Assessed Activity 8.2 (2016)

As a student taking the Diploma in Multimedia/Web Development,the Digital Learning Technologies paper was a part of this course. I found that the strength of this course is that it takes the skills I have learnt in other classes and gives them a real-world context – and the context of education is one that is constantly evolving and will always be something of importance.

In this class I have learned about ways in which digital technologies can be used effectively in a learning environment, as well as the challenges that come with these technologies. I have discovered a number of different platforms and software which can be utilized in learning environments to aid in the way in which students cover course content, as well as what the best way to go about designing a learning technology.

I have also learned about how your own personal learning network can be used to get the best out of the constant stream of information coming out of the internet and how this can give you an edge in your own practice.

I am looking forward to implementing the skills and knowledge I have gained in the first part of the paper in the upcoming project.

One way in which I think that the course could be improved would be to have the assessed activities organized in a way which makes them easier to find. As it is at the moment, I found that I was having to go back and forth between a number of sites to work out what I was supposed to be doing that week. When changes were made to that weeks activity, at times it was not as straightforward to decipher what was going on as it could have been. This is only a minor complaint and just something to keep in mind when planning this course in the future.

Assessed Activity 8.1 (2016)

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An example of online courseware which I myself have used is the web application WaniKani, which is a tool which uses a number of different learning techniques to teach Japanese kanji. Learning Kanji can be a rather overwhelming undertaking, and the aim of this application is to make this process as easy and effective as possible. It breaks the kanji down into radicals, and uses mnemonics and spaced repitition to help users to memorize each of the characters.

Though I am still very much a beginner when it comes to the Japanese writing system, I am familiar with the hiragana and katakana characters, which will be the focus of my second assignment – so I hope this application can provide me with some ideas on how to go about building my own courseware.

Assessed Activity 5.1 (2016)

Reflection on the PLN Presentation

This blog post will focus on the presentation given by Joyce Seitzinger which she gave about Personal Learning Networks. I found this lecture to be most informative and it made me think about whether or not the way I use online technologies is working effectively for my learning.

With the endless amount of information which is available online for consumption, it is important your own individual personal learning network is cultivated in such a way that you can filter out the relevant information in a way that is easily accessible, as well as collecting and organizing this information for future reference.

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In terms of my own personal learning network, I am very much a resident on the blogging site Tumblr. I run two blogs there – a personal blog and a blog where I post my art. I also use Tumblr’s tracked tag function to keep track of certain streams of information. I also frequent Outlook as a means to keep in contact with my overseas friends, and the app Telegram to keep in contact with my family.

I am not a fan of social networking at all and I like to have full control over who can and can’t contact me, as well as what photos etc of me end up on the internet, which is why I only really use email to talk to friends and occasionally the Tumblr messaging system.

In a learning context two sites where I am also a resident would be WordPress and Google Drive – I use WordPress for my learning based blogs, and Google Drive to store documents as well as to work collaboratively.

For sites where I am a visitor, Twitter and Youtube are two sites which I use for both personal and educational purposes – especially Youtube. Youtube is a great tool because of the endless amounts of tutorials etc available to watch on just about any topic. I also utilize the Twitter search function as a means to filter relevant information through.

I visit Wikipedia, EIT online and google search to aid in my learning, as these technologies all provide an abundance of information which is relevant to my learning.

As for how effective my own personal learning network, I think that perhaps my avoidance of social networking sites may be a hindrance to making my pln more effective, but as I don’t really like people very much this is a risk I am willing to take.

Assessed Activity 6.1 (2016)

An ePortfolio is an online space where you can showcase you skills, whether this is through text, images, video, audio etc. There are many different platforms through which one can build an ePortfolio – some of these include a website (such as one built in google sites), a blog page, a LinkedIn profile, or a Facebook page.

An ePortfolio is useful in a digital learning environment as they provide a somewhere where one can keep an up-to-date record of their skills, achievements, work experience etc in a manner that is interactive and easy to navigate. Having an ePortfolio makes it easier to apply for jobs and shows potential employers that you have skills in a digital space. Certain sites such as LinkedIn allow users to create their own online ePortfolio as well as interaction with other users and opportunity to join communities and potentially find employment.

LinkedIn is very intimidating

Google Sites “CV”?

Assessed Activity 7.1 (2016)

20160324_084127This blog post will explore the field trip to the log cabin and the technologies that were involved in this field trip.

The mobile device which I used in a Samsung Galaxy Mini, which runs the Android operating system.

Given the location of the field trip and the technologies being used, there were a few issues which we ran into. One of these was using mobile devices running on 4G to stream and record through Adobe Connect. Because of interference with the internet connection, we found that the audio which was being streamed to those watching via Adobe Connect was extremely laggy, being about 20 seconds behind real time.

Another issue was to do with the quality of the video, when recording and streaming through the iPad, the video quality was very low and grainy, whereas streaming through a smartphone seemed to produce a better quality video, but better quality may have also resulted in a larger amount of data having to be sent and therefore more lag.

As I attended the field trip in person, I wasn’t following the streaming content, but upon watching the recording of the video stream back, I found that the video was extremely low quality and laggy, and that the sound quality was almost inaudible – which would have made it very difficult for those watching remotely to follow what was going on. This goes to show that while the digital learning technologies are constantly advancing and developing, they still very much have there limits.

 

Assessed Activity 2.3 (2016) Challenges

One of the biggest challenges for ubiquitous and individualized digital learning technologies is the reliability and availability of the technology itself.

In my own experiences of using digital technologies in a learning environment, many of these technologies rely on a stable internet connection to function, and on occasions when the internet is down or not responding as expected, a lot of digital learning technologies become redundant and unusable. This is a challenge which will need to be kept in mind when designing learning technologies, that they need to operate in a way which is consistent to the type of internet that is available.

In discussing this topic with my sister, who is studying to become an early childhood educator, she talked about having classes in computer labs and how students would often end up being unable to access their computer accounts and that half the class time would be spent trying to fix this issue. I personally had this same experience recently over the Easter break when I found that my EIT online account had suddenly stopped recognizing my password, with no prior warning. This led to me losing valuable time which could have been spent working on assignments, when I was instead trying to contact people to get the issue sorted.

Likewise, the availability of the technology can impact class learning – for instance if some students have access to the technology and others do not. In class situations where students are to bring their own devices, you can end up with a wide range of devices, depending on their affordability. This means that educators need to be able to able to use all of these devices and provide course content etc which works on a wide range of platforms.