Here’s to the Future!

I thought the due date was Friday. Oh well, here goes nothing anyway!

One concept I keep going back to is one of our beginning weeks with the concept of Post-Industrial thinking in our world today, what do our students really need to know? When I consider my lesson planning now, I think to myself just how relevant is teaching them about plate tectonics and volcanoes or the Spice Trade during the Age of Exploration. With the expansion of knowledge at your fingertips, what are we teaching our students? I go back to the skills that are becoming more and more important and instead of the content necessarily, the skills that go along with engaging, interesting content (I still find volcanoes and earthquakes very exciting!) will be the aim of my learning. With the concepts of rich media adding to my background knowledge of existing popular educational media, I can work it all together in an attempt to create richer learning experiences for my students.
With rich media, the class has also given me a perspective of what to look for.

The cornerstone for the class for my though is the content within Dirksen’s (2011) “Design for How People Learn.” The content within the book almost felt like it should have been really obvious the whole time but things we don’t immediately consider when planning any type of program, lesson, module, etc. I think I’ve shared this example a hundred times, but I can’t get over how aware I became with the elephant/driver concept when it comes to attention. I think that whole book was designed to get people to say, “I know exactly what it’s talking about!” or “that sounds just like me!” We have to get back to the basics and not the “what,” “who,” or “where,” but to the “whys” and “hows” of learning. It doesn’t matter how integrated my lesson is, or how on target with the national standards are, or how rigorous it is (which is a growing popular word in the education community) if I don’t have an understanding about how my students can process and more important KEEP the information I’m trying to deliver them, it’s all moot.

It’s also been really exciting to learn of all the new technologies such as the gaming implications and virtual worlds. It’s always seemed like, “up and coming technology,” but a lot of it is already here! I had no idea worlds like Second Life were being used in so many realms as teaching tools. It’s all in how you wield the technology that makes it valuable, it is inherent a bunch of metals, plastics, and wires put together in a way we can use to our advantage. As I said in the beginning of the course too, it’s been very interesting to see all the implications of eLearning beyond my own context. It has certainly been an enlightening course, and I thank everyone who has made this module a good one. Best of luck to everyone and their future endeavors!

Dirksen, J. (2011). Design for How People Learn. New Riders Press.

Reiser, R. & Dempsey, J. (2011). Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology (3rd ed.) Allyn & Bacon.

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