Oct 16 2010

Tooning ET

Published by under Etec 511

I used Pixton as Toondo would not let me into my account. Sheesh! I’ve used Toondo with my classes before and they enjoy the creativity too.

Here’s my toon: http://www.pixton.com/ca/comic/syqqnlas

The inspiration is my son’s visit this weekend. College kids! Humph!

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Oct 14 2010

Is technology neutral?

Published by under Etec 511

Having read some of the comments in the previous discussions, especially on the role of TV in changing the way we live and learn, I cannot see technology as neutral.  Clearly our society has changed (not sure it’s evolved) in the years most of us can remember.  I might be tempted to say we have changed more especially in recent years with web 2.0, but then I think of watching the first lunar landing, or seeing a videophone prototype at Expo 67.  I could not have imagined my life would be so interconnected to the tools I use.  Did my mother define her daily life by the stainless steel oven my dad installed in the 1960s?  Was her free time improved by the latest Electrolux vacuum cleaner?  It seems silly when I put it in those terms, yet I cannot deny that my lifestyle, my learning practices, my entertainment choices and of course, my teaching practices are all affected by the technological advances that have occurred in my time.

What disturbs me is whether we are questioning the effects of technology on our society or whether we are living at the pace that technology seems to now be dictating for us.  Shades of Heidegger??

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Oct 14 2010

How has TV changed our society and our learning practices?

Published by under Etec 511

I read about Plato’s concerns regarding the use of technology (writing) in Etec 540 and thought they seemed a little ridiculous.  Of course, it is difficult to us to imagine a fully oral society as existed then.  I am now ready to reconsider, having looked at Moody’s perspective.  What I think is affected is not the role of books but how we approach education and entertainment in general.  TV, when first introduced, was used as a gathering point for families to watch a show in the evening.  Later on, parents started to use this technology to entertain their children while they attended to other tasks.  This whole evolution seems to have isolated us more and more.  So although we might continue to find ways to communicate more easily, rapidly and globally through our new technologies, we seem to be doing this in an isolated fashion where each person pursues their own interests at their own pace.

These are considerations we must look into when designing curriculum, whether it be f2f or distance.  Technology has truly changed our society in terms of roles, communication and even values.  Therefore we must respond to this shift in our educational practices.

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Oct 11 2010

History of ET – first perspectives

Published by under Etec 511

I was very interested to read the first resources for this module.  I’ve taught computer history to my students before but it was from a business perspective.  One very interesting resources that outlines the competition between Apple and Microsoft is PBS’s Triumph of the Nerds video set.  I was also one of the many business educators that tried to reach and prepare students for the work world by teaching some of the most common applications.  I really saw computers as having that role in education, primarily.  Of course we have evolved along with the technology and now use computers in all our subjects (except English, where they seem to only see computers as word processors… a little sarcasm there).

Are major companies still trying to get a share of the education market?  Yes, but my Business teacher background tells me that more often the world outside education drives technological innovation and we just happen to stumble upon its possible uses in education.  But perhaps I am naive and old fashioned.  Let’s see what the rest of the module brings.

One final remark – I am sitting at my laptop, earphones on, looking and listening to the resources that are provided.  How different my learning experience is from when I was an undergrad student in the late 1970s.

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Oct 11 2010

Tooning ET

Published by under Etec 511

Here is the link to my toon for Etec 511.  The inspiration is my son’s visit this weekend.  He’s just started college and seems to have all the trappings of a typical student including all the electronic gadgets the digital generation is known for.  However, he can’t seem to log in to his online course without the help of his tech savvy mother.  Unfortunately, I live in a different province now, so he’ll actually have to find the tech guys in the school to get him some answers.  Nice to know these youngsters don’t know everything. (Of course, my husband and I couldn’t figure out how to get the tv back onto cable after my son used the dvd player.  Turns out we just had to change the channel back to 3.  Sheesh!)

Here’s the link:  http://www.pixton.com/ca/comic/syqqnlas

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Sep 20 2010

Reflecting on behaviourism

Published by under Etec 512

Good morning from Frankfurt, Germany!

It’s 6am locally and unfortunately, I can’t seem to sleep. So what better time to think about the behaviourist learning theory? I’ve been trying to find an example in my own teaching practice where I might try to change a behaviour and use some of the reinforcement described in the reading. I did come up with an example from my Accounting class.

When I teach students to move from manual accounting to computerized accounting I begin by insuring they have the correct data to enter. This way, I am measuring their ability to use the computerized system, rather than measuring whether they have journalized the entries correctly (which is an exercise at the knowledge processing level). I show the students how to use the system and tell them to enter transactions using the computer. The stimulus is that they all get 100% to start but each mistake will cost them 10 points. The goal is to teach them to be meticulous and avoid mistakes. Once they have completed their entries, they must compare them to the answer key and if they find mistakes, they must correct them using the appropriate technique. Once the whole process is complete, they put their grade on the printouts and submit them for me to record.

Students have the following responses to this activity:

  1. They do the work correctly and are happy to receive the full mark.
  2. They make a mistake and correct it and submit the corrected version showing their adjusted mark.
  3. They correct a mistake and try to hide it and try to claim full marks. Unfortunately, there is no way to hide the mistake as the journal records all transactions, even the corrections. So I have them adjust the mark and submit the work. They think it’s unfair, but they are more careful next time.
  4. They reprint another student’s work with their own name on it. If I have suspicions (and I am very suspicious), I ask to see the work on their computer to verify it. I also ask all students to put their own initials in the journal descriptions to try to minimize this behaviour.

