The timeless adage proposes that “time flies when you’re having fun.” The past three and a half weeks have flown by. And I surely doubt I have ever used the word “fun” to describe my experience in a class. Interesting or enjoyable perhaps, but never fun. My genius hour project, however, proved to be fun. Why? Because of the purpose and motivation behind genius hour – or passion – projects. My biggest takeaway wasn’t necessarily that personal learning devices have immense power to facilitate meaningful learning. Rather, my biggest takeaway is that I should nurture my interests and passions – that I should explore them and never stop doing so. I plan to pursue my own genius hour project about a topic of interest to me from this point forward. That’s all thanks to this “fun” experience.
My dad often times refers to teachable moments. He describes these times as when a student asks a question or demonstrates misunderstanding of a topic and he can use the scenario to reinforce a concept to the student and/or class. I feel like I had many teachable moments with myself while completing my genius hour project. There were questions abound! Can personal learning devices be used to facilitate meaningful learning in the K-12 classroom? How can personal learning devices best be used? Should technology even be incorporated into our classrooms? Do the negatives of technology and the use of personal learning devices (i.e.: network security breaches, theft, etc.) outweigh the positives (i.e.: personalized learning)? I used these questions to fuel my research. My teachable moments were those when I didn’t know the answer at first but later did.
Needless to say, there is still a great deal to learn. And there always will be. Perhaps mastery exists in some worlds, but I believe there is still always room for learning and research; that’s one journey that never will cease (or at least not for me). My genius hour project, nonetheless, reignited my love of learning.
Not being an education major, I feel as if I am disconnected from what educational technology actually looks like in the K-12 classroom. In that respect, I want to learn more about how third-parties (i.e.: siblings, tutors, parents, etc.) can encourage students to use personal learning devices outside of the classroom to facilitate meaningful learning. How can these individuals support students? Should teachers be the ones to communicate these methods and techniques? These are valuable questions that future students should consider, especially because I believe technology is here to stay – for the long haul. Technology will continue to play a role in our children’s educations and daily lives.
Although I only spent three weeks researching my question, I still believe my posts offer valuable information that should be shared with fellow educators. The interviews with my dad and sister offer powerful insight into the twenty-first century classroom. Their firsthand accounts of using personalized learning devices demonstrate the successes and shortcomings of educational technology in today’s classroom.
Educational technology has the power to transform the way our students learn, mainly be providing all students the opportunity to do so in a fun and engaging way.