My Teaching Context, Part: 2

When originally presented with the prompt, “To me curriculum is…,” I concluded that to me curriculum is the building code. My justification for this was that the government dictates both the BC curriculum and the BC building code and both act as a minimal standard in their respective fields. Both provincial standards are then built on by others (teachers/students & designers/architects) to be made into a structure (i.e. a building, a course). I still feel at its core that this metaphor is accurate but over the last few weeks my attitude has slightly changed, and it perhaps is not as perfect a metaphor as I once felt. However, I will let my metaphor stand but attempt to apply new ideas to it in hopes of better clarifying it and providing a greater picture of its substance.

 

The Original Metaphor

 

Using the building code metaphor, I asserted that when approaching curriculum, it is important to keep focus on both what I am teaching as well as how it is taught. This approach is supported by Egan (1978) who argues for a more balanced approach to curriculum, not going to one extreme or getting held up focusing on how to teach or the other extreme of what to teach. It is important to me that I keep the overall focus of the course and how I teach in mind, but the student’s interests and learning style should also be kept in mind. Ultimately, it is a balance that can be difficult to negotiate at times. Building on the metaphor I also gave heavy emphasis on students and teachers building on the government provided curriculum to create something that best meets the need(s) of students. This approach is supported by Blades (1997) who argues that students should not be forgotten in the discourse of curriculum making. I still hold to this approach to my curriculum creation and will, in fact, continue the argument of its importance.

 

Shifted Context

 

As my understanding has shifted throughout this course, I have begun to realize how much power teachers and students have in making the curriculum into what they need. I have found myself attracted to Montessori’s (n.d.) ideals on students not being taught to expect accolades, prizes, or punishments for learning. When I went through the K-12 school system, I aimed for grades that would keep me, my parents, and teachers happy. I received praise for my work, but I was always told what to learn and never took learning into my own hands. Now as an adult, I have had to relearn how to learn. I have found a joy in learning for its own sake and for my growth, without a shiny prize at the end. The skills and knowledge I have gained are satisfying and it feels good getting there on my own terms. As a teacher I do feel that my subject matter has some bare minimums that students should learn but the course can be customized to meet student need/interest. Perhaps in this regard Montessori and I don’t see perfectly eye to eye, but I respect the ideals of the teaching/curricular method.

 

In some ways my ideal teaching approach falls most in line with a balance of the curriculum-as-planned and the lived curriculum methods as outlined by Ted Aoki (1993). While the government planned curriculum is a good place to start in curriculum building, it is the interactions between students, teachers, and the community, or the lived curriculum, that emphasizes social – emotional learning and brings about the best from students (Aoki, 1993). I feel that this balanced, student focused, lived and planned curricular focus melds nicely with the approaches presented by Egan and Blades. During the initial move to online teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic, I had some wonderful interactions with students and their families when I asked them to interview a family member and ask them about their experiences with woodworking. The responses I received were so heartwarming I vowed to do this assignment every course. One father and son did a video interview where at the end of the video the father turned to the camera and challenged me to respond in my own video, telling him and his family about my experiences. I was overjoyed at this prospect and regretted not starting it by doing just as he asked. This opened a dialogue that would have otherwise not happened and allowed me and my student to learn about his father’s experiences as an immigrant and what different experiences he had to share. One 3-minute video brought so much life and investment into a hard and unfamiliar learning situation.

 

As I learn and grow as an educator, I am constantly reminded that what I do is not about me. Sometimes that is hard to remember, and it is easy to fall into rhythms. One saving grace is that students have an uncanny knack of reminding me that it’s their learning at stake. It’s this aspect of the job that I feel keeps me so invested. Every year is a new challenge and every year I will learn beside my students about them, their interests, and their dreams, as well as my own. It is not solely my building code to build off. We must work together to design personalized learning.

