1) Which project do you like the most or which project is the most impressive? Why?
I think all of the projects were very impressive but I think the Quest 2 Learn gaming project was very useful. James Gee, Professor of Literary Studies at Arizona University, really summed up the Gaming project well. He points out that in this 21st century world problem solving skills are of the greatest importance. Building your own game prepares students to innovate and solve problems and this is critical for the future. Quest 2 Learn appeals to me as well because it is a more interesting and dynamic way of learning. Some students point out in the video that they want to learn the new topics because they seem fun. They are also motivated to learn because in order to win or progress to a new game level they have to study.
2) Do you think you need to sharpen your digital medial skills? What are some challenges for you to use the digital media in your own learning/ teaching? Maybe it’s the challenges related to resources, time management, curriculum design, your own skills, teachers’ collaboration?
I think I do need to sharpen my digital media skills. I am proficient in skills in using Word, PowerPoint, and sometimes Excel, but I think I need to broaden my skills. There are many other programs that I have still yet to learn about that would one day help me as a Speech Language Pathologist. WordPress, for example, is a blogging website that I previously did not know about until Justine’s class. I would also like to more about Photoshop. I took a digital media class in high school and found it very helpful in using Photoshop. Unfortunately I have forgotten many of these skills.
3) Do these projects reminds you of some ideas you learned from your reading (meaningful learning with technology chapter 1)? What are the ideas? How did you see the connections?
Many of these projects remind me of the ideas I have learned from reading, Meaningful Learning with Technology. The main idea I grasped from the reading was that students should learn with technology not from technology. All of the projects focused on this distinction. Students were never idly sitting watching a presentation or video. They were always actively participating and creating. The video game project used hands on activities to broaden the learning experience.
4) How do social networking sites or virtual communities broaden and/or otherwise change your students’ sense of community, and/or interaction with others? How do students communicate differently using technology than they might in person? What benefits do these digital tools offer, and what challenges might they present?
Social networking sites broaden and change students sense of community. Social networking sites make it easier to communicate with each other. A lot of students use social networking sites already in their social life so incorporating it in school brings a familiar form of communication. Using Facebook to talk about a group project may be more interesting and fun for some students. Communication through technology breaks down social barriers as well. Some students who may be too shy to participate in person may really stand out on the Internet. Also students are able to communicate outside of school. This would make it easier for students who live far to talk with their peers. There are some challenges that would come along with social media. A teacher would have to worry about cyber bullying and Internet safety.
5) Did you have similar experiences or did you know any teachers/ schools doing similar things? Describe your experiences or the teachers/ schools you know. If you don’t, try to think about one think about one digital media project that you want to do with K-12 students or your friends. (This will be the very first draft for your Design project!)
As I stated above I took a digital media class in high school that I found to be really interesting. In this class we worked with Photoshop and created all sorts of projects. We learned how to design magazine covers, create animals, and other similar projects. I haven’t had any experiences similar to the Quest 2 Learn school and I really wish I had!
6) Katie Salen addressed a common parental concern around digital gaming in the classroom: excessive competition. How might competition within gaming be problematic, and what benefits might it have in a school setting? (cited from the discussion guide for the video clip)
Competition between students is a valid concern of parents. They fear that students will become too competitive and possibly addicted to gaming. This idea is sparked from the already competitive gaming world with games such as Halo and Modern Warfare. I think some competition is healthy in the academic setting. Competition drives students to want to win or progress to the next level. In order to do this they must study. This motivates students to learn.