I just met with the remaining Elite Team members who have either survived or avoided the power of the e-world.
We have reluctantly decided to disband...
Our findings were recurring in the sense of alluding to the amazing potential the e-world offers.
Captain Chris was right from the very start in his first blog entry where he suggested if you cannot beat them, join them. Ultimately, that is what we are doing.
Our apologies go to all of you who were aspiring to join our cause.
Even though we are sorry, we know it is for the best.
It is hard to reflect on what Captain Chris so perfectly touched on. So I presume the best I can achieve is to recap his vision.
Each of the technologies Captain Chris and I have analysed over the last few days would be effective in the contemporary learning environment.
While I would personally only employ some on a regular basis, due to the constrictions of the secondary disciplines I teach, all would be beneficial. Of the twenty or so technologies, both delivery and student-centred, the ones I will most definitely strive to implement in my units are blogs, wikis, PowerPoint, YouTube, and Voice Thread.
I favour these ones in particular as they entail a higher degree of learner interaction and engagement.
For instance, blogs offer a communal atmosphere of using the e-world as a backdrop. They encourage contribution and consistency, two ideals that Captain Chris held close in relation to his education beliefs. Blogs also strip away some of the formal, ritualistic styles of the average day classroom. While this may sound alarming, it is actually engaging for the learners. Blogs can be great vessels of communication that produce effective learning. Another, crucial quality about blogs is that one can integrate many other technologies on their page. These can range from video to images, as well as website links to quizzes and games.
Wikis are very much the same. However, wikis can be established with the outcome of assessment. During my mission I encountered a virtual textbook that a Modern History class had to create using a wiki. This task was an assessment that required learners to collaborate and utilise a variety of different technologies to express the knowledge in a format suitable for all learning styles. In effect, by catering for this need the learners were able to reflect on their own learning style and personality, and thus develop as a lifelong learner. Furthermore, the greatest reward of all this was the final product, a virtual textbook that is still available for use by all who seek it throughout the e-world.
Likewise, PowerPoint constantly serves as an effective delivery tool that can appeal to all learner types. Originally, this technology was a closed system program, however now an individual can upload, in addition to download, presentation slides using the correct websites. This results in teaching being more efficient and connects the education world under one motive and purpose; to manage the learning of 21st century students.
YouTube was a much of a choice of the Captain's as it was mine. The fact alone that it has a branch off, TeacherTube, demonstrates its ability and popularity. This is a technology that will continue to grow as a force to reckon with! I recently had a lesson that predominantly focused on anti-drug campaigns using YouTube to stream an abundance of videos. The lesson was one of the most well-received and reciprocated, I have ever experienced. Video is powerful, especially to a visually inclined generation. Visual connection also demands high levels of engagement hence when learners are 'watching' something are usually learning more than if they were 'writing' something.
The final log of Captain Chris was submitted through Voice Thread, which he deemed his favourite technology of all that he explored. The notion of learners constructing their own learning appears to be the principle when it comes to Voice Thread. I would describe it as a merging of several technologies the Captain and I analysed. This is proven by the selection of how one desires to express their commentary. Voice recording, video upload, image manipulation, and basic typing were four of the predominant features. Similarly, this technology supports learner and teacher interaction with each other and possibly the world!
So in conclusion, the e-world is an entity that will only continue to advance and weave its way into the complexities of the physical world. If we can harness this ability and use it to teach our students, then we are gearing them for their encounter with the technological universe when they finally leave the classroom. However, the e-world facilitates a head start for this transition by networking resources, school, and even countries. They are digital natives. Let us digital immigrants not impair that. It is not about them confroming to us, but us conforming to them.
The whole time the Elite Team was concerned about the future yet no of us knew until now that we are in it.
And so are YOU!
This is Sarah Conn...bler.
Signing out for the the last time.
I'm sure we will meet again. Probably on some social networking system like Facebook.
Until then; Farewell.