Throughout week 3, I made a conscious effort to anchor myself. I felt that the first two weeks were sparse and I found myself moving through the readings and blogs like a ping-pong ball with no clear direction. I decided to focus on what was integral to me as an Educator.
The first post covered a discussion with my students regarding technology in the dance studio. The conversation acknowledged our previous discussion on their connection with smartphones and the technology that we use already to observe and evaluate our performance. As I work in many schools, students are used to communicating in various ways as they understand that my physical presence is limited. Although, information is available to them at great speed through the ubiquitous use of digital technology. They overcome conventional boundaries through the digital exchange of information with myself and their peers. The reference made me refer to Hands (2008) paper, and it signified the importance of social inclusion and empowerment. I hope to introduce Togethertube for future choreographic reviews that will enable progress in both their understanding of choreography and critical thinking.
Through course readings, Noss (2013), Bayne (2014) and Miller (2011) I began to view technology as a tool that can either enhance humans or increase the ways in which educators deliver their teaching material. If used to reconstruct the body through prosthetic or artificial limbs we increase mobility and enhance the learner’s performance. A Twitter post by my peer made me question if the students become their own coach and if so how does it improve education and teaching?
Subject can be delivered through computer software but one thing that I feel technology or classrooms using AI would lack is the pastoral care given through human connection. As teachers, we build a rapport with our students and have empathy that allows us to support individuals in a personalised way. Can we teach technology empathy or is this something that is innate? A video of a teacher giving each pupil a secret handshake every day before class helped highlight the importance of connection and how an educator’s attention to personality can make a pupil feel significant within the class.
My post on fear made me look at the perceptions of both teacher and learner. Technology at times can feel restrictive dependent on the skills of the user. If someone has confidence in the software or device used they can strive in the digital environment and collaborate with peers. Participation can, therefore, depend on the learner’s ability and knowledge of technology.
Technology is available from an early age. In another post, I question the side effects of a generation that would much rather sit at the computer or play on a tablet outside and experience a virtual adventure rather than explore their natural surrounding and experience their physical environment.
I finalised the week with my visual artefact that fell on an anthropocentric stance. Although it signifies humans are at the centre of technology the image can be seen as ambiguous. The positioning of the body in a womb can be interpreted as Artificial Intelligence or the rebirth of humans. We may live in a culture that keeps us charged and plugged on but we are the creator and therefore have some control….
Bayne, S. (2014) What’s the matter with ‘Technology Enhanced Learning’? Learning, Media and technology
Hand, M (2008) Hardware to everywhere: narratives of promise and threat, chapter 1 of Making digital cultures: access, interactivity and authenticity. Aldershot: Ashgate. pp 15-42. (e-reserve, pdf)
Miller, V. (2011) Chapter 9: The Body and Information Technology, in Understanding Digital Culture. London: Sage. (e-reserve, pdf)
Noss, Richard. (2013). “Does Technology Enhance Learning? Some Findings from the UK’s Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Research Programme.”