Reflective blog…

Before coming to University three years ago I had no idea that blogging was an existing phenomenon let alone a tool that could be used in order to learn and express knowledge. However during the course of my degree I have been introduced to the concept of blogs and it has developed to become an extensive part of my learning journey especially during this particular module over the past few months.  

I must admit when I was told that this module would primarily consist of blogging and commenting on others’ blogs I was apprehensive as to what I would actually gain from the experience however I genuinely believe that I have learnt more during the course of these blog assessments than in any other module due to its flexibility and freedom to explore different aspects of learning. 

This module has encouraged me to participate in a vast amount of research in my own topic of modern technology in schools but also due to the requirement of commenting on my fellow students’ blogs I have come across research associated with topics that I perhaps would have never come across if it was not for this module. This has also given me the opportunity to view and consider others’ conflicting perspectives and opinions regarding a vast variety of topics. 

Due to participation in this module I truly believe that my critical writing skills in particular have vastly improved. I have also developed a skill in finding appropriate and relevant research to support the arguments that I make in my posts. Both these skills are absolutely essential in Science therefore these are two elements that I will be able to use practically when I eventually graduate from University and step out into the real world to find work. This is not something that is not necessarily taught in modules in which sitting in a large lecture room listening to a lecturer talk about a particular topic. 

Furthermore class presentations were required in this module. Although I was incredibly nervous about this aspect of the module I can truly say that they were not half as scary as they seemed. I feel as though my public speaking skills have vastly improved due to the weekly talks. Again this is a skill that I will need to have once I leave University and I feel that this module has given me a great opportunity in developing this skill and improving my confidence when it comes to speaking about a particular topic in front of a considerable amount of strangers. 

Thank you all for your feedback and for a great semester. I wish you good luck in your end of year exams and assessments!

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To summarise…

In this blog I’m going to attempt to bring together the content of my last 4 blogs. The topic I have been observing is the use of modern technology in the classroom and I have concentrated on some different uses and effects that technology has had on classrooms and the pupils. In this blog I will expand on this by assessing how effective the introduction of modern technology is and whether I personally believe it is beneficial to students and pupils or whether learning should remain to focus on the traditional methods that have been used for centuries before modern technology was invented. I would firstly like to recap what I’ve previously covered (mostly for my own sake in order to remind myself of what I’ve been rambling on about for the past few months!)

In y first blog regarding this subject I considered previous research that has been conducted on this field. I discussed evidence that has been found to support the use of modern technology in education and also mentioned the studies that contradict these findings by stating that modern technology has diminished the use of traditional learning methods in schools and thus causing a major reduction in essential skills such as pupils’ ability to read and write basic words (Leising, 2003). 

I went on to investigate and discuss a more specific topic of the effects that video gaming may have on education; a controversial subject that has drawn many conflicting opinions. Again I went on to discuss the evidence that has been found by previous researchers that support and oppose the subject. However while I was conducting my research I gradually realised that although evidence that support the effects of video gaming has been vastly demonstrated, evidence against the benefit of doing so is much more obtainable.

In my next couple of blogs I have gone on to discuss the introduction of modern technology into classrooms of developing countries. As a nation we have grown and evolved with the existence of technology therefore it can be argued that having a computer in the corner of a classroom is expected if not essential in our society. However programs such as the One Laptop per Child and the Mobilink-UNESCO Programme have introduced the use of technology into classrooms of pupils who have not necessarily had access to a computer and therefore are not dependant on using them. I discovered that although these programs were not successful in each and every country they were established, this was mainly due to the programs not being exercised properly. When these programs were used carefully and correctly the results were beneficial on both teachers and pupils.

In my first post I promised that after researching the field and investigating both sides of every point that I decide to discuss in my blogs I would draw to a conclusion and state on which side of the argument of modern technology vs. traditional learning methods I would agree with…

Imagining my own experience at school and at University without access to a computer and the World Wide Web is absolutely terrifying! I could not start to imagine how I would manage to write an assignment without access to the internet. However, the thought of not being able to read and write is also just as hideous to me! I believe that in today’s society knowing how to search for something on Google is just as important as knowing how to read a road sign, both of these skills are essential. I have drawn to the conclusion that modern equipment should absolutely be introduced into classrooms and it is essential that children and adults evolve with the rapid developments that occur in technology. However I stress on the importance that this does not overrule the education of reading and writing lessons. I believe that both these skills should be taught in a coinciding accordance as neither is more important than the other. However if I were to ask my Grandmother which of these skills were most important she would undoubtedly say that having the ability to write a letter was far more vital than knowing how to look up a video on YouTube but we live in an era where this is not the reality anymore. Take this module for instance. Imagine enrolling in this module without having the ability of using a computer. It would be an utter nightmare and your degree would suffer as a consequence. Times have changed and we live in a society where modern technology is rapidly becoming more and more evident in our daily lives. Knowing how to master a search engine is just as essential as knowing how to use a dictionary or a thesaurus and therefore I conclude that modern technology should undoubtedly be introduced and used daily in our classrooms but I remain convinced that old-fashioned traditional methods of learning should not be scrapped.