Welcome to the Ontario Extend Technologist Module! Personally, I think it’s one of the top six Ontario Extend modules and look forward to your participation.
The story of how the Technologist module came to be started when our development team was considering different pedagogical approaches to the Ontario Extend program modules. Design thinking was deemed an obvious and natural fit for this one.
Why? Well, when it comes to use of technology, it is usually for one of two reasons – either becoming aware of an available technology and trying to find ways to use it, or as a solution to a known problem (Shields, 2009). It’s hard to avoid the latter, especially when you hear about a cool tool and think, “Wow, how can I use this in my course?” But it is the former – the tech tool as problem solver – that is the approach to take, and one we encourage you to dive into throughout this module.
And what better way to approach a challenge than through design thinking? Design thinking taps into a designer’s toolkit to engage users in creating and experimenting to solve problems by coming up with new ideas and then using feedback to improve those ideas. The core principle of design thinking is that it is human-centered –the people who will benefit from the product or solution are directly involved in its design. In teaching and learning circles, that means your learners – and in this module their perspective provides the launchpad into Technologist territory.
Design thinking is enjoying a hey-day right now – and for good reason. It’s a quick, guided way to look at problems differently. It can help you connect with your learners, get unstuck, spark new ideas, provide solutions that actually work, and inject a bit of fun and creativity!
We’ll take you through the following modified design thinking approach. The main focus of each of these steps in this module are outlined in this interactive – just click on the hotspot in each circle (thank you H5P!)
That was fun eh? Technology is fun – and while we can get caught up in all of that fun (like I do) you can do it in such a way that helps engage your learners and enriches the learning (and teaching!) experience. And that’s what this module is all about. We can’t wait to see your Tweets, posts and technology creations. And, as this module itself is in a constant iterative loop, we’re open to your feedback and suggestions.