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de276
Surveyor II

Looking at feedback how is your technology changing teaching practices?

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How useful your services have been looking at user feedback and to what extent has the technology been updated due to feedback from users and how much has the user uptake changed in the past 5 years?

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kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi again, @de276 

This one I will answer even if this question gets moved to another location in this community!

I retired just at the start of the CoVid-19 pandemic, so I have been blessed with the role of armchair-quarterback. It's a great perspective. What I have been seeing happening is a mad rush by schools to online teaching and learning out of necessity. But that rush has been very poorly organized by too many schools and districts. Schools that do online teaching and learning well, they are mostly in higher ed but some K-12, have been doing it for awhile, they took deliberate steps to move that directions, and have had lots of practice.

Working closer with students and teachers is an absolute necessity, as is working closer with whomever manages instructional technology at your school or district. Teachers need to be:

  • Trained to use the technology,
  • Need reliable access to reliable technology,
  • Trained to teach online - believe me when I tell you that online teaching (and learning) are incredibly different than traditional teaching although many of the same principles apply - they are just applied very differently.
  • Need solid responsive technology support,
  • Need ongoing routine online teaching support,
  • Need the schools to recognize that online teaching requires more time,
  • Need to be prepared long before the first student enters their online classrooms! Yes, you heard me correctly, "long before the first student enters their classroom!" Teaching can be an experiment, but our students should not be!

Students need:

  • To have routine, reliable access to good technology. The second I hear someone tell a student that they can go to the Library, or come to a Campus tech center, or use their phone; then I know that school has failed, or at the least has failed that student.
  • Be trained to use that technology. The assumption that our students are part of the digital generation is false. It is not just a generalization; but rather, is a lie. And if we are talking about K-6 students, then their parents or guardians must also be trained - hey, nobody said this would be easy, and if they did then that was also a lie!
  • The technology being used to deliver online teaching and learning must support teacher/student and student/teacher interaction at a high level. And, the younger the students are, the higher a level of interaction the tech must support.
  • The technology should be as comprehensive as possible, and disparate technologies must be as limited as possible. This means that students (and teachers) should be able to do everything or almost everything they need to do in one place. Even college-level students get confused when they are told to "go here to do this, then got there to do that, then go someplace else to do something else, then come back to application A and enter evidence that you accomplished B, C, and D  in their respective environments. Even techie adults get messed up with that crap!
  • Need responsive and effective tech support,
  • Need responsive and effective learning support.

I spent most of my first retired Summer helping faculty in a school district who were told all of their courses for Fall would be online in Canvas. No training, not even access to an account so they could practice. I was happy I could help the teachers, but my heart went out to their students.

There's my $0.02, and I will get down from my soapbox now.

I hope this was helpful,

Kelley

 

 

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7 Replies
de276
Surveyor II

How has covid-19 influenced some decisions to work closer to students and instructors?

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi again, @de276 

This one I will answer even if this question gets moved to another location in this community!

I retired just at the start of the CoVid-19 pandemic, so I have been blessed with the role of armchair-quarterback. It's a great perspective. What I have been seeing happening is a mad rush by schools to online teaching and learning out of necessity. But that rush has been very poorly organized by too many schools and districts. Schools that do online teaching and learning well, they are mostly in higher ed but some K-12, have been doing it for awhile, they took deliberate steps to move that directions, and have had lots of practice.

Working closer with students and teachers is an absolute necessity, as is working closer with whomever manages instructional technology at your school or district. Teachers need to be:

  • Trained to use the technology,
  • Need reliable access to reliable technology,
  • Trained to teach online - believe me when I tell you that online teaching (and learning) are incredibly different than traditional teaching although many of the same principles apply - they are just applied very differently.
  • Need solid responsive technology support,
  • Need ongoing routine online teaching support,
  • Need the schools to recognize that online teaching requires more time,
  • Need to be prepared long before the first student enters their online classrooms! Yes, you heard me correctly, "long before the first student enters their classroom!" Teaching can be an experiment, but our students should not be!

