Category Archives: 322monday20

Conquer the Classroom Through Technology

For our final multimedia reflection, I chose to create an infographic using Canva to summarize the key points of the Technologist Module from the eCampus Ontario website. I chose to create an infographic because I am a visual learner and I believe infographics allow the message to be conveyed effectively. This platform is beginning to grow more and more on me as I experiment with it. I truly do enjoy the drag and drop method even though it may limit my creations sometimes.  One thing I noticed while creating my infographic was that many more of the graphics needed to be purchased before inserting them. When previously using Canva, I did not struggle to incorporate visuals, however it was quite challenging to find a visual to get my message across.

The overall goal of the technologist module is to educate users how to effectively incorporate technology tools in the classroom while still addressing a variety of specific learning styles. Our world continues to become more and more digital and I believe it is important for educators to stay relevant. In my placement, I often tried to incorporate technology in my lessons in order to appeal to my students needs and wants. However, I generally stuck to platforms that I was more comfortable and experienced with such as Kahoot , Gizmos, and Mentimeters.  I often questioned whether if the tools I was using were beneficial to my lessons and student needs. In order to successively incorporate technology, it is imperative that one reflects on their own digital literacies. After reading other definitions, I believe my definition of digital literacy most resembles the one from the government of British Columbia. Digital literacy relies heavily on one’s interests, attitudes and ability to appropriately use digital technology and communication tools to access, manage, integrate and evaluate information, construct new knowledge, and create and communication with others. On the other hand, I believe Jisc did a great job of breaking down some of the elements relating to digital literacy. The elements included:

  1. Media literacy – read, create and produce resources in a range of media
  2. Communications and collaboration – engage in digital communities to benefit learning and research
  3. Career and identity management – be aware of the effects the internet may have on your reputation and identity
  4. ICT literacy – use digital devices, applications and services
  5. Learning skills – gain skills by actively participating in technology-rich environments
  6. Digital scholarship – engage in academic, professional and research practices
  7. Information literacy – find, analyze, manage and share information

As our digital society is constantly changing from one day to the next, it is important we acknowledge this in order for us to become more digitally literate. The Extend Ontario website provides the Design Thinking approach which emphasizes the importance of involving users in the creation and experimentation process. As per Growing Success, students’ engagement and commitment to learning is much higher when they are directly involved in the process of creating success criteria, learning goals and feedback in relation to goals etc. I can say first hand that I observed for this to be true in my first placement. When working on narratives, I had mentioned to my students that their peers would be assessing their final products and I have never seen the class so silent and hard at work. Putting the students at the center of their learning allows them to take more accountability for their work.

The Design-Thinking Process follows five simple steps which will help teachers involve learners in finding a solution in relation to learning challenges.

Empathize – when creating any type of activity or lesson, it is important to put your learner’s needs at the forefront. Teachers must gather information about learning styles through feedback, other teachers and by simply asking students what they need.

Define – once the information is gathered, the teacher must start small and define the problem or challenge at hand. This step emphasizes the importance of the greatest good/utility for everyone.

Ideate – gather important features and characteristics of how technology could solve your issue. At this stage, using a mindmap and thinking aloud is highly encouraged in order to choose the right technology. When selecting an appropriate tool, The SECTIONS model does a great job of breaking down specific considerations you should keep in mind. They include:

  • students learning styles,
  • how easy it is to use,
  • cost/time concerns,
  • the teaching function,
  • interaction (student centered vs teacher centered),
  • organisational readiness of the tool in terms of support,
  • networking (is the tool useful outside of the classroom)
  • security and privacy

Prototype – test out the technology tool for yourself. Design a prototype for your students to refer to. I personally think the  Technology-Enabled Activity Planning Document would be super useful when it comes to my time management skills in the classroom. I struggled a lot when creating our Sway presentation and was forced to read and watch several tutorials. Although I spent much time learning how the platform works, I still do not feel comfortable with it. Using the post-it notes method would have helped me tremendously when trying to work my way around as it could have laid out important steps for me instead of having to go revisit the tutorial each time. By sharing each other’s triumphs, challenges and questions, we can better refine our creations to suit our learners.

