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Teaching Philosophy

Teach the Commonality of Tools, Not the Platform

When faced with a myriad of new and established platforms that support teachers in HyFlex learning environments, we run the risk of buying into a platform that either become acquired by a fee-based entity or falls into disrepair because the vendor ceases to maintain the platform. Such is the case with applications such as Science Journal, which will transition to Arduino in December of 2020 because Google decided to no longer support the platform. Teachers who archived experiments with Science Journal will not have their experiments and data transferred to the new platform. The tool to teach is "export" and "import," which I find teachers reluctant to use in practice. Users of Science Journal must now export their data and import the files to the new Arduino platform.

There are standard tools among design applications such as SketchUp, Tinkercad, and the new "shapr3D" to manipulate 3D objects developed by students. The “export” tool is crucial to 3D computer aid design software because objects do not remain in the design application. Instead, they are exported and later imported to applications such as Robot Virtual Worlds and 3D printing applications.

Instead of instructing teachers how to implement individual applications, I teach them the commonality among tools on platforms. Teachers can quickly pick up on the user interface (UI) of any application to integrate a wide variety of currently available platforms. Teaching the categories of tools among educational technology platforms allows students to build flexibility into lesson planning when platforms become obsolete or acquired.

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