Think of how significantly the world of educational technology has changed in the last 18 years. In 1997, the Internet was in its infancy with an estimated 100,000 websites on the “web”. There was no broadband, no DSL, no SuperNet - mainly dial-up for most Albertans [broadband was introduced to the world in 1997; wi-fi came along in 1999]. Can you remember the very first time you watched a video live on the ‘Net and how painful that was? Not only because of buffering issues but also because the average CRT monitor was 640x480 pixels. We used to search with Webcrawler, Altavista and Lycos.There were no smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, netbooks or flat-screen monitors. Laptops were high-end purchases. Storage on USB sticks or in `the cloud’? My goodness - how about portable hard drives, cd-roms, 3.5” disks; that’s what we depended on for back-up in 1997.
Through Netscape Navigator and other early browsers, we were introduced to Web.2.0, not knowing the previous edition would become known as Web 1.0. Consider some of the many terms you probably use, but never could have imagined back in 1997: phishing, podcast, tweet, selfie, hashtag, gig, cookies, e-book, trolling, defrag, pdf, png, megapixel, malware, app, chrome, touch screen, phablet, QR codes.
More importantly, there was the teaching and learning with technology.
" We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn." [Peter Drucker].
Over the years, there have been many descriptors for the ways and means of technology infusion into classroom practice: One to One, Adaptive Learning, Digital Literacy, Digital Citizenship, BYOD, the flipped classroom, virtual learning, asynchronous learning, blended learning, inclusive learning, Content Management Systems [CMS], Learning Management Systems [LMS], MOOCs, Differentiated Learning, Wikis, M-Learning, PBL, webinars, Makerspaces, Augmented Reality, learning analytics, wearable technologies - to name a few.
Reflecting on our practice with pedagogical theories such as Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, TPACK, Constructivism, and the SAMR model for transformational teaching has helped us grow. As we have worked to determine the best ways to use technology, we have known that is always about student-centred learning.
What is in the future for 2Learn.ca next year? Watch for our next blog.