 

 

References:

Egan, K. (1978). What Is Curriculum? Curriculum Inquiry, 8(1), 65. doi:10.2307/1179791

Blades, D. (1997) Procedures of Power in a Curriculum Discourse: Conversations from Home. JCT, 11(4), 125-155

Montessori, M. (n.d.). A critical consideration of the new pedagogy in its relation to modern science. The Montessori Method: Scientific Pedagogy as Applied Child Education in “The Children’s Houses”, with Additions and Revisions by the Author., 1-27. doi:10.1037/13054-001

Aoki, T. T. (1993). Legitimating lived curriculum: Towards a curricular landscape of multiplicity. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 8(3), 255.

Our Class Made Website

My MEd classmates and I used our summer semester to create a website with multiple curated resources for other educators to use as a guide for online learning/teaching. The Remote Teaching Resources website generally supports teachers and educators working in the K-12 system but could definitely be utilized by others for alternative teaching and learning experiences. The subject matter is generally focused on teaching in a full-time online context but could be easily adapted for a hybrid online model. The general topics covered are community, student learning, and wellness. The topics are broken down into further sections covering subjects such as communication (between students and teachers, students and students, and students and content), online accessibility, and student safety (both physical and mental).

With Covid-19 being a hard reality that teachers, parents, and students all need to address, I believe that this resource will be invaluable. Please take the time to peruse the resources at the Remote Teaching Resources website and see for yourself.

Assignment 3A: Review

Safe Online Technology Education Review (Jeremy)

Technology education’s general focus is to get students to design, fabricate, and/or repair and maintain technologies and tools to develop skills to make changes for human need in the physical world (BCMOE, 2018). But what happens when the ability to create and fabricate is suddenly severely restricted? This is the exact problem technology education teachers found themselves in when the Covid-19 virus shut down schools and sent teachers and students into the online realm. It quickly dawned on technology education teachers around the province that teaching online would be seriously crippled by problems of equity and safety (Code, Ralph, & Forde, 2020). It was not guaranteed that students had any tools at home, and it opened the door for a lopsided education for the tool haves to the tool have-nots. Further, safety was not easy to address. In the classroom, it is expected that a teacher will be present to supervise tool and machine use and that they will have demonstrated and instilled proper safety techniques to students (BCTEA, 2019). Now being separated from their students, most teachers were forced to focus on written book work. The resources created, collected, and curated were chosen to aid technology teachers in addressing the safety issues that arose when their courses were forced into a strictly online scenario. 

In the long term, many technology education teachers are concerned that, if forced to move their courses online, students will miss out on important hands-on education and practical safety skills that can’t be learned effectively virtually (Code, Ralph, & Forde, 2020). Without physically seeing and doing the safety rules outlined, many students could not fully grasp what is required when using various machines and tools. Although many technology education teachers are concerned about the effectiveness of strictly online teaching with hands-on courses, many see the value of a blended, partly online, model (Code, Ralph, & Forde, 2020). This approach would allow students to do design work and safety preparation at home and focus on hands-on work at school. Currently, the chances of a blended model are up to the Province of BC and local districts and schools based on the Covid-19 pandemic (BCMOE, 2020). This pandemic has flipped the education system upside down and many see it as an opportunity for change. As a technology education teacher, I do not see full time online teaching for my courses. However, the move to a blended method could open doors to a new approach to teaching unlike what we have seen to date.   

 

Learner-to-Learner Online Communication Review (Trevor)

Moore stated there are three types of learning in online environments: learner-to-learner, learner-to-teacher, and content-to-learner (1989). Since spring break, teachers have made adaptations for delivering content to students, and have used alternative methods for communicating such as e-mail, phone calls home, creation of websites, the use of centralized online learning spaces, and the use of video conferencing. However, I feel one of the foundational pillars Moore stated has been left out, and that is learner-to-learner interactions.

Learner-to-learner communication is a part of the British Columbia curriculum. It is outlined by the B.C. Ministry of Education as one of the three core competencies that is fundamental for students to acquire (“Communication | Building Student Success,” n.d.). Informally, my online students described to me the challenges of not being able to talk with their peers freely, feeling disconnected, and not having the opportunity to have small group conversations with their peers. In order to meet the education guidelines set by the government, we need to change our online teaching practices.

