TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design

TED.com is a series of conferences that provide innovative and inspiring way of learning. Speakers from across the world deliver speeches on a variety of topics such as technology, medical research, the arts and also education. After receiving its billionth view online last year, this revolutionary way of teaching is growing in popularity. The non-proft organisation began in 1984 and since then has developed “Ted-Ed”. This is a website that is specifically designed to present lectures and lessons in a motivating and attention grabbing way. So far they have 73,791 lessons and also 1,825,230 questions answered. Here is a brief video about Ted-Ed from the website itself:

The site is completely free and can be used by not only students, but teachers as well. There are two styles of TED-Ed lessons. One of these is the original lessons that display “collaborations between expert educators, screenwriters and animators. Each collaboration aims to capture and amplify a great lesson ideas suggested by the TED community.” The other form of lessons can be produced by “any website visitor, and involves adding questions, discussion topics and other supplementary materials to any educational video on YouTube.” This means that viewers themselves can participate and increase their knowledge in a variety of subjects. By having professionals occasionally giving speeches, they are also accessing world-class education for free.

Some lessons have been made into animations which give the lessons a more fun and light-hearted feel. According to Clough (2013, p.191) “All sorts of technologies fascinate students and have the potential to grab and maintain their attention in ways that interacting with a teacher, reading a book, seriously discussing ideas with other students, and thinking about their own thinking cannot. One only has to look at the hours children are willing to spend spellbound in front of a television or computer surfing the web to see how rapidly changing sensory information plays to our biological bias attending us to changes in our immediate environment.” The rise in online use worldwide has led to teenagers spending an increasing amount of time on the internet. Ted-Ed has clearly identified that children can spend this time productively and can use all the technology on offer in a way the will greatly benefit their education.

This is an example of a Ted-Ed video that I particularly enjoyed:

 

The video was interesting in the way it was animated and how visually appealing the style was. It is easier to engage with the lesson in an animated way rather than listening to the teacher simply explaining it. It means that it is easier to pay attention and focus is better which will allow learners to gain more information.

References

http://blog.ted.com/2012/11/13/ted-reaches-its-billionth-video-view/

http://ed.ted.com/about

Clough, Michael, P. (2013) The Nature of Technology: Implications for Learning and Teaching [e-book] Available from: RGU library online http://library.rgu.ac.uk/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NpG4F9yq00&index=6&list=TLTCO0buPkVPBo2hRYG8MMu1FYbcZC7Eqg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfJ5XG5i2aw

Impact of Digital Technology in Schools – Infographic

https://infogr.am/technology-in-uk-schools?src=web

This post will look at the facts and figures from the 2011 Department of Education Report, “Digital Technology in Schools” in the form of an infographic and will examine the findings.

The first finding illustrates how credible teachers find the use of ICT in classrooms. It shows how the majority of teachers from across the EU feel that it is improving their students concentration and enthusiasm.

The second graph portrays the extent of how accessible a computer is in today’s society. Despite the fact that a majority of students have access to the internet, there are still 18% without it. This means that if educational content begins to move online, these leaners will suffer as they cannot access it outwith school hours and this can harm their opportunities to do extra work outside of the classroom.

The third graph demonstrates how young people are engaging with digital technology and how they are even becoming content creators. With the development of technology, this has meant that there is a growing number of creative jobs in many different areas such as media, marketing and advertisement. It creates an exciting prospect if the younger generation are already making videos, music and animations. Furthermore, the use of blogs also helps to develop their writing ability and allows for open discussion and debates. It is important that schools acknowledge this and teach pupils how they can use their creative talents online to help gain a future career.

The final graph highlights how teachers are using technology as a way to improve their teaching methods and organisational skills. The use of digital media has allowed teachers to make effect plans in an easy and structured way which will benefit the learning experience for students.

(Source for Report: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130802141748/https://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/a00201823/digital-technology-in-schools) on the “Evidence” section

Intranets – How Beneficial are they to Universities?

moodle

What is an intranet?

According to the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/guides/intranets-and-extranets) “An intranet is a private network, operated by a large company or other organisation, which uses internet technologies, but is insulated from the global internet.”

