mardi 28 octobre 2014

[EDPE 640] On evangelism in classrooms

I guess it is more of an irritant for me but it is a BIG ONE: why teachers that are supposed to present multiple views of technology to students do not even make an effort to do so? Or, should I say, that this generalization applies to some teachers that focus only on the tech they love effectively creating an environment where the only way is their way.
For instance in the EDPE 640, the teacher is all sold to Google and it is fine! Google has created a great set of collaborative tools that  have been widely adopted in education. However, we are talking about an introductory course for teachers that is supposed to explore various tools and environments. So why the director competitor and a full viable alternative is not included? Maybe because Office 35 for education is not as familiar for the teacher, maybe because it is a personal choice BUT is t a good choice?

From a practical perspective, will the student teachers and my colleagues explore on their own? Most probably not:
... assessing collaboration and creativity (Cloud computing, e.g. Google drive) ...
 The cloud computing group made me believe that Google Drive is a platform that is well suited to build an interactive and collaborative learning environment. [it was the only one presented]
 ... most of us appreciated the Peer editing and Commenting functions of Google Drive and we all see its great potential in engaging the students to work collaboratively and in organizing homework.
 The technology I am mostly impressed with so far for my personal use is Cloud Computing. [...] We are sharing ideas, editing each other’s work through Google Docs and all of this is happening in the comfort of our homes; this is amazing!
  I can see Google docs as being a very possible classroom resource for me. As I touched upon in the presentation, there are a couple of wonderful examples on now properly incorporate cloud computing in the classroom.
 One theme I can marry from both classes is that Google's suite of web-based applications will lead developments in curriculum and assessment practices for  K12 and HE students.
More to be found here:
Just read the comments and notice how cloud computing is consistently associated with Google and how the suite is "leading the development" in school environment.
From a class management perspective, the argument of simplified environment does not hold. Since the beginning of the class, we are also exposed to multiple tools and multiple environments: Mightybell, Twitter, different blogging tools, Google Docs, Socrative etc. Integrating one more tool will not make the life a student teacher significantly harder.
Overall, I just wonder how many student teachers will leave this class believing that Google is The Tool and The Tool is The Cloud.

Enough with complaints! How this could be fixed? An exploration activity of Google alternatives is one example. Given that the teacher has shared many documents online and has encouraged sharing of documents through Google Drive, it is rather easy to migrate them all into Microsoft, ThinkFree and many more other alternatives just to demonstrate that other options exists. Any other option that could disrupt the flow of brainwashing activities in the form of "Google this, Google that" is also fine.

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