Connect – the most important element in my opinion. It is crucial to ensure that the technology tool that you have chosen allows for curriculum expectations to be met. By creating a clear and concise list for your students, you are able to scaffold and guide your students in the right direction.

Overall, I believe that this model was effective because it made me reflect on some of my teaching practices. Next time I plan to incorporate technology in the classroom, I need to ask myself questions such as “Is it allowing for differentiation?” , “Are my students at the center of their learning?” and “Is it helping me meet curriculum expectations?” .

To view my infographic more clearly, click HERE ! (still struggling to make it appear clearly directly on the page)


The Tech Crew of Education

This post will be focusing on the “technologist Module” one of the online courses that are available for people to take under the “Extend” Website, which can be found here:

This module focuses on teaching educators on how to use technology into their lessons, in order to be able to meet the different learning needs and abilities of their students. 

The technologist module is available to guide educators to select, use and integrate technologies in a way that supports, facilitates and enriches the learning experience of their students.

My Twitter essay which is posted below goes through a brief summary of the different parts of the module and what each of them focuses on

Some of the important details not covered on the essay is the digital literacy framework which includes: a) Research and Information Literacy, b) Critical thinking, Problem solving and Decision making, c) Creativity and Innovation, d) Digital citizenship, e) Communication and Collaboration, f) Technology Operations and Concepts.

Design Thinking is a powerful tool to tackle the unknown and/or reveal new ways of thinking and doing. 

As educators I think it is crucial for us  to emphasize the importance of being an effective and responsible participant in a digital society as many individuals misuse technology and the media whether it is to waste class time or to hurt others through cyber bullying, hacking, etc. It is important to teach the future generations to use technology for the betterment of society and themselves. 

To sketch, or not to sketch, that is the question

While exploring E-Campus Ontario’s Technologist module I decided to take a sketchnote.

In creating my visual media, I had dreams of a magical Sir Ken Robinson-eque digital sketchnote. Have you ever seen his video about modernizing education to fit today’s world, the one with all of the fancy doodles? Here it is in case you haven’t seen just how cool it is.

Images of fluid drawings appearing out of nowhere on screen filled my head as I sat down to work.

So I decided to look up an application I had heard about called doceri. Upon further investigation, I realized that to use this tool I needed an iPad/touch screen for the free version. I should have thought of this sooner, seeing as how it (or any other app like it) logically would need a stylus to draw, but I didn’t. Disappointment ensued.

If I wanted to fulfill my very own Ted Talk dreams my option was to buy an iPad. To which my student budget and impending debt said, “we’ll do this the old fashioned way”. I decided to turn to the internet, as one does, and found a helpful tutorial video on the basics of sketch noting.

I wanted to share my experience because I know many people experience frustration in not getting the medium they wanted to work, or the results they expected, due to the financial element/required tech of some applications. It often seems unrealistic to pay for a service we may potentially only use once (Although I fully intend on making my sketchnote dreams a reality once I am teaching to make my students think I am a digital wizard). That being said let’s dive in to the article.

E-Campus Ontario’s Extend program asks educators to consider a design thinking approach to teaching with tech, using the Technologist Module Design Thinking Process. The five steps of this module are outlined in the image above. Overarching all of these is the concept of digital literacy.


In my understanding, digital literacy involves more than just being proficient with the internet and technology. Being digitally literate considers the socio economic factors which affect access and information. I used Media Smarts’ definition to help deepen my understanding of this concept while reading through the module.


Let’s break down the module a bit here.


Take into account what your learners need by gathering data on them. This is to be done not only through your own assessments and observations, but through actually talking to them! In using a design thinking approach we need to work together. Teachers need to view their learners’ individual barriers as opportunities to create a more open learning environment for everyone.

I had a learning moment in my last practicum related to empathy and technology. One of my students who had an IEP accommodation to use a device was repeatedly not completing homework. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with what I perceived to be a lack of motivation, until I took the time to speak to them individually and learned that they did not have a device at home, and then it clicked. The school did not allow the accommodated students to bring home their devices. This misunderstanding could have been avoided had I taken the time to ask my students of their needs and accessibility. In future I will certainly employ some type of method like the Empathy Map to help me better plan for my students’ success.