Lev Vgotsky stated, “Human learning presupposes a specific social nature and a process by which children grow into the intellectual life of those around them” (1978, p.88). Vgotsky’s social development theory describes how social development is imperative for cognitive development. If we are limiting student social interactions, we are limiting cognitive development. 

 

Additionally, Ted Aoki’s ideas on the polarization of the lived curriculum and planned curriculum (1993). The planned curriculum being the core competencies mandated by a governing body such as the B.C. Ministry of Education, and the lived curriculum, the stories, metaphors, personal aspirations, and the phenomenological expression of the students themselves. It is an embodiment of celebrating the uniqueness of individuals, and how those shared experiences with others enriches the learning experience. 

In an online learning setting, you can’t replicate the same experiences in a classroom. However, you can be more proactive by giving the opportunity for learners to communicate with their classroom peers online by establishing clear expectations and guidelines for parents, educators, and high school students.

 

References:

Aoki, T. T. (1993). Legitimating lived curriculum: Towards a curricular landscape of  multiplicity. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 8(3), 255-268.

BCTEA. (2019, October 25). Heads Up for Safety. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from https://www.bctea.org/heads-up-for-safety/

British Columbia Ministry of Education (BCMOE)(2018), “Applied design, skills and technology K-12 curriculum: goals and rationale”, BC Ministry of Education official website, available at: https:// curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/adst/core/goals-and-rationale (accessed 18 July 2020).

British Columbia Ministry of Education (BCMOE) (2020), “Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on continuity of learning”, Government of British Columbia official website, available at: https:// www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/kindergarten-to-grade-12/safe-caringorderly/bc-ministry-of-education-questions-and-answers-continuity-of-learning-k-12-education_system.pdf (accessed10May2020).

Communication | Building Student Success. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/competencies/communication/

Code, J., Ralph, R., & Forde, K. (2020). Pandemic designs for the future: Perspectives of technology education teachers during COVID-19. Information and Learning Sciences, Ahead-of-print(Ahead-of-print). doi:10.1108/ils-04-2020-0112

Moore, M. G. (1989). Three types of interaction. The American Journal of Distance Education, 3(2), 1-6.

Vygotsky, L., & Cole, M. (1978). Mind in society. Harvard University Press.

Created Resource Justification

The Recycle Project resources, including a video and documents, have been created for technology education teachers outline a basic project idea that can be utilized when teaching in an online context. The goal is to address the following outcome:

By the start of the year, technology education teachers will be able to create opportunities for students to safely design and build projects in an at home context.

The project is mainly focused on the outcomes outlined in the BC Applied Design Skills & Technology curriculum. Specifically, it addresses the heavy focus on design and utilizing the design process (BC’s New Curriculum, 2018). This was included to make sure that the project met, or could be adapted to meet, the curricular goals of technology education courses. To keep focus on the online context in which the project would be done, the BC Digital Literacy Framework was included. This guide sets out to help educators meet online needs and skills that students will potentially need in their future careers and to be technically savvy (Ministry of Education, 2017).

Regarding safety, focus was put on the use of the BCTEA Best Practices Guide and HEADS UP! for Safety documents. These guides are the BC standard for K-12 technology education shop safety as outlined and endorsed by the BC Technology Education Association. The Best Practices Guide lays out the qualifications needed to be accepted as a technology education in BC as seen by the BCTEA (BCTEA, 2016). The HEADS UP! For Safety document was created in conjunction with the BC Ministry of Education and the Industry Training Authority to specifically address machine and tool safety for students. This guide can be used a minimum standard by shop teachers for shop safety and should be looked to when addressing students learning at home and liabilities (BCTEA, 2019).

