My reflection on the last three months is similar to the conclusion that Melanie Wong reached in her “Making Connections: Final thoughts” post, specifically the theme of change. I am reminded of my initial post in this course and the quote I used from Postman (1992) “new technologies alter the structure of our interests; the things we think about” (p.20). As the course progressed I realized how accurate the quote had become as we explored and discovered how technology has changed over the years. Changes in what we view as technology; changes in how technology develops; and change in the opportunities people have in education because of the development of technology.
In “E-Readers: Supporting Students with Reading Difficulties“, Barrie Carter explores an innovative development in assistive technologies and how e-readers have the potential to assist students with reading difficulties that would allow them to reach a similar reading ability as their peers. I was very excited by this because I tutored university students with learning and reading disabilities while I was doing my undergraduate degree and this technology will certainly be an excellent addition to the limited number of tools that are currently available for students. This will certainly change the way they learn and hopefully improve their ability to follow a standard educational path. Regrettably, change is not always for the positive. The week we looked at the Calculator of the Humanist. Ryosuke Suzuki, in addition to other students, discussed the positive and negative effects in using an automatic spelling and grammar checker, in the thread “Word Processing – Spelling”. While I wouldn’t say that these checkers have had a negative impact, it is difficult to argue with the fact that many people have become dependant on the technology to the point that they are incapable of writing correctly without it. This is a great example of how the impact of technology can completely different depending on the individual.
I am taking three courses this semester (and it is my first) and I can admit that the experience has been enjoyable, educational and overwhelming at the same time. It is interesting to see how much I have already learned and I can’t wait to see how my personal beliefs continue to develop in regards to educational technology.
Carter, B. (2010). E-readers: supporting students with reading difficulties. Retrieved from http://blogs.ubc.ca/etec540sept10/2010/11/29/e-readers-supporting-students-with-reading-difficulties/.
Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: the surrender of culture to technology. New York, NY: New York.
Suzuki, R. Calculator of the humanist: word processing – spelling. (ETEC 540 Vista Thread, October 25, 2010).
Wong, M. (2010). Making connections: final thoughts. Retrieved Dec 2010 from http://blogs.ubc.ca/etec540sept10/2010/11/28/making-connections-final-thoughts/.