BLOG #1 : Technology and 21st Century Learning

Do you feel school is preparing you adequately for your future. Why or why not?

Our education system is designed to prepare us students for post secondary education. The selection of courses vary with each school, but for the most part we are allowed to take courses that interest us which will help us achieve our future careers/goals. School helps us in the sense of getting into post secondary education and being able to handle what university or college throws at us, but lacks in real life tasks. Things like cooking a well balanced meal, handling finances and even doing our own laundry sounds so easy compared to the next math test we have, but can be so complicated. Learning these simple tasks would be really helpful if we were taught at a younger age because this is would makes us independent. So in a way, school has prepared us for some things while lacking in others.

How do you personally use technology to learn?

Technology is something I and many other students use regularly especially with school related issues. At the beginning of a semester, most of my classes will have a group page on Facebook made by a student where we ask each other questions. This is really helpful because you can see everyones input on one page and its a learning experience for everyone. Another way I learn is on Youtube. There are thousands of Youtube videos on any topic you search up and most of them are very helpful. When I don’t understand something at school or if I need immediate help, I’ll watch a Youtube video. I personally like to see someone else show an example whether its a graph or a drawing as it helps me understand concepts better which is why Youtube is a great way for me to learn.

Do classes that use more technology appeal to you? Is it easier for you to learn the content?

I personally prefer classes that don’t require a lot of technological aspects. I like sticking to the basics of technology like word and powerpoint. Being a very simple person, I just like remaining in things I’m comfortable with as I do better in them. I’ve learned over the years that the way I like to learn is to physically write things down on a piece of paper because it sticks better with me. Although I prefer the simpler things, I’ve tried to expand my knowledge of technology by taking courses like communication technology. Communication technology is a course that allows you to be creative with photoshop and flash by making a lot of media inspired projects. I took away many skills from that class that I hold on with me till today which makes me feel accomplished. Even though I am open to trying new things, I still prefer to stick with technology that I’m comfortable with which makes classes that use more technology not so appealing to me.

Does it matter to you if a teacher uses technology in class? Why or why not?

If a teacher were to use technology in a class, I wouldn’t mind at all. It helps me learn in a way thats not the usual chalk on the chalkboard type. Sometimes it takes some getting used to, but it can be quite helpful and better in the long run. I took summer school this past summer and my advanced functions teacher had all our handouts on her laptop and she projected each sheet on the smart board. These handouts were our class lessons. Each day she would project one of the lessons and take them up from her laptop. The coolest part was how she could write on them and we were all able to see exactly where to write what because we had the same handout right in front of us everyday. How cool is that?! It was quite a different experience the first couple days because I’m used to math on a chalkboard/whiteboard, but I grew to really liking it! It all takes a little time to get used to but once you do, its not so bad!

What technology would you like to see teachers use that is not currently being used?  Why did you choose that technology?

I would like to see teachers use smartphones within classes. Almost everyone has a smartphone now a days and it would be great to see that incorporated within our lessons. A lot of teachers assign things on a computer, but not everyone has access to that while a smartphone pretty much everyone has. Smartphones have so many apps to use and is used on the daily by teenagers so it won’t be something hard to use. It is also portable and compact which is great unlike a laptop which can be very heavy to carry around all day. By using a smartphone, teens will be more engaged because of the easier access and it being something they’re comfortable with.