Farnoush davis 501 paper revised

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Farnoush davis 501 paper revised

  1. 1. Technology & Education Technology & Education INTRODUCTION TO EDUCATIONALTECHNOLOGY Instructor: Dr. Constance J. Wyzard Learner: Farnoush H. Davis September 14, 2009 Page 1
  2. 2. Technology & Education Abstract Computers have changed the way we teach and the way we learn. This paper willlook at the changes that technology has brought to the education field, both as a tool toeducate, and as a subject by itself. It attempts to isolate the broad concept of technologyin order to demonstrate the deficiencies and efficiencies of this recent phenomenon in theeducation field. This synthesis paper will discuss (a) the impact of technology onteaching and learning, (b) the use and integration of technology in today’s classroom, and(c) the benefits of technology in the education system. This paper will present theauthor’s thoughts as well as the notion of what a “classroom” is, and how that idea ischanging and continues to change. Page 2
  3. 3. Technology & Education Introduction One hundred years ago all classrooms around world had basically the samestructure and frame of teaching. A strict teacher with a wooden stick stood in front of theclassroom, the students kept quiet except to recite things they had to memorize. Anyonewho spoke out of turn or misbehaved would get a whack with the ruler or tree limb. Inmany poor countries, this method of education is still in existence. But even the mostremote parts of the world are entering a new age with the rest of us. Technology istransforming the way we learn, and by transforming the process, it is also transformingthe outcome. This paper will examine the use of technology as a tool for education,showing the positive changes that it has brought, as well as the challenges that still keepus from fully using these new advances. Eventually, teachers began to realize that teaching itself was something thatneeded to be studied. As a science, methods could be developed and the process could beimproved. The first change was the teacher/student relationship. By making learning afun process, and by making the teacher a facilitator and not a master, students becameexcited about their studies. But the changes in the delivery of education did not stopthere. Through the years, cognitive psychologists and scientists realized people learn indifferent ways. Some people are visual, some learn better by hearing, some memorize,some associate, some are slow, and some are fast. Therefore, technology changed theone-way teaching into a multi-faceted approach. As a result, the teacher-centeredclassrooms began to change to the friendly student oriented classrooms. Page 3
  4. 4. Technology & Education Advancements in technology brought more changes to the classroom. There was atime in the history of education when overhead projectors, copy machines, VCRs, andslides were the highest technology. Television and other media aids allowed teachers toimprove the ways of presenting information. Since the 1970s when computer technologywas introduced to the education system (Fouts, 2000, page i) using technology in theclassrooms has significantly changed. Sometimes new terms of technology in the field ofeducation are confusing. One of these terms is Technology Education. This term is oftenconfused with the term Educational Technology (Wikipedia). With computers came theinternet, and opened a new window to the instruction world, because now not only is itimportant how to present information, but to use new ways to access information. Everyaspect of the education process, from research to writing, has been changed, andcontinues to present new opportunities and new challenges. These advances have brought about many questions that need to be answered.Why should technology be used as a teaching/learning tool? What is the effectiveness oftechnology for teaching and learning? What are the benefits of technology in theclassrooms? If the teachers of one hundred years ago could visit today’s classrooms theywould find nothing familiar about the way students are taught now. While our educationsystem is still challenged with appropriate integration of technology into curriculum andtraining teachers to use technology in their classrooms, individual teaching programsbased on student’s pace of learning increased the productivity of the classrooms. Withtoday’s technology we can create ways specifically for each individual to help themlearn. Every subject can be designed particularly for a certain learning style. In addition, Page 4
  5. 5. Technology & Educationthe individual designed programs helped to educate more successful students and alsolead them to the right path of their capability. Since technology has become an important part of education, the enhancement ofteachers in presenting the information and the progress of students have been apparent.Improving to higher academic standards for higher level thinking, problem solving skills,and being ready for “real life applications” is something that schools aim to accomplish(Fouts, 2000, page 10). Adapting technology as a tool transforms the traditionalenvironment to a 3-D virtual, animated world. However, this adaption should bemeaningful in purpose of best learning productivity. As Keengwe states: “It cannot beassumed that once educational technology tools are available, teachers will integrate