Based off of what is learned in the empathy stage, educators now need to define by narrowing in on an identified problem. The way to succeed is to start small and then work towards solving more, if you start big you are setting yourself up for potential failure.

In keeping with my example from point 1, my defined problem is: how to assign at home writing work to a student who requires a device and does not have access to one at home?



Now that a problem is identified, begin to work towards formulating a solution. One way to approach it is to ask yourself “how might I?” and create a mindmap to accompany your responses to this question. From there you will need to select and evaluate the appropriateness of a tech tool.

Some ideas I came up with were due to the case specific knowledge I have of this student. I know that they don’t have a computer/ laptop/ or iPad at home. However, I do know that they have a phone. One solution is to ask the student to record audio responses to questions and submit them through Edsby.

However, that would only be solving this issue for this student. If I really wanted to open up access to the majority of students I could look into ensuring that I create and assign digital tasks that have multiple avenues which can be completed within a class period. One such platform I could use to design this in class homework is Sutori. It allows for a range of information medias to be communicated, matching, quizzes, forums and short answer questions.



Get ready to play around with your chosen tool. This is necessary to ensure that you become proficient in its use and familiar with its limitations.

I have already engaged in this step previously as Sutori was an app I explored for a previous assignment. For those of you not fortunate enough to be in section 20 of the Digital Tech and Social Media class, feel free to check out my Sutori. In keeping with the Extend models’ suggestion of Define, Share and Refine, this is the time where I would make the designed task available to share and request my peers, or students to give me feedback to improve.



Lastly, connect the use of this technology to your curriculum. Envision how your learners will use this technology in the way you have asked them to. As you do this think about learning objectives and outcomes and whether or not they are being met.

The checklist provided by Extend is an easy way to quickly reflect on whether you have adequately met the needs of the Technologist Module Design Thinking Process. 

This module for tech integration in the classroom is something that I will practice using in my next practicum and in future. I see it as being valuable because it takes into account the needs of the learner first. Having spent the entirety of my practicum time at a very culturally diverse low SES school, it is something that I need to be employing. If I’m not taking a design thinking approach I won’t be facilitating the use of technology to modify and enhance tasks for the benefit of my students.


So, to Sketchnote, or not to sketchnote?

In terms of application for students, this type of note taking would be ideal for those who have trouble focusing on teacher centred lessons, or who need to keep their hands busy. I can see this being extremely effective (with a bit of practice) in an intermediate to senior level classroom. This use could take shape in either pen to paper or stylus to tablet method, depending on the school and student resources available.

In my own personal experience working towards creating my visual media, I found the process of sketchnoting to be really fun and helpful in clarifying big ideas. I tend to be a visual learner and processing information in this medium helped me not be overwhelmed by text and the to see concepts clearly. Something that I didn’t expect was that in the time it took me to draw out an idea, slowing down truly allowed me to process information, reflect on it and make connections. When in doubt, sketchnote it out!



The Technologist Survival Guide: Integrating Technology in Education with Purpose

you peeking out, meekly saying "hey"

The focus for this multimedia reflection was the Technologist Module from the eCampus Ontario website.

As you can probably tell from the banner above; my method of reflection was through Piktochart (I downloaded the image in blocks to better allow me to reflect through this medium: here is the full image uninterrupted by my thoughts and reflections if you wish to give it a gander).

I decided to do a Piktochart this time around because: a) I have not had the opportunity to play with it to this extent before; and b) I really needed a platform that allowed me to be creative; but also keep me in check (the last multimedia reflection I did was a Sketchnote; while it was fun it to create, it was also incredibly difficult for me to keep things neat and orderly and a girl needs neat and orderly sometimes, ya know?)

I found creating this Piktochart to be pretty neat; when it comes to drag n’ drop/template platforms you are always limited to an extent but perhaps the 3rd time around doing this has made me appreciate the simplicity.

