Category Archives: EC&I 833 Weekly Reflections

Week 3: What Counts as EdTech?

During class this week, Katia proposed what seemed to be, a fairly simple question. What counts as EdTech? Well surely the answer is as simple as technology that helps students learn. But is it that simple? The more I began to contemplate the question the more I wrestled with the idea of what an appropriate definition could be.

Read more

The deeper I thought on the issue, the more complex it became. And to be frank upfront, I’m still not sure I have an answer.

Through class discussions, we spoke about products not typically associated with Educational Technology, and where they fit into this discussion. If a refrigerator is used in a Commercial Cooking class, is it a piece of Educational Technology? Is a table saw in a construction shop a piece of Educational Technology? Is the pencil (which could certainly be argued to be a piece of technology) considered part of the Ed. Tech. world? Does the time period, environment, or culture affect your definition? Different teaching styles, cultures, and philosophies could certainly play a part in what technologies are used in a classroom, so is that also something we should consider when writing our definition? Or on the other hand, should we only consider things that are electronic, and purpose-driven, and designed in an effort to increase student engagement, as these are more common in today’s society when you bring up the term ‘technology?’

Looking online can net you thousands of varying results. One take I found interesting was from Udacity’s YouTube page. Udacity offers a wide breadth of online training, and their take on Educational Technology is in the short video below. I found their description of educational technology relating to any place where technology and education intersect quiet interesting, and some of their examples were pieces I hadn’t previously considered.

As Katia mentioned during class, looking at various historical and philosophical contexts can lend perspectives to this question. We discussed Aristotle’s Intellectual Virtues, as well as completing readings from the likes of Neil Postman and Audrey Watters. One of the simple overarching themes is that discussions on technology are certainly not new, and the answers to our questions seem to evolve as fast as the technology does. Aristotle recognized the use of technology in production (Techne) while the discussions of it’s pros and cons continue through the likes of Postman and Watters. Postman provided 5 ideas around technological change (which are paraphrased below,) many of which unconsciously shape my understanding and use of educational technology.

  1. For every advantage a new technology offers, there is a corresponding disadvantage.
  2. There are always winners and losers in technological change
  3. Embedded in every technology, there is a powerful (possibly hidden) idea
  4. Technological change is note additive; it is ecological
  5. Technologies have the potential to become mythic, which can be dangerous for society.

Knowing about these ideas now, I find them easy to pick out within the classroom. New technologies have the ability to greatly enhance, or greatly bog down a lesson. The Digital Divide is ever present, and has been exasperated by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Textbook (and other media) publishers have concerning amounts of control over what is included, or excluded, in education materials. New technologies can have a great ripple effect (positive or negative,) within your classroom. We can become over-dependent on technology, assuming it will always be there and always should be there. (Regina Public Schools faced this issue head on recently.)

Photo by RF._.studio on Pexels.com

The deeper we dive, the more I find myself coming back to try and make a concise, yet effective definition. Although the overall term technology is can be applied across generations, I feel a contemporary lens is necessary in order to be as practical as possible in today’s age when we are considering educational technology.

To me, educational technology is any piece of hardware or software that is specifically driven to increase student’s engagement in their learning. Like technology, I’m sure this definition will evolve over time, with new ideas, thoughts, or new technology.

Week 2: Early Memories of Technology

When someone brings up the topic of the best generation, whether that be to live in, grow up in, etc., I find myself having a hard time picking any but my own. A large portion of the reason why is the technological evolution that I’ve witnessed, and will continue to witness, within my lifetime.

Read more

Hello all! My name is Colton Lund, and EC&I 833 is the third ED. Tech. class I’ve taken as part of my Master’s Degree in the Teaching, Learning and Leadership program. I currently teach at the Weyburn Comprehensive School, in Weyburn SK, teaching Social 8, Drafting 10/20/30, and working predominately as a Learning Support teacher!

Being in my late twenties, my earliest tech memories are tied to the first computer and gaming system that my father brought home. Booting up the all-beige, Windows 98 powered machine to scribble in paint, or play pinball and solitaire, was where my interest in technology began to develop.

Images borrowed from:
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/some-used-beige-box-with-intel-486-dx-and-windows-3–749004981748347520/
https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-paint-windows-10-2019-4
https://www.pcgamer.com/heres-how-to-bring-space-cadet-3d-pinball-back-to-windows/
https://www.freecell.io/game/solitaire-windows-xp/

Towards the end of my elementary I learned (from another classmate no doubt,) that these machines could be used to gain access to some ‘less than ethical’ music. This was something that my father knew nothing about and it pushed me to investigate on my own. This led to learning more about the internet in general, just as the several ‘internet safety speakers,’ began to make their way through schools. I remember being initially overly cautious, thinking that every file had the potential to be a Trojan Horse, or every email could contain the Happy99 or ILOVEYOU viruses.

Although the above was true, as I reached middle school, I (as many middle schoolers do,) became hugely overconfident. I felt that as a 13 year old, I already knew so much about computers. Clearly I had already learned enough that it would be impossible that I could be tricked into downloading a file that could wreck my computer or steal my information. Clearly the rapid slow down of our shiny, new, (and still beige) Windows Me machine had nothing to do with the flashing rainbow cursors, games I’d found on sketchy websites, or other files that were likely littered with malware. Clearly.

It was at this time that I started branching out into other avenues of technology. I remember thinking how insanely detailed the graphics were in Mario Kart 64, how advanced my dad’s PalmPilot was, and how blown away I was to see full keyboards on the new Blackberry Smart Phones.

Within the school, I remember how exciting it was to have our once weekly “Computer Class,” where we would learn typing, create PowerPoints with animations on literally every piece of text, and of course, play SimCity.

By high school, we were treated to more than one computer lab, as well as computers in the library. New curriculums were being developed, and I was thrilled to be able to take classes such as Information Processing, Accounting, CMPT (precursor to Communications Media,) and Computer Science, all of which were designed to use a computer as the main tool.

Currently, I’m lucky to teach Drafting and Computer Aided Design 10, 20, and 30 at our school. It was a course that was new to me, but is something I’ve fallen in love with. With the blessing of my school, I’ve been able to build the program by incorporating additional technologies such as 3D-Printers and CNC Routers; technology that I also get to learn about as they were not present during my high school career.

Modified CR10 that our school bought from Wave of the Future 3D in Saskatoon, SK.
https://waveofthefuture3d.com/collections/3d-printers/products/3d-printers
LongmillMK1 CNC Router, that our school bought. They are manufactured in Toronto, ON.
https://sienci.com/product/longmill-mk2/?gclid=CjwKCAjwyaWZBhBGEiwACslQo7d-rmOa8QVnOAhapudpWL6D4xOZr4PAh3wmDgFVbzwMqHmCQ5rh_xoC2ikQAvD_BwE

Outside of Drafting, I love to encourage the use of educational technology tools within my Social Studies classroom and Learning Support work. Below are some of the tools that I’ve come to love, and employ each year. All of the tools below offer free accounts or I have free access to through a school division license.

Presentations:

Formative Assessment:

Daily Use:

Leave a comment or reach out to me (@Mr.LundED) if you have any questions about any of the above. I won’t promise to be an expert, but I can certainly share what I know!