LRNT 523 | Foundations of Learning and Technologies

A course focused on the past, present, and future of learning and educational technologies from multiple perspectives.
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Thoughts of EdTech History 1994 - 2001
While reading the first third of Weller's book, a few items spoke to me. One of the largest things that I identified was the consistent attempt to industrialize and standardize learning content and processes. The chapters on E-Learning, Learning Objects, and E-Learning Standards all focused on this standardization and, honestly, to some extent, is still sorely needed in the modern online learning experience. This process is nothing new in education; publishers have had a stranglehold of educational resources for hundreds of years. Yet, I was somewhat shocked to see the internet, in many ways, the great equalizer of content, being used by the education profession in such ways earlier in its life cycle. Yes, I know this is a naive view, yet I grew up and was engrossed in the educational field during these times, not as a professional, but as a student. I am looking back at this time with a hint of nostalgia and some disdain for modern resources hidden behind exorbitant paywalls with special "educational discounts."
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Thoughts of EdTech History 2002 - 2011
Weller had some interesting takes on educational technology from the years 2002 to 2011. I completely agree with his argument that much of the issues educators have with the LMS is the institutional "sediment" that accompanies it. In many cases, educators feel forced to use the tool to keep relevant in the current educational landscape. This force participation becomes more absorbing each year, as currently, many of my colleagues are scrambling to develop online videos for students that cannot join their class. To them, this online world is foreign, and being asked to become a producer of content conjures anxiety and fears.
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Hugo Cardoso A.K.A. Code Monkey
When new technologies are introduced, their use tends to focus on old paradigms before novel applications are realized (Weller 2020, p. 64). This process is nothing new in educational technology and in itself is not negative. In many cases, they create rich and powerful learning opportunities. Nevertheless, as Weller states, this should be viewed as the “initial step to greater experimentation” (2020, p. 64). Hugo Cardoso, an independent game developer and educator, has taken this next step in experimentation.
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Assignment Rebuttal
Hugo Cardoso Pedagogy and Clarification
Great question, David. What I mean by “original environments” is not the coding environment, but the context to which the environment is applied in normal operation. So for a game, this would be the game being played. In general, a developer would not want to let an end-user modify and play with a product’s code during runtime. This is where things get really hard for new coders and developers because, outside the language’s syntax, very few things in coding are required to be explicit. To explain this, I will give a simple example, I can write code to move a sprite on the screen, which can be entirely different from another person’s code, and both code fragments could be perfectly viable and functional.
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The Views of Clark and Kozma
In this EdWeek blog post, Peter DeWitt invites Emily Davis and Brad Currie to talk about a topic that continues along the lines of the “Great Media Debate.” Davis and Currie (2019) state that many schools spend large sums of money on technology, with the hope of improving the quality of teaching. However, without the proper supports in place, such as coaching from technology leaders and experts able to teach other teachers how to properly use this new technology, it goes to waste through underuse, or worse, gets used for the wrong reasons. In an example, Davis and Currie demonstrate that, in one school that gave all students a Chromebook laptop for a 6-month trial, it was found that “the actual work that is being submitted is not requiring students to do anything differently from what they had done before technology, nor is it engaging students in meaningful and relevant tech-enabled learning experiences” (Davis & Currie, 2019, para. 4).
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Assignment Reflection
Are Video Games Appropriate for Education, A Reflection
After reading through quite a bit of research and other content about educational video games, and using some own experience, I would like to share some of my views on educational video games.
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Experiencism: A Retrospective
Educational technology, one of the few words that can inspire hope and produce disdain in educators worldwide. The educational field can attribute much of its innovations over the last thirty-five years to this unlikely, perhaps even, contradictory combination of words. It is reasonable to assume that educational technology's uneasy marriage stems from its early integration, where the technology portion walks taller (Weller, 2020, p. 179). However, over the last ten years, the education piece has come into providence by focusing on pedagogy first technologies, the idea that technologies need to be designed and built with the pedagogical implications in mind. One great example of this approach and the focus of this article is Experiencism.
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