Blog #1

Title:  Learning in a transformative decade

Part one:  Summary

This article highlights some key points from the 2015 FETC conference.  This is a conference to discuss the role of technology in education as well as highlight new innovations in the classroom.  This article in particular discusses the role of gaming and 3D printing in the classroom.  As a teacher the most important thing is to capture the attention of your students, and it seems over the last several years there has been a shifting of viewpoints when it comes to the role video games can play in the classroom.  It was discussed at the FETC conference that video games could be introduced into the classroom in a controlled way, so as to engage the student and introduce the positive emotions associated with gaming into the classroom.
The second part of the article discusses the “maker program”.  This is essentially a student-driven method of exploration.  The process of “making” consists of three parts; The students must understand the process and tools at their disposal, there must be a person present to coordinate the program, and there must be a space in which the student can explore.  One classroom example of this program would be to use 3D printers to create a car to be used in a school derby race.  This exposure and ability to explore these new technologies in a scholastic environment could go a long way towards not only furthering our students’ understanding of these technologies but also lead to new innovations for the tools being used.

Part two:  Questions and Answers

What is your opinion of the article? Do you agree or disagree?

Overall I found this article thought provoking, while introducing this technology to the classroom would idealistically bring about more enlightenment for the student body, I have to question if this technology would be put to the correct use in the classroom.  I personally remember when I was in school and we had a day in the computer lab the first five minutes of class was spent finding a proxy server so that we could play games when the teacher wasn’t paying attention.  While I feel this technology could be used in the ways described in the article, I am doubtful of it’s successful practice.  In my opinion the key to this technology in the classroom is introducing it in a way that engages the student, because at the first slip of concentration the only thing that has been introduced to the classroom is a new distraction.

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