Digital Technology – Replacing teachers?

When I was in high school we had computers and were just making our way to the world of smart boards. Although I only spent about a year in school with this technology I found that it was more of a hassle than anything because the teachers weren’t informed or trained on how to use them, needless to say a lot of time was wasted.

I’ve only been out of school for about four years and I look back and see a world of difference. Not only are smart boards in every classroom but students have their own laptops and the computers in the labs are not “dinosaurs”. There has even been some talk about letting students take classes online. Because of budget cuts certain departments are being downsized and taking a hard hit but they would still like to have the students learn about the topics.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/08/08/37replace_ep.h31.html

Do you guys think that taking a lower education level and trusting them to fulfill requirements on their own is a good idea? I know how I was and there is just no way I would’ve taken it serious. And do you think this will prevent their social skills from growing? I’ve heard of the Khan university and think it’s great, but only as an aid, not as the only way of learning.

Digital Badges in eLearning

Sample Digital Badge
Sample Digital Badge from Credly.com

When I was in school I remember getting gold stars for excelling or doing a great job on an assignment. While it isn’t anything major, it really helps with motivating students. I don’t know if anyone remembers the Book-it! program, where you had to read so many books, you would get a personal pizza at Pizza Hut. This program is probably the only reason I read books in middle school.

Anyway, digital badges have been around for a few years’ now and are starting to gain popularity. They take these incentives and allows you to issue badges for learning. Below is a link from ISTE giving a good overview of how they can be great assessment tools, especially in eLearning.

Chart students’ growth with digital badges

One digital badge site, Credly.com, allows you to incorporate digital badges in many social media outlets. What does everyone think about using digital badges as a way to track learners progress?

Classroom Blogging

For my Online Journalism class that I took a year ago, we needed to create a WordPress blog. We were allowed to pick a topic of interest and then had to discuss a weekly topic. I found this very beneficial because it allowed us to use writing to express a topic that we enjoy researching. The weekly blog posts had started to spark an interest in other users. Some class members started to have almost a hundred people following their particular blog and enjoying the topics discussed. Blogging for my Online Journalism class has allowed me to add a great writing piece to my portfolio and allowed me to find my style of writing. My question for everyone is, what exactly do you think makes a topic more attractive to users and what causes them to follow a certain blog?

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