Anyhow, back to the real content you’re looking for…

At this point of the course, it is no surprise to hear that technology can be incredibly beneficial to learners; however, there seems to always be that internal debate of, “am I actually using technology effectively in my class?”  Bitmoji Image

This module helps to answer that question by bringing you step-by-step through the design thinking process. For every process step, there are opportunities to extend your knowledge and apply what you know through the activities the module gives to you (it is also incredibly helpful with further explaining things in detail through embedded hyperlinks that the participant can click as well).

The module provides the participant with the 5 Elements of Design Thinking. 

The module guides you through all of these elements and allows for you to truly explore and understand how to effectively integrate technology into your pedagogy to help your students directly. The module is filled with resources that are easily accessible and helpful in the process of creation.


Bitmoji Image

If you want to know my personal thoughts about this module and its contents, here it goes…

Personally, I feel that this module is incredibly beneficial for educators to truly comprehend.

The entire module is dedicated to the idea that technology can only be effectively integrated if we truly understand the needs of our students. With this in mind, we can then process the information and work towards a solution to help students to fulfill these needs and better their quality of learning. I believe that students should always be provided the opportunity to be involved in the process of design when it comes to their education and teachers we need to accept this input and empathize with our learners.

With this design process, integrating technology in the classroom becomes purposeful, and not just a random tool/activity that is thrown into the mix. There have been many times where I have felt teachers have thrown technology into the mix just for the purpose of having technology in the classroom.

This module emphasizes that tech. integration should be learner-focused and requires a lot of effort and time in the decision. All students have different needs – we were able to experience some examples during our in-class activity where we had to explore this module as somebody else. Due to this diversity, we need to focus on students’ needs, find patterns, and begin to address them within our technological integration.

I will definitely be trying to utilize the design thinking process in my planning (and I will definitely be looking back at this bad boy whenever I need a strong starting point).

Bitmoji Image

Teacher Technologist – Bringing Tech Into Teaching

The Technologist module, created and funded by the government of Ontario, provides a useful tool for teachers to assess their implementation of technology in the classroom, so that the use of technology is done in a way that not only substitutes traditional teaching models, but enhances education. Technology can easily be used as a flashy, but needlessly complex way to achieve something that can be done just as easily with paper and a pencil (LOOKING AT YOU EVERY SINGLE MIND MAP SOFTWARE ONLINE), but this module is designed to be one part of an educator’s developing digital literacy. The use of technology can be both a boon and a burden to classroom environments. I am not shy to say that I feel that some of the tools utilized in this class have not been anywhere near as productive as writing out my thoughts on paper or in Word. To better express my thoughts, I’ve made a Twitter essay that should help clarify some of my thoughts.

Technologist uses the “Design-Thinking” Approach for testing and implementing technology in the classroom. The core of “Design-Thinking” is the human element. This means that the designer should involve learners in finding solutions to known issues or challenges, in a collaborative way. Teachers should not be fearful to experiment, but at the same time, should have students be involved in the creation of new tools, and have students facilitate the creation of new tools and ideas. The key steps are “Empathize – Define – Ideate – Prototype – Connect”. Empathize relates to the desires and needs of their learners, and what challenge that can be overcome with purposeful use of technology in the classroom. Define has the educator identify and select a challenge or issue that can be addressed with proper use of tech. Ideate is to both formulate and build the ideal features and concepts for how tech can be used to work with the challenge you identified. A mind map can help with this. After getting the idea, you must choose a technology you think would best be suited for this. The “SECTIONS” model can be useful for this, as it provides a framework for useful decision-making. Once you decided on a technology, you must prototype. Prototyping has three components – Design, Share, Refine. Design is creating or mapping out a lesson or strategy for your newfound technology. Sharing is exposing your design to learners or peers, and obtaining feedback from them. Lastly, refine involves taking responses and solving any potential challenges or issues that arose while they practiced. The last step of the “Design-Thinking” Approach is Connect. One must connect the technology into the curriculum. Implementation of tech should help reach or facilitate learning goals. If you can’t justify this, then perhaps it’s not conductive for student learning.

