Revolutions: Agriculture, Industrial then and now AI (Artificial Intelligence) Revolution

The last presentation during my EC&I 833 class was about Generative AI. The presenters’ content took the audience on a journey of mixed emotions. Some were dazed, others (like me) confused or scared and some were thrilled, others were inquisitive…. Woah…..what a subject!!

I have always found the name – “Faustian Bargain” so apt for the computer technology- so whether it is AI, WWW…..  You gain some and you lose some. Ideally I look at AI as transformative  and has the caliber to transport us into a “qualitatively different future”. Therefore the title- Agriculture, Industrial and then AI revolution.

How many of us can imagine living in a world without AI- how comfortable would it be to survive without Siri waking you up, the GPS system and maps helping navigate, the smart software and apps that are favs in the workplace or finding the best tickets for travel, ordering food, grocery, or for that matter shopping online? If we narrow down to education: it’s a whirlwind of AI in education? how many of us could have imagined the kind of learning platform that exist now; adjusting the lessons personally for every one!! That’s what DreamBox and Knewton are doing. They use AI to tweak learning materials in real-time, making sure each student gets the most out of their lessons. In my EC & I sessions my class mates introduced me to some outstanding educational tools like like Socrative, Mentimeter, Padlet, Quizlet, Kahoot etc  that make assessment and student engagement effortless. Thus making the learning process more engaging, personalized and interactive. They give detailed feedback, letting teachers focus more on teaching and less on grading. So, AI isn’t just a buzzword; it surely has worthwhile substance and has made education more personalized, efficient, and interactive. How cool is that?

AI has entered everyone’s life; so be it; student, elders, professionals( all professions that you can think of) at all levels, industry etc: it looks difficult to subtract AI out of the whole system. However, the damage can also be potentially great. The systems can be corrupted, it can be trained to affect the physical, mental, emotional security at any level. The video that was shared in one of our classes on AI also mentioned Elon Musk calling it “Catastrophic” and worldwide people talking about regulating it so that it does not become a Faustian bargain.

Very recently I saw a bolly wood movie and here is the clip where the main character is a Robot and it is disturbing to see and imagine: if something like this will ever happen in the future.:

https://www.youtube.com/clip/UgkxLNiUs7TDM7M6YqK1jf90WDuu-3O_GUwp

It is disturbing to see and imagine: if something like this will ever happen in the future.

One famous quote on AI is by Stephen Hawking, a renowned theoretical physicist:

“Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.” – Stephen Hawking

Creativity at it’s best – in my limited thought though :)

Last week’s classroom presentation in my EC&I 833 course was on coding and makerspaces, and let me tell you, I was expecting it to be a boring session because I have never been much interested in Coding and makerspace wasn’t a very familiar term for me. And guess what- it left me curious !!

So, what’s the buzz about coding? Well, I realized that my thoughts were Null and Void and that coding isn’t just for the tech gurus or future computer scientists; it’s a tool that can help all students develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and perseverance. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how coding can be integrated into everyday learning, making complex concepts come to life in a fun and interactive way. The interesting examples in the class presentation were Ozobots. I found out that these tiny robots help students develop an IQ for coding by using colored pens to develop logical and sequential set of commands to create storylines that the Ozobots would act out through movement. It sounded like a hands-on way for students to see the real-world applications of coding.

And then: I was bowled over by makerspaces. Makerspaces have become a hot topic in education. While not a new concept, makerspaces are gaining traction for the many benefits they provide students as these spaces are integrated into classrooms and schools. Designed to challenge students to create and learn through hands-on, personalized experiences throughout elementary, middle, and high school, here are a few of the many benefits of makerspaces: In recent years, makerspaces have become increasingly popular worldwide, thanks to the rise of the maker movement. The recommended reading from the session (The role of makerspaces in innovation processes: an exploratory study) was really interesting and educated me too. This movement began with the whole DIY and Hacks culture and has made digital fabrication tools accessible to a wide range of people. Makerspaces, also known as Fablabs or hackerspaces, are physical places where people can access shared tools like 3D printers, laser cutters, woodworking and metalworking tools, and microcontrollers. Those who use these spaces are called makers.

