T. (2014). Choosing and using media in education: The SECTIONS model. In Teaching in digital age. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/part/9-pedagogical-differences-between-media/

Benade, L. (2017). Is the classroom obsolete in the twenty-first century? Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49(8), 796-807. [LOCR]

CAST. (2018). Universal design for learning guidelines, version 2.2. Retrieved from http://udlguidelines.cast.org/

Ciampa, K. (2013). Learning in a mobile age: An investigation of student motivation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 30(1), 82–96. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcal.12036/epdf

Cullen, T. A. (n.d.). EdTech for K-12 classroom: ISTE readings on how, when and why to use technology: Instructor's guide. ISTE publication. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/instructorguide.pdf?sfvrsn=2

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2017). Standards for teachers. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-educators

Puentedura, R. (2010). The journey through the SAMR model. IPad Educators: Sharing Best Practice in the use of Mobile Technology. Retrieved from www.padeducators.com/a-fresh-look-at-the-samr-model

Roblyer, M.D. & Doering, A. (2016; 2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching, (6th or 7thEd.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.