Making Connections and Further Considerations with Research in Educational Technology
October 15th, 2019
It was both enjoyable and encouraging to watch my colleagues’ videos and read the handouts while trying to relax this past weekend. Some of the videos were encouraging about the use of educational technology and others made me think about the basic needs of implementing its use as well as the “real” value of educational technology. In looking at the groups, there are a few questions that come to mind.
- What kind of training is required by educators to successfully use the technology?
- How do we evaluate the use of technology?
- What are the overall implications of implementing the technology: ethical, moral, issues of equity etc.?
- How will the technology affect my learners?
- How does the technology support the goals of the learner and enhance the overall learning objectives?
In exploring options for my Med project, I am particularly interested in looking at educational technologies that may support the use of fully incorporating Indigenous Education into every day teaching practice. I see the abundance of resources within Aboriginal Education, and question where the limitations lie in the implementation of its use. Providing educators with options to incorporate more digital technologies will support the effective and consistent teaching of Indigenous curricula, but I haven’t entirely hammered out all of the details. What I recognize in my current district, is that we are incredibly “resource rich”, yet there are obvious hesitations with incorporating Indigenous Education into everyday teaching practices.
One particular group that I enjoyed, was Emily and Trevor who looked at the role of leadership for information technology. This topic resonated with me, as we look at how to successfully implement the use of technology in our everyday teaching practice. It boils down to training and having access to people who are confident in using these technologies to assist and support school staff. We have literacy support teachers, math helping teachers, language helping teachers but often don’t have technology specialists, or at least not in my small community. Staff definitely need to feel supported and need to have the opportunity to learn themselves to become proficient with their use of technology.
In looking at the different presentation formats from our groups, its difficult to look at this from an evaluative approach. Using the basic video technology and looking at how each group choose to summarize and make their presentations engaging, entertaining but also knowledge rich, begs the questions when looking at implementing technology into the classroom.
What are the parameters for evaluation?
How do we deconstruct the content and information in a given presentation versus measuring the quality and engagement factor of the presentations?
I think about this as a real challenge in the classroom setting, especially when you give students the autonomy and freedom to explore educational technology, which is both exciting and frightening to me from an evaluative standpoint. If we continue to narrow the parameters and freedoms of expression when looking at student presentation styles, are we limiting our student’s ability to fully demonstrate their level of understanding
I can appreciate many of the new novel ways we look to engage our students and get them excited about learning. We often do this by introducing new technology into our classrooms. We are encouraged to explore new ways of learning and teaching, which in many ways enhance learning opportunities in the classroom. One thing that really resonates with me, having worked in Special Education for quite some time is looking at how of these technologies can be used in an equitable manner. Often the technology is used to present new material, just in a different way. My hope is that some of these new technologies allow all students to be active and engaged in their learning experience and creates more meaningful learning opportunities, rather than simply being a catchy new way to present the same information. Technology should support educators to make learning more meaningful and increase engagement and allow teachers to teach smarter not harder.
For this project, the learning for me was two-fold, understand the content, while also learning to navigate and use the technology required to present it.
What are the future implications?
The educator needs to have a solid foundation and understanding of how the technology is to be used and how to trouble shoot potential pitfalls. I think many teachers stray away from using tech because they don’t give themselves enough time to get comfortable with using the technology themselves, or perhaps aren’t provided with enough training opportunities to get fully acquainted.
In addition, I think its really important to think about how the technology will enhance the overall learning experience. Technology for the sake of using technology is not sufficient if the learning objectives are not clear and it is not made obvious how the educational technology will support the learning experience. Providing students with technology without an understanding and knowledge base of the technology itself, its capabilities and how it intends to enhance the overall learning experience is a common mistake.
More opportunities to explore, play and learn new educational technologies before we teach with them will see them used more effectively in the classroom.
Voogt, G. Knezak, R. Christensen, & K-W, Lai (Eds.) Second Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education, pp. 3-12. Springer International Handbooks of Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71954-9