During this course we had the opportunity to explore, reflect on and discuss a number of theories and practices related to educational technology. Our readings, explorations and especially our discussions allowed us to see each topic from many different angles.
We explored computational thinking which has elevated to a very important skill for the 21st century student. Through our readings, it became obvious that teaching our students computational thinking skills goes far beyond increasing their comfort level with computers. We live in a world where Smartphones and Smart homes are commonplace, so knowing how they function can help our students to approach technology as a collaborator in their problem-solving process. We also had the opportunity to look at the diffusion of innovations and systems thinking/complexity theories. These two theories gave us a useful tool through which we can analyze any developing innovation, consider the difficulties it might face, the adaptations it might require, how the social system might react to it, and also how fast, slow, or not at all it might disperse.
We also discussed the limitations and flaws of media comparison studies and we realized that educational technology research should stop comparing the learning outcomes of different media and focus on other aspects of the learning process, such as the learners themselves, the instructional design, the context and how it can be better implemented, etc.
During the course I contributed in the creation of an Emerging Trends and Theories Resource site that contained useful material for practitioners in any context. The site contains reliable, well organized information about a variety of “emerging trends” in educational technology.
My major projects for this course was a Emerging Trends paper on Gamification and an Emerging Trends & Technologies website for Greek language Teachers
Another topic we explored in the course was Gamification. Gamification appears to have surged in popularity, in our days, across a wide range of industries. Through the readings it became obvious that gamification in education necessitates a great deal of planning, manipulation, teacher training and instructional design in order for it to be effective.
Finally, through the construction of the “Emerging trends website” we had the opportunity to explore trends and tools, such as Makerspaces, Mobile devices for learning, Multimedia response systems, Learning managements systems, Wearables, Portfolio systems for students, Education technologies for language learning, math, social studies, etc.
This course’s learning logs and discussions provided me with a new perspective on every topic, trend, or theory we encountered and they forever changed the way I thought about them.