Productivity Suites – Get them when they’re young and sell their data.

Productivity Suites are programs to help people create, organize, and present items. In education teachers use these to create documents, activities, presentation, and worksheets. Students in high school anyway, use these programs for very similar purposes programs like presentations, and differently by writing papers, answering questions, making visuals and more.  

I only thought of these tools as supports for my students and I; tools for success! I am finding more and more students are struggling to write with paper and pencil. Hence, some students do the work digitally by typing or using speech to text on google docs. When they are creating, I love how they can use google slides or docs and all have access to the same document. Makes for more efficient collaboration and group work. Google forms have been a wonderful program I use for exit slips or reflections. They don’t lose their reflection book! It is all saves automatically on their drive. I can upload their reflections onto a google sheets and see them all in one area. It makes it so much easier to mark; I am not hauling around 30 journals. Google classroom has also been wonderful how students can access the material at home when they miss school. The responsibility can be put on them to watch the lesson video,or read the material and try the worksheet at home. It helps me organize my semester as well! One issue is those kids that are already missing school because they don’t have a lot of support at home, or they have a lower economic status don’t have these privileges. They don’t have devices at home or wifi. So, these expectations are too much.

Wow that was a lot of mentioning of google programs. It has engulfed my classroom. Is this a bad thing? Are there issues?

Most definitely, is what I learned after our class this week. I have always wanted to work for people, serve the public and try to make a difference. I chose to be a teacher. I do not have a business-oriented mind, so I never thought about how even companies focused on making products to help people are still just trying to make money. They may disguise this but it is their number one priority. Hence, we need to be weary of Google and Microsoft companies’ intentions, as well as the fine print. A very smart ploy for companies is getting young customers for products. I recently have realised that the reason Scotiabank has great deals for university students, is to get them signed up right out of high school.  I remember liking that I could get points for free movies just for spending money. Twelve years later I am still with Scotiabank; they got me.

Google & Microsoft have been the front runners in technology suites for a very long time. In high school I still was writing mostly on paper, but into university all I had known was Microsoft, so I bought a Microsoft suite for my laptop. I created things on Microsoft publisher and wrote papers on Microsoft word. When I became a teacher, I still use these products for creation. My students as you read above are google users. Google was very smart to get themselves into schools. Kids will only know google moving into the workforce, therefore this is most likely what they will use into adulthood and pay for their products. A technology analyst, Mike Fisher stated for the New York Times “If you get someone on your operating system early, then you get that loyalty early, and potentially for life”.

As of now, I don’t believe Microsoft or Google has ill intent creating products to help students learn and grow, but at the end of the day they are a corporate company. Therefore another concern was around student data. New York Times said that Google says they don’t sell the data. The gmail and information is only collected to use the services . But, Google declined to provide a breakdown of the exact details the company collects from students use of its services. So many parents are concerned and think google should be more transparent about the information collection of their users.

Is it more helpful than harmful? I think time will tell.

Cailen Tribier

Why you hating on Sesame Street?

Neil Postman wrote “We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.”

Upon some research around the quote, I believe Neil Postman is saying that Sesame Street is not education it is television. School involves learning content, which television can do but there is some key aspects missing for learning to occur. He believes interaction is important. He says with television this isn’t possible. There is only a direct way of learning from the television to the students. Students can’t ask questions with television, hence there is no room for curiosity or discussion and therefore insufficient learning.

He also discusses how it pushes the importance of entertainment, and amusement rather than learning. Television is educational in the way that it teaches about the ideology of television. This ideology is misinformation, and exaggerated information.

I agree with some aspects of his argument and disagree with others. Firstly, television itself which has dramatized and unrealistic content is harmful as people believe it is true or how things work. We become so invested in it we forget it is not real. This can be damaging to children especially teenagers who are starting to watch shows with more adult and complex content. I agree that it can cause people to believe untrue information and cause ignorance. Producers goals are to make money, not educate people most of the time. They will be creating content that most viewers will enjoy and not worry about the ramifications.

