Module 4 – Teaching and Learning with Digital Technologies.

Module 4 – Teaching and Learning with Digital Technologies.

Learning Theories and Classroom Technologies- 

I think connectivism rationalises the argument for technological integration in the learning environment. It demonstrates how and where it can fit in and what benefits may come from its integration. Siemens (2005) describes connectivism as the “integration of principles” in which learning occurs by connecting information sets. The use of social media and blogs has fueled the rise of connectivism, by allowing us to ‘connect’ with online social groups, we are then able to further learn and explore through our connected experiences and knowledge.

The idea that learning doesn’t just take place within the walls of a classroom, has enabled students to be information collectors, who don’t just rely on what they are told but are seeking to find the answers through further learning (Duke, Harper & Johnstone, 2013).

Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) – 

I think the role of Interactive Whiteboards may be on the decline due to the rise of technology and BYOD in the classroom. Where once technological devices were scarce and mostly limited to teacher demonstration, more interactive & portable devices have emerged.

Like all technological hardware and software, the resource is only as good as the experience and knowledge of the user/instructor. Schools often feel they need to keep up with technology or try something that all the others (schools) do, but often seem to have inadequate or limited resources to fully integrate, or minimal professional development programs on the use of that technology (Higgins, Beauchamp, & Miller, 2007 as cited in Lacina, 2009). That being the case it must be hard to justify the operating costs of an IWB these days, as what can be done on 1 screen, can now be done on many and at the same time.

There were positive results from a number of readings about the inclusivity and interactivity of IWB, Wood & Ashfield (2007)(as cited in Winzenried, Dalgarno & Tinkler, 2010) note that ‘depending on the skill and experience of the teacher, use of an IWB could enhance the pace of the whole class teaching sessions’. Though I’m sure the same can also be said about portable devices.

On a personal level, I’m not sold on the value of an IWB (maybe in a primary setting, more so that secondary) but am willing to give it a try when I can – maybe that will change my view.

 Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – 

Here are some useful resources:

Beach, M. (2014). BYOD: How schools are Implementing “Bring Your Own Device”. Teach. 6-9. Retrieved from:

Burns-Sardone, N. (2014). Making the case for BYOD instruction in teacher education. Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 11, 191-201. Retrieved from:|A420050950&v=2.1&u=csu_au&it=r&p=EAIM&sw=w&authCount=1

Chadband, E. (2012, July 19). Should Schools Embrace “Bring Your Own Device”. National Education Association. Retrieved from:

Clifford, M. (2012). Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): 10 Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea. Retrieved from

Digital Education Advisory Group. (2013). Beyond the classroom: A new digital education for young Australians in the 21st Century.

Galindo. J. (2012). “Three BYOD benefits”. Learning and Leading with Technology. 39(5). p.8. Retrieved from:

Harris, C. (2012). Going Mobile: key issues to consider for schools weighing BYOD. School Library Journal58(1). p.14. Retrieved from:

Newhouse, C. P., Cooper, M., & Pagram, J. (2015) Bring Your Own Digital Device in Teacher Education, Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education 31(2), 64-72, DOI: 10.1080/21532974.2015.1011292

Stackpole.R. (2012). “Three BYOD benefits”. Learning and Leading with Technology. 39(5). p.8. Retrieved from:

QR Codes – 

Quick Response (QR) Codes are barcodes that can be scanned through a camera on a portable device using QR software often in the form of an app.

QR codes are a great way to design personalised programs for students or fun interactive lessons that involve the use of technology potentially resulting in the ‘ultimate learning experience’ (Mensing, 2013).

I don’t think QR codes have reached their full potential yet, as they mainly just transport the user to a location with desired content. I do however like the idea that they can be used for personalised learning of explicit content.


I thought I would add an update to show how QR Codes can be used. There are other ways, but you may think of ideas to integrate into your classroom from these (you can click the images to view the sites).





References –

Duke, B., Harper, G., & Johnston, M. (2013). Connectivism as a digital age learning theory. The International HETL Review, 4-13. Retrieved from

Lacina, J. (2009). Interactive whiteboards: creating higher-level, technological thinkers? Childhood Education85(4), 270. Retrieved from

Mensing, K. (20 June, 2013). The magic of QR codes in the classroom.  TED-Ed. Retrieved from

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. 2(1), 3-10 Retrieved from

Winzenried, A., Dalgarno, B., & Tinkler, J. (2010). The interactive whiteboard: A transitional technology supporting diverse teaching practices. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 26(4). Retrieved from:


6 thoughts on “Module 4 – Teaching and Learning with Digital Technologies.

  1. Hi Matt,

    I hope all is well.

    Just a quick one today – just wanted to say I’m in total agree with you regarding QR Codes and their untapped potential, and I’m glad to have found a fellow “enthusiast”. If you happened to jump onto my blog, one of our peers, Sam, hadn’t used QR Codes before and was curious as to how I’ve used them in the past and intend to in the future.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment Trent, I do like the use of QR codes, especially the new designs that codes are able to be displayed (e.g. pictures, word art etc), definitely makes it more attractive. I have been looking into them more and have found a valuable resource which I will include in the final assignment. if you haven’t come across them yet, check out Plickers ( many useful ways to integrate them into teaching – starting with checking attendance. I’ll jump along and check your blog out.




  2. Hi,
    Just in regards to QR codes, finally someone who agrees! I do feel they haven’t been used to their full potential as yet. I think they are a easy way to turn a ‘boring’ task into something that is interactive and fun. I am certainly going to try and incorporate QR codes into my classroom, or into the Agriculture program especially in relation to chemical codes of practice, animal codes etc. Great blog entry, loved reading it.


    1. Thank you, Annika.
      I’m glad you liked it. QR codes have a number of fun and interactive uses within the classroom. I really enjoy the picture QR codes that can be created now.


  3. Hey Matthew,

    I like the connection you’ve made with connectivism and social media.
    It’s incredible the networking that is now available via facebook, linkedin and various other social platforms.

    The dangers in this are how much information should be shared. I recently read an article discussing the use of fake social media accounts to ‘befriend’ people on facebook purely to obtain their personal details to then on sell to marketing companies. In this, there are thousands of people working full-time to create new accounts with real pictures and data just to improve the likelihood someone will accept their friendship.

    It’s an incredible twist of what wasn’t the purpose of creating social networks!


    1. Thanks Ryan, I think social media is a great tool to use in classrooms. You are (unfortunately) correct to suggest that there are people out there that set up accounts for non-genuine purposes, which is why (if you’ve read many of my posts) that teaching about digital citizenship and online safety is important. Students and teachers should be aware of possible dangers of interacting online. But from a class perspective, many social media platforms offer discrete or closed groups to ensure that only invited people or allocated people can participate – this works well to encourage class/year grade discussions.


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