There you have it! I guess I’ve been subscribing to this learning theory all along but hadn’t realized it. I must say that in order to come up with this system, it was a learning process of my own. Students come up with ways to plagiarize or avoid the unpleasant consequences all the time. Each time they do, that is my stimulus to adjust my behaviour.

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Sep 17 2010

Assignment #1 – etec 511

Published by under Etec 511

Mash-up by Catherine Gagnon

Mash-up (mashup): combining content from various sources to create original work. Other terms used to describe mash-ups are remix, collage, reuse, juxtaposition, derivative work.

In order to create a mash-up, certain applications are now available that allow the user to combine other applications that were once proprietary. Mashups are centered on the consumer as they allow the use of standardized data and access formats such as RSS which could be defined as “Web-accessible”. Creating a mash-up is incumbent on using data sources that require minimal manipulation for the user to make sense of it. (Crupi & Warner, 2008)


In the first iteration of applications (web 1.0), companies usually created software that had to be used with their permission and could not be combined with other applications, examples are Corel Draw and Dreamweaver.

With the advent of the web 2.0, end users are now able to combine various applications to reformulate a product (deriving) or create a new product from a collage of existing data.

Examples of mash-ups in various domains

There are 3 different varieties of Mash-ups – Data, Consumer (end user) and Business. Consumer mash-ups are a combination of different data types, for example audio and video data to create a new Youtube movie.

  • Science: Medical researchers extending their collaborative efforts by comparing and joining public research collections with internal research databases.
  • Business: A investment adviser making decisions based on mashing internal analysis data combined with Web-based financial and news data.

Use of Mash-ups in education

Education focuses on 2 major aspects of Mash-ups – educators sharing resources and students reusing existing work to resubmit as original work (collage). The first is enhanced by the increased use of collaborative applications such Google Docs and self-publishing tools such as WordPress. The second is a hotly debated issue in education as it blurs the lines between creativity, original work, plagiarism and copyright infringement.

References and additional reading

Crupi, J., & Warner, C. (2008, May 16). SOA Magazine – Enterprise Mashups Part I. The SOA Magazine. Retrieved September 17, 2010, from http://www.soamag.com/I18/0508-1.php

Lamb, B. (2007, July 1). Dr. Mashup; or, Why Educators Should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Remix (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE. What is EDUCAUSE? | EDUCAUSE. Retrieved September 17, 2010, from http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Review/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVolume42/DrMashuporWhyEducatorsShouldLe/161747

MASHUP in Fiction and Creative Writing. (n.d.). MASHUP in Fiction and Creative Writing. Retrieved September 17, 2010, from http://www.mashmashup.com/

Mashup (web application hybrid) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved September 17, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mashup_%28web_application

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Sep 16 2010

Defining Educational Technology

Published by under Etec 511

Question from the course:

Firstly, define educational technology. Secondly, identify nature and characteristics of a good ET program based on your own field observations and readings. Thirdly, give some examples such as philosophical, psychological, social and cultural foundations of ET.

My answer:

I’d like to take a stab at defining Educational Technology as a step towards answering your 2nd and 3rd questions.

ET is any tool used to enhance learning. We could contrast it to Adaptive Technology, which would be all the tools used in improving accessibility for the disadvantaged, for instance, speech recognition software. Then we have the study of technology or Technology Education – programming, hardware, various applications, web design, etc. (The reading suggest that it is no longer popular to study programming in school, a shift that I have observed personally as our programming/computer science teacher barely gets to teach his specialty anymore.)

I have no trouble defining ET, what seems more elusive is trying to limit the technologies (tools) that we can include as part of that category. It seems that all sorts of tools are now being used in education, whether they be social networking tools, design tools, visual literacy tools, LMS, along with many of the adaptive tools we have begun to adopt more regularly such as touch screens and voice recognition software.

So the lines are now blurred. We cannot simply study ET as technology is pervasive in all aspects of our lives. In order to improve our teaching practices, it is wiser to study and understand how technology has effected change in society, whether it be the way in which we communicate or the way we define the world around us.

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Sep 16 2010

The Benefits of ePortfolios

Published by under Etec 511

As I prepare for my exchange in AU this winter, I’ve been looking over the course content and requirements of an applied learning program called Business Office Administration.  The course is mostly loaded on Moodle at this point (a school requirement) and I am trying to build some interactivity into it.  I started yesterday with a simple quiz.

One of the assessment requirements is what I would define as a portfolio – a folder with examples of completed assignments.  I’ve asked if this portfolio could be in electronic format.  For now, I was told to bring this up at the committee meeting in Feb.  So armed with this document http://www.danwilton.com/eportfolios/benefits.php, I will be glad to expound on the benefits of ePortfolios.  I have no idea what to expect in terms of different teaching methods in another country.  However, I am lead to believe that this college will be open to adding more electronic content into their courses.  So I’ll give it a try.  I can certainly use some of my many blogs as prime examples to further my case.

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Sep 15 2010

Return after a long absence

Published by under Etec 511,Etec 512,Uncategorized

Today, I begin using this blog again.  I am now enrolled in Etec 511 and 512 as I complete my journey towards my MET certificate.  I am on leave of absence from work until Feb, when I begin a one year teaching exchange in Australia.

In an effort to make my coursework more accessible, I have organized the blog under the headings of the 3 courses I took that required blogging.  And hopefully, this eportfolio will be used in future endeavours.  I am happy to report that my training in Moodle will already pay off while I work in Australia.  I am hoping to not only exchange positions, but to help my exchange partner improve upon the course structure she has created for her vocational Business Administration course.  I am not sure what I will be teaching in Australia at this time, but I can only hope that it will be some of the courses I am specialized in such as Business and Accounting.

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