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Reflection on EdTech597 Edutainment Course

April 28, 2013

I feel like this class of EdTech597, Edutainment was a bit of a mixed bag for me personally in what was learned. One challenge that I have faced in all my classes is translating course content designed for the typical MET student who is a school (K-12) teacher to my setting as a librarian teaching information literacy in a liberal arts college. I feel that I have been least successful doing that in this class compared to other MET courses.

Edutainment and Learning Theories: We reviewed edutainment in light of learning theories. While I resonated most with the Constructivist Theory in Edutainment, I wish that the Connectivist Theory had also been included. The Connectivist Theory was covered in EdTech504 and I wrote a research paper on the parallels between Connectivism and library information literacy instruction objectives. The fact that Connectivsm theory was not covered reduced the relevant overlap I would have found useful in the library world. Additionally, as described in the Learning Theory overview assignment, I found the reading on Flow Theory to be so irrelevant and offensive that I gained no educational value from it. I did enjoy the activity of diagramming learning theories within a Venn diagram. I feel that helped me to understand the relationship of learning theories to one another. The Learning Theory Podcast gave my classmates and I another opportunity to explore the use of Google Hangouts for collaborative work. We also used the publishing feature in Google Hangouts to easily post the Hangout discussion to Youtube. This will be very useful for me in research assistance meetings with online students at my institution.

Comic Strips: I had not considered comic strips as useful in edutainment before this class. I have a better appreciation for the theory of their use to introduce new material and connect theory to practice. The comic strip assignment was initially frustrating because the comic strip websites provided by the professor did not allow students to complete the assignment correctly (for example, the assignment was to create a 6-8 panel comic strip but one of the websites listed only allowed up to 3 panels with the free subscription option). Fortunately some students did independent research and saved the rest of us a lot of time by providing alternate resources. While I enjoyed creating the comic strip, the actual comic strip creation will be of limited use to me in single-shot information literacy sessions. I might use pre-made comic strips more often as a motivating factor as indicated in my lesson plan.

Creating an Educational Video: This assignment was not only very applicable to my professional life, but it was also very timely. It gave me a chance to create an educational video that I will actually use in a new graduate program launching this summer. I also referenced the video in another MET course I am taking this term. I will be making many more videos soon.

Creating a video game: I was very frustrated with the video games such as Farmville that were assigned, as I did not find educational value in them. Scratch is targeted to young children and students. It has no applicability to me in a college library setting, particularly as I do not work with computer science students. I did refer this game to my sister-in-law who homeschools her young children. I wish this section would have been more applicable to instructors who work with older age groups.

Creating a Lesson Plan: I was able to pull together several edutainment formats such as a video and comic strip into this lesson plan. The lesson itself was an edutainment game to teach research and evaluation skills to college nursing students. More importantly, I was able to pair edutainment strategies with a general website that will prove very applicable to my unique teaching environment.

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