Influences on Contribution

The aspects of genre that will most likely influence our web text contribution would be social, ideological, rhetorical, and dynamic.  I believe this will influence how my group makes our web text because we will be working together and challenging one anthers ideas.  The social aspect would come into play where people will be asked questions and have to communicate back and fourth rather than just a straight run through, read it and think about what you saw.  Ideological and dynamic seem to fall close together because we will challenge our previous thoughts as we try to combine all of them on one source.  With this comes dynamic where the website itself will be able to adapt to reader forms of technology but the information will also flow through multiple views and thoughts of many people rather than one biased opinion.

While listening to everyone discuss each aspect that could affect our contributions I begin to notice that all of the aspects of genre truly come into play.  Taking in account that all of them matter to making this web text be the best it can be.  As a group we have to keep them all in mind and make sure not to slack off or shy away from any of these ideas.

Genres on top of Genres

When talking about genres Dean discussed genres in writing.  All of our early lives we are taught to look at genres as a style of writing or a type of book.  However, Dean says that is wrong.  Dean describes genres as the type of literacy that highlights the idea behind the writing.  This is where I became confused.  Why was I always taught that they were styles of writing? But, now it is said to be something else.  Whenever I read I don’t often look past the writing to determine why this was the idea for this writing.  As students we are commonly asked what the genre of an article is? Generally looking for fiction, horror, comedy, non-fiction, etc.  But, never is one of the expected answers to be what is within the writing and what is defined by what we read.

I didn’t understand two areas of this idea. These areas being the ideological genre and how genres can be social?  The ideological genre opened my eyes and showed me how they differ amongst groups.  This idea showed me how everyone within a specific clique of people can easily expand on the “writing” within that group.  Which to me carries into the aspect of genres being social.  Everyone will have a different idea or opinion on a social experience.  So are social genres and accurate and acceptable thing to look at? Well from this article I would say yes.  You want to know every aspect of the writing to understand the true genre right? So wouldn’t every outlook on the experience may make the “writing” more understandable and easy to pick a part and see the true picture of.

I slowly began to understand how genres can be more than just the overall style of the writing, however I would benefit to sit down and continue to read up on and think about this concept.  Deans article left me shocked and baffled with some new ideas of genres I had never thought about before.  I find interest in this and plan to continue to look at this idea and learn more about how genres and how experiences can be shared within a genre that I never saw possible before.

Breadcrumbs

http://faculty.weber.edu/eamsel/research%20groups/on-line%20learning/picciano%20(2002).pdf

Looking at multiple websites I keep noticing a reoccurring theme of a strong focus on participation of students in online courses.  Studies continue to look at if students are truly focused and putting all their effort into these online programs or if they are slacking back and holding back from using their true potential to do the best they can do.

-“The major research questions that guided this study are as follows:

1. What is the relationship between actual student interaction/participation and performance?

2. What is the relationship between student perception of social presence and performance?

3. What is the relationship between student perceptions of social presence and actual

participation?

4. Are there differences in student perceptions of their learning experiences and actual

performance?

5. Are there differences in student perceptions of their interaction and actual participation?”

http://rer.sagepub.com/content/68/3/322.short

-“By virtue of its enabling rapid, nonlinear access to multiple forms of information, hypermedia technology is considered a major advance in the development of educational tools to enhance learning”

  • seeing talk about how a learners environment across hypermedia learning can effect how they truly learn and see what they take in as a student was interesting to me because it wasn’t something I had thought about prior to seeing this article.

http://academic-conferences.org/ecgbl/ecgbl2015/ecgbl15-call-papers.htm

  • “Over the last ten years, the way in which education and training is delivered has changed considerably with the advent of new technologies.”
  • with advancements in technology we continue to see a change in the way our educational program grows and the ways in which our students are taught in and out of class.
  • “The use of entertainment technology to enhance the experience of learning activities. i.e.: Technology to enhance both the experience and the learning outcomes of being at a Museum, etc…”

As I continue to look at sights I see reoccurring themes of using games, media, and just basic online courses to further education.  To help a students grow and find easier ways to learn seems to be the overall goal but is making it too simplistic going to become a problem?