 

References:

BC’s New Curriculum. (2018). Retrieved July 22, 2020, from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/adst

BCTEA. (2016, June 06). Best Practice Guide. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from https://www.bctea.org/best-practice-guide/

BCTEA. (2019, October 25). Heads Up for Safety. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from https://www.bctea.org/heads-up-for-safety/

Ministry of Education. (2017, November 27). Digital Literacy. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/teach/teaching-tools/digital-literacy

A Brief History of Sloyd

Personal & Professional Connection to Sloyd

As a technology education teacher, especially one that teaches primarily woodwork, I found myself drawn to the concepts and teaching practices created by Otto Salomon called educational sloyd. Developed in mainly Sweden and Finland, the modern sloyd system is very similar to what is taught in most technology education classrooms, focusing on knowledge and skills rooted in traditional hand work, such as manual skills, aesthetic/design skills, and tool management skills. The biggest difference between the two is sloyd’s heavy focus on personal development and learning (Hallström, 2017). These skills and concepts, which would normally be considered apart of the hidden curriculum in BC, come to the forefront in sloyd. The sloyd system, developed over a century ago, has continued to evolve as technology changes, exploring new ways to challenge students while holding to its core principles.

What is Sloyd?

Sloyd was developed originally as a woodworking program in the late 1800’s in a pushback to the education system of the time which was teacher centric and generally focused on students memorizing information for later regurgitation. Salomon based sloyd on basic ideas he took from Comenius, Locke, Rouseau, Salzman, Pestalozzi, Fröbel, Cygneus and Spencer. He mixed those ideas with his own experiences and created a system that he felt was appropriate for the time (Thornton, 1911). Salomon felt that hands-on skills, discipline, and independent learning were key to a well-trained student. The sloyd curricular concept can be generally broken down into four distinct categories:

Concept Meaning
Learning about sloyd Theory and content knowledge
Learning in sloyd Experimenting and reaching new goals
Learning with sloyd Using learned knowledge in new ways outside original context
Learning through sloyd Using new skills (ie developed motor skills) in new ways outside their original context

(Wiklund-Engblom, Hartvik, Hiltunen, Johansson, & Porko-Hudd, 2015)

The sloyd curricular concept also focus’ on teacher development, expanding educators’ content specific skills, ability to plan, create, and implement designs for teaching, and grow overall professionally (Wiklund-Engblom, et al, 2015). Many of these concepts can be seen today in the BC’s technology education curriculum. For example, the Woodworking 10 and sloyd curriculum both focus on learning outcomes such as, understanding the function and use of hand tools, and employing project design opportunities (BC’s New Curriculum, 2020; Thornton, 1911).

The Sloyd Method of Teaching Woodwork

 

Developing an Outcome for Safe Design and Build in an Online Context

“Chair Sketch” by makelessnoise is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This week I have been pulling together resources to meet an outcome that will help guide future teachers when teaching online. The outcome I have been mostly focusing on is related to my discipline as a technology education teacher: By the start of the year, technology education teachers will be able to create opportunities for students to safely design and build projects in an at home context. I chose this outcome because I know that it was a big struggle for me and other technology education teachers when the Covid-19 pandemic forced all teaching to go online. As technology education teachers, we have a duty to make sure that our students are as safe as possible and understand what safety precautions need to be met. With students at home and potentially unsupervised, we could not meet the standard of safety we are normally used to and so we had to adjust the way we teach and what we teach.

Evaluating Resources

To support the outcome, I compiled a group of resources, apps, and freely available online software to aid technology teachers in the future. These resources were measured against the Berkley Library framework for evaluating online resources to ensure they met a quality standard:

  • Authority – Who is the author? What is their point of view?
    • It was important that all resources were created by professionals connected to the education system and they and their work were held in high regard.
  • Purpose – Why was the source created? Who is the intended audience?
    • Some sources were created for profit and were included to show examples of what is available to teachers. Most sources were selected because they are free to educators and students.
    • All resources were selected because of their connection to online education, especially to technology education.
  • Publication & format – Where was it published? In what medium?
    • Most sources came straight from company websites
    • Several resources were created directly by professionals and shared on closed Facebook page only open to technology education professionals.
  • Relevance – How is it relevant to your research? What is its scope?
    • All resources were selected if they were relevant to online education and technology education.
  • Date of publication – When was it written? Has it been updated?
    • All sources were chosen as the most recent example available, most being from the last 5 years.
  • Documentation – Did they cite their sources? Who did they cite?
    • In this case, there was little citation from these sources and did not necessarily apply in addressing the overall outcome.

