Week 13 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Week 13 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Reading Response

I. Introduction

a. Background

Ed-tech has been an integral and revolutionary part in modern education. It however, is not a new addition to university curriculum. This research paper will delve into the history of digital learning environments at UofI and the kind of impact they make on modern education.

b. Thesis

University of Illinois has a rich history of Computer Aided Educational environments. There are several aspects that need to be delved into starting from the history of Education technology at the University to the modern day imapact of these learning environments to aid students to study during the COVID pandemic.

Education technology has evolved over the years, the concept of education technology was in fact the initial reason for the creation of a concept of an interconnected network like the internet. Before the internet came into being a research group at the University of Illinois developed a interconnected university network called PLATO.

Education Technology History

PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations) originated in the early 1960s as a distributed computer-based learning system at the University of Illinois and was the first generalized computer assisted instruction system. It was developed by a team of many people, initially led by Donald Bitzer. Once PLATO was established, users and developers were able to add more functions. PLATO was a precursor to today’s online world, with a thriving online community which predated today’s social media by decades.

It introduced up many landmark features – Computer-Based Learning, Online Networking, Plasma Flat-Panel Displays, Interactive Touch Screens, etc.

Online Learning Environments

The next major innovation in the ed-tech space after the general networking and internet revolution was with the advent of Online Learning Environments. In 1995, the Web enabled the development of the first learning management systems (LMSs), such as WebCT (which later became Blackboard). LMSs provide an online teaching environment, where content can be loaded and organized, as well as providing ‘spaces’ for learning objectives, student activities, assignment questions, and discussion forums. The first fully online courses (for credit) started to appear in 1995, some using LMSs, others just loading text as PDFs or slides.

DELTA :  Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching & Agency

With the increasing popularity of Online Learning Environments, the university soon realised that the possibilities were limitless to modernize education using technology. With this ideology in mind and an intention to keep innovating in the field. The university introduced the DELTA program.

The Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching, & Agency (DELTA) program focuses on the creation and research of digital environments for learning and teaching. This includes technology-enhanced classrooms, mobile devices, and immersive simulations across a range of disciplines, including science, engineering, math, and history.

II. Body

With a rich history of innovations by the university in the field of Education Technology, there was a big impact in many spheres of education and in the lifestyles of students in general.

a. Data Archives:

i. “an excerpt from the digital archives of a research paper called ‘EXAMINING TECHNOLOGICAL FACTORS ON E-LEARNING ACCEPTANCE AND LEARNING TRANSFER’. This article talks in detail about the implication of e-learning and how it has played a role in education at the University. This particular screenshot gives us a lot of information about how technology acceptance in education has increased over time. This data is important in understanding our target size for our research.

Use research papers like these to provide important historical and impact content to support the arguments made in my paper.

Will use data from the Interview to talk about common attitude and beliefs towards the imapact of EdTech platforms in education.

b. Data from Interview:

i. “It would not be the same to be honest, especially during COVID. I cannot imagine us being able to study without these platforms. Having these platforms makes it possible to communicate with the instructors and other students remotely. I don’t think discussions, and other kinds of activities could take place without them.”

Use excerpts from the interview to talk about student opinion on the impact of digital learning environments on the educational experience.

d. Survey Data

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Post COVID Impact of Education Technology

The Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing that followed have affected all walks of society, also education. In order to keep education running, educational institutions have had to quickly adapt to the situation. This has resulted in an unprecedented push to online learning. Many, including commercial digital learning platform providers, have rushed to provide their support and ‘solutions’, sometimes for free. The Covid-19 pandemic has therefore also created a sellers’ market in ed-tech. 

I will provide scenarios, and data to show how edtech companies have grown exponentially during the Pandemic. And make an informed analysis of what the future of edtech looks like to me based on the current situation and data.

III. Conclusion

Bring the whole research paper to a well rounded end. Talk about all the final observations and analysis made using all the data presented above. This shall be more detailed once the research paper has been written more in detail.

Week 13 Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Final Project Workshop: 5 Slides

Reading Response- OUTLINE


(Background): Social media and the communication between students have been and continue to evolve since the 19th century.

(Thesis): The University of Illinois has allowed for people and students to systematically communicate over time, from protesting, to debates, to advanced technology. Many social media platforms are considered sociotechnical systems that people use on a daily basis. These specific platforms may take over a student’s life over time and can affect social interaction within students, especially at the University of Illinois.


(Data Archives):


This resource on student protests from the 19th century provides background on how important political and economical debates were communicated in our past.

The resource Students utilize technology for social good through Hack4Impact from the Daily Illini helps explore how it helps connect students with nonprofits through technology and the impacts that they make on society. The author believes that “this whole idea of social impact and technology needs to be more intertwined in the future to propel nonprofits to do even more social good,” pushing for technology to be utilized to its full potential. The impact that this organization has on social change through will help me pursue the answer to my inquiry. Additionally, they created an educational tool called MapStories “developed as a way to help the newsroom share local history and African American culture in a user-friendly way.” This is a key event that was used to build their story, which eventually allowed them to partner with other nonprofits that wanted to help change the world for good.

(Data from Interview):

“I’ve seen many students in public with their friends, and they are all usually on their phones, rather than speaking to each other. Whereas before the advances of technology, people would normally speak to each other without the use of their phones or social media. Technology has changed students for the better and for the worse.” (Sebastian 2:01)

My interviewee Sebastian brought to light that social media is great for communication and networking, but also agreed that it is not beneficial for everything that it’s used for.