By that I mean if we take away the true challenge of having to work to find out what you need to know are we depriving students of the best learning opportunity they can get?

http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-017-9282-0_61#page-2

  • This article gave me an outlook on ways technology can be used for students to gain a better education and ways it can also hurt them these ways being;
  • Good
    • Use games to learn
    • have online courses at hand at all times
    • online homework
    • having access to information at your fingertips
    • people with disabilities can partake in online games and activities that develop than learning capabilities.

-Bad

– Distractions if teachers don’t enforce limitations.

– social media

– forgetting about online work

– slacking because its not something they physically have to turn in.

-After seeing the majority of these studies I continue to wonder how okay it is to continue to integrate technology into schools. I know it is a necessary process to further the ability of students to learn and be the most intelligent individuals they can be but we also need to watch how easy we begin to make schooling for these individuals.

Reflective Writing

Looking at some significant events throughout this course

I feel like everything i learned throughout high school was not at all preparing me for the college level

with inquiry, thought based writing, and taking a middle ground

The way I felt during this was relieved I didn’t have a strict format but confused because I felt like everything we learned in high school was kind of like a waste of time.  We were taught to take a specific side and give reasons now with our inquiry post we have to stand at like a neutral point and discuss both sides.

I think I had the reactions of being frustrated and confused because I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I had to readjust and switch up everything I was taught to do.  I had to go deeper into thought and truly put some effort into my writing rather than throwing down information and being done with a paper.  Its changed how I write because it has shown me a new style and given me a different approach on how to format and write about a topic. Rather than just discussing one side we have to give actual information in depth about both sides and what we think about the topic too.

Free write time

After sitting in class and discussing the idea of reflective writing it helps present a new outlook.  It makes me think about what I have been through in this class.  Leads me to wonder what I have truly learned and how my style has changed.  I start to think of all the assignments I have had to do and it truly makes me think.  From high-school I basically learned a strict format and way to do everything to strict standards. However when we started writing on the first day in this class it was so much different.   We weren’t given a format or a structure or true topic. We just had to write based on our thoughts and that honestly made me mad.  I was frustrated, confused, and felt lost in the new style.  I didn’t know where to begin or what to say.  So it took me forever to start where as in high-school it would only take me 30 minutes to do an entire paper.

This new style changed how I viewed writing and gave me a chance to actually find interest in what I wanted to say.  I was able to build more off my own thoughts rather than just restating what other people said from research I had to do.  This changed it completely and not only gave me a higher interest in writing and an english class but it has helped me grow as a writer and presented me with ways to be a stronger writer.  Which lead to an overall gain of confidence as a writer when I received good feed back on a completely new idea i was use too.

Connect the group

Emily – https://estanto2.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/expanding-new-ideas/

When I first read Emily’s entry I was more than shocked about a the production of a $35 tablet made in India to give to all their students.  But, does this solve a problem? Yes it gives the students a new way to learn but the overall cost of the tablet did not include the cost of the programs they would need to handle all the work that was suppose to be done on them.  Then her next source caught my attention with a statement by Conrad Wolfram.  Conrad Wolfram states, “computers are essential to math”  but is this really true.  I stopped at that point to truly think about what he was saying.  Math now a days in a professional standpoint is a lot different than just a word problem and an equation to solve for the missing variable.  For example if you’re an engineer major then this statement would be very accurate.  You can’t do all the modern day math with the ease that you use to be able to do it.  Problems can go a lot more in detail and require more than just one quick equation to figure them out.  Her last two sources went well together in my eyes.  One states that students are comfortable with what they know and the other states that technology can be helpful in class but at the same time can cause a major distraction.  The comfortability we have with technology is also what can hurt us because we know how to use and navigate these products with such ease and speed it would be hard to get caught doing something we shouldn’t.  While the comfortability would make it easier to understand what is going on with your technology and quickly keep information and find it later therefore helping you stay organized.  Is that worth the opportunity to distract yourself when you get a notification from a social media or an add pops up and completely kills your focus?

