This week, my cohort presented video projects plus summaries of various chapters in realm of educational technology. After viewing and reading the various projects, I found the following topics to be the most interesting (minus my own):

  1. Using information Technology for Assessment
  2. New Literacies: Curriculum Implementations
  3. The Guided Discovery Learning Principle in Multimedia Learning
  4. The Split Attention Principle

As it stands, I intend to research if/how cross curricular concepts can be taught using design technology. For example, at work this term I will be implementing my 568 project into my grade eight language arts class. The topics listed above provided me with some questions/thoughts about how well the trial of my lesson will proceed, or if it will even be adequate as an educational activity.

1. Using IT for Assessment will hopefully be a passive task in my lesson. As my students engage in the design process, I will be able to observe their transference of skills by accessing their digital designs, as well as anecdotally observing how they assess and refine their designs after quality testing their 3-D printed prototypes.

2. Technological literacy of a teacher has been critical to the design of my lesson, and will continue to be important as my project will allow students to use other means (such as coding, map design) to learn. The expression ‘one day ahead of the students’ comes to mind, as teachers are not often well versed in the technology they are implementing and therefore cannot adequately demonstrate different digital literacies when their students start to discover/inquire new ideas on their own.

3. Guided discovery seemed applicable to my lesson. It requires students to complete various steps, which lead from one phase of the project to the next. I hope that students will “deduce specific concepts or skills” in each phase of the project, which will be “carefully […] guided”. In my previous blog, I reflected on how these kinds of concerns are ubiquitous to good teaching, but I favored this principle as it will serve as a very important reminder as I teach the lesson.

4. The split attention principle has cause me some grief, and I’ll try my best to explain why. As the task of creating a literature review is slowly creeping up on me, my tired and cynical ego is getting more adamant that it is not necessarily an important endeavor and that the scholarly world is full of unimportant but required procedure.

Now, I know this is not true…all the time. Frankly I am looking forward to becoming an expert on the subject area of my project, and I know that a literature review is the vessel to form that expertise. But this perspective outlined a flaw (in me) of how my uptake of information and concentration on others’ literature has been moderate…at best.

To elaborate, I found it quite difficult to meaningfully engage with some of the video projects my cohort produced. The videos were not ‘bad’ in any sense. I found them to be very helpful and articulate, which is more I can say for my own segment. However, I did not feel like I would be ‘using’ much of the information as I viewed it. I have found that if I do not make a connection to my own interests/agenda at the outset of a presentation, then I am switched off..but more importantly, I struggled to re-engage.

So I find myself asking if I am experiencing the product of split attention – was the visual of aspect of the presentations keeping me from buckling down and absorbing the information being presented? Upon critical reflection, I think that it is indeed the case. I did not find immediate interest, and since my attention could be divided, it remained that way. This is different from a single media lit review, i.e., a paper.

When I teach my project to my students, or present my literature of the project to my colleagues, I will have to be mindful where their attention will be focused; if they’re interests’ aren’t aligned with topic, how will I ensure they stay engaged?

Overall, I found that most of the presentations by my cohort were relevant to my M.Ed project, but this blog highlighted the topics which I think I will have to use as measures of relevance and quality in my work.