Digital Technology connects us across languages and geopolitical boundaries
I am participating in Reflective Writing Club facilitated by Michelle Pacansky-Brock. In this post, I am sharing my reflection on the impact of digital technology.
How has Digital Technology Impacted me – Professionally and Personally?
To answer that, we need to look at my use of technology as a student and as an educator.
Long Long time ago, as students, we were happy to have an alternative to type writers. While using 5 1/2 inch floppy drives on apple computers we needed to make sure to save the project on a correct drive or retype the whole 35 pages. By the time I got my second degree, we had progressed to 3.5 inch discs and were talking about world wide web. In computer lab, one of my co-worker was excited about a new program, word, that will make writing easy. I learned about Lotus in required Computer Application class. Does anyone remember Lotus?? Or Dos or Dot printing? Talking about this make me feel like a fossil.
Chalk boards and projectors were the norm of the day. We flocked to the reference library for research. Making copies of reading material was not fun, especially there were 5 people ahead of you and the copy machine broke down. We actually talked to a human when we needed the information. During final exam week, the my college libraries stayed open till 11 PM; the larger university had 24 hour services available. Guest speakers travel to campus and in-person meeting was the way to go.
Fast forward couple years when I started teaching. I used smart board in my class. We still used notebooks. Textbooks and journals were still hard copy and printers still broke down. Use of books on CD allowed my differently able students to view and listen to the material. We were able to share material with parents via email attachments. Digital learning has started giving teachers and students opportunities to explore. Bringing Discovery Education in classroom anyone? We connected via in-person conferences within the building or traveled to learn from experts. Having 3 computers in classroom was considered connected classroom.
Lets look at expansion of digital technology available to an educator by looking at this Symbaloo I have created for Web Walk about. Click on a tile which will bring you to its website & explore further.
Now, my kids use personal learning devices and textbooks are being replaced with online resources. hybrid classrooms, Blended learning and flipped classroom is the norm of the day. We neither required to physically go to the libraries for research /study groups.nor we are bound by synchronicity or physical location. Like my 50 colleagues for Reflective Writing Club, a learner can connect with anyone on the world to share ideas and learn from one another. Digital technology has allowed me to become a global citizen in online communities. e.g., I can
- Stay connected to my family and friends. Use Skype, Whatapsp or Face-time video so grandparents can be a continue present in my kids’ life.
- Add on to my Georgia teaching licence via taking an GA Online Virtual Professional course and completing the requirements.
- In my role as volunteer Crisis Textline Counselor, help a texter who reaches out to the platform by texting 741741 on their phone and bring them from hot moment to cool calm one via text conversation with them
- Mentor the participating students across the globe in online challenges. Mentor participating students from around the world from comfort of my home.
- Connect with peers and expand my personal learning network by taking parts in Connected Learning MOOCs, Webinars, online conferences, blog challenges and collaborating with peers online. Hashtag #CLMOOC, #CCCwrite and #SOL18 to see these connections in action.
- Avoid reinventing the wheel and learn from other professionals by participating in Twitter chats, connecting on social media platforms and visiting other professional blogs
- Use of Learning Management System and resources such as Google classroom for better management of the classroom. Go ahead and click on tiles of this Symbaloo to see how I use Digital Technology in my personal and professional life.
Yes, these can not replace in person connection. Just like anything else, healthy balance of unplugging and use of technology is necessary. We can take care of it by picking up a phone and talking to people, meeting them and attending in-person events. Some people argue that digital technology hampers personal relationship and easy access to Googling has dulled the need to look deeper when looking for answers. I will say to them that we, the user, decides how much entrenchment of our life we will allow to technology. At the end of the we are the master of our choices. We can still allocate time for reading, hands-on projects and encourage students to write in their hard cover journals. Yes, the digital technology has opened more doors for me but at the end of the day, I am still same person.
Let me know what do you think of the digital technology?
The prompt asks:
- Compare your current professional experiences with your professional experiences at the beginning of your career.
- Discuss how digital technologies have impacted what you do professionally and how you do it.
- Has your professional identity shifted at all as a result of the emergence of digital technologies? What about who you interact with and how you interact with them?