I also understand how since television can be so entertaining so students will need this in the classroom. I think students should be able to enjoy themselves in school to a certain extent. Learning should be fun and television or audiovisual technology can do this! However if they are expecting to be just entertained and amused this will not be the case. Another quote from this chapter is “they will expect it and thus will be well prepared to receive their politics, their religion, their news and their commerce in the same delightful way” . Students do become bored very easily, they do want to be entertained in many ways and give up when they don’t like something or things get too difficult. Some of our audiovisual technology especially videos have made it so students have shorter attention spans. If it is not amusing, they move on. Certain aspects of life just are not entertaining and are difficult, so this is definitely a problem. Teaching resilience needs to be a continued priority in education.

I disagree that television is not education or interactive. I show my students a Netflix show called explained. We watch the episode designer DNA. This gives them some background into what is possible in the science world around altering DNA in humans. From this I get them to form their own opinion around whether we should edit germline DNA or not. There is important points on both sides and it is an excellent discussion. Television initiated that conversation. It may have not been interactive in the moment but after students can ask questions!

Lastly, it can be interactive in the moment as well. There is this tool I use called edpuzzle. It takes any video from youtube and makes it so it has discussion questions throughout the video. It makes you think about what you are hearing. My students also go straight to youtube videos in my lessons to learn how to do a new math or science concept, especially when they have missed a lesson. Audiovisual technology is a wonderful starting tool to foster learning. By itself it isn’t perfect. But nothing is. A variety of ways of instructing is how students will learn. I agree teachers should not be replaced by audiovisual technology, movies, youtube videos, projectors, virtual reality and so forth. However, they are a wonderful starting point. It is a great instructional strategy.

How is this little blip of an episode of sesame street not a great way to learn counting! Music is an excellent way to retain information as well! So, I do not hate sesame street as much as Neil Postman I think. Are there negatives, yes, I spoke about a few but this is the technology age we are living in. I am not about to fight it. Do you think the negatives out way the positives?

Cailen Tribier

My view of Knowledge and its effects on My Teaching Philosophy

I am a reflective teacher, hence I do think about how I am teaching, facilitating or running my classroom and if it is effective around student learning. But to define what theory or theories underpins my teaching philosophy, I am forced to dig deeper than just what I do but what I feel is right at my core. I need to look at who I am as a person, and how I view knowledge. Anthony Bates explains our “epistemological position has direct practical consequences for how we teach.”

At my beginning of forming my own ideas I believe I would have named myself a positivist. In school I was trained to find the right answer. The academic classes I enjoyed were math and science which had right, or wrong answer and I was praised if I figured it out. The creative classes I did not enjoy, it was too arbitrary. I was and am still very motivated by solving complex problems and finding the answers.

However, into my adulthood I started to learn there were multiple answers and multiple experiences and these are all valid types of knowledge.  Even with an objective reality there are mysteries and unknowns. Knowledge is ever changing but I believe it is objective in the idea that what we know now is true until we can prove it is different otherwise. I also realize in certain subject areas experiences do shape our knowledge and this is also valuable. This is why I have developed to be more post positivist as I am moving through university, teaching in a classroom and my masters. I believe there is objective truth but I think this truth is individualized. We all have bias and background experience. This will influence our world view. This won’t affect objective scientific truth most of the time but when it comes to the discovering , and analyzing new ideas this will affect learning. It is important to explore different perspectives, abstract ideas and unique processes. Hence in a classroom to have intellectual conversations and abstract thinking we will need multiple theories of learning for success.

Firstly students need their basic needs met, feel safe and feel like they belong. This is Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs which is involved in the Humanistic Theory of learning. Learning will never occur without these basic things. Students need to have drive for learning, have structure and organization, feel safe, enjoyment, and praise. All of these things I accomplish through the Behaviorism theory. This means we need to use behaviorist techniques to teach students how to behave. A specific one I use is “Tribier tickets”. They are little cards that give students privileges if they complete their personal goals. Goals could be completing work in class instead of being distracted by friends, or handing in assignments on time or getting a certain grade on an assignment.

With some support, motivation and organization we can move to teaching concepts. This is a cognitivist idea. It is the process of learning, connecting, explaining, and applying information. This still has the idea that there is right answers and we go through a process to find or explain these answers. In my classroom I do this through direct teaching different processes, activating prior knowledge to make connections between ideas, science labs to experience concepts, and problem solving real life math questions. The cognitivist theory uses Bloom’s Taxonomy which explains at what level students are learning. I find it to be a very thin line between high level concepts of thinkings such as creating, and evaluating in the cognitivist theory with the constructivist approach to learning.