This post will mainly examine the effect that intranets have had on universities. Intranets have grown in popularity in higher educational institutions across the United Kingdom. It has presented the opportunity to become a lot more “connected” between staff and students as lectures and news are posted online.  For example, Robert Gordon Universities’ intranet is the “Campus Moodle” which can be accessed on a 24/7 basis. With the service being available at all times, it allows the students to access certain university material whenever they need to, without having to travel into university during the opening hours. Moreover, it means that work in the evening (after 5pm) is made easier, as lecture slides are available and certain “e-books” from the online library service.  It also allows students to learn at their own pace and to refer back to slides instead of having to make a lecturer repeat themselves.

However, does this actually create a distance between the staff and students? It could be argued that having university notes so easily accessible at home is a demotivating factor. This is because students will not feel like it is necessary to attend every lecture as they can login to their intranet and read the lectures online. This then leads to a further problem of students continuing to disregard and miss classes.

On the other hand, the use of the intranet allows a more personalised service for students, as there will be links and options available to them that is specifically tailored to their educational needs. Referring back to the Campus Moodle example, this online service allows students to gain access to information on study skills, careers, the modules they are studying, study abroad and the library. This gives the student a more personal relationship with the university.

With technology constantly developing, it is important that universities and organisations consider intranets as a tool of learning. Overall it can enhance a students education as it provides them with the responsibility of taking care of their own studies at their own time which is a skill they need in their careers.

 

 

GLOW

Image

Glow has played a dominant role in how primary school education is turning to digital media as a method of learning. Teachers can now present their lessons in a personalised and interactive way which encourages children to learn basic computing skills. “Glow” is now accessible across all of the Scottish regions and is a main source of online teaching. According to the Glow Handbook, they provide “access to information and activities including interactive educational games, revision papers, links to other sites and news features.” This allows the students to engage with a fun and modern way of learning that can analyse student performance and can adapt to specific pupils’ needs. Computing skills are now considered essential to everyday life, with adults using technology such as emails and organisation intranets as a way of working. It could be stated that it is vital that children learn these skills at a basic level which can be further developed throughout their education. This means that pupils will learn through techniques best suited to their style of learning and this should overall improve their abilities.

Not only does this programme benefit the pupils, it also gives teachers a great advantage. Features such as “Glow Meet” allow web-conferencing and can build contacts and information between other educational institutions in the hope to improve and learn from other teaching methods and ideas. Furthermore “Glow Learn” is a service that allows teachers to “share, organise and search for digital resources and courses, monitor student progress and provide learners with access to structured content.”

Halverson and Smith (2010, cited by Mouza) acknowledged that there are “two types of digital technologies that help explain differences in school and out-of-school practices: technologies for learning and technologies for learners. Technologies for learning are generic tools that define learning goals, develop structures to guide students, and provide measures of learning outcomes regardless of motivation or the ability of individual learners.” This suggests that if digital media is used efficiently and creatively then it can create a new path of learning. This will involve a wide variety of activities and lessons that will provide informative feedback to the teachers and they can then assess what level each student is at in a number of subjects.

It then explains the other type of digital technology “In contrast, technologies for learners emphasize student agency by allowing users to select their own learning goals and the means that will help them achieve those goals.” This refers back to the pupils of primary education in Scotland and how the use of Glow and digital media can indicate the child’s progress and what is the best method of learning for the pupil.

A child accessing the internet regularly does raise the concern of safety. Glow also prides itself in being a safe online environment where pupils, teachers and parents can feel at ease as there is a secure username and password system and also a “report” system. It allows an opportunity for teachers and parents to highlight the issue of internet safety and explain to children that they need to be careful online, in order to prevent any future problems. Furthermore, their activities on the site can be monitored by the school which will ensure that there is no misuse of the online services.

References:

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/usingglowandict/glow/whatis/

Mouza, Chrystalla. Lavigne, (2013) Nancy. Emerging Technologies for the Classroom: A Learning Sciences Perspective

 

Introduction to the blog!

Hello!

This semester, I was asked to begin a blog as part of my coursework for the module “Digital Media Platforms and Practices”. The topic that I have chosen in particular is how digital media is shaping the techniques of how the next generation are educated.

Blackboards are being replaced by ‘smartboards’, essays are being typed rather than written and homework can be completed online. In today’s society there is also the assumption by schools that a majority of children have easy access to a computer, laptop or tablet. This has effectively changed the way students are educated.

The aim of the blog posts is to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the effects of digital media on education in schools and to question whether they are any more effective than traditional teaching methods,