General Course Experience
a) IDC was not like a regular course where I would have homework nearly every night, projects in between, and a test to asses my knowledge of each new unit, it was different from that. This is not to say that everything was easier, but instead of being assesed on how well I could remember facts, I was assesed on how I could apply those facts in a real world setting. Given, there was some learning in the beginning portion of the course for the purpose of gaining an understanding of web software/technology, but for the most part of the course I was being graded on how my knowledge could be applied and extended. I think what i enjoyed most about this course is the ability for me to expand my horizons as a student both in terms of the things I am able to do (research using Diigo, Google Doc applications, Google Sites, etc.) and my ability to organize myself. There was a lot of freedom in this course, which was a very pleasant surprise when compared to other courses I had. It allowed me to work at my own pace, something that I truly enjoy. I would have to say though the part that I didn’t enjoy about this course was the marking schemes. Before I do a project I want to be able to know at least generally what I’m expected to do. I understand that creating a rubric for each individual student is near impossible, but they’re really not much that can be done about it, at least during this semsester anyways. There was not much that I didn’t enjoy about this course, apart from the vagueness of some of the projects. I believe that that problem is now solved though, because, generally the projects will follow the same guidelines as this years. However, all in all, this course was quite a blast.
Areas for Improvement
c) I think that the thing that I would emphasis the most to future IDC students is to learn to prioritize their time. I understand that this course might be labelled as a “joke”, but there is actual work that needs to be done, and if one does not manage one’s time effectively, things can really catch up. Most students who actually try in this course will hand in everything, and have their projects complete on time, but that’s not to say that it was done effectively. I’d say that the number one thing that a student could do is write down and plan out everything that they need to do in their planner and set separate dates within large projects( such as the placement or project 3). Even though I did all of my projects on time they were rather last minute and caused me considerable amounts of stress. I’d also highly recommend to complete one’s daily log, ON A DAILY BASIS! Too many kids in my class would forget, and that would make it harder to write it all down. It takes 2 minutes, and can relieve a lot of panicking and stress. I would also suggest that one should use class time effectively. Sometimes, it may seem easy to slack off and not work during class because you are waiting for something from you placement teacher( happened to me), I highly suggest that you don’t. There is always something for you to do. You will always be able to find it. And if beyond all doubt there is nothing else to do, play with the Smartboard (if it’s not being used) and start to get familiar with Mackenzie technology so you can teach more teachers how to use it!
Technology in Education
a) I believe that technology, as it grows ever more, will become increasingly effective in our classrooms. I believe that it will definitely increase student involvement, at least for a short period of time. I saw this when I was on the netbook team. When we gave a tutorial I noticed that almost all of the kids were genuinely excited to get to use this new piece of technology. I think that reaching out to kids on our main level of communication will be a very effective way of conveying information so that we become more engaged. We all now seem to operate with technology now anyways, I think that it’s only fitting that we start to learn through technology too. If get our education through technological means, not only will we understand it better because we can easily relate to it but it will become easily accessible to us outside of the classroom. I found this especially useful with science-related courses. Studying for my biology tests, I often referred back to available materials on Ms. Batras’s website for understanding key terms and concepts. As we’ve read in many articles over the course of this semester, incorporating technology in our classrooms has its ups and downs. I believe that the pros outweigh the cons. Most kids nowadays have relatively low attention spans and must have something there to keep them engaged. There are so many tools and applications that can have practical uses in the class room and be used to keep kids engaged in the curriculum. There is no harm in adding technology. Eventually technology is going to be entrenched within our society, so we might as well start to incorporate it into our classroom so it can start to develop into something as regular as calculators in mathematics. The change is inevitable so we might as well do it now and reap the rewards earlier. Incorporating technology into the classroom is a necessity and will immediately increase engagement and understanding by students. So let’s get started!
Although I may not have displayed the most leadership and involvement in the class, I am confident that I went above and beyond what is expected. I started out in the Netbook team working hard to install all of the software. At one point i was managing multiple installations on 9 different netbooks with Steven. We were only expected to do one at a time, but we decided that doing 9 at once would be much more time effective. After that I also took additional responsibility by doing several tutorials of netbook installation in class rooms, (I volunteered to do those, I wasn’t assigned). Finally, I would say that I took an obvious role as a leader in the classroom by being the Co-Project Manager with Ariel. I decided to take on the feat of managing the not-so-keeners in the class. It was a struggle trying to get people to do what we needed them to do. In the end however, I believe that together Ariel and I were able to organise the group together and have the website ready for a deadline. Being a project manager was a lot more work than I thought that it would be, but I’m glad that I did it because I was able to learn what it takes to actually organise more than 3 people in a group. It takes careful planning and supervision, something that I believe Ariel and I both provided.