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Consolidating COETAIL: Tech

Consolidating COETAIL: Tech

Cover art: Photo by me; I used the design skills I learned from @Tanya LeClair and COETAIL to design my banner for my podcast using Canva!

Intro

In coming back to my blog at the end of the COETAIL experience, I have a general plan for how I’d like to approach the final COETAIL course. I skimmed all my blog posts and wrote their core concepts/ideas down, then I categorized them based on theme. I found 3 prominent themes emerge: RelationshipsAuthenticity, and Tech. For my first three posts, I will be consolidating these topics and exploring where I am now in my thinking and how it might have changed.

In this week’s post, I’m going to be consolidating the topic of Tech.

Past Posts

I reread some of my previous posts that talked about tech and tried to distill them down to their main points. Here’s what I found.

  • Course 4, Post 1: Tech is a tool, that tool comes last when planning. That being said, it’s important; it’s the “environment” (Fullan) in which kids live.
  • Course 4, Post 4: Tech tools are only as effective as our teaching and planning.
  • Course 2, Post 2: Tech is changing and as a result so is the way we communicate.

Opportunity

Another recent conversation I’ve had around tech has been on my podcast. The concept being that I interview different education figures and look at technology from their perspectives.

For my second episode, I interviewed service learning guru: Cathryn Berger Kaye!

I have been talking to her for 2 months now trying to set up an interview to no avail. The most recent complication being the COVID-19 outbreak that has halted business as usual around the world. Cathy was meant to come visit us and do the interview in person, but we had to cancel. So today, we set aside an hour and had a good chat. The topic of today’s conversation was how has technology played a role in her work as a service learning specialist?

Key Points about Technology

We talked about several things, but Cathy made a few great points that really rang true to me. Some salient points include:

  • Vehicle. Technology is a vehicle for connecting with people, a central part to service learning.
  • Making better neighbors. Service learning and international-mindedness intersect; when we look at other communities, we need consider an asset-based model.
  • Distance Service Learning. Technology makes distance service learning possible (service learning doesn’t always have to be face to face.) This is a simple idea, but a profound one at the same time.
  • Teaching through service learning. The way technology can be platform to enhance good teaching, so is service learning.
  • Tools. Paper and pencil? Perhaps. The tools kids know and have high fluency with are digital.
  • Us. Technology is at its best when we’re learning from each other, sharing information, and to bring people together by dispelling the idea of “us” and “them”.
  • Literacies. Yes, digital and media. But civic, and others too!
  • Distance Service Learning. We can still be activists even though things like COVID-19 might close our schools down. [Link]

The Podcast

EdTech Lens – S01E02 – Cathryn Berger Kaye

Conclusion

At the beginning of this post I had a list of three ideas from my blog. But I would like to add one more in honor of CBK and our interview. While there were many gems that she had mentioned, one that I would like to include is listed at the end.

  • Course 4, Post 1: Tech is a tool, that tool comes last when planning. That being said, it’s important; it’s the “environment” (Fullan) in which kids live.
  • Course 4, Post 4: Tech tools are only as effective as our teaching and planning.
  • Course 2, Post 2: Tech is changing and as a result so is the way we communicate.
  • Course 5, Post 3: Technology, like service learning, is a vehicle to enhance good teaching.

And what is good teaching? I think the previous two consolidation posts identified two of the main tenants: relationships and connections with other people, and authenticity. I would say the theme of this post is a tenant of good education too– use the tools and resources that are available to raise good neighbors.

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