Trevor- https://trevorjackson999.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/log-3-extending-ideas/

When reading through what Trevor stated about his sources I noticed that the main focus was how games can be beneficial to the learning environment.  He discussed games being easy to access, give individuals a unique experience, and not dumb down the learning process rather just change it to better fit what the students desire.  Games in learning could lead to a higher focus and lead students to want to be in class learning.  The sources show that students could easily connect to this form of learning and do it almost anywhere because games are easily accessible with all the technology we have.  But, this lead me to question this idea completely.  Yes it could spark interest, could give unique experience, and could be more accessible.  However, does this truly help them learn what all they will need to know.  I feel as if games would only be helpful to an extent. Yes the unique experience would be a great add on and it would be nice to access it almost anywhere but does that help? I can currently do my homework anywhere I can connect to wifi, but there are places I can not focus what so ever.  If you can access these games wherever you please what happens when you forget about the assignment.  You’ll try to do it wherever you are and that can easily lead to a horrible grade and nothing learned because you couldn’t truly focus.  If you’re using a game you need technology and that comes with notifications and an easy distraction.  Is it worth converting and adding these games which leads to a greater need in technology? Is it worth the chance at an easy distraction rather than keep it simple and make sure the student truly does have to stop and focus to truly master the material?

After looking at my groups resources and ideas I think we should take a deeper dive into the general idea of technology.  Take a dive into why we accept some methods but not others. I believe we should use the basics and add a good amount of technology but only enough to the point where it doesn’t hurt the ability of students to truly focus and learn.

The General Idea

So in my past couple post I mentioned technology in education and whether it was accepted and effective.  Well now I want to reveal a couple new ideas.  Starting with this new source http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/02/02/382167062/virtual-schools-bring-real-concerns-about-quality.  This is a source where the author is talking about an online schooling opportunity based out of Florida.  Enrolling many student across Florida and throughout the world.  However, the question presented towards this schools was about its effectiveness. Like I mentioned in my last couple post the effectiveness of using technology in education would come from more of a personal standpoint and there answer could change depending on who you tend to ask.  But why is this? Why do people accept some technology but not others? Why do we fear what we don’t understand? Does using advanced form of technology in our schools lead to advancing our society? This source left me with these questions because it brought forth a full time online schooling opportunity.  But, I don’t agree with the idea of a full time online learning program because I feel like it robs you of an experience.

Why do we as a species tend to fear what we don’t know? Well that question is why I choose this next source. http://go.galegroup.com.librarylink.uncc.edu on our databases at Unc Charlotte I chose to search for articles about the fear of the unknown.  Well an article about how fearing the unknown robs you of harmony came up and just from the tittle I thought it would help me answer this question.  The article speaks of many fears but all of which are fears that come from not knowing where our choices will lead.  We fear failure so we choose not to do things we may not succeed at but that choice holds us back from finding new potential in our lives.  We fear what we don’t know because it is easier to chase what we are already skilled at than practice something new.  As for education and new technology I believe we fear a change.  We don’t necessarily want to dive head first into new forms of technology because we aren’t sure if we will master it like we already have mastered what we currently use.  This lead to the idea of what technology truly is in education. http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.librarylink.uncc.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=a4b148df-681d-497b-9d0d-638d43881876%40sessionmgr114&hid=127&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=ehh&AN=98175778 Which is primarily what this article discusses. The author focusing primarily on what technology will benefit and hurt students when they attempt to use them in schools. This article talks about what is educational technology, which could be thought of as what technology is useful in learning now.  The education system can teach us so much from what we already use but the advancement of technology can lead us to learn more and become the greatest intellectual individuals we want to be.  This article presents a new idea of what to use and not to use rather than just leaving a broad idea of using all types of technology in learning.  Which helps me focus more on the topic in my hands.  Technology is a broad range of things from a pencil to a laptop all the way to a satellite.  So the specific forms of technology that could help produce a better education is helpful to know.