It is a culture of collaboration, curiosity, experimenting and learning through trial and error. I feel the result of all this has to be some form of learning, some outcome and sometimes an invention that can revolutionize the world, make it better, happier in some way. Additionally It also teaches some values like: taking failure in stride: In experimentation, testing, evaluating, and modifying are part of the process. Participants learn how to make failure into a learning experience and not become discouraged or frustrated when something doesn’t go as planned.

https://www.vanderbilt.edu/thewondry/makerspaces/makerspaces-collage-presentation-169/

This University’s website and illustrations were very attractive and interesting to me. It reflects that in Makerspaces People have showcased their creativity and capabilities by developing innovative products, such as the first consumer 3D printer and smartphone-based payment devices. Notably, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, makers stepped up to address the urgent need for medical supplies

To me one of the most fascinating tools in our makerspace is the 3D printer. Did you know that 3D printers have been used to create prosthetic limbs, build houses, and even print food? It’s incredible to think about the possibilities that this technology opens up for students! In fact, NASA has used 3D printers to create tools and parts in space, revolutionizing how astronauts can repair and maintain equipment during missions.

However, it’s not all smooth sailing. Some challenges like limited time, resources, and the fear of not being an expert in coding, society pressure in different forms etc will always be there. But here’s the thing I’ve learned after knowing Coding; makespaces: I don’t have to know it all. It’s okay to lean on resources and collaborate with students to navigate the world of coding and makerspaces.

And lastly I must share one video on makerspace that was so interesting

Reference

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/radm.12594

Inclusive Learning with Assistive Technology

My only tryst with Assistive technology has been Siri, Assistive touch or text- to -speech. My first profound moment was in my Edtech class where a group of students presented on Assistive technology but I was humbled and touched when I saw the video shared by one of my classmates:

Assistive Technology: Enabling Dreams – From voice-activated software to customized laptops, tech is changing the way disabled students communicate, learn, and play.

Technology to me has always represented itself as a – Faustian Bargain however when I look at assistive technology; it looks like a blessing to many people who are differently abled. People who could showcase their capabilities to the world despite the challenges they faced. It reminds me of one of my client whose daughter ( I will call her Sarah) had some learning disability and when I today recall the instances when she hated studying(in a traditional school), preferred doing everything her way; my heart goes out to her and I wish someone introduced her to the assistive technology which could have made learning a matter of joy and ease.  Like many students, Sarah faced challenges in keeping up with traditional instruction methods.

The video sheds light on the transformative power of assistive technology in addressing many challenges that may prevent many learners to do what they love doing. It emphasized the importance of understanding students’ experiences with assistive technology and the obstacles they face. Many students, like those featured in the video, shared their struggles with traditional learning methods and highlighted the profound impact that assistive technology has had on their academic success. The case of Lukas who loved playing euphonium horn is truly inspirational for many. Lukas courage, passion and will plus the technology helped him become a part of the Jazz band and a full fledged musician. Like wise all achievements of Sarah, Vishal were partly because of assistive technology. The video was personally very informative for me and emphasized how incorporating assistive technology into various instructional formats – whether face-to-face, blended, or online can be life changing for students. By doing so, educators can ensure that content is accessible to all students, regardless of their learning styles or abilities.

Having seen and read content on Assistive technology I feel there are many myths about assistive technology for learning. The first myth is assistive technology is for students with special needs. It is actually a way to enhance the quality of learning
The second myth is about cost of assistive technology that it is expensive and countries with low resources cannot afford them. Some gadgets or technology may be unaffordable but an empathetic and intelligent teacher would always make its way

The third myth is that assistive technology is highly advanced technology. But in reality assistive technology is an application of basic engineering technology for learning. The euphonium horn of Lukas is an example of that.

https://www.augsburg.edu/class/groves/assistive-technology/everyone/

I was introduced to Immersive Reader and C Pen in one of our classes and they were showcased as invaluable resources in supporting students with dyslexia and other learning differences. Immersive Reader facilitates more effective engagement with text by providing features like text-to-speech and customizable font settings. Meanwhile, CPen allows students to access printed material independently, promoting autonomy and confidence in their learning.

As an educator, I today decide, I will also use Assistive technology as a tool to make education/knowledge inclusive for all and try and create for them; an opportunity to succeed.

The progressive World Wide Web & The evolving Classroom

What sounded really interesting to me in one of the articles that my classmate shared as a part of class assignment was this and It was so profound: The web influences peoples way of thinking, doing and being, and people influence the development and content of the web. The evolution of the web from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and now to Web 3.0 can be used as a metaphor of how education should also be evolving, as a movement from Education 1.0 towards that of Education 3.0. The Web, Internet, Social Media, and the evolving, emerging technologies have created a perfect storm or convergence of resources, tools, open and free information access. The result is not only a change in what individuals learn but how, wry, and where they learn. Taking this one step further, or from another angle, moving from Education 1.0 to Education 3.0 can be likened to moving from Pedagogy/Essentialism/Instructivism through A andragogy/ Constructivism towards Heutagogy/ Connectivism.

