Module 2 – Why do we include technology in the classroom?

Module 2 – Why do we include technology in the classroom?

Technology and Learning –

I found that the readings identified several issues that impact the successful integration of technology in classrooms. One of the points that I thought spoke volumes was Bigum (2012) pointing out that schools are no longer the innovative destinations of learning they once were. With the easy access to content and knowledge through the internet on mobile devices, schools are on the back step. Because of this, I agree with Cox (2012) in that teachers lose control of the way students perceive, understand and interpret technological knowledge. For this to change, schools need to change and adapt their technology views and policies to facilitate the implementation of ICT (Voogt et. al. 2011) instead of reacting. Schools need to move beyond ‘old and familiar ways’ (Bigum, 2012) and embrace a shift of control that enables students to have a responsibility for their learning by becoming contributors of knowledge (November, 2009). Bigum (2012) states that ‘schools often begin to engage with computers and related technologies in the belief that they will improve something about schooling’, it is this philosophy that hinders any advancement to successful integration. What is relayed here is that often teachers have limited knowledge and experience in using technology and don’t understand the benefits that technology can bring to a classroom; Bigum (2012), Cox (2012) & November (2009) all acknowledge the importance of teachers professional development regarding technology as a way to support student learning and the successful integration.

A quote I thought attested to the use of technology was by Law (2008) quoted in Voogt et. al. (2011) “technology has the potential to transform schools, and teachers need to be able to actively participate in that process”.


 

21st Century Skills –

I’m in support of technology use in the classroom, as it has a role to play in developing future skills needed by students. Although there are arguments about technology being a distraction, I believe this to be mainly due to misuse and inexperience. I think a lot can be learnt and applied from the YouTube of the Singaporean school (Edutopia, 2012) in terms of how they embrace and integrate technology use. By integrating ‘distracting’ technology and applying creative digital uses, students can communicate, collaborate, research and share their experiences in meaningful ways. If teachers can become facilitators then students will have the ability to become producers of knowledge and that is what we should be aiming to achieve by using digital technology.

“when kids are interested, that’s when learning takes place” (Edutopia, 2012)


 

Digital Literacy –

Josie Fraser – “The definition I most frequently use is this one: digital literacy = digital tool knowledge + critical thinking + social engagement.” (Anyangwe, 2012)

Roblyer & Doering (2014) suggest that digital literacy “now refers to the skills in using the information that technological devices carry, in addition to skills in using the devices themselves”.

I think that understanding and learning digital literacies are relevant as they provide a way to expand students current and evolving learning abilities. Technology is in everybody’s day to day lives, but not everyone has the same skill level and applies the same critical thinking skills to their learning. Digital Technology helps to cater and develop the needs of the students. Teachers have the role of supporting students learning and need to ensure that they evolve in that role, just as much as the technology does, as digital literacies are not static.


 

Technology and Our Students –

According to Prensky (2001), I would be a digital native (barely), although I’d consider myself a digital enthusiast. But I grew up with technology through my teens (we may have even shared a growth spurt at the same time). My love of technology strengthens with every new device and creation that comes along.

As a teacher, it is important to know and understand how students learn. When you consider Prensky’s theories about digital natives and how they interact with technology, it’s beneficial for me to keep that in mind when teaching and creating lessons. Prensky (2001) lists a few key qualities about digital natives – e.g. they multi-task, desire easy access to quick and current information, prefer graphics to text and like games. As a teacher, I need to be mindful of this and need to start thinking how to apply this knowledge and think gamification strategies, interactivity, self-exploration and development with social engagement. With digital natives growing up and having a strong focus on social media these days, it would be wise to include this form of communication and gratification into learning styles. While students may have different learning styles, the advantage of digital technology is making it easier to cater to individual learning needs.


References –

Anyangwe, E. (2012). 20 ways of thinking about digital literacy in higher education. The GuardianBritain. United Kingdom. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2012/may/15/digital-literacy-in-universities.

Bigum, C. (2012). Transformative Approaches to New Technologies and Student Diversity in Futures Oriented Classrooms. L. Rowan and C. Bigum, Springer Netherlands. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/docDetail.action?docID=10524693

Cox, M.J. (2012), Formal to informal learning with IT: research challenges and issues for e-learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.
http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2012.00483.x

Edutopia. (2012). Singapore’s 21st-century teaching strategies (education everywhere series). Retrieved from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_pIK7ghGw4.

November, A. (2009). Myths and Opportunities: Technology in the classroom. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/3930740

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. Part I. From On the Horizon.             MCB University Press, Vol. 9 No. 5, October 2001. Retrieved from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. Part II: do they really think differently?      From On the Horizon. MCB University Press, Vol. 9 No. 5, October 2001. Retrieved from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part2.pdf.

Roblyer, M., & A. Doering. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching: international edition. 6th Edition. Pearson. Great Britain. United Kingdom.

Voogt J., Knezek G., Cox M.J., Knezek D.&ten Brummelhuis A. (2011) Under which conditions does ICT have a positive effect on teaching and learning? A call to action.Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. 15 November 2011
http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00453.x

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2 thoughts on “Module 2 – Why do we include technology in the classroom?

  1. Hi Matt.

    I was interested in your comment about using social media in the classroom as a form of communication. I have seen some blogs about the use of class Twitter accounts and this is an area of interest for me going forward.

    The following blog gives some good reasons why Twitter can be a useful tool in the classroom http://www.teachhub.com/13-reasons-use-twitter-classroom

    I think that it could be particularly useful for teaching students to be concise and helping them to summarise content, with the 140 character limit. It is definitely something I will be looking into further.

    Like

    1. Hi Alex.

      I think social media platforms are a worthy tool in classrooms. As you indicate with the twitter reference, students learn to be concise when summarising. Furthermore I think this helps students to focus on the ‘headlines’ and main points (as mentioned in the blog). This allows students to work on developing their reading and literacy skills (consider this an affordance), while collaborating and communicating with fellow students. Seems like a win-win to me!

      Like

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