Currently technology is viewed as generally helpful for our society and that is undeniable.  But my last source just helps me point out technology now and future ideas. My last source is http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/17/us-views-of-technology-and-the-future/.  In this article the idea of what people see now of technology and where they think technology is heading is discussed.  Clearly technology continues to advance and thats great as long as we find it useful.  However, are these quick advancements what we need in our education?  Maybe they are maybe they aren’t that can be for anyone to decide.  As technology continues to advance a stress for speed to adapt and keep up with technology is presented.  We want to be the best and that is a natural desire but that is not as easy as we want it to be.  Look at your phone and how easily you can use it.  Now give that same phone to one of your parents and let them try to figure it out.  Most likely they will be slower than you are with this technology because they did not grow up with it.  Where as our current minds as students are still growing and adapting to the constant change the older members of our generation tend to fall behind.  Just like the younger half of our generation will know more about technology to come than we will.  While education and technology can go hand and hand maybe there is a limit to what we should use.  We allow others to take the first attempt at things we are uncertain of because we don’t want to be the ones to be seen failing.  But, if we slowly walk towards new technology as a group maybe then our education program will thrive to be stronger than it ever has been.  The writer in this article tends to focus on how we view technology, if we need technology, and if we are ready for the technology to come.  Which is all something we will have to find out as the days go on. We will always adapt but is the adaption slowing us down or moving us forward is what a valuable question to look at.  Where are we heading? What is next to come? What technology do you find useful or harmful to your learning process?

A New Approach

So from the beginning of my inquiry I have been primarily focus on technology in education and whether it is good or bad.  Well now I am going to take a slightly different approach and show you my sources and the good and bad both shown.  The first source I even clicked was “http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/technology-in-education/”  and on this source the first thing they do is mention both sides of the topic.  They state, “The rapid and constant pace of change in technology is creating both opportunities and challenges for schools.”  This clearly stating there will be good and bad with the idea of technology in education.  Looking for a way to leave this idea with an open ended question or set of questions is what originally left me with a problem.  To be able to leave the reader with the chance to make a decision on what they think and if they wanted to comment and have a discussion about such ideas.  This website in particular gave me a quick look into both sides of my idea though.  Explaining how technology could be helpful when stating, “The opportunities include greater access to rich, multimedia content, the increasing use of online coursetaking to offer classes not otherwise available, the widespread availability of mobile computing devices that can access the Internet, the expanding role of social networking tools for learning and professional development, and the growing interest in the power of digital games for more personalized learning.”  However they quickly counter this with the mention of challenges by saying, “At the same time, the pace of change creates significant challenges for schools.”  But, this lead me to think why do both and as I continued to read my questions weren’t easily answered which lead to my next source.

My next source was “http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb11/vol68/num05/Transforming-Education-with-Technology.aspx”  This site however focused more towards where technology could lead and how it benefits our educational program.  This site also asked many questions though and discussed that is there a meter that truly judges how efficient the use of our newest technology in schools is.  The site gave me a deeper outlook into how the technology could be successful and gave me a more in depth look into how people see the good in the use of technology. However, I browsed through this site faster because it truthfully focused on one side for the other so it lead me to search for a site that gave me a little more opposition while still similar to this one.

This next source I found took a much different approach.  http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2014/03/03/how-technology-can-save-american-education this source discussed actual problems in our education.  Problems such as cost, performance, and future debts.  Then brought up the idea that maybe one large answer isn’t the true solution rather there might be multiple smaller answers that will collaborate together to fix the current problem.  Which lead me to many questions like maybe my original question about technology being helpful or not in schools was way to broad.  If you approach technology from a historical outlook even then this article can trump you.  This left me at a loss of words and made me rethink.

The next source I choose was http://www.education.com/reference/article/what-impact-technology-learning/ and I selected this one along with http://smallbusiness.chron.com/five-positive-effects-technology-education-31222.html to discuss some noted effects technology does have in our education program.  These sources gave creative ideas to incorporate technology and showed how technology could enhance our abilities in learning.  Education before the use of higher technology was a slower and sometimes much more dull process.  Education adds games and media such as pictures and videos.  However, while technology can be such a provider for interest into learning the use of new technologies also provides students with an easy access to distracts like social media.  So from historical approach and from the opinion of whether or not technology is something we need in our education my new questions would be is it worth it? Is it worth using technology if it has the same percentage of a chance to hurt us as it does to benefit us? Should there be a limit? What technology should we use? What technology should we avoid? Just think about it.