The Education 1.0 class feels something like this:

It’s slow, one-way, and about as exciting as watching paint dry. Welcome to Education 1.0 – where teachers talk, students listen, and the snooze button gets a workout….. the common instruction from Education 1.0 was something like, “Alright, class, here’s your digital worksheet for today. It’s basically the same as the ones you’ve been doing, just on a screen this time. Enjoy! It’s like the regular stuff, but with some extra pixels thrown in.”

Stepping into a progressive Web 2.0 Classroom

It’s like switching from dial-up to high-speed broadband. It’s interactive, dynamic, and engaging. Picture classrooms buzzing with activity, students actively participating in discussions, and learning materials that respond to their input. It’s a whole new world of education where students aren’t just passive listeners, but active contributors to their own learning journey. Welcome to the future of education!

Sneak in “Good morning, class! Today, we’re into the final phase of our course and will begin with assignment. So you’ll be tackling it right here on your screens together in groups. You will find it on your screens, write down what you understand and I will keep arranging it here on the Board to make it a perfect Jamboard. Comment, share ideas, and engage with your classmates in real time. So, let’s get started and make the most of this dynamic learning experience!” Education 2.0 – it’s the modern way we learn, and it’s wonderous. Instead of boring lectures, we’re diving into hands-on, interactive learning. It’s all about teamwork, solving real-world problems, and making learning fun. So, let’s embrace the future of education and make it an adventure!

The unimaginable for the most- Web 3.0

And now Education 3.0 – the ultimate upgrade in how we learn. It’s all about self-determined, interest-based learning where problem-solving, innovation, and creativity take center stage.

Web 3.0 is often referred to as the “Semantic Web,” a term coined by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee. This new generation of the web is characterized by more meaning, context, and personalization. Unlike today’s Web, which is mostly focused on providing information, Web 3.0 is designed to provide users with a more personalized and interactive user experience. (LinkedIn)

In Education 3.0, learners aren’t just passive recipients of knowledge – they’re the creators of it. Picture a world where students actively shape their learning experiences, collaborating through social networks. It’s about blurring the lines between students, teachers, and the learning process itself.

Here’s the deal: Education 3.0 revolves around the three Cs – connectors, creators, and constructivists. These aren’t just buzzwords – they define the essence of becoming a self-determined learner. It’s about students taking charge, with educators as guides on the side.

To me, Education 3.0 is a dynamic blend of heutagogical, connectivist teaching. It’s about harnessing the power of networks, resources, and personalized learning journeys. Because every learner’s path is unique and driven by their passions. So, Education 3.0 leads to more ownership, validation from the learner and is a path for personalized, self-determined learning experiences!

This paradigm shift also calls for a paradigm change for the teachers. A feeling of being an empathetic, kind, intelligent teacher who not only facilitates learning but also is a student always and keeps learning while teaching.

Over all Web 3.0 brings some great transformation to teaching and learning however the AI and it’s reach is scary too. As education integrates with digital tech, privacy risks rise. Safeguards are vital to protect student data and ensure responsible use. The access to technology varies and may become a reason for the widening educational disparities. Social isolation may increase with excessive digital reliance, impacting not only the interpersonal skills. This may lead to a hoard of psychological issues and ensuing problem in classroom, family and society. Navigating these challenges is crucial for ethical and inclusive digital education.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-web-30-important-todays-evolving-world-how-changes-nextupgrad

Assessments landscape – “Where the mind is without fear and the Head is held High”

This quote by Rabindranath Tagore comes to mind today while writing this blog on Assessments. One of my most dreaded experiences as a high school student was facing my final exams, particularly the dreaded Math assessment. The weeks leading up to the exams felt like a marathon of cramming every formula and concept, trying to stuff my brain with as much information as possible. And then, sitting through those grueling three-hour tests, feeling bogged, dizzy as I struggled to recall everything I had memorized. The anxiety was palpable, knowing that the results would determine so much of my academic future. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget, and even now, it sends chills down my spine just thinking about it……Lol. As a facilitator, I think the traditional summative assessments, like final exams, put students in a high-stakes environment where the performance is judged solely based on memorization and rote learning. For students like me, this approach can be stressful and demotivating. The fear of failure looms large, leading to anxiety and even physical symptoms like sleeplessness, nausea.