The module is an interesting framework for implementing technology in the classroom. It provides a good template for experimenting with different tools and technologies, and a way to see if it’s truly valuable for the classroom. Ironically, I’d argue that the multimedia platform I used for this is utterly ineffective for most classroom environments, while others (like the above-mentioned Mindmap programs) are actually more time consuming and frustrating than just utilizing tried and true paper. Not all technology is created equal, and technology should benefit learning, not just provide needless complication or frustration for learners.


The gist of being a Technologist

As we continue through this digital age, new and exciting technological tools are being developed each and every day. How are we as educators going to find the best tools to integrate into our classrooms?  The Technologist Module Design Thinking Process provides a useful algorithm to aid teachers in selecting the most effective and appropriate technological tools for their individual learner needs.



Early on in our course we learned about the SAMR framework, and were encouraged to strive to use technology in ways that are transformative to a lesson, and not just as a substitution of traditional methods. Similarly, we discussed the domains of TPACK, and the importance of incorporating both pedagogical and content knowledge when we integrate technology into our classrooms. The Technologist Module aligns perfectly with these concepts, as it offers educators a method for which they can successfully select these technological tools.


For this multimedia reflection, I decided to write a Twitter essay outlining the Technologist Module Design Thinking Process. Even as someone who is inexperienced with Twitter, using the platform was simple and effortless. Adding pictures or GIFs was a painless process, and aside from the character limitations there were no hurdles to leap.  Enjoy the tweets!




Drawing interest into the technological world?!

While looking at the Ontario Extend website, specifically the Technologist Module page, my initial thought and reaction was “ou, Twitter essay!” But since I have already done two, ironically, I stepped away from technology use to talk about the incorporation of tech into the classroom.

 I decided to step out of my comfort zone and do a sketchnote, although I’m no art major like our fabulous Paige Godin, I did my best! I chose to use a whiteboard because as educators, these are our canvases. Now, to get down and dirty, while looking at this module, the scenario at hand was that Terry wanted to incorporate tech in a way to benefit his learners.

Looking at the overview of the module, the objectives are to reflect on our won digital literacies for teaching, learn to address student-centered challenges with tech, find new tools for teaching and learning and to create learning activities using a design-thinking approach with tech.

 Looking at the first of the five-step approach, as an educator, you must empathize with your students and understand what the need is from your students. You can do this by gathering info through evaluations, feedback, and/or other communications. This information can be put into an empathy map.

 The second step of design-thinking approach is to define. To identify the problem of your learner(s). You’re more likely to find success if you start small rather than big. A good learner challenge frames the challenge, inspires, provides evaluation, captures the mind of users, and meets the needs of the majority of your people. You’ll never be able to 100% please everyone involved. Use the empathy map to define your learner challenge or find patterns.

Step 3 and 4 consist of ideate and prototype. Ideate where you plan and build the features and characteristics of how technology could address your learner challenge. The best way is to ask yourself “how might I?”. Try mind mapping using the Learner Challenge Mindmap Doc or Mindmeister, MindMup, Coggle, Canva, Padlet, Prezi or even use pen and paper.

Prototype involves putting small tangible creations in front of your users rather than talking about abstract ideas. Results in much richer feedback. The basic steps design, share, refine.








The last step is to connect. Connect to the curriculum and indicate how the different elements fit together and link the activity to your learning outcomes.  

I Can’t Count To 5… 1,2,3,4, Fish

As a society, we have become increasingly dependent on technology is various forms and for various reasons. One of the constant reasons to integrate technology into your life is to make it simpler. Wether or not it truly makes your life simpler is difficult to say and is based upon your use of technology. The goal for many educators is to reach all of their students but many of them do not understand how to incorporate technology in the classroom. This week we looked at Extend, which is a site constructed to help educators to better incorporate technology into their classrooms in order to aid all learners.

In the scenario at the beginning of the module, Terry wanted to incorporate technology in a way that would benefit all of his learners. After talking to his colleagues and completing the Extend module, he incorporated the XYZ technology.