“For a constructivist, even physical laws exist because they have been constructed by people from evidence, observation, and deductive or intuitive thinking, and, most importantly, because certain communities of people (in this example, scientists) have mutually agreed what constitutes valid knowledge.” . I love this quote, we wouldn’t have science without people who have tried to make sense of our world when there were unknowns and no right answers. Hence why forming your own thoughts, through experiments, trials, proofs or exploring new ideas is so important in education. It just takes a long time and effort to get there. The constructivist approach is about creating ones own ideas, and forming opinions. In the classroom I have used debates, inquiry research, interactive gizmos, manipulatives, experiments, discussions and videos that provoked opinions and feelings about a topic. This has all been successful to get students to develop their own ideas around science theory.

However, it can be unsuccessful when it is used alone. I remember when I was first introduced to inquiry learning, I would send students onto the world wide web to read and interact with new concepts without giving any background information. The depths of knowledge they obtained was minimal. They could not have deeper discussions about the topic because they didn’t understand first. Students need guidance from the teacher to find appropriate knowledge base. This includes teaching students how to find information, credible sources, fact check, find evidence before they can create. I will continue to use a blend of these theories as this is the bests practice in my opinion. Is this the best practice? As time will tell new theories, and new knowledge will arise. So true best practice is to continue to be a lifelong learner and keep trying new ways to grow as a teacher.

EC&I 833 – Ms. Cailen Tribier 2024-01-22 02:04:00

Educational Technology – Critical Analysis to Continue being a Reflective Educator

Hello, and welcome to my blog for my ECI 833 course where I will explore the foundations of educational technology. Educational technology is a tool, invention computer hardware or software, manipulative or theory that helps facilitate learning. Personally, I view it as any tool that helps me teach in an innovative way to increase engagement and learning or a tool to help support my students more efficiently in their journey of education. What I realized was in my first few years of teaching the tools or assessments I chose were solely to engage and benefit my students learning, which is great but I did not focus at all on how to save time for myself. Most days began working at 8 am and finishing work at 10 pm. I had no work life balance.

In my tenth year of teaching, I am slowly trying to balance making my classroom a fun place to learn but as well finding educational technology that can adapt my content more efficiently for differentiation and assessing more quickly to have a personal life. I have become very interested in instant feedback assessment. Jiajun Zou from Emory University explains self marking programs have helped teachers gain their lives back with the growing responsibilities they have these days, as well as aiding students in the learning process. With out timely feedback “students can easily forget what they just wrote, and their brain instantly switches to other important tasks or seeks a drink as a reward for their hard work. Without instant feedback, ideas fade”.  I have experienced students telling me that they don’t remember this assessment. So it feels pointless to review it; it feels like reteaching without a purpose. Instant feedback is especially important in formative assessment so students can improve before summative assessment time. Automated mediums Audience Response Systems such as mentimeter and blooket are a great way to help students know how they are doing and facilitate fun and enjoyment in the classroom.

There are some issues with some of the instant marking or feedback programs I have been using for summative assessment. I first started using google forms with multiple choice questions and zip grade. I am becoming aware that these tools benefit me but not my students when it comes to higher level or deeper learning. My questioning in the assessments became more knowledge and recall based rather than analyzation of the content.  I can’t seem to find assessment technology that benefits both the teacher and the students quite yet. Neil Postman explains how only certain groups will benefit from new technological tools or advances in certain industries. It even goes onto say about how some groups could be harmed. My students are being “harmed” in sense of not being assessed in a way that helps them be critical thinkers and on the flip side it takes me hours to assess high level of analyzation questions which in turn keeps me working many long hours.

Hack education explained in regards to automated essay grading, they disagreed with the idea that instant feedback benefits learning.  Even though I disagree in some aspects, I see the importance of the critiquing these automated feedback tools.

Neil Postman confirmed for me that it is very important to be critical of new technology. There will be some people that will benefit and some that won’t. There will be advantages but also detriments to people. When new technology becomes the norm and is no longer looked at with a critical lens, this is dangerous. I will keep researching and reflecting on technology I choose and hopefully someday I will discover educational tools that develop student learning and help me do my job efficiently and yet thoroughly.