However, the 21st century transported us into the technologically advanced world of education. The emphasis on formative assessment, gamification in the Edtech world brought about empowering changes in the pedagogy of learning and evaluation. Unlike traditional assessments, which can feel like daunting obstacles, gamified learning environments are designed to be engaging, interactive, and enjoyable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WxvVgXC_NY

Assessment Technologies in Education: In the modern classroom, assessment technologies have become indispensable companions for educators seeking to enhance their teaching practices. The Learning Management systems have not only helped in connecting the teacher and learner but also lowered the administrative burden. The pandemic brought about more popularity for the applications like Google classroom, Zoom, MS teams, Kahoot, Mentimeters, Jamboarding etc. The learning theory of connectivism popularized these Edtech tools by emphasizing the significance of digital networks, collaboration, personalization, data-driven decision making, thereby integration the informal learning experiences with the learning process. These tools provide learners with opportunities to connect, collaborate, and engage with content in meaningful ways within digital learning environments. A few days back, my classmates in Edtech course, gave a group presentation on some wonderful assessment application like: Socrative, ZipGrade, and Mathletics. The tools were really impressive in what they could do with great effectiveness and efficiency!! The Zipgrade tool for assessment was impressive in how it eliminated extra work for teachers and gave instant feedback. And One of the most important aspects about feedback in classroom is that it should be timely, reinforcing and redirectional.  This helps teacher focus more on instructional activities. I remember how our teachers would carry bundles of papers back home or from one class to another and check them whenever they had free time. On the other hand, Socrative offers interactive quizzes, fostering active engagement, facilitating personalized learning experiences alongwith real-time feedback. Similarly, Mathletics helps students to hone their mathematical skills through gamified learning modules and adaptive assessments, catering to diverse learning styles and abilities. These tools gamify the evaluation and therefore remove the fear associated with the process of evaluation. Positive reinforcement, such as badges or rewards for completing tasks, can motivate students to engage with the material and persist in their learning.

The Shift Towards Formative Assessment:

Assessments play a large part in the learning of students and our understanding as teachers. . If evaluation finds teaching learning process satisfactory, it motivates the teachers and students to work harder for better results. And while summative assessments are important, the true understanding of learning comes from the formative kind

The assessment tools also contribute to making evaluation more formative than summative. They take away the administrative burden unlike the traditional methods of evaluation, are quick in implementation, cater to Visual, auditory and kinesthetic students equally and so it becomes easier for the facilitator/teacher to plan formative assessment. I personally feel that formative assessment lowers the fear factor amongst students and learning happens in the absence of fear. Unlike the usual end-of-term exams where students compete for higher marks; the formative assessment is about continuous feedback in bits and pieces. If evaluation finds teaching learning process satisfactory, it motivates the teachers and students to work harder for better results. This move towards formative assessment promotes growth and empowerment in learners, rather than just focusing on grades and labeling students. It’s more about the journey of learning rather than the destination of a final grade.

The technology has not only empowered the teachers but also the students. Every individual in some way is the owner of one’s education, development and growth. The organization/schools no more completely control the education process (Rigby, 2015)

References

Rigby, C. S. (2015). Gamification and motivation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formative_assessment

The Productivity suites: suit the Education

10 Best Productivity Apps for Students

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, declares in Article 26, that, Education is a fundamental right, however, many around the world still don’t have it. The Evolution of the Virtual and Online learning has disrupted the comfort zones of many people around the world. Factors like climate change, economic struggles, and health issues have added to these struggles in many ways. But as said:  

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein 

And here’s where technology steps in to save!

Today, I feel, digital productivity tools are like superheroes for education. These tools give the power to create, problem-solve, and express like never before. They’re not just about getting stuff done quicker; they’re about unlocking creativity so then whether it’s building models, organizing thoughts, collecting data, or showcasing the work. Productivity and creativity tools support users in constructing models, publishing, planning and organizing, mapping concepts, generating material, collecting data, developing and presenting other creative works (Paulus et al., 2013; Tsatsou, 2016; Oloyede and Ofole, 2016; Egbert and Shahrokni, 2022).  

I was prompted to write this blog as a part of my Study program, coincidently I have always been grateful to the productivity suite especially Google and its paraphernalia, Microsoft office, Teams, Zoom, Canva, Jamboarding, MentiMeter…….These have been my favourite eversince because I feel I can multitask more effectively and efficiently, I can reach out to my trainees despite the geographical differences.