theminto their daily classroom instruction” (Keengwe, Onchwari, & Wachira, 2008, page 79).The use of technology is not enough. The teachers must go beyond and integrate thetechnology tools in the curriculum and the structure of the education. Another advantage to using technology in the classroom is that it decreaseslearning time. According to studies included in the Computers in the Classroom Report,the time it took to learn a subject by using computers was reduced by 39% in one studyand 88% in another (Stratham, 1996, page 35). The Department of Education reports thatit will give $10 billion dollars through the stimulus plan to add to the funds for Title 1,which is supposed to help at-risk students (U.S. Department of Education, 2009).According to the US Census Bureau, the total number of high school students in 2003was about 17 million. For this amount of money, the government could buy a new laptopcomputer for every high school student in America. This would not only help students(even the at risk ones) to have more opportunity to use modern technology in their Page 5
  6. 6. Technology & Educationschool, but it probably would have been a better stimulus! With the world’s economiccrisis and state governments cutting down their budgets a lot, including cuts for schools,today’s technology could redesign the way we teach students to make it more efficient aswell as more cost effective. Using computers in the classroom effectively requires a process that coversseveral areas. In the Statham and Torell study, they made an acronym to show the keyareas that need to be addressed: AEIOU, or access, equity, integration, outcomes anduptime (Statham, 1996). These five areas cover how students have access and if theirtime is fair compared to other students, how well computers are used in the classrooms, ifstudents are using the computers to learn more effectively or if the teachers do not focuson them as a center of their teaching methods. Finally it looks at how long a computertool is useful before it needs to be upgraded. By organizing things in such a way, allaspects of computer assisted teaching become clearer and easier to manage. According to Keengwe (2008, page 80) one of the largest problems is the gapbetween the students knowledge of technology and the knowledge of their teachers.Teachers today are almost required to be technological experts, as they have to presentmaterial to students who have grown up in the digital age. Most teachers grew up withtraditional education styles and tools, but are now expected to not only be masters of theirsubject areas, but masters of today’s technology as well. Students are much moretechnologically advanced than most of their instructors. Educational technology nowmust be structured and designed to be user friendly and simple to use so that the subjectsdon’t get lost in the complexity of the delivery tools. Page 6
  7. 7. Technology & Education Today, computer technologies are a tool but in the future they will be the entireprocess. We send emails, we scan and attach a document, we print out our assignment,we search by search engines, but there will be a time that this computer in whatever formit takes will not be just a tool. By virtual classrooms or programmed software, from anycorner of the world you will simply log in, read your sources, answer the questions, andreceive your electronic assignment. You will not have to leave your house, and will nothave to travel or drive miles to attend your physical class. This is a new way of lookingat education. In fact, it is a change in what we think a “classroom” is. Technology maysomeday eliminate the need to build schools, saving millions of dollars from thoseexpenses as well as transportation costs, text books, school lunches and more. If a studentcan learn everything from a computer in their home, they can move at their own pace,and focus on the things that are hard for them. They will not be left behind as faststudents move on, and they will not be in classes that just pass them through with theother students. Unfortunately, nowadays the focus is how to apply and use technological devicesand applications. For instance, being an expert in designing web pages, mobile devices,or communicating software will not result an effective education environment. The futureof education will be a thoroughly new aspect of technology use. Now, the educationsystem is adapting and blending the technology applications as a part of the knowledgedelivery. But in tomorrow’s educational system, teaching and learning will be part of thetechnology resources. This presents the new meaning of the “classroom” concept. According to the abovementioned notion on using technology and education, thefact is that we already can see that in the future technology will not be just a tool, it will Page 7