Students need:

  • To have routine, reliable access to good technology. The second I hear someone tell a student that they can go to the Library, or come to a Campus tech center, or use their phone; then I know that school has failed, or at the least has failed that student.
  • Be trained to use that technology. The assumption that our students are part of the digital generation is false. It is not just a generalization; but rather, is a lie. And if we are talking about K-6 students, then their parents or guardians must also be trained - hey, nobody said this would be easy, and if they did then that was also a lie!
  • The technology being used to deliver online teaching and learning must support teacher/student and student/teacher interaction at a high level. And, the younger the students are, the higher a level of interaction the tech must support.
  • The technology should be as comprehensive as possible, and disparate technologies must be as limited as possible. This means that students (and teachers) should be able to do everything or almost everything they need to do in one place. Even college-level students get confused when they are told to "go here to do this, then got there to do that, then go someplace else to do something else, then come back to application A and enter evidence that you accomplished B, C, and D  in their respective environments. Even techie adults get messed up with that crap!
  • Need responsive and effective tech support,
  • Need responsive and effective learning support.

I spent most of my first retired Summer helping faculty in a school district who were told all of their courses for Fall would be online in Canvas. No training, not even access to an account so they could practice. I was happy I could help the teachers, but my heart went out to their students.

There's my $0.02, and I will get down from my soapbox now.

I hope this was helpful,

Kelley

 

 

View solution in original post

One last note, @de276 

I hope you are a K-12 admin, because that is who needs to hear this stuff!

Stay safe,

Kelley

Hi Kelley,

Fantastic! This really has helped me I wish that others would respond in this exact same way with their experiences.

I am actually a year 3 student conducting research on how technology is changing teaching practices? And with the covid element I was just looking into the effects it has caused ie sped up processes.

thank you for your response it really has answered my questions. 

Regards,

Demi

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @de276 

Any time you need help, just holler. These are the kinds of question/discussions I love participating in!

Kelley

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @de276 

This is a good question, even if it is not a "how-to" question. I am just not sure this is the right location for this question in this community. I have queried one of the Community Managers for guidance.

Kelley

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @de276 

Apparently this place works as well as any................................... so we are off to the races! If you can tell me under what context(s) you are asking this question, I could be more specific in my response, but I suspect others will come along with their responses.

I will start by talking about Canvas. I have been using Canvas for more than 8 years, and I have used it as a teacher, a student and as an admin (and for that matter as a Canvas Community Coach). Instructure (which makes Canvas) has been incredibly receptive and responsive to user feedback; and in fact, that is a big chunk of the purpose of this community. I haven't done the math, and quite frankly don't want to, but I suspect that likely 85 - 90+% of the changes to Canvas since its inception have been the result of Instructure's responses to user feedback. This includes both improvements to existing features and the development of new features and new products altogether!

Our previous LMS (by "our" I mean our state system of community and technical colleges) was not at all responsive to user feedback, and that is what prompted us to go looking for a new LMS and settling on Canvas.

With other instructional technology, it has been a mixed bag. For many of them, they have not even developed a system or tools for collecting user feedback beyond complaining to your vendor rep. Having a vendor rep to complain to is not the best system because typically the only people who have access to those reps are your school's tech admins, and few of them do a bang-up job of collecting and reporting feedback from their users; and even if they do it is neither systemic nor systematic.. Through this Canvas Community all users (students like yourself, teachers and admins) can all provide feedback, request changes and even just complain when they feel the need to. Instructure listens to everybody. Furthermore, this community is not the only feedback tool that Canvas employs.

All of this is incredibly important to instructional technology users. What we consider modern "instructional technology" and technological delivery of instruction is really quite new and rapidly changing. More importantly, our understanding of how to best deliver instruction using technology is evolving even faster than the actual technology is. Our teachers, our schools, and our education systems want and need to deliver effective learning opportunities to our students. Our students need to be able to access and use that technology effectively and efficiently. The only way that instructional technology vendors are going to be able to get it right (and incidentally stay in business), is to intentionally collect, manage and apply user feedback.

That's all for now, but I suspect others will contribute to this discussion.

Before I leave, I have to ask - why are you asking these questions and what will you do with the information you get?

Happy New Year, and stay safe!

Kelley

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