Blog Prompt #1: Technology and 21st Century Learning

Do you feel school is preparing you adequately for your future? Why or why not?

I am personally one to believe that there is always room for improvement especially when it comes to the education system, but for the most part, I think that schools are doing a fairly decent job at preparing their students for the near future. With the wide range of courses available in high school, it’s fair to say that students are exposed to many options to help decide where they want to go with their lives and which path is most fitting for their aspirations. Additionally, students who take a course that they initially did not have high hopes for could potentially come to a realization as to how much they love that particular subject area, and thus open up themselves to a whole new world of opportunities and paths that they can look into after high school.

How do you personally use technology to learn?

In school, I have used my iPhone and computer as a way to research and access information in just a few seconds. This saves me a trip to the school library or the public library which is extremely helpful. At home, I use technology to create presentations or online study notes that generally appeal more to me than a plain piece of paper or some cue cards. The technological aspect has the ability to hold my attention for a much longer period of time than a paper and pen ever could.

Do classes that use more technology appeal to you? Is it easier for you to learn the content?

I have always had an interest in technology and working on computers, so I would say that classes that use more technology appeal to me much more than a “sit down and take notes” type of class. I have noticed that in my past technology-based courses, I excelled and received much higher marks as opposed to a class where I merely listened. For example, in Grade 9 Business and Grade 10 Communications Technology, computers were used most, if not all the time, and I did extremely well in both classes. This could have been also due to the fact that they were introductory courses which means that they were meant to be easy to get a high mark in, but nonetheless, I rarely ever stressed over either of these technology-based courses which lead to my success in both classes in the end.

Does it matter to you if a teacher uses technology in class? Why or why not?

Technology use in class seems almost essential for me, primarily because I am a visual learner. I look to examples and interactive aspects in order to better understand the material I am learning. Trying to imagine my past courses without technology looks a lot like what I picture hell to be. Seeing examples on the board or demonstrations through a video help me organize the concepts in my brain. Essentially, it just makes more sense that way. There’s a good chance I wouldn’t have understood half the concepts I learned in either math or science if it weren’t for the teacher using the computer to portray certain examples or ideas.

What technology would you like to see teachers use that is not currently being used? Why did you choose that technology?

Although expensive, I think that Virtual Reality would be an interesting device to use in class. This is mainly targeted towards classes that explore the past, such as history or world religions. Instead of talking about what Ancient Greece looked like, students could explore the Parthenon itself as if they are there in real time. For visual learners like myself, such an experience could never be forgotten. Course material could not only be taught better, but understood more thoroughly as well. Overall, I chose the VR system because it provides a new way of engaging with courses on an exciting, incomparable level for both teachers and students.

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