Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Nov 30 2011

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Games and Simulation in a Learning Context

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Games and simulations have evolved over the years from being merely entertainment to being an asset tolearning. This is very exciting because it opens up the opportunity for more interactive learning aids to be developed. I have used games as a way to keep the interest of corporate trainees. I am always amazed at how far a competitive game of Jeopardy will go to create excitement among learners. There is the excitement at the prospect of winning; but it is also great to see learners recall what they have learned in a fun way.

Today, simulations are being used in a variety of settings.  Al-Elq (2010) explains that simulations are a ”particular set of conditions is created artificially in order to study or experience something that is possible in real life; or a generic term that refers to the artificial representation of a real world process to achieve educational goals via experimental learning” (para. 6). Al-Elq (2010) gooes on to further explain that simulations are common in a variety of areas such as military, aviation, nuclear power plants, business, medicine, and aerospace. I think that this is a good thing for many reasons. One example of the benefit of simulations is that it allows astronauts to train for space without being in space. This critical training is a way to set the stage for what the real environment would be like. Without this type of simulation training, I believe that they would be less prepared for a space mission. I am looking forward to seeing the development of education through simulation over the next decade.

Do you use games or simulations in a learning context?

 

Al-Elq, A.
(2010). Simulation-based medical teaching and learning. Journal of Family and CommunityMedicine, 17(1), 35-40. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/ps/i.do?id=GALE|A239466598&v=2.1&u=u  calgary&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w

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Oct 16 2011

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Skype: Learning Technology

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Skype is an tool which allows two people or more to communicate while in different locations. This is an excellent collaborative tool since it allows you to communicate directionly from your computer. Skype is free to use when making calls to another Skype users account. I have been using Skype for 4 years. I use it to communicate with friends and also to communicate with classmates. When on vacation, I even use Skype to make phone calls back to home. I have found Skype to be easy to use. I also use Skype to meet with classmates to complete group collaborative work. I have found this to be very helpful to the learning process. Communicating with Skype is a synchronous communication method. Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, and Zvacek (2011) explain that synchonous education is education that occurs at same time but at a different place. Collaborative learning through Skype definitely fits this description. I also came across another example of Sypke being used as a technology for learning. Using Skype, a learning specialist in Florida launched an “Around the World With 80 Schools” project to introduce her school’s students to peers internationally (Davis, 2010). Within this project students prepare
questions in advance and chat with students in different countries and continents. I think that this is an excellent way to use Skype as a technology tool for learning.

 

Have you used Skype as a learning tool?

 

Davis, M. (2010, June 14). Social networking goes to school. Retrieved October 15, 2011 from http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2010/06/16/03networking.h03.html

 

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2011). Teaching and Learning at a Distance: Foundations of Distance Education (5th Ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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Oct 01 2011

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Blogging: Learning Technology

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I have always wanted to blog. This course has given me the opportunity to make that desire a reality. There are so many benefits to blogging. One of the benefits of blogging is that it allows you build a community that share, contribute and learn together. Blogging allows you to write about anything that you want to share. This form of asynchronous communication can be used as a learning tool.

Blogs can be a way for teachers to share their thoughts with their students. It can allow students to contribute while in a different time and different place. Blogs allow interaction and exchange between students; and it allows students to build upon each others responses. The Merriam Webster dictionary describes learning as “the act or experience of one that learns ” and “knowledge or skill acquired by instruction or study”. Based on this, it is easy to see how the act of blogging could produce learning and instill new skills. The skills could be through formal instruction within the blog, or though learning though interaction and conversations. I believe that blogging is an exciting learning technology with great flexibility and scalability. I had not considered blogging a learning technology prior to starting this class however upon reflection, it is now easy to see that blogging is indeed a tool for learning.

 Bartlett-Bragg (2003) explains that the structure that has evolved from the introduction of blogging can be most effectively represented as a five-stage process below.

 Source: Blogging to Learn, pg 9

Source: Blogging to Learn, pg 9

 

What are your thoughts on using blogging as a technology tool for learning?

 

 

Bartlett-Bragg, A., (2003). Blogging to Learn. Knowledge Tree e-journal,  Retrieved October 1, 2011 from http://knowledgetree.flexiblelearning.net.au/edition04/pdf/Blogging_to_Learn.pdf

 

learning.(2011). In Merriam-Webster.com.Retrieved October 1, 2011, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/learning

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