 

Design & Build Projects and Resources

I first pulled together a group of projects that students could do at home safely that meet the curricular standards of technology education courses. They mostly focus on designing and building using materials commonly found in the average home or could be easily sourced cheaply by students and parents. These resources were created by technology education teachers and most were used during the Covid-19 pandemic switch to teaching online. They were created to meet that new online reality and made available on a closed technology education teacher Facebook group to help others in their practice.

A couple of websites that offer resources, videos, and challenges are also provided. Most of these resources were made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some are sponsored by various corporations (such as Lowe’s) but don’t appear to endorse said companies in any manipulative or problematic ways. These resources come in multiple media formats, such a documents and videos. Technology teachers may not find the challenges directly relevant to their subject matter, but they do offer an outline that can be followed to adapt the resources to meet classroom needs.

Online Design Software and Apps

I have also provided some links to online design software and apps that can be utilized by teachers and students to aid in the design process and open opportunities to create from home. These resources are all free to students and educators or have free versions that can be used by students. They can be used to model, make plans, and even create 3D printing and CNC programs.

What’s missing?

It should be noted that not every district is the same when it comes to deciding what can be done at home safely and what can’t. Technology education teachers should check in with their districts and get written outline of what is acceptable and what is not. I was able to have students do proper woodworking if an experienced adult was there to supervise. This was great for the students that had the supervision and tools but also raised some equity issues for the students who did not have those things. Unfortunately, most technology education courses cannot move to a full online format without losing a lot of what makes those classes fun for students and leads to more of a focus on theory over hands-on activities. It is my hope that these resources will help other technology education teachers maintain a hands-on course for their students, albeit in a slightly different approach.

Metaphor of Curriculum

My Teaching Context

I am a technology education teacher who currently teaches woodwork and drafting at Edward Milne Community School, a high school in Sooke, British Columbia. I teach classes from grades 9 to 12. I base my class lessons and projects on the BC curriculum for applied design, skills, & technology. More specifically I use the Woodwork 10-12 and Drafting 10-12 curricula. From there I have found a variety of resources both online and in books which help my students and I build upon the government’s prescribed curriculum. As technology education is focused on project based and hands-on learning, there is a lot of room for students to meet the objectives laid out by the curriculum while doing it in ways that appeal to them on a personal level and explore avenues of learning that the curriculum may not necessarily focus on but are of equal or similar importance to growing life skills and experience.

What is Curriculum?

To define curriculum, I came across a definition that stated that it is a “floor plan” or blueprint for what is taught, learned, and experienced in the classroom (Su, 2012). Being a carpenter and woodworking & drafting teacher, I was drawn to the statement, but after a time of reflection I realized how incorrect I feel this definition is in my approach to education.

To me, curriculum is more like the building code. Both lay out the minimum requirements needed, and everyone is mandated to follow them, but it is the designer/architect’s job to create the true outcome. Like the building code, curriculum is made by numerous entities input. These entities range from government, teachers, higher education, parents, industry, etc. They push and pull until there is an agreed upon minimal standard created.

Curriculum in Practice

It is important, as Blades (1997) asserts, to not forget students in the discourse of curriculum making. With all the entities pushing and pulling to get their curriculum in, I believe it is up to the teacher to make room for the student in the learning process. That is why I try my best to give my students opportunities to bring their personal interests and sensibilities into their projects. Essentially, I bring them on as designers/architects in their own education. I find this generally gains greater interest and investment in learning from the student and is more fun for everyone (as learning should be).

It is my belief that the curriculum is the minimum standard of what needs to be taught but how it is taught is generally up to the teacher. So, when Egan (1978) asserts that when approaching curriculum and its implementation we need to have a more balanced focus on how it will be implemented as to what needs to be implemented, I don’t necessarily disagree. I, as a teacher, have the autonomy to teach in my way, it is my job to focus on how the curriculum is delivered. I may subscribe to one method of teaching while another teacher subscribes to another and there is nothing wrong with that if students are learning and the curricular goals are being met. Most teachers I know are constantly reassessing their teaching practice and tweaking it in new ways to better their efforts and the learning of their students. So perhaps to the teacher, how curriculum is taught is more of a focus then what.

