Monday, 17 March 2014
Towards Technology Integration
As the teacher enters the room, students scramble to hide their mobile devices and a hush falls over the audience who are sitting in rows according to their student numbers. A student stand up and and says, "Good Morning Teacher" and the rest of the class who has managed to be on time grumbles an echo greeting. Their educational experience to date has led them to expect their teacher to reveal the secrets of the subject, to reveal new wisdoms that will be accommodated or assimilated into their existing mental frameworks of understanding through some practice and eventually a formal demonstration of their knowledge with formal assessments.
Yet, this is 2014. Seen through my Canadian lenses shaped by my experiences teaching and learning, this pedagogical model seems antiquated and in need of a desperate recognition of some of the exciting current thoughts about how best to use technological tools to enable future needs. A wonderful aspect of my teaching environment is that I am granted a great deal of freedom to match vague curriculum guidelines as outlined in course descriptions. The only stipulation is that students must write a midterm and a final exam.
My goal is to weave some technology into the current fabric and plug students into the some of the enabling capacities of technology. The opportunity exists to implement technology to enhance and transform learning. By engaging learnings with student relevant material motivation has been shown to increase and so too does the opportunity to promote self regulatory learning. Exploring with the students the belief that they are now just beginning their lifelong pursuit is a thought I want both my students and department to give thought to.
Being sensitive to the institutional powers traditions and pedestal teachers have historically found themselves, implementing new technologies in the class and evolving my teaching role to one as a facilitator needs to be done delicately. Strategic steps might also be appreciated by the learners who are perhaps from a digital generation but not used to using technologies in educational pursuits. Adopting a directed approach, with a theoretical foundation based in a constructivist approach, could fall in line to help develop specific skills that students do not yet have. Taking advantage of technologies to help fix, improve and remedy skill deficiencies in the promotion of skill fluency.
How best to redesign tasks to transform student learning, to create online commenting service to enable collaboration, to share feedback, to promote the internet in student discovery learning and in promoting knowledge acquisition remains to be worked out. However, I do know that I do want to increase students' digital literacy, help prepare them to some of the dynamic digital demands of being active members within our Global Information Society.