I can use Yang’s source to explain how technology and social media may have an effect on a student’s engagement to their career in the future. Yang’s evidence relates to and even questions our humanity. He talks about how most people don’t even like their jobs, especially right after they graduate. Additionally, he uses numbers and percentages to explain his point, and “According to Gallup, only 13 percent of workers worldwide report being engaged with their jobs. The numbers are a little better in America, with 32 percent saying they were engaged with their work in 2015” (Yang Chapter 7).

(Survey Data):

Before COVID, you used social media during a normal semester on a [ ] basis:Number of respondents:
Not Applicable: did not use social media2
Grand Total55

Based on my pivot tables, a lot of students tend to use social media on a daily basis, although, I was surprised by how many people use it on an hourly basis. Additionally, most people seem to agree that social media platforms create more problems than they solve for students on campus. On the other hand, most students still use social media very often, regardless of how it affects their lives.

This data is valuable to me because I can start to see a trend towards students who agree that social media is problematic and continue to use it. It’s interesting to think about what it would be like if social media didn’t exist in our time because it did not exist back in the 19th century, so a lot has changed since then.


Summarize all data from beginning to end and restate thesis. Emphasize the importance of the innovation on technology and how it affects the lives of millions.

Week 13 – Lab Reflection + Reading Response

Part 1: Lab – Final Project Workshop

Part 2: Reading Response

I. Introduction

a. Background: The Reserve Officer Training Corps has been a prevalent part of the history of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. According to Rachel Melancon, contributing writer to the Daily Illini, “Reserve Officer Training Corps. is a program through the military that allows students to not only receive valuable scholarships towards their education but also provides them with the opportunity to enter the military with the status of officer.” This program provides the students with the opportunity to develop into military leaders.

As a Land Grant University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has received federal funding in order to continue the educational development of students across the country (Geiger 285). This information establishes an existing relationship between the University of Illinois with the federal government of the United States. The federal government’s influence on the university has resulted in military related educational developments.

b. Thesis: Through organizations like the Reserve Officer Training Corp, students can obtain time management skills that will help them be successful at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In order to understand the development of time management through the Reserve Officer Training Corps, we must discuss the data collected from the survey, archives, readings, and interviews.

II. Body

a. Data Archives:

i. “The University of Illinois was the first of the educational institutions of the United States to offer its services and facilities to the government when the entrance of the United States into war with Germany was imminent in the spring of 1917” (“History of the United States Army School of Military Aeronautics at the University of Illinois Urbana, Illinois.”).

The relationship between the federal government and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is prevalent in this quote. The imminent threat from the German military pushed the United States into war. The educational institutions like the University of Illinois provided the United States with recruits and resources to develop supporters for the military effort. This quote helps to show the balance between the funding of the federal government and the resources and man power of the University of Illinois.

b. Readings

i. “In 1917 American students, faculty, and administrators experienced the euphoria of war, as had their counterparts in other belligerent nations 3 years before. Universities immediately proffered their services for training, research, and morale building but ended by abandoning their academic mission almost entirely” (Geiger 423).

Geiger explains the relationship between the Land Grant Universities and the federal government of the United States. The university would provide training, research, and other developments while the federal government would provide the university with essential funding. The funding provided by the federal government helped the university to keep the school running and continue educating the young adults of the United States.

c. Data from Interview:

i. “I think it’s just kind of like a learning curve when you’re a freshman and you’re just like, it’s kind of a lot more responsibility than what you’re used to in high school, like within our fighting alumni battalion, our cadets, we kind of take leadership roles like squad leader, team leader, first sergeant, platoon sergeant, and all the way up to like battalion commander. And so as you progress in the program and progress, like in school, you’re getting more responsibility leadership responsibility in ROTC so it’s kind of part of the training where you just have to learn how to manage your time wisely. But I would say that, yeah majority of my time has to be spent on ROTC and just maintaining good grades I don’t really have a lot of time for like school related clubs, I’d say. But, yeah majority of my extra time has to be spent on the Reserve Officer Training Corp.” (Koester).

Annika explains that a lot of pressures are a part of the learning curve. When a student is given these responsibilities, he or she must recognize and manage it. Leadership is a major theme prevalent in her quote. It is important for a Reserve Officer Training Corp student to participate in the development of time management. The time commitment required by the ROTC forces students to develop a strategy that helps them to keep up with school, maintain a good GPA, and still have time for other activities and relationships. However, she says she has a hard time participating in other clubs because her commitment to the ROTC takes up the majority of her schedule.

d. Survey Data

i. Through the current data regarding Reserve Officer Training Corps students, one disagreed with the statement that they were able to successfully balance between their academic work with their commitment to organization. Three students agreed with the statement, one student was neutral, and two students strongly agreed to the statement in question 11. These results emphasize that the students that are in ROTC are capable of creating a balance between their course work in school with their commitment to the organization.

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III. Conclusion

a. Through the archives, interviews, and data survey, time management is revealed as an important trait that is pushed in organizations like ROTC. The archives and readings helped to establish the relationship between the Land Grant Univeristy with the federal government of the United States. During my interview with Annika, she emphasized the importance of camaraderie with time management and responsibility. The Reserve Officer Training Corps hold cadets accountable for their actions and management skills. The date helped to emphasize the balance between school and organizations that are required by ROTC students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Chamapign. By understanding the data and lessons learned from these students in ROTC, students can be successful at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.