Technology in Education
The education field has many expert opinions of what are the most effective methods and tools for teaching. Our education department has been going through reform for more than two decades now. Throughout this time opinions regarding what is best have changed due to many different factors. Years of observation, trial and error, and new technologies are just a few examples of these factors. The different learning styles of student’s present a challenge to teachers in finding one way to successfully teach an entire classroom. By creating an active learning environment and incorporating the use of popular technology such as the iPad, the cognitive learning of students will increase.
The article “Implications of Shifting Technology in Education” addresses the potential of technology in education now and up to five years into the future. Technology allows for a different type of classroom. Janet and John Holland describe the possible outcome of allowing technology in education by “Using integrated curriculums, team teaching, media rich instructional technologies, forming partnerships, and fostering innovation, we can create knowledge and skills to prepare learners to work in future markets” (2014). The use of technology in education provides skills not only with technology but socially and with other cultures.
The student’s world of education has greatly expanded because of technology. Technology allows students to collaborate much easier with one another and receive feedback instantly. Teachers can become more of a support system for students as they utilize technology for their assignments. Students are able to do more hands on learning as they are researching the topics they are studying and work at a pace that is more suitable to their learning. While they are using technology to do their work they can also expand their knowledge and understanding of the topic more effectively.
Kevin Ruth describes the way schools are changing due to technology and digital textbooks in his article “Texts That Change Schools”. Digital textbooks are just recently becoming popular in some schools. Promoters of it are able to see the many uses of the digital textbooks. The ways they allow students to have a more in depth experience with what they are learning. Ruth points out that with every new technology there have been those who don’t see the positive impacts within that technology.
Ruth does indicate that just because digital textbooks are quickly becoming popular and hold more possibilities than with paper textbooks they aren’t going to discard paper books completely. He explains that it isn’t a choice between one or the other, it is both. Ruth also believes that digital textbooks can change the way schools educate students in a way that paper books can’t.
The Holland’s emphasize the importance of keeping up with the times by utilizing mobile technology in education. The approach to learning needs to shift to the students because “It is a self-directed or do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to learning” (2014). The way students are learning is changing due to the increase in information brought to them through technology. Ruth also reports ways technology is benefiting education. He explains that “In short, they see all learners (teachers too!) having a more intimate experience with the materials used in courses, including the ability to link and even alter those materials, should they so choose” (2013). Not only are students able to use technology to assist them in their assignments in ways they choose but teachers can also include additional links to information that can benefit the subject matter being taught. Both articles provide many possibilities about the ways technology can benefit not only the student but also the educators.
Another classroom change that can benefit students and educators is called flipped learning. The Flipped Learning Network is a professional learning community for educators using the flipped learning approach to educate students. It describes a new type of classroom. “Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter” (2014 Four Pillars). Flipped learning is more than a flipped classroom. To engage flipped learning teachers must have a flexible environment, a learning culture, intentional content, and are professional educators.
Holland and Ruth provide information on the benefits of technology in the classroom and the Flipped Learning Network describes a new approach to the traditional classroom. Both ideas are intended to benefit the students. Now combine the use of technology with the flipped classroom which is what New York University introduces.
New York University released an article titled “Integrating Media and Technology with Flipped Model Pedagogy”. In this article it explains how technology is important to the flipped classroom. “There is an abundance of research literature supporting how active learning increases students’ retention, motivation, and persistence with material. Therefore it is important not to use the technology (i.e.: video conferencing) or media (i.e.: video) for just absorbing inert knowledge but for more active participation in meaningful tasks that use the knowledge and skills” (2014). The technology utilized for a flipped classroom is meant to connect with the learning objectives of the classroom while also allowing students to work at their own pace.
These articles discuss technology, digital textbooks, flipped learning and flipped learning with the use of technology but the reason is for student-centered learning. NYU explains “The flipped classroom is associated with both student-centered pedagogy and the use of technology and media to provide an effective and engaging learning environment” (2014). Technology does not depend on a flipped classroom and a flipped classroom does not depend on technology. However when combined “they can add value in many ways to the ‘blend’ of in-class and out-of class experiences” (2014). The growth in technology and the reforms in education are beginning to integrate.
The Holland’s and Ruth both describe the benefits of the use of technology in the classroom for students and teachers. The Flipped Learning Network describes a new approach to teaching and learning which is intended to be more effective than the traditional lecture style. NYU blends these three ideas giving a description of how they can all work together to promote student-centered pedagogy. Each seems to build on another at the same time not depending on each idea presented.
Holland J., & Holland, J. (2014). Implications of shifting technology in education. Techtrends: Linking
Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 58(3), 16-25. doi: 10.1007/s11528-014-0748-3
Integrating media and technology with flipped model pedagogy. (2014). New York University.
Ruth, K.J. (2013) Texts that change schools. Independent School, 72(4), 50-55.
The four pillars of F-L-I-P. (2014). Flipped Learning Network (FLN).