||[May. 5th, 2008|09:18 am]
As we count down the days to the DE Conference, Walls Optional, that we're hosting tomorrow, I've been thinking about my experiences with Educational Technology. I really couldn't come up with many examples of it in my schooling, good or bad. I had to think back about 20 years for a really good example.
When I was in grade 4 our class did something called "Hour Town" each week, which was a recorded program of news, weather and advertisements. It was so exciting to get the different jobs to do, and participate in the program. And so frightening for people like me to get in front of the camera! Looking back, I can see that we learned so much, and it was much more interesting and motivating to learn about the science of weather, different cloud types, and temperature conversions, when it was to the goal of making a good weather report. We found interesting and relevant current events to summarize, and learned much more about the world around us, and geography, without even knowing it. The advertisements were an opportunity to develop creativity, and learn about how to use the camera and create sound effects.
Today, it would be easy to put something like that together, as the technology has advanced so much. An elementary school student with a decent camera phone could likely create something as good as the end product we were left with. But this instructor saw the value in this teaching method, and put forth the effort and time required to teach us in a different way. The technology made it better, and for that, I thank him.