Thursday, 2 April 2015

Assessed Activity 7.1|Reflection, Learning Technologies@EIT

After having a walk in a music block in the campus this afternoon, I was really impressed with the digital technology used in there, especially the amazing software which Tom introduced is called Insight by Faronics. It is a software that the teachers can control the student’s computers and block them to surf specific websites or use specific application. This is a great technology to track whether students are concentrating on class.

Here is the picture of the classroom. Although there is space for students to do group work, students still have some individual work that need to do with their Mac computers. It is difficult for teachers to check whether students are doing with their computers at the back. Let's talk about the strengths and opportunities of using this technology. According to Tom, Insight offers a set of functions that teachers are able to use their computers to check all students’ computer screens, control or do stuffs on them and even log out. To a certain extent it is a good way which teachers don’t have to walk around to check in the classroom. Teachers can also block some websites and applications to prevent students looking at non-related websites in class like Facebook or listening to music in iTunes. This greatly improves the concentration of students in class. Teachers can share important information in their computers through projector like the image above. It is much easier for students to follow. They also able to share one of the student’s screen to other students. This provides opportunity for students to share their work to others in the screen but not being surrounded by other classmates.

As Tom mentioned they tried to make the music school transparent, however I found that there were a few weaknesses about the technology in music block. For example, teacher would like to share a student’s screen to classmates after asking that student. Although most of the students didn't mind to do that, there were still a possibility that a minor group of students felt shy to share. They actually didn't want to do that but they felt embarrassing to say no to the teacher. Another thing was about the Mac computers, student were not able to edit their assignments once they uploaded into the drop box. This would be a little inconvenience  because they could not make any changes before submission. Apart from the weaknesses, let’s talking the threats of using the Insight software. For me, it will definitely make me feel nervous because I don’t know when the teacher is going to see my computers even if there is a sign to tell you when he is looking at me. Though I’m not doing something not related to class, there’s still a pressure.

I think the consideration for remote participation is the user-interface. It is important that the technology is easy for people to understand and use, such as Adobe Connect. People just need to enter their name and connect to it with a stable internet, then they are able to catch the lesson and interact with other people. By using digital learning technologies, the ways of learning and teaching are absolutely improved and bring us positive impacts rather than the negative.

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