My Educational Technology Reflection

Growing up as a millennial, I feel as though I’ve grown up through the beginning of the exponential growth of technology in the classroom. I remember there being only one computer in my elementary classes and taking turns on the personal computer that was

available to play Oregon Trail. With my family being early adopters, I remember the big Gateway computers that came to our house in boxes with huge spots on them like cows. From then on, I have always had access to technology, and eventually Internet.

 

Throughout my formative years, middle school and high school, I remember learning about chat rooms, MySpace, and messenger services. All of this technology quickened communication and made communicating more informal via technology. These technologies were where I learned more about abbreviations to have more efficient conversations with my peers. In middle school, we received an emailing pen pal to learn more about formal communication through technology. I remember learning how to address an email, explain my eleven-year-old chat room abbreviations such as LYLAS, and form my ideas in a way that someone on the other end of receiving the email could understand. In high school, I remember there being overhead projectors in the classroom, computer lab in particular classrooms and Microsoft Powerpoint and chalkboards being used to help instruct.

The summer between my junior and senior year in high school, I was starting to look into colleges, and I found this graphics technology camp at Purdue University that I could apply to. I miraculously got into the program and immediately found even more applications and hardware I never knew existed. From learning the hot keys of Adobe products to petitioning to use an eye-tracking device to test human-computer interactions and

hotspot_elib

Heat Map from Eye Tracking Device – Image from: https//goo.gl/images/20G8wR

interface design in multiple column webpages, my college experience instilled a “you’re never done learning” mentality that I still hold onto in my profession.

 

I am constantly building my professional learning network, using new application tools in the classroom and implementing productivity software/hardware in my every day work in higher education. I am interested in learning more about gamification and game-based learning to help teach higher education students the strategies to succeed and concepts to become productive members of society.

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2 comments

  1. Simone

    Colleen,
    Great post! I would have to say based on your depiction of your younger years that we are around the same age. I too have been around technology most of my life, but I can’t say that I have truly adapted to it the way you have. I think it’s awesome that you were able to expand your knowledge at a camp at Purdue University. I truly believe you are a great asset to have around. I’m sure, your expertise in technology has helped others out multiple times because there is a lot people can learn from you. I can definitely appreciate the concept of “you’re never done learning”. That concept runs true for all subjects, it only makes sense that it would ring true for technology.

  2. Colleen,
    Wonderful entry! The computer games and Gateway images you mentioned are familiar memories for me as well. I used to bring home a computer from my mother’s classroom and play those games all summer. What a great narrative you wrote describing technology evolving during our growing-up years, and how it has become a facet of our daily trek and our careers. You have a great outlook with your, “Never finished learning” point, which is just what an educator needs, and is to impress upon students.
    ~Carol

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