The Evolution of Technology

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I often find myself wondering how technology shot off the way it has. Searching for items about the evolution of technology and media in teaching and learning I stumbled across this interesting webpage regarding the evolution of the classroom http://www.edudemic.com/classroom-technology/. It is interesting to see how long some of the technologies that we still use today, have been around for and also how quickly we have phased out some of the technologies from the past.

When further exploring the vast amount of media and technology geared toward teaching and learning I found an interesting site called Edutopia which is an open blog site that has numerous discussions, opinion pieces and thought provoking articles related to education. One contribution in particular, http://www.edutopia.org/blog/our-tools-shape-us-ainissa-ramirez, supported my belief that sometimes it is best to integrate technology slowly and to merge the old with the new. I am on the cusp of the “millennial generation”, those who have had computer access and the www in their lives for longer than they haven’t, yet I still waver in my teaching practices about where technology fits in. Another challenge that I find when it comes to media and my profession, is that a large number of my colleagues or collaborators do not possess the level of comfort in the digital world that my students or I do and this proves to be a barrier to curriculum revision relating to technology.

Where on the spectrum of technology are you? Where would you like to be?

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Simulation in Education

The Camosun College nursing department has a well-known and highly advanced simulation program open to all students and faculty. Our simulation equipment ranges from low-fidelity to high-fidelity and various aspects in between. Galloway (2009) authored a wonderful online article providing an overview of various types of simulation techniques, their use in undergraduate nursing programs, and the costs associated with the implementation of simulation. Galloway (2009) discusses role-play, standardized patients, partial task trainers, complex task trainers, integrated simulators (human patient simulators), full mission simulation, and the act of debriefing.

In regard to cost, “the sky is the limit in terms of how much money it will cost to incorporate simulation into health professional education” (Galloway, 2009, para.33). Camosun College was fortunate to gather government funding to develop and support our simulation program for a number of years so the financial burden of integrating this technology was not so deeply felt within our budget.

Simulation has been used with great success, in our undergraduate program, for learning simple new skills such as auscultating lung sounds to complex scenarios such as running a code blue. Student feedback consistently outlines that the simulation experiences are highly valuable yet somewhat intimidating due to the level of technology. This could be another area of research for future discovery of benefit versus intimidation.

References:

Galloway, S. (2009). Simulation techniques to bridge the gap between novice and competent healthcare professionals. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 14(2) Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol142009/No2May09/Simulation-Techniques.html

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Wiki…what???

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I’ll be honest at first I thought a wiki was a robotic term…sounds high tech to me! I quickly learned, in one of my instructor diploma courses, that a wiki is simply a webpage that is created by one or more people and can be openly added to by readers. The creator can modify the settings to allow changes to be instantaneous or to require approval and they also are able to see logs of changes and additions that are made to the site. It is basically a great tool for people to share their knowledge and expertise in one place. The downfall of a wiki is that it is not necessarily evidence based and that it can be a person’s opinion versus cold, hard facts. One must view the content with a level of scrutiny and use the information as appropriate. For one of my courses I was tasked to create a wiki with a group member regarding motivation, take a peek at our site and feel free to gather some background, all supported by research and fact, on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. http://motivation32502014.wikispaces.com/

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Finding new resources…Podcasts

Podcasts have been an area of technology that I’ve not explored until today. So as I navigate this new piece of technology I figured that I would share my learning on my blog. Podcasts are very simple and easy to use…you just have to listen. I initially worried that I may need an iPod or iPad to access these files since I have seen an app, but never opened it, on my iPad and figured that this was an app based phenomenon. By simply searching with my laptop I was quickly proved wrong in this assumption and found a huge cache of Podcasts related to hundreds and hundreds of topics that are easily laptop accessible. One golden nugget that I uncovered in my educational Podcast search was the following website that lists 50 educational Podcasts. Check it out and feel free to add it to your favorites, I know I will.

http://gettingsmart.com/2013/02/50-educational-podcasts-you-should-check-out/

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What’s in a name?

I was browsing through some Podcasts and found an interesting link related to language in education. Language in this instance specifically means what we call the educational institution and what we call the learners. Have a listen to this brief Podcast, http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/10/17/355182723/the-new-vocabulary-of-urban-education. I found this to be a very interesting phenomenon that urban schools are feeling the need to refer to their institutions as Academies to add to the prestige associated with the place of learning. This interestingly attracts better teachers and more pupils. While on the topic of pupils or learners, I found it interesting that the latest trend within these same schools is to refer to learners as scholars. In my experience I found that the term scholar is usually linked to graduate studies and doctorate level learners but now children as young as five years old are being referred to as scholars. This is a very interesting Podcast and certainly provides food for thought when it comes to the creative marketing magic that is necessary to attract, not only learners but, the right type of learner that the school desires.

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Technology in the classroom: E-texts versus hardcopy texts

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I use digital textbooks and I have to be honest, I love them. When I am teaching a nursing lab I have a 1000+ page nursing theory textbook and a 1000+ page nursing skills text that both need to be in lab with me for each class and at home with me each evening to prepare my lesson plans. I will say that my arms and back received a great workout for a few semesters hauling that heavy workload to and from my home each day. My strain was resolved when it dawned upon me that I could simply access the texts from my computer at home. Since that time my texts stay in my office at night and I do my pre-work from home on my iPad or laptop. As I mentioned at the start of this post I love my online texts but something inside me longs for the flipping of pages and the actual act of highlighting rather than e-highlighting. Don’t judge me but I also even like the smell of books, it reminds me of the library, I guess I’m a teacher down to the core if I like the smell of the library. The following newspaper article regarding a research study about electronic textbooks shows that another concern when using e-textbooks is reported eye strain. Take a look and see what they found;

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-07/features/ct-x-0807-college-kids-eyes-20130807_1_print-textbooks-digital-textbooks-computer-vision-syndrome

The second article that was quite interesting, although geared at K-12 education it was still fairly relevant, is the pro con debate simply list on this site;

http://tablets-textbooks.procon.org/

There are some great points listed on both of these pages and I am curious to see what my students have found in their own practice of textbook purchasing. Are they electronic textbook buyers? Or are they hard copy textbook buyers? I may poll my next classroom of students to see how many of them are opting for electronic texts and how many are buying hardcopy. From what I gather currently in my classroom just through observation, it appears that most are still tending to lean toward the hardcopy of their nursing textbooks. Is this because they are available in that format in the student bookstore? Or is this simply a preference?

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The learning community

As mentioned in previous blogs I am currently taking instructor education courses and a number of my peers are also creating blogs for this course to explore and reflect upon the use of social media within their respective areas of expertise. I find that by exploring other students’ blogs I am able to gather inspiration for my own work and I am also able to see things that I would like to add or change about my current postings. To give you a hint of the work that my peers are doing I have created a list of links here to their blogging activity, check it out I’m certain they’d love to have you stop by for a virtual visit.

https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/44858342/

http://vivapidpblog.wordpress.com/

http://pamkhinda.wordpress.com/

http://gonzalezkt.wordpress.com/

http://marliesmcarthur.wordpress.com/

http://btyers.wordpress.com

http://toodlinaround.weebly.com

http://shanbredenkamp.wordpress.com

http://alwayslearningvcc.wordpress.com/  

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