References:

Egan, K. (1978). What Is Curriculum? Curriculum Inquiry, 8(1), 65. doi:10.2307/1179791

BC’s New Curriculum. (n.d.). Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/adst/10/woodwork

Blades, D. (1997) Procedures of Power in a Curriculum Discourse: Conversations from Home. JCT, 11(4), 125-155

Su, S. (2012). The Various Concepts of Curriculum and the Factors Involved in Curricula-making. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 3(1). doi:10.4304/jltr.3.1.153-158

What is Curriculum?

In search for the answer to the titled question, I came across a definition to what curriculum is that caused me to pause in reflection. It stated that curriculum is a “floor plan” or blueprint for what is taught, learned, and experienced in the classroom (Su, 2012). Being a carpenter and woodworking & drafting teacher, I was drawn to the statement, but after a time of reflection I realized how incorrect this point of view truly was in my approach to education.

“Youth discussing construction blueprints” by Government of Prince Edward Island is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

To me, curriculum is not a plan of what will be taught/learned. Curriculum is more like the building code. Both lay out the minimum requirements needed for what is going to be built/learned. Everyone is mandated to follow the curriculum/building code, but the designer/architect works to create the blueprint and plans. Those plans can be extremely detailed and rigid, or there can be room for customization and changes. Depending on the designer/teacher and how they decide to design their course, students too maybe be a part of this design process, allowing them to customize their learning, focusing on their interests and needs, while still meeting the requirements of the curriculum’s list of learning outcomes.

For example, the BC Woodwork 10 curriculum requires students to learn techniques for stock breakout and woodworking using a variety of tools and equipment, including stationary power equipment (BC’s New Curriculum, n.d.). This is on our list of curricular minimum standard, like what is laid out in the standards of the BC building code. There is more than one way to design an approach to teaching this concept. This is where the teacher would take the time to decide their best approach to teach the concept with the tools, machines, and materials they have in accordance to students’ abilities and pre-knowledge. This is their plan or blueprint for students to follow and learn from. Lesson/unit plans are effectively the blueprint.

The educator, if they are like me, can bring their student into this process and have them personalize it to build on their current knowledge and interests. Students will lay the foundation to future knowledge (much like when building a house) that will eventually become a larger and larger structure. Everyone’s structure will likely look a little different. Some may in fact look very different. In the end, if everything has gone to plan, the student will walk away with that educational structure soundly built for the future, ready to be built upon with more knowledge/ideas.

A New Beginning

We have been tasked as a cohort to make a large documenting what is a essentially a best practices and resource guide for the coming school year. This year presents a large challenge as the Covid-19 threat still lingers and could flare up quickly. There are also concerns about the countries economy which has slowed drastically since the virus hit a few months ago. One of the biggest steps to reaching normalcy and getting people back to work is to have students back in schools. This is no small task and will require a large amount of resources to be pulled together to be shared with and implemented by teachers, parents, and students to make things run smoothly.

I have grouped up with Trevor Hood from my cohort to tackle two outcomes in need of addressing. The first outcome is that at the start of the year educators/institutions must be able to provide hardware support for students through the district to meet the delivery of instruction needs. All students are welcome to an equitable education and it will likely require the district to work with families to support students who do not have the capabilities to get online. My school addressed this problem by lending out several Chrome Books to students who needed technology to get online. This seemed to work well. One place of struggle with this issue was delivering the technology to students and, when the school year was over, getting them returned and dealing with repairs and other maintenance issues.

To address these issues, it will be important that teachers, parents, and students to understand and implement the minimal hardware needs for student’s success in online interactions. This will require finding out teacher needs for their courses regarding software. Furthermore, teachers and administrations will need to prepare an organized system to lend school technology to students which will require a large amount of communication between school and homes. Parents and students will also need to understand what responsibilities and liabilities there are when borrowing school technology. Students will need to respect their borrowed equipment and parent may be on the hook to replace any broken or lost equipment.

