Topic: Describe the computer-related technologies that you have available in your living environment and/or work environment. How have you used technologies in your previous educational experiences? How have teachers/instructors used technology to help in teaching you? What do you hope to learn in this class? Finally, provide your definition of "educational technology."
I use technology each day at home and at work. I work at a bank and the majority of my work is done in excel and a database that was created and tweaked to fit our commercial loan portfolio. Most of the proposals I do are saved in PDF form and discussed weekly via video-conference between senior management. We also have access to Word, Powerpoint, and use Outlook for emails. The internet is also used quite frequently. We have access to databases for information on industry standards for different types of borrowers. Our bank recently incorporated VOIP phones in all of our locations, so a 5 digit extension is all that's needed to call anyone that works for my bank. This seems like a minuscule improvement, but its really convenient to have caller ID (which makes screening calls extremely easy) and have a directory built into the phone. Many of the lenders I work with are very "old school" and would rather fax information rather than email it, but they're starting to get better.
At home, I have my own PC, printer, photo printer, and digital camera that I use almost every day as well. I just moved in with my parents, who do not have a wireless network set up, so I have yet to get internet access in my room. Anything I do on the internet must be done on the family computer which is getting old and outdated.
One of my favorite classes in my previous college experience was my computer graphic design class. This was the one class where I was not familiar with some of the technology and programs used. Having spent most of my life using PCs, the switch to using a mac was difficult at times. In this class I learned Photoshop and Illustrator and loved every minute of it. I just got Photoshop for my PC this year for Christmas and I'm excited to experiment with my photography! My other classes used mostly power point as a visual tool for lectures and/or demonstrations. Blackboard was also used, but I dont think it was used to its full potential. In a few of my stats classes, I was introduced to minitab to compute tables, which helped a lot at the time.
In this class, I hope to learn how to build on the skills I've already learned in order to make my lessons more effective and enjoyable for my students. I'm hoping this class will open my eyes to some of the resources out there that I havent been exposed to yet. To me, educational technology is how teachers use innovative tools to communicate, present, and organize information and ideas to give the student a better understanding of the subject matter. By using these tools, the student should be able to more effectively apply the information learned.