One of the main components of Extends modules is Digital literacies. Digital literacies use technology to address specific learning challenges on an individual basis. Digital literacies effectively locate, use, summarize, evaluate, create, and communicate information while using digital technologies and web-based platforms. It also includes the knowledge to engage safely and ethically in online communities. Developing digital literacies never stops as it is an ongoing process. As educators, it is our responsibility to

Design thinking sparks new ideas through creating and experimenting. It is human-centered so the people creating and experimenting will actually benefit from the product. In the classroom, it allows students to work together to come up with a solution to a known challenge. Design-Thinking involves a 5 step process: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Connect. The process invites educators to empathize with their students so that they can define their students challenge. Once the challenge has been defined, the educator can begin to ideate which technology would be beneficial to their students. Once the educator has chosen a technology they can begin to prototype it to their students so that they can refine it and make it better for their learners. The final step is to connect the curriculum into the technology so that the students challenge will not hinder learning in anyway.

I chose to create a twitter essay for this reflection because it is a technology that I have barely used. We were told to stretch a bit for this reflection so that is what I am doing here. I found twitter to be fairly easy to use although I will admit I did ask for some help when it came to using threads to connect tweets. Having run through the Extend module with myself in mind, I think this is a good platform in which I could see students reflecting on their learning or even writing stories about events in the world. I imagine this would be a technology that many of my future students will be very familiar and comfortable with using.


Become a Mastermind in Technology

Teachers must meaningfully integrate technology in the classroom that will elicit a positive experience for specific learning challenges. This is super important to remember as an educator because we hear so much about differentiated instruction and modifications for all learners and needs. I think that sometimes it does get lost in translation what the purpose of technology is and often gets used as a substitute. There should be a focus to implement the SAMR model in the classroom to make a transformation and redefine or modify learning rather than enhancing learning through substitution or augmentation. The Technologist Module breaks down a method to do just that. This post will explore the different parts of the module.

Digital Literacies

According to Beetham and Sharpe’s framework, digital literacy is a developmental process. Being digitally literate is more than functional IT skills, it includes the way information is used, created, communicated, interpreted and summarized. Digital literacy changes based on purpose, skill, and accessibility. For example, the way you would use technology in a university classroom may be different from an elementary school classroom and the more access you have to technology the more literate you may become.

These are all factors that you need to keep in mind as a teacher. When we talk about developing digital literacy accessibility becomes very difficult depending on the school you are in whether its the high population of low SES families or the school just can’t afford the technology. When developing tools to help learners’ challenges we must take these things into account and work with them to achieve the end goal. 


The core principle of design thinking is that it is human-centered, meaning that the people who will benefit from the product or solution that is created are directly involved in its design. There are five steps that the module moves through and those are Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Connect and Test.

  • Empathize 

You need to understand what the needs of your learners are before you can empathize with their challenges and then begin to come up with an effective solution. Part of making this step work is developing relationships with your learners. Which become important as an education in several aspects of the job. The relationship can help you to better understand the learners’ struggles and barriers and it can be a continuous relationship to finding a solution.

  • Define the Challenge

Start with something small by narrowing and identifying the problem or challenge based on what you know. A good learner challenge, based on principles from, should provide focus and frame the challenge, inspire you and others around you, inform how you will evaluate subsequent ideas, captures the hearts and minds of your users and it helps you focus on developing concepts and plans that meet the needs of most of the people that matter.

  • Ideate

Here you form and build the ideal features and characteristics of how technology could address your learner challenge. There are several resources that the module provides a starting point. I really enjoyed going through some of the links and I can actually see myself using some of these in the future. It’s a great starting point for teachers that don’t know where to start.

Finding a tool that will best fit yours and your learner’s challenge may take some trial and error.

Use SECTIONS Model to help evaluate its effectiveness. It helps you to think about all aspects of implementation.

  • Prototype

Test out your chosen technology. There are three basic steps: design, share and refine. This step can be very valuable before implementation. It would be unrealistic to implement a new tool without trying it out yourself and expecting the students to just figure it out. In the end, you could just waste time and not meet any of your intended goals. Getting to know how exactly the technology will fit into the classroom would be most effective. If it doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped you can refine and rework your expectations or use.

