Welcome to the final topic focus week in EDCI 572!

I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend. Please remember, should you need any additional support, or just want to check-in, please send me a DM in slack or email and we can connect one on one. This includes anyone who may want some support in rethinking how to teach remotely. 

Final Course Activities and Projects

Over the next two weeks, you will be completing your final learning tasks. Many of you have given me feedback about the bulk of activities due for the end of the course. In order to put the focus on the final projects, I have made some changes to the blog post/ individual reflection activities. I sent out a class email with the updates.

This week we will be considering Technology Operations and Concepts.

The course reading for this week is:

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

In the article it describes the multiple definitions and perspectives of technology operations and concepts. I preferred Wing’s (2006) computational thinking definition which,  “…involves solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behaviour, by drawing on the concepts fundamental to computer science”. (p. 79).

I also appreciated how Mitch Resnick (who is part of the MIT Scratch project) advocated for coding in schools and suggested that coding is a way for students to demonstrate their digital fluency. Specifically, he focuses on how learners can use new technologies to create artifacts which expands upon Papert’s concept of constructionsim or concept of learning through making.

There are many advocates who are still “pushing” for coding to be integrated as a subject in K-12. For example, this week, Code.org is offering the opportunity for students to learn to code through a program called “Code Break” . In Canada, TakingITGlobal has launched Code2Learn @ home.

However, the importance of coding and computational thinking is not new.( I was blogging and advocating for coding for a few years now and many of the “new” programs look pretty much the same.). 

I have always wondered how “Learning To Code” connects with real life, but it did not become as apparent to me until this week. While watching my twitter stream, I saw a clear disconnect between “Technology Operations and Concepts and Remote Access Learning”. It was a reality check for me. My pedagogical beliefs about how digital literacies can support learners was sidelined by my desire to support learners as human beings because of real and preconceived expectations and boundaries created by “Emergency Remote Access Learning”. I also had a really difficult week being an EdTech specialist trying to teach 3 of my own kids in this “remote access learning environment”. I felt as an online teacher, this whole “remote learning thing” should be a lot easier than it was. Nothing was going well for me – as a parent or as an online teacher – and then I read Tim’s blogpost:

Preparation for Tuesday’s Synchronous Class:

Therefore- for this week’s synchronous class on Tuesday evening, we will be considering how focusing on “Technology Operations and Concepts” can provide relevant and authentic support for all humans in this unprecedented time where we have been asked to pivot to “Remote Access Emergency Learning”. In our final activity, we will consider what we can do to encourage digital fluency through technology operations and concepts and innovation – while focusing on basic human needs.

For the final class- please bring some examples of how you see digital literacies and being human interconnecting to support student learning.  It is my hope that you can integrate some of the ideas we come up with in class into your final projects over the next two weeks.

Have a great week! Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns,

Kind regards,

Dr. Verena Roberts 🙂