I followed Cue16 Conference via Twitter. This was a very new experience for me, since I am new to Twitter in general, so finding I can attend and follow an educational conference was pretty exciting. The Cue 2016 Conference was held in Palm Springs, California over three days in March, and is the largest educational technology conference. I would love to actually attend one in person one day, but following it was, lets just say interesting. When I first began following the conference I was a little let down, all that was being tweeted was what bar people were going to later, and who wanted to game. Though as I continued to follow it over the couple of days it began to be more rewarding.
The conversation started turn more informational. I began seeing a lot of chatting regarding the flipped classroom and things we as teachers should be informed of prior to trying this strategy. There was also a lot of chatter later regarding all the collaboration idea and concepts that are available with technology in the classroom. Being a big proponent of having the twenty first century learners ready for the future and the workforce, I am very excited to see collaboration with educators and in their classrooms. As I continued to follow the #CUE16 I was excited to see a slide share of New and Dynamic Kinds of Professional Learning. I loved it. Overall it was a great experience and I would definitely do it again.
I absolutely love the idea of Open Courseware, this provides so much for so many. This simple idea of publishing courses for anyone to take and learn from is great, that they are also free is amazing, but that they are from an institution such as MIT is phenomenal. I can literally go on and search a topic, or area of content and learn the material or refresh my knowledge of a subject. This is a great source for someone looking to learn, who may not have access or the money for traditional college, and who do not need that piece of paper at the end (which lets be honest, is usually what we are paying for).
I found this course called Technopanics:Moral Panics about Technology. This course is totally relevant to todays culture, and the growing panic people have with technology and media. I think this course would be incredibly helpful to understand and study, and I find it very timely. It studies the deviant social behaviors occurring both on and offline (Hacking, trolling, bullying, murders, ect…), and whether technology is really to blame. It investigates whether society really has reason to be fearful of digital and social media. This course begins by researching similar “panics” society has had with television, and even books. I am very excited to look into this course, it seems fascinating.
There are many topics and subjects you could use OpenCourseware for. Back when I was studying for some state tests, I found several courses that I could have been utitlizing and that would have really helped me had I known these kinds of courses were available free online. I really, really, like this site and would reccomend it to anyone that wishes to learn something new, or even just better. I am amazed that this type of courses exist, and for free. There are so many diverse courses that are offered and I am thrilled to find that an institution such as MIT offers so much knowledge for people everywhere.
Like all things in life, a compromise or blend of two opinions, sides, or theories, usually produces the best overall results. I believe the same goes for learning, and education…especially at the college level. There have been many times in my life, that I sat in class and thought this could be a better use of time and materials if this content was covered online, while on the opposite spectrum, there have also been numerous times through out my education I have taken an online class, that I could have benefited from traditional instruction a time or two through out the course. While I do believe there are benefits from less seat time, I do believe some content may be better served face to face. There is something to be said for the combination of the two, or better referred to as blended learning.
The blog I read was a major supporter of Hybrid classes, and blended learning. This blog, reviewed the many benefits of blended learning for the student, the instructor, and the institution. It stated the student enjoys and relies on the convenience and flexibility of the blended learning, while having live interaction mixed with the web and digital expectations. The instructor and institution benefit from having the potential to teach more students, while managing the instructors and facilities more efficiently. According to this blog, and my own opinion, blended learning is a win for all.
There are so many ways to supplement your class these days with technology, from educational applications, to podcasts, to great websites and YouTube channels. Being a History teacher I found many great websites and YouTube channels I could utilize in the classroom. By far my favorite is the YouTube channel called Crash Course History. I absolutely love this channel, and the way they introduce content and do it in a very interesting way that gains the audiences attention and quickly introduces, supports, and summarizes the topic.
I would use these quick videos at the start of a unit for my students to watch. It a great efficient way to provide background, and a quick overview before the lesson. It is also a great conversation started and a way to check for prior knowledge of the students and get them engaged.
Sadly I am not a social media fan. Unfortunately I have always thought of social media with a negative connotation, especially Twitter. When I previously thought of Twitter, I always connected it to Kanye West’s rants, or teenagers superficial “Tweets.” Now that I have opened my eyes to the different avenues it can lead you down, I have to admit I was clearly wrong. Now that I think of Twitter as as search engine, I can see the many ways you can enjoy, utilize, and navigate Twitter. I have been using it to see cool History lessons people have done, as well as I have began to follow and read many news articles. I actually just found some cool Youtube channels through Twitter, and have forwarded them onto my own kids teachers, so they can utilize them as well. Now that I use it as a resource and search engine, instead of a social media site…I love it!!!!!