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ETEC 511 History of Educational Technology: Discourse Leadership:
Learning Module: Overview :: Audio - Paul & Petrina (2002) :: Reading #1 - Moody (1999) :: Reading #2 - Petrina (2004) :: Reading #3 - Petrina (2002) :: Wiki Activity :: Twitter BackChannel Discussion :: Conclusion
DLG Foundations: Learning Theory :: References

Created and Facilitated by: Rachel Bronk, Sharon Hann, Emily Jarvis, Aaron Mueller and Andrew Olson

Summary of The Children of Telstar

Moody describes the foundation of school programs in the early 70’s in which students were encouraged to use video equipment to express learning. Their teacher, Michael Witsch, fostered a classroom that was based on trial and success rather than textbooks. This class became an extra-curricular focus for many students as they worked on projects into the evenings and on weekends. It is an example of what can be accomplished when students are excited about the subjects and the medium they use to express themselves. Moody describes this program as largely a separate entity within the school but alludes to the beginnings of technology integration in classrooms. Were you able to situate you own learning experience in the 70's upon reading this article? Below we will relate the video equipment used by Witsch's class to other educational technology developments in the latter half of the 20th century. View some of these clips to jog your memory...

Educational Technology Timeline

1974 Witsch's TV class hits full stride with 'portable' video cameras

1981 IBM introduces the first PC

1984 Apple introduces it's Macintosh computer during the Superbowl

1989 First cell phone commercial

1995 World Wide Web is developed for public use

1998 First SmartBoards

2001 iPod introduced

2005 & Streaming Video

2005 YouTube introduced

2009 Apple introduces iPod Nano with video

2009 ETEC 511 tries to understand what it all means

Discussion Questions

Please address these questions by responding to the appropriate thread in Vista discussions

1. In framing her discourse, Moody references English historian A.L. Rowse and his position that all great changes in history have one theory in common - the people caught up in those changes never really know what is happening to them. Do you think this stands true today? Bearing in mind that Rowse worked primarily between 1940 and 1970, are we any better at "knowing what is happening to us" in 2009 in the landscape of modern computer technologies?

2. As pioneers of media use in schools, the Larchmont-Mamaroneck public schools, declared "understanding media" as a basic skill that should be taught in schools. How has this simple objective developed between its declaration in the early 1970's and present day? Given Moody's article and the others we have read in this module, how would the description of "understanding media" look in 1970? in 2009?

3. Moody quotes the school yearbook (pg 106) "SWAS is dedicated to freeing the student from the need for externally imposed structures to guide learning activities". What learning theory does this involve? How is this theory included in the classroom today (or is it)? How have you incorporating this type of learning in your own classroom?

4. Compare the timeline above to your classroom. What technologies are available to students in your classroom? Is there a technological divide between the available tools and your classroom? If so, can it be bridged?