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Web Conference

June 8, 2014

A few weeks ago I met with my learning partner for the course via Skype to discuss our research about the impact of technology on post-secondary education in terms of roles and trends.  My independent research is listed in previous posts regarding each of these topics, however I intend to instead discuss some of the things I learned from Margaret. 

Margaret is an educator from a completely different sector than I.  She works with the police and I with nursing students.  I anticipated finding a common ground difficult but actually we got along quite well and both ended up gravitating towards the impact of technology since it is such a driving force for today’s education sector .  We went about our research and after a few failed attempts to get back together online due to unforeseen circumstances, we finally connected and began to teach each other about what we had learned.

What I found most interesting among a lot of our discussions was that despite the fact that we teach different material to different types of professionals, we actually used some of the same technologies.  One example was TED talks.  Both she and I had read about this as an example of an influential technology in the classroom and both had used prior to in order to support one of the topics we were teaching.  After some discussion, we found that we had also similarly used Khan Academy, LMS and many other resources.  I found this interesting because it shows me that technology can be used by everyone in every walk of life.  As an educator, my job is to find the appropriate resource to support the learning in my classroom, and one of those methods is by accessing information on the web that is already available. 

Another interesting statement that Margaret made during our discussions still resonates with me today.  She mentioned how the use of different technologies and ways of learning for the students helps to take the risk out of learning or helps to alleviate the fear of making a mistake for the students.  They can participate using technology and the internet in the comfort of their own homes, while trying out ideas and not feeling pressured to be right (which can happen in the classroom).  I have always known that different students will learn in different ways, and her stating this helped me to realize that the quiet students might just be waiting for that avenue to help them open up and be comfortable.  Technology might be just that resource.

Initially I began this assignment apprehensive, as what common ground did I and a police officer have in common?  Margaret was able to change that perception for me.  I appreciate her years of experience and extreme compassion for the plight of her students.  She is a marvelous teacher and her students are lucky to have her. 

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