Revealing the “new” way to think about Educational Technology

Today I started #vssmooc12 and #Open12 and we are learning about the wide variety of different online learning options. This blog and all of its posts are related to the creation of an Open Online Classroom in k-12, something that is not given as an example in the #VSSmooc12 content – yet……

Today I was also a guest presenter on Alberta Primetime. As a member of the CAPSC executive, I am advocating for the integration of educational technology within the Calgary Board of Education. I spoke about the barriers that prevent the integration of Ed Tech in our schools today.

Before I went into the studio, I tweeted then created a storify based on the tweets I received which included a lot of student voices. I happened upon the #stuvoice tweet chat and so I asked questions in the actual chat.

I heard a lot about the “fear” of technology. I began to compare this “fear” of technology to what I was reading in one of my MET classes, ETEC 511.

After reading Heidegger’s, “The Question Concerning Technology” what resonated most with me was the aspect of man influencing technology. Man’s influence is apparent in both material (design) and psychological ways (using the tool- revealing). “Since man drives technology forward, he takes part in ordering as a way of revealing” (p.18). This explanation of separation also helped me distinguish the idea of technology as a “tool” as opposed to technology as an “idea” – it is both and it wasn’t my imagination.

In our previous ETEC 511 module we discussed the evolution of trying to define Educational Technology and the fact that a distinct definition was evasive.

Heidegger’s idea of “enframing” seemed to mean encouraging (challenging) man to promote the new technology (idea or design ) in order for it to be truly revealed (accepted).

Upon reflection, I  have been considering one of the largest barriers to the integration of technology in the classroom:  fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of doing something differently, fear of change. Although there are many advocates of Educational Technology attempting to “enframe” the technology to push society to new levels – I wonder if fear is an overriding factor that is preventing  man from actually “revealing” the true potential of Educational Technology. I think it is.

As such, based on the philosophy of technology, if we as humans can “hear and feel” the challenge set forth, then we must, “open ourselves expressly to the essence of technology” (p. 26) to free ourselves and the possibility of new technology and innovation.

How do I relate the fear of EdTech integration to the Open Classroom?

When I sat for my interview I was given the questions ahead of time. Although I knew the questions, it was not necessarily what I wanted to be asked- it was what I was being “asked” to say. There is nothing wrong with the interview – the journalists had a set time, set story, set plan – and they had deadlines to meet. The purpose of the interview was to create their story – not mine.

As I was being interviewed, I had flashbacks to me teaching and “asking my students questions”.
I compared the interview to some of the  f2f classroom teaching I have done where I have an agenda, it doesn’t matter what the students really want to say – I need to complete my lesson.

Why did I care that my “story” was not being told? Why didn’t I ask questions and try to sway the interview? Well – it was for a TV show, and I am expected to represent a parent voice, not just Verena’s voice. But I wasn’t learning anything new, there was no discussion, I couldn’t ask for clarification – but again it was designed for a set audience. It wasn’t my story.
It was the opposite of what I see the Open Classroom offering students. The Open Classroom should and will be a space to be “interviewed” and also a place to tell stories and learn from each other. It will be a space where students can feel safe and “find” their own voice as a result of the interactions with their peers.

If anything, it will be a place where learning will reveal the truth about what people believe, who they are and what they are passionate about. It will be a place where learning is revealed to encourage and develop new learning and innovation.

The Open Classroom offers the potential for technology and humans to grow.

To conclude – and get back to my #vssmooc12 post as well….Open Classrooms offer a new way of learning. It will not be classified as blended and definitely not traditional online learning – but it offers a future and potential of unlimited potential. I am proud to be an advocate of a new way of “seeing and revealing” Educational Technology today.

Verena 🙂

Please support my attempts to build knowledge together with some feedback and/or suggestions