The second outcome is that educators will be able to provide a code of conduct for student to student’s communication in online learning environments. Some districts may differ in opinion on the appropriateness of students being left in an online video room unsupervised, but I believe they would all agree that student to student interaction is important in the student’s development. Laying out the rules for these types of situations will help students navigate their online interactions and provide students with the information they need if interactions do not stay civil. There would likely need to be a reporting system in place for students to communicate to an appropriate authority any online harassment.

Overall, I think we have a good start to this project. The next step is to start looking for/creating resources to help parents, students, and teachers understand and meet these outcomes.

Technology Operations and Concepts

  • Introduction:
    • Name and a little about me
    • Course: EDCI 572 with Dr. Verena Roberts D
      • Development and Implementation of the Curriculum in Digital Learning Contexts
    • Overview: Technology Operations and Concepts
    • Outline:
      • Reaction to Course Readings
      • Is coding a fad or is it something that needs to be integrated into every curriculum? Why or Why not?
      • What is the role of computer science in digital literacies?
      • Does your project consider data, analytics or Artificial Intelligence?
      • How are emerging educational technology trends impacting your learning context?
      • Tech of the week
  • Reaction to Course Readings
    • I found Sterling’s arguments to be fairly persuasive. I think we agree on many principles of coding in education, although I do not agree that every student should need to learn coding.
    • I believe that the argument that Sterling disagrees with that there should be a push for more professional coders is not a good one and shouldn’t be mandated (2016). We do not do that with any other subject, so why coding? We don’t teach English courses so all students can be writers. We do it so that students are literate and can communicate effectively.
  • Is coding a fad or is it something that needs to be integrated into every curriculum? Why or Why not?
    • As Sterling asserts, coding could very easily be integrated into applied math and science courses and find a home there (2016).
    • I teach electronics and robotics. In both courses I teach my students coding. I don’t see the coding aspect of these courses going anywhere in the near future as they are at the heart of robotics and where electronics is going.
      • Arduino – uses a C based language that activates “pins” on a microcontroller that controls various electronic peripherals and components.
      • RobotC – Uses a C based language that controls motors, servos, and other components in the goal of creating robots to address various real-world challenges.
    • I do not see coding being implemented in most other courses and it should not be shoe-horned in for the sake of it being there.

  • What is the role of computer science in digital literacies?
    • The BC Digital Literacy Framework states that grades 10-12 should be able to program from using block coding to a high-level programming language and be able to create complex model and simulations with real world applications (2016).
    • These literacies are very specific and likely would only be implemented in a STEM or STEM related course.

  • Does your project consider data, analytics or Artificial Intelligence?
    • At the grade 3-5 level, I am not sure that would be appropriate for the age or the project itself.
  • How are emerging educational technology trends impacting your learning context?
    • Emerging technologies are changing my classroom all the time. More recently the metal shop teacher and I utilized a virtual welding simulator as a means of trying to attract students to take a newly formed welding program. It was fun and exciting and got students very interested. I have considered other uses for virtual reality headsets but at this point I am concerned about their practical application. I have not found a legitimate use that would be more than a temporary novelty.
    • The pandemic has forced me and a lot of other teachers to leave their comfort zones and try new edtech that they may not have otherwise experienced. Ultimately, I think it will be a good experience but it has not been an easy transition.
  • Tech of the Week:
    • cc
      • Open source
      • C-based coding language
      • Controls Arduino microcontroller that can be used for nearly infinite real-life applications. For example: light control, motor control, controlling various sensors, etc.
    • Outro
      • Music by Canada by Picture of the Floating World

References & Readings:

British Columbia. Ministry of Education. (2016). BC’s digital literacy framework. Victoria, B.C.: Ministry of Education.

Sterling, L., “Session L : Coding in the curriculum : Fad or foundational?” (2016). 2009 – 2019 ACER Research Conferences. 4. https://research.acer.edu.au/research_conference/RC2016/9august/4 Retrieved from: https://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1297&context=research_conference

Audio:

Musical Intro/outro is Canada by Picture of the Floating World found at freemusicarchive.org