I personally feel, in the contemporary times what has eased the learning process is the administration part both from the Teacher, institution and student side. With the advent of Google and Microsoft It’s practically like carrying all my books and stuff with me wherever I go, I am in touch with my teachers, Institute and classmates wherever I am and moreover I can today sit and write my blogs during my lunch breaks at my workplace. Accomplishing study goals, work goals has become super easy with technology. This affects a lot of other areas of life, like managing the work life balance, managing everyday stress, managing time and connecting people effortlessly. That is why probably Connectivism is one of the prominent Learning Theory nowadays in the Education space   

While I was writing this blog and searching on google, I came across this video on Youtube titled:

The Paperwork explosion

IBM’s, corporate video delves into how their technology aims to enhance people’s productivity by 50%. There’s a line towards the end of the film that runs, “IBM machines can do the work so that people have time to think. Machines should do the work, that’s what they’re best at. People should do the thinking, that’s what they’re best at.” 

And 50+ years down the line now, It’s the productivity suites, that do the work and spare us some more time. 

An intriguing aspect about the rise of productivity suites is, the comprehensive ecosystems that has catered to the increasing demand of work and have been an answer to the massive disruption. Initially, productivity suites primarily consisted of word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation software. However, with advancements in technology and the increasing demands of modern work environments, these suites have expanded to incorporate a wide array of features and functionalities. 

Eversince the collaboration tools became part of productivity suites, the world has shrunk further. People can easily connect across work and education. Real-time collaboration features like Google Docs, Zoom, MS Teams, canvas design, and others have revolutionized teamwork, overcoming distance barriers and  fostering seamless communication. 

Additionally, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms into productivity suites have remarkably accentuated their efficiency. AI-powered features, such as predictive text, smart suggestions, and automated workflows, help in saving time and reducing manual work. 

Productivity tools have contributed to education in many ways. It’s worthwhile to think: What methodologies result in better knowledge gain? And How can teachers and learners benefit and how this Treasure Trove be uncovered?  

Prudent teachers employ various methods like: working in groups, giving lessons in bite sized pieces so that students can build up on them, sharing ways that the productivity tools can be used for better results, creating a connect between institutions and students to better facilitate the purpose of learning. When designing cooperative computer-based strategies, teachers must deal with issues such as the size of the groups,equity concerns,and software that is designed for individual use. However the good comes with some bad too! Because these tools are like ATM- that add value to users, people can learn at their pace, anytime, anywhere therefore people seek information more than they seek knowledge. This may lead to over reliance on these tools and students may undermine the importance of cognitive skills, social skills. 

The cost and sustainability of using this type of infrastructure may not be affordable for all and may lead to social, emotional, moral and digital gaps. Another important concern is the The collection, storage, and sharing of student data through digital platforms which has raised privacy concerns regarding the protection of sensitive information and potential misuse by third parties. 

Yet for me they are no less than a magic wand. I can create these kind of simple images in a jiffy 🙂

References

Oloyede, G. K., & Ogunwale, G. J. (2022). Digital productivity tools as a necessity in education, research and career in the 21st century. In Proceedings of the 31st Accra Bespoke Multidisciplinary Innovations Conference. Accra, Ghana: University of Ghana/Academic City University College (pp. 1-6). 

An Engaging Pedagogy “Sesame Street”

“Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.” When I read this statement of Neil Postman, I wanted to read what he had to say about the different forms of education prevailing throughout the history. The reason was also because I was intrigued by his article- Postman, N. (1998). Five things we need to know about technological change. http://Recuperado de http://www. sdca. org/sermons_ mp3/2012/121229_postman_5Things. pdf.

So when I started reading the back ground for: “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.” I was amusingly-interested in reading the backdrop of this book, the works of Marshall McLuhan and Neil postman; both the writers felt that media has the potential to bring about change, however their perspectives differed. For Mc Luhan, his “the medium is the message” approach emphasized qualities of media and technologies with their varied repercussions on human perception and behavior. Postman critiqued how media was affecting cultural and educational theory. He was concerned with the effect of television, and its impact on education, public discourse, and the erosion of critical thinking skills. McLuhan spoke about the transformative potential of new media technologies. He believed that technological innovations, including television, had the power to reshape society and create new forms of communication and community. Postman’s idea of Classroom was that of a place of interaction whereas it was becoming a space in front of the TV. The two significant concepts mentioned here are:  there’s the shift of responsibility from human educators to an entertainment medium. Secondly, there’s the shift from a social learning environment, like the classroom, to a solitary one, in front of a screen. Over three decades later, these issues remain unchanged. Whereas skimming through the various works of Postman- Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology” (1992), “The Disappearance of Childhood” (1982), I felt Postman was more skeptical of the impact of television and other media technologies. He warned against the uncritical adoption of technology and argued that certain forms of media, particularly television, were contributing to the erosion of traditional forms of knowledge and critical thinking.

