Blog #1 – Technology and 21st Century Learning

Do you feel the school is preparing you adequately for your future? Why or why not?

I think the school is doing a decent job of preparing me for my future. It allows me to choose my own courses, which means that I get to choose the courses that will prepare me for the program I want in a university. I think the courses taught in grade 11 or 12 will give me important background knowledge and really help me with university studies. The group work and presentations help in improving my soft skills, which is very important. Furthermore, the careers course helps with building a resume, which is crucial when finding a job. It would be great if schools could teach things regarding taxes and managing bank accounts, but I will have to learn the skills from my mom. Additionally, I don’t think schools really need to teach housekeeping and cooking courses. Students can simply help their parents with house chores, and learn the skills that way. Overall, I think the school does prepare me for me for my future, but the school system definitely has room for improvement.

How do you personally use technology to learn?

At home, I would access the power point lessons that teachers have posted on their website to write down the notes to prepare for tomorrows lesson. The calendar section on a teacher’s website is also very helpful in terms of keeping track of everything. Facebook is incredibly helpful when it comes to contacting classmates for either a group project or a question about the homework. For math class, I use online graphing calculators so I can physically see how the graphs behave and therefore, understand the material. Lastly, I will go online to do research for a project.

Do classes that use more technology appeal to you? Is it easier for you to learn the content?

No, I do not like classes that use a lot of technology. I don’t like to stare at screens for long periods of time. I like watching videos or learning from a power point lesson. However, research projects and writing assignments on a word document is my nightmare. Furthermore, doing mandatory online quizzes or assignments every night is one of my least favourites. I think that I learn best when I am writing things down, instead of filling out a worksheet online.

Does it matter to you if a teacher uses technology in class? Why or why not?

It does not really matter to me if a teacher uses technology in class. To me, what matters more is how well the teacher uses that technology. For example, a teacher got a student to do a question on the SMARTboard. However, the SMARTboard didn’t work well, and the student was not very good at using it. So the answer written on the SMARTsmart board turned out almost illegible and I became more confused with the concept. While in chemistry, class, the teacher often used the projector to project the questions on to the chalk board. Then, students would go up to either answer the question or fill in the blanks. It would always work very well, and I thought it was a very clever way to use the technology. So in the end, it depends on how well that technology is utilized.

What technology would you like to see teachers use that is not currently being used?  Why did you choose that technology?

I think 3D printing is something that should be taught. It is an important piece of technology in society. Students should get a chance to learn how to use it and how it works. Not only is it fascinating and will be able to engage the students, but this technology can also be used for different subject areas. For example, in an engineering class, students will be able to 3D print pieces for their projects. I chose this technology because of it is very useful in the real world and can also help students’ learning.