Thing 21 – Emerging Technologies

Filed Under (Things 15-21) by on April 11, 2015

1.  After visiting the First Step site, I chose the category of “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” inside the blog of Wesley A. Fryer. Reading through, I chose to read the article called “Students & Teachers Explain Benefits of MinecraftEDU [VIDEO]“. The reason I picked this article to read is because my class is semi obsessed with Minecraft. The article states, “The engaging and complex environment of MinecraftEDU provides a great context for multiple discussions and learning moments with students. As the video also says, many of these focus on “digital citizenship,” which is SO important for students today.” In other words, this game can bring up multiple concepts of education if it is used appropriately. An activity I would use with my class using Minecraft would be to show students the concept of “captions”. The definition of caption is tied into language arts and across comes across in everyday life. Most nonfiction books use captions to explain in a short description, about an illustration or a photograph. Captions are also used in motion pictures and in this case, Minecraft too! This will enhance student’s learning and have them be able to use captions on their own in a future book report etc. A best practice strategy I would use is focusing on what is important. Another best practice strategy this relates to is connecting objectives to previous and future learning. Students are already familiar with playing Minecraft but do they really know that they are using the keyboard in multiple ways? Most likely not. As a teacher, I could enhance this concept as well. This means the understanding of “caps lock”, “shift”, and other buttons used throughout this game. A level of the SAMR model this activity addresses in the orange zone called developing understanding. I would use Minecraft as the technology resource to help cue the learning for my students. This also ties into the non-linguistic representation skills I would use to help students understand the true concepts being taught.

2.  After looking at the overviews of the 5 emerging technology tools, I believe they would impact by students as they create and interact with their world (physical and virtual). These tools are amazing and will grab students of today and of the future their attention. All five of the tools can be used in a variety of ways inside a classroom. Many of it is more of a visual tool than just paper and pencil. One idea that I absolutely loved was the Oculus Rift. This is a 3D animation that allows students to virtually be inside of whatever the program may be. This would be a great tool for multiple reasons which can then be applied to multiple concepts. I do not know any other technology tool that will be seen in the next five years in the classroom.

3. Each school has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). I believe there are pros and cons to each concept. In my school the BYOD explains that students cannot bring in their own device. Students are allowed to check out laptops if the proper forms have been filled out. A pro to this is that there are no worries of devices being stolen or misused. Another pro is that the school does not have to worry about it getting lost or broken. I also like how our school lets students check out laptops! However, I do see the cons to this. Our school does not have many desktops and has no other technological devices. Being only employed a year at the school, I have never seen a laptop getting check out by a student nor are they up-to-date. I think that at my school, students should be allowed to bring in their own devices with proper paperwork filled out. I think students would love to interact with this technology and as a teacher I could do so much with it!

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