Postman’s 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in today’s world is bound to lose the lustre. In our everyday life as we wake up the smartphone has many apps to take care of our time, workout, To do’s, health, travel, so on and so forth. Segregating technology from today’s world means separation from the world.

One thing I do agree with Postman is that: “Parents need to regulate how much time their children can watch television and what they can watch, what films they can see and even what records they can have. They must talk to their children a lot about what they are exposed to in these media. If parents are paying considerable attention to what’s happening, then I think it’s possible to provide children with a childhood.

But, if you are too busy or your life circumstances, for whatever reason, don’t permit that, then NBC, CBS, Steven Spielberg, Coca-Cola, and Procter and Gamble will simply do the job.”

Postman continues:

This does not mean that “Sesame Street” is not educational. It is, in fact, nothing but educational—in the sense that every television show is educational. Just as reading a book—any kind of book —promotes a particular orientation toward learning, watching a television show does the same. “The Little House on the Prairie,” “Cheers” and “The Tonight Show” are as effective as “Sesame Street” in promoting what might be called the television style of learning. And this style of learning is, by its nature, hostile to what has been called book-learning or its handmaiden, school-learning. (p. 144)

If against this backdrop we view the contemporary world, how knowledge is imparted, how learning happens, especially after the onslaught of IOT, connectivity and then Pandemic; we can practically operate, learn, and educate ourselves with media being the prominent factor. I feel the key to calibrating what works what doesn’t (Faustian Bargain) makes all the difference. The various ways of imparting education today seem kind of indispensable, which can be MOOC, Virtual classrooms, Social Media, video sessions, etc. Change has been constant ever since; if we look back in the history; in the 5th century BC, the 1st change came when the Oral culture shifted to alphabet- writing culture, the second was in 16th Century with printing press, the 3rd is with EdTech.  

http://elearninginfographics.com/the-history-of-classroom-technology-infographic/1

A lot of education for all age groups is not just imparted through various Educational websites, Social Media, LMS…rather online element always exists in one form or the other.  The need for paper notebooks is almost fading. And I think this is what Postman dreaded. While the most common objects in the 20th century classroom consisted of slates, boards, pens, sheets of paper, chairs and desks, personal digital devices have become central objects in today’s BYOD schools. In the BYOD model the devices that are used for education are owned by students and which have their personal stuff, stored onto these devices, to school (Carvalho et al. 2016).  Henceforth the digital media brings loads of distraction for the students and that in some way affects the quality of education too

References

Willis, D. J. (1987). Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business [Review of Technological Media, from Message to Metaphor: An Essay Review of Neil Postman’s

“Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business,” by N. Postman]. Journal of Thought, 22(1), 58–60. http://www.jstor.org/stable/42589207

Carvalho, L., Goodyear, P., and de Laat, M. (2016). Place-Based Spaces for Networked Learning. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315724485

My Mental Model of Learning

Life has been a roller coaster for me as an educator and I have seen the highs and lows of this ride  while dealing with learners of different backgrounds and with diverse needs. My learners come with a level of proficiency and learning. Therefore, my highs in these stints have been:

  • When I made an observable difference to my audience and also to the organization.
  • My own learning and knowledge gain after every facilitation. So together we all ride on that wave of crest. 

My lows have been those times: 

  • When either my audience have not benefitted or have gained any knowledge.
  • The organization could not benefit in some tangible way
  • When personally I did not feel any knowledge/experience gain from that point of coming together
  • When there has been a need for learning for myself and I have been Unable to fulfill it

As a facilitator I have experimented with various ways of imparting knowledge. My target audience have majorly been a bunch of people who are already knowledgeable, informed and come to me for specific value addition. So as a facilitator, the content for my training is always dictated by the organization, in the form of their competency framework, or as a result of their training needs analysis and together in collaboration it is finalized. As a facilitator I play with this curriculum to make it as impactful and engaging as possible. According to the Adult learning theory of Malcolm Knowles there are 5 ways in which adults perceive/expect learning:

Self-Concept- Self paced, self-assessed learning methods

Adult learner experience – Case studies to intersperse knowledge with the learners’ own experience

Readiness to learn – Enumerate the benefits in the present or future context and present the knowledge

Orientation of learning – Collaborate with the organization to build value for the knowledge

Motivation to learn – Social interaction/engagement, lowering the filters, Reinforcement of positive behavior, redirecting the unwanted behavior (being sensitive) enhances the desire to learn 

Problem Centred Focus – Application of the learning

Additionally, I find constructivism to be a valuable perspective in learning. Encouraging participants to construct their own understanding through hands-on activities, discussions, and problem-solving not only makes the learning more meaningful but also fosters a collaborative and interactive environment. This approach resonates with my belief that adults learn best when actively engaged in the learning process and when they can connect new information to their existing knowledge.

