This course explores influences of technology on schooling and society. Using sociological, historical, and philosophical frameworks, participants examine equity, cultural diversity, student empowerment, and community.
Dates: May 18 - August 7, 2020
No doubt, this course will address current events related to COVID-19. The description I have used since starting the course in 2005 follows provides a generic overview. Please also read the "Section Expectations". Course Description: This course explores inter-relationships among technology, schooling, and society. We will use sociological, historical, and philosophical frameworks to consider implications of the proliferation of technologies for formal and nonformal education systems. With evolving norms sometimes conflicting with institutional habits established in prior centuries, we will focus on purposes for public schooling; changing dynamics of traditional power structures; the role of policy in framing social constructs; and other issues related to equity, cultural diversity, student empowerment, and communities. Course Objectives 1. Course participants will practice using historical, philosophical, and sociological frameworks to analyze and explain ways technologies have an impact on the transformation of public schooling as a social institution. 2. Course participants will identify ways technologies affect socio-cultural relationships, describe implications for schooling systems and individual stakeholders, and develop a localized plan for addressing an issue of interest. 3. Course participants will communicate their learning in multiple formats: scholarly essays, policy briefs, literature reviews, online discussions, and online presentations. 4. Course participants will review research literature on a topic of interest related to course themes and integrate findings into a scholarly article that can be used in their academic and professional roles. The course also aligns with Vermont State Criteria for the Educational Technology Specialist Endorsement: Knowledge Standard 1.1.1. The history and cultural significance of educational technologies and the impact of educational technology on learning, today’s society, cultural diversity, and sustainability Performance Standard 18.104.22.168. Model and promote strategies for achieving equitable access and ethical use of digital tools and resources and technology-related best practices for all students and teachers Performance Standard 12. Applies and models the ethical use of educational technologies Performance Standard 13. Demonstrates sensitivity to inequities in technology access in schools by incorporating and modeling specific instructional strategies that promote equity).
We will address current topics throughout the course, as well as examining historical connections. If you plan to take this course summer of 2020, consider starting now to take a few notes related to course themes, such as the role of technology in mitigating disruptions posed by COVID-19. Collect resources, such as a podcast, news story, interview, examples of use of technology in schooling, etc. Think about identifying a topic you want to explore more deeply through any of the foundations for education: history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. For example, you might want to focus your work on looking at how this virus has been a game-changer for using technology for schooling. Or explore further the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on different social groups. You will be able to take a deep dive into a topic of your choice, as long as it relates to course themes, which provide the framework for analysis. The course meets asynchronously, with weekly expectations for reading, posting course products online, and communicating with course colleagues. Making connections to one's professional and personal interests is emphasized throughout. Often course participants will use the course to help develop work products useful for their professional roles (e.g., policy brief) or for graduate degree completion (e.g., literature review for a thesis). We will also have weekly drop-in community hours online, using video-conferencing, as well as an opportunity for individualized coaching. Like other 3-credit courses, and per University of Vermont policy regarding work required for a three credit-hour course, participants can plan for allocating about 10 hours per week between May 18 and August 7, 2020. Consider inviting a friend or colleague to join you. You will have the opportunity to create a collaborative product useful for your current professional roles. Please send me an email if you have questions. -Colleen MacKinnon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Assignments will be evaluated according to the extent they demonstrate • Integration of content and conceptual issues emphasized through readings and discussions • Articulation of the way content and skills can be applied in professional endeavors • Attention to clear and concise writing, which reflects using an appropriate style guide (e.g., MLA, APA). Assignment directions and scoring rubrics will be posted in Blackboard.
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