What a week!

Sometimes it feels like nothing happens and all of a sudden you notice that you have a week that has more events than you can handle.

Tuesday we had a video meeting with my fellow students and a teacher. Day was quite awful from the beginning and it was even worse when I noticed that I happened to have a bad English day. I felt like I was talking English for the first time in my life!! I spent the rest of the day blaming myself for my poor performance.

Gladly we have so much to do with studies that there’s no time for whining. So I started to read. I kept reading and reading and connecting things to what I’ve learned before.

It was good to see that learning is also being creative. Back in high school it was more important to remember what you had learned instead of using your own brain and being creative. Active learning is far more interesting than rote learning!

I read a lots of material about history of educational technology. The history is even longer than I thought. Tony Bates blog post explains it in terms of communication which makes it easier to absorb. Well at least for a former journalist…

When I read the blog post and other materials that I immersed myself in, it made me wonder what skills do we need after all? In today’s working life is it better to perceive something new yourself or is it enough to only combine the things you have read and heard? Are you more valuable employee if you have new ideas and if you’re capable of seeing things from a new perspective? That totally depends on where you’re working at! I wish I could create something new and to be able to use my imagination instead of my Excel skills.

When tomorrow comes

Predicting what will happen in the future is never too easy. Educational institutes should be able to foresee what happens in the near future and plan their curriculum according to that. Afterwards it is easy to say what we have done wrong and what we haven’t been able to predict. Will digitization be the answer to certain problems or is it going to cause more of them?

In the article written by John von Radowitz it was told that according to Sir Anthony Sheldon the role of teacher will change dramatically in the future. He

thinks that teachers will be replaced by artificially intelligent computers within 10 years. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad idea since the skills of teachers vary a lot and teachers can be prejudiced and favor certain students. Still I think they are needed. At least some of them a pretty good at what they’re doing!!

I thought a bit further what could happen if teachers were replaced by AI. Major disadvantage  would be that we don’t know enough of how to use it safely. It could be a huge risk to give the power of teaching to AI because we don’t know how it’s going to use it. We all have had teachers who have had major impact on us. It may have been good or bad but still we can recall certain things because the person inside the teacher has impressed us.

Reading about AI lead me to study the subject more and I almost forgot that I was supposed to concentrate on educational technology. This is close enough: I found out that Google’s Deep Mind has learned to walk. I wonder how smoothly I would move if I had learned to walk without seeing anyone else walking. Deep Mind learned it all by itself.

Back to the Future

Back to the past

When I went to school I lived in a small village where there were only about 50-60 students in whole school. First six grades of the comprehensive school we had two grades in the same classroom (e.g. 3rd and 4th grade). It was quite challenging to study e.g. history when I happened to be on the grade where we started from Middle Ages and then next year we went back to Stone Age. The other class was far luckier since they had a chance to study those subjects in correct order. Afterwards I think it was good practice for future studies.

Since the school was so small we didn’t have many technological equipment. We had an overhead projector and sometimes teacher showed us something with a slide projector.

Technology used in junior high school was almost the same as in elementary school. Language laboratory was a great place to learn English and Swedish but because there was only one of them we had a chance to be there maybe two times a month.

In junior high school we were offered a chance to take a computer course but since we didn’t have computer at home there was no need to take that. The first computer I ever saw was in my friends home where they had Commodor 64, back in 1984…

In upper secondary school we had some computers but they were only for teachers. Still overhead projector was the hi-tech in our classrooms. Television and videos were used in teaching quite often. Also more possibilities to study in language laboratory.

Though we didn’t use very much technology I think we learned all the things we needed to.

It was quite a jump into a totally different world when I studied my Bachelor’s degree in Lapland UAS. Studies were online and I visited Tornio only two times. Technology in learning became familiar and after that I wouldn’t want to go back to a classroom. It’s too small and boring for me. I want to have the whole world with me when I’m learning new things!

And what do we have now?

I work in Metropolia UAS in Education Development Services. I use many technologies every day. I have my laptop and smartphone with me where ever I go. I  can work in my office, at home or where ever I want. Actually without my laptop I could do barely nothing so technology has very important role in my work.

Our team  has WhatsApp group, we use Office 365, Google Drive etc. The greatest advantage of this is that I can be reached were ever I am and I also have access to all information I need to serve our students and personnel.

New information systems are developed in Metropolia all the time to help our work and gladly we also have a chance to influence on new systems. It is important because we are the ones using these systems and it’s better to be part of the process from the very beginning.

Back in 1989 I couldn’t have foreseen how important role technology has in my life nowadays. At that time we were just learning to understand that computers are going to have some kind of  role in our lives.