My methodology, approach to any type of social interaction has been immensely affected by Neuro linguistic programming. It is a toolset to create excellence. NLP tells how to train your brain, your language to achieve the results you wish to achieve.

As an NLP master coach, and then as an educator I believe in the two out of many presupposition of NLP which says; 

  • The Map is not the territory
  • Every experience has a structure- It can be reused to recreate experiences

NLP communication model is about: how we communicate with our environment and ourselvese. We arrange and manage the information( through our sensory perception ) in our head by deleting, distorting or generalizing based on our past experiences, memory, habits, values, beliefs,etx. That gives meaning to those experiences and leads to learning. That learning leads  to an outcome, which is called Behaviour. 

reference: adroitnaukri.com

With my this belief, I operate as a facilitator. Therefore for me my facilitation is a mix of Behaviorist, cognitivist and constructivist theory,

Constructivism:

In my approach to teaching, I find great value in constructivism. I see learning as a process where individuals actively build their understanding through hands-on experiences, discussions, and problem-solving. By creating an interactive and collaborative atmosphere, I encourage learners to construct their own knowledge. This theory aligns with my belief that meaningful learning occurs when individuals are actively involved in making sense of new information and connecting it to what they already know.

Behaviorism:

While acknowledging the importance of learner autonomy, I recognize the role of behaviorism in certain contexts. Employing behaviorist principles, of stimulus and response, I incorporate clear objectives, milestones, and structured activities interspersed with debriefing to guide the learners. Especially in skill-building scenarios, relating the activity with appropriate theory, providing immediate feedback and creating a well-organized learning path can help effectively shape behaviors and contribute to the overall learning experience.

Cognitivism:

In my teaching philosophy, I integrate the principles of cognitivism, recognizing the significance of mental processes and the role of the “NLP model of communication” in learning. As an educator and a student of Adult education, I understand that learners actively process information, organize knowledge, and create mental models to comprehend new concepts.

Hence, this means designing instructional activities that stimulate critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. 

Furthermore, I acknowledge the individual differences in cognitive processes among learners. Therefore, I tailor my teaching methods to accommodate diverse learning styles and preferences, providing opportunities for reflection and self-assessment. By incorporating cognitivist principles, I aim to foster a deep understanding of the subject matter, encouraging learners to apply their knowledge in various contexts and develop transferable skills.

In most of the training projects where the objective was clear and the emphasis was on experiential learning, I have opted for Game based learning solutions. My instructional design, consisted of game-based learning and experiential techniques to enhance the overall learning experience. The incorporation of immediate feedback mechanisms, reinforced and redirected the behaviour. This fostered a sense of accomplishment. A part of Game based learning was also to play and have game scenarios that necessitated advanced cognitive skills, encouraging learners to engage in critical thinking and complex problem-solving. The collaborative nature of these experiences also aligned with constructivist principles, promoting the exchange of knowledge among participants. Hands-on activities and reflective sessions, integral components of experiential learning, facilitated a practical understanding of concepts. Additionally, every training program is focussed on the target audience and designed with adaptability in mind, accommodating individual learning styles to ensure a comprehensive and engaging learning environment.

Reference: Mandeep K Kochhar(Adroit learning & manpower put ltd)

The “________ Bargain”

Educational Technology for a layman means, Computer, internet, iPad, smart boards, Zoom etc. For tech savvy people it is fun, enjoyable, challenging, amazing……. But probably not intimidating but for people who have been more towards the kinesthetic experience of education find it difficult to catch up with the pace of Edtech. And how much ever unfamiliar we may find it, but generally we all are making sincere efforts to catch up with it, learning our bank apps, school, college apps, uber taxi and delivery apps, doctor apps, various video calling and meeting apps etc. People from all ages mostly have an Email address and a smart phone. This means technology forms a part of our identity, this is the virtual address and our connect with the outer world. Technology has made life organized, flaw-fully perfect for people at all ages; making studies more fun, experiential, people with degenerating body and mind have smart homes, reminders, help at a click, technologically developed medical equipment so on and so forth. People who are at ease with technology

In the education world; technology has brought humungous disruption. As all super good stuff has some trade-offs so does technology have it. This “Faustian Bargain” has given and taken both at the same time and that technology is an unmixed blessing (Postman, 1998). Undoubtedly the knowledge has become readily and easily available for all and anytime. The education industry is researching, exploring ways to make life & learning easy, comfortable, efficient by using newer technology.  This may seem like an achievement however personally I feel the gain is when technology will make learning effective by keeping the human connections alive, will facilitate human cognition, enrich our understanding not through information but knowledge and will connect stakeholders through a mental, emotional and cultural connect.

