How to prevent the Cons PART II

Hey everyone, after reading through some of my work, I wanted to continue my reading. I decided to include a couple of extra links to some resources I read this week. This is a continuation of my blog post from yesterday. You’re more than welcome to check it out if you haven’t done so yet.

Pros And Cons Of Using Education Technology
This was a good read because it brought up some common pros and cons of bringing tech into the classroom. As I was addressing the cons of tech a few weeks ago, I found that this article mentioned a few things worth reiterating. For example, this blog talks about social disconnect:

With too much exposure to technology, the student’s ability to verbally communicate can be affected. If you give students assignments that use technological tools and online collaboration, their method in learning and interacting with others will become limited.

The article also touches base on one aspect I skimmed through a few ago relating to work preparation:

For some academic professionals, lesson planning can be overwhelming when adapting technology in education. It requires time to learn how to utilize the tools.

One of the biggest challenges I found about planning for blended learning IS the fact that preparing your lessons and laying down the ground work necessary for putting an online-heavy course together requires tons and tons of time. You need to also keep in mind that things don’t always run smoothly and you need to allow yourself enough time to factor in any trial and error that may occur. Some of my first experiences creating my own digital content, blogs and online courses were quite frustrating. I must have spent half my time trying to figure things out. Creating your videos for example can be really fun and rewarding, BUT it does require you to set aside enough time to get these things rolling. I remember having to convert video files for hours JUST to make them work in whatever program I was using to splice them all together.

There’s truly no easy answer to this solution other than you planning ahead and taking into consideration that you may end up spending a lot of time figuring things out. If you’re going to plan an entire course, perhaps the easiest and best time to do it is during the summer holidays. This is a dilemma in itself, because not all teachers are going to be willing to put the time and work during their personal holidays to put together a course or online unit. I think the easiest way to plan ahead is to always be one or two steps ahead of the game. Having at least one unit on the go, and one in development can help you manage your time. Realistically, once you’ve created a few courses, creating new ones should theoretically become a lot easier and less time-consuming since you already know your way around the platform and the tools you chose to work with.

Blended learning also doesn’t have to be super complex. Blended learning can actually eliminate a lot of the tedious tasks teachers often dread in class.

The second additional resource I read can be found here:
4 Ways That Cash-Strapped Schools Can Address the Homework Gap

This article addresses some of the availability questions I asked myself a few blogs ago. It discusses student equity and how we can level the playing field for everyone. These are definitely solutions and preventative measures that are worth knowing about, as they can definitely help address some of those issues.

“But when we dig in and ask more detailed questions, only 52 percent of our students say they have regular, stable internet access that’s uninterrupted and they can use for homework if needed every night,” explains CIO Sarah Trimble-Oliver.

The district has since provided 1,000 blended learning students with hotspots and laptops.

The article suggests surveying our students about what type of tools and internet availability they have at home. You can’t expect to implement blended learning into the classroom if students are unable to access or do their work outside of school. The article also gives suggestions on where to find access to the internet, which is definitely a useful tip:

Whether it’s a library that loans out hotspots or a local church that acts as a safe Wi-Fi hotspot, schools are finding ways to partner with community organizations and businesses to offer affordable, or even free, reliable high-speed internet access to students after school.

The article also addresses the question about funding and how teachers can seek out funds through third party organizations and grants:

After applying to the state to approve internet hotspots as a device the district can purchase with Title I funds, LCISD provided 200 high-school AP students with hotspots and laptops. Over the summer hotspots and laptops also help pre–K and kindergarten students prepare for the new school year.

As the next few weeks unfold, I’ll continue to revisit some of my previous posts in hopes to boost content and bulk up my research. I’m really looking forward to seeing what else I’ll stumble upon my quest. Thanks for reading everyone and have a great week!

Dre

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