  • Connect

Now make the connection between the use of technology and how it relates to the curriculum or expectations. This will make for a more meaningful classroom and transform learning.

In conclusion, this process can be quite a time consuming, however, would be worth it in the end. The difference it can make for equity in the classroom and provide the possibility for all students to attain the knowledge and meet expectations is an asset. Following this model can help to redefine the learning experience and purposefully integrate technology in the classroom as per the SAMR model calls for. I think this module can be used to help problem solve for many needs, not just for technology integration. I think the path could be followed even for new policies or classroom rules before integration to work out all the kinks. I enjoyed working through this module and look forward to implementing it into my planning for a 21st-century classroom.


For my multimedia piece, I  made an infographic using Canva. Click image for larger view.

Tagged , ,

Teach with Tech- Let’s Put the Learner First!

The Extend Technologist Module was a great resource to help educators not simply use technological tools in their class, but also consider why they are using them. The module proposes a scenario of a teacher who has taught the same class for a long period of time and is seeking for a new way to integrate technology which his learners will enjoy. As future educators, I think the most relatable part of this scenario is integrating technology in a way our learners will enjoy. It is easy as educators to use simple technological mediums when teaching, however this module emphasize the need to use technology to enhance learning. This module has a goal of using technology to help addresses specific learner challenges; while also encompassing how to build that challenge for your learners. Early in the module the question is posed regarding how to define digital literacy. Personally, I would define this term as the ability of one to use technology to optimize multiple aspects of everyday life. I think it is important for the module to address this topic very early, because our students will always have varying levels of digital literacy. When creating challenges, and strategies to overcome these challenges that are centred around technology, we need to constantly consider the digital literacy level of our students and strive to create something that fits as many learner’s needs as possible. For example, if someone were to be teaching a class with many new Canadian immigrants that have not worked extensively with technology, slow steps would have to be taken throughout the year to build these student’s digital literacy in order for technology to truly enhance their learning.

Next the module introduces the Design-Thinking Approach.  This concept is a human centred approach to solving problems, which involves the learner creating and experimenting, while also using feedback to find a solution. Ultimately the module recommends this strategy when trying to integrate technology into your teaching. This approach is broken down into 5 key elements. The first element is to empathize. This means that in order to create something for a learner, you need to first consider the learners needs. I think this is relatable to all teachers.  Personally, when integrating technology into my teaching practices, I always try to ask myself, “will this be benifitial for the students?”   When planning as educators, the student should always be the centre of using technology in the classroom. The second element is definition, which involves taking the information you gathered about the students and narrowing it to a challenge. I personally think this element was great and something I will strive to improve on in the future. Often as teachers it is easy to find a technological tool and attempt to find ways to integrate it in your class room. The Design-Thinking Approach however does the opposite, having educators think about the learner first and creating a challenge, before even considering technology. Two elements into the approach and technology has not been mention, which I think will ultimately create a better learning experience for the students.

The third element is to ideate, meaning creating ideas regarding how technology can address the challenge you created. Again, I think it is great to have this as the third element.  At this point a learning goal centred around the student has been created, and now technology is being used to enhance this. The fourth element is prototype, meaning using the technology in a scaled down form to test the platform. This is an important step that many teachers forget. Technology can be fidgety and slow down the classroom when the teacher is not proficient in it. When using technology in the classroom the teacher must first become comfortable with the medium, in order to ensure a smooth delivery and be able to assist students.  The final element is to connect, meaning connect what you created to curriculum.  Personally, I believe this element is placed out of order, and I would make connections in the first stage of this approach.  Curriculum and learning goals should come first, and ideas should be branched off of this.  Centring learning around curriculum is key, followed by using technology to enhance the delivery of curriculum.

For my artifact I have created a Pow-Toon.  My Pow-Toon presented the Design-Thinking Approach to integrating technology into the classroom, however it is re-ordered in a way that I believe will ultimately create a better result for students and teachers.  Check it through the link below and let me know what you think, I bet you’ll #UWinDIG it!


-Joey Power