As an educator in the corporate world, I have frequently used technology to facilitate knowledge disbursement and less for evaluation. My motto has always been to ensure human connect, emotion exchange, knowledge exchange and development, and I have used technology to make the process better and effective.
The comic strip in thismodernworld.com.is what makes it a “Faustian bargain”

https://www.austinchronicle.com/comics/2023-06-16/this-modern-world/

Postman, N. (1998). Five things we need to know about technological change. Recuperado de http://www. sdca. org/sermons_ mp3/2012/121229_postman_5Things. pdf.

Summary and a Walkthrough of the Course Prototype

businessman hand touching a virtual screen, business icon. E-learning Online Education Internet Technology Business Concept.

Online and blended learning have transformed the way we approach education. With this course of EC&I 834, I have been able to make sense of the depth that the course has. The pandemic era has introduced the knowledge community to a magic approach towards learning which happens with a keystroke. With online learning, we can access a vast array of courses and resources from the comfort of our homes, making education more accessible and flexible than ever before. It has helped us to set our own pace, adapt to various learning styles, and balance other commitments alongside our studies. On the other hand, blended learning combines the best of both worlds, offering the benefits of face-to-face interactions in physical classrooms and the convenience of digital tools for assignments and discussions. This hybrid approach enhances the learning experience, encouraging collaboration with peers and instructors while leveraging technology for enhanced engagement. Whether we’re pursuing new skills, advancing our careers, or simply expanding our knowledge, online and blended learning have opened up exciting opportunities for lifelong learning and personal growth.

So right on the day 1, we had a discord community as a platform for communication with the classmates, instructor announcement, resource sharing and which proved incredibly useful. That is how I actually got to know about alternate tools for content creation.

The first task of the course was to create a WordPress Blog and write the first blog post on online and blended learning and our own introduction.
Blogging proved to be fantastic way to create a close-knit learners’ community with many benefits. When learners write and share blogs, they can exchange knowledge, experiences, and expertise, enriching everyone’s learning journey. Engaging in blog discussions encourages interaction among community members and builds strong connections, providing support and inspiration. And it was mandatory for all students to read and comment on the posts. This was one good step towards creating inclusive community.

Next assignment was the ADDIE as an instructional design tool. My first ADDIE template was about a module ASAP- Adroit’s soft skills and accent reduction program. The second one was about communication dynamics in Relationships 101 – I built a course profile based on the latter template.

The next step was – creating audio/visual content through Lumi platform is an outstanding tool for online education! It is a user-friendly and interactive platform that enables educators to create engaging content for their students. With Lumi H5P, educators are able to create interactive assessments, presentations, games, and other multimedia activities that make learning enjoyable and efficient. Students can actively participate and learn through hands-on activities, which helps them retain information better. The platform also supports various content types, ensuring versatility in creating lessons that suit different learning styles. What’s even better is that Lumi H5P seamlessly integrates with various Learning Management Systems (LMS), making it easy for educators to share their content with students on existing online learning platforms.

The final assignment was a walkthrough of the entire course prototype. The students had a choice to select the LMS and I chose Google Classroom.
The course prototype is based on a module called The ABC of Image. The full form of ABC is the Attitude, behavior and communication of Image.

The prototype is a reflection of the enormous amount of work that can be done to create flawless classrooms for students regardless of age, place and subject

https://watch.screencastify.com/v/TRk7a1N2ONPTsG8DeNaT

References:

Bates, A.W. (2019). Teaching in a Digital Age – Second Edition. Vancouver, B.C.: Tony Bates Associates Ltd. Retrieved from https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/teachinginadigitalagev2/

Hicks, Cat, Emeline Brulé, and Roberta Dombrowski. 2020. “You Have to Put Your Class Online: Simple Things to Think About.” Online resource.

Hamraie, Aimi. 2020. “Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19.” Mapping Access.

https://www.niu.edu/flexteaching/resources/inclusion-equity-and-access-while-teaching-remotely.shtml