  8. 8. Technology & Educationbe the way we are educated. Our idea of what a classroom is cannot be limited, just as ouridea of what a computer is has changed dramatically in the last ten years. For instance,we interact with our instructor and peers on Moodle, send an assignment by email or postit on Blackboard. I can be a chef just by knowing how to use Google.com. These changesand conversions are the revolutions of what we know as traditional classrooms. Fromvirtual classrooms, programmed software, distance learning, and on-line courses, theneed to “go to school” will become a thing of the past just as the teacher with the woodenstick has become a thing of the past. If using technology in education is the path to the future, what do we need to doas educators and teachers to make sure we are using the best methods and the mostcurrent ideas? What are the keys to making the use of technology successful? Whiletechnology seems to change overnight, using it in the classrooms takes much more time.Not only are students usually much more experienced with using technology as Ipreviously mentioned, but teachers have a hard time keeping up with all of the newmethods and changes. It seems that the teacher is the weak link in using educationaltechnology. As it mentioned in the Fouts article from a study by the National Center forEducational Statistics in 1999, most teachers do not feel comfortable or prepared to usetechnology in their classrooms (Fouts, 2000, pg. 15). As people look for ways to makenew tools for education and try to find new ways to present information to students, weneed to also find ways to teach the teachers. Just as students need to learn both processesof learning subjects and learning the tools used in class such as on-line learning, teachersalso have to learn both skills. They need to know their subject matter, and they need to Page 8
  9. 9. Technology & Educationknow how to use the technology that will allow students to learn in the more effectiveways. To make sure that all teachers are prepared to use these new tools will require theschools to set high standards and require their teachers to have additional training intechnology. In the “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001, the government tried to getschools to have more “highly qualified teachers.” But those qualifications were based onthe old way of teaching, and didn’t include training in educational technology. So now,schools are still hurt by trying to meet the standards the government sets, when theyreally need to set their own standards based on what students and teachers need. Even if technology gives us new and better ways to teach students, and even if theresources are there for teachers to become educated in the latest technologies, they haveto want to make the changes. Teachers need to believe that using computers and othertechnology is better than the other traditional methods that they have used before. Theyalso need to be willing to integrate these things into their classes and teaching methods(Keengwe, 88). There has been a change in the way that we understand learning, and achange in the way that we teach. Now there needs to be another change in the attitudesthat we have about computers and education. Many people still think that on line learningis not as good as going to a traditional class. It will only be when people think of thesethings differently that the new technologies will be used in the best way. Page 9
  10. 10. Technology & Education Conclusion The past twenty years of technology evolution had an impact on all aspects ofhuman life, including the education system. The integration of technologies into theclassroom has increased the instructor’s options in presenting as well as the learner’soutcomes. Right now, we use a long list of technological tools, such as computers, Smartboards, Blackboard, Moodle, and databases, but we already know that tomorrow therewill be more transformation. However, adapting to this will not be an easy and quicktask. Unfortunately, despite all the changes that technology has brought to theeducation system, the structure and the curriculum are built on the Nineteenth Centurymodel which is not adequate for the Twentieth-First Century (Fouts, 2000, page 1).Along with the rapid pace of technology development and the speed of learning bytoday’s learners, instructor training should compete in this race. There are many new opportunities that technology gives to the education process.But with each benefit comes another challenge. Just like any other new technology, it isonly as good as it can be applied to real situations. If the tools are there but no one knowshow to use them, they are not good tools. We must find a way to make sure that everynew step we take is taken by everyone, the students, the teachers, and the administratorswho set the goals. There have been many studies about the best ways for students to learnnew materials. New research can find out the best ways for teachers to learn newcomputer skills. Since not every teacher in the future will have an educational technologydegree, they will have to find different ways to get the skills they need. Other studies Page 10
  11. 11. Technology & Educationmight find out what the schools themselves can do to make technology the center of theirteaching process. Once everyone is focused on moving toward the same goals, then realchanges can happen. Until then, technology will be limited by the limitations that we giveto it. As in every other field where we see incredible change like communications andbusiness applications, education can be changed into something better and different. Thetechnology is there, we just have to find the best ways to use it. Page 11
  12. 12. Technology & Education ReferencesAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Title 1, Part A Funds for Grants to Local Education Agencies. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from United States Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/factsheet/title-i.htmlCulp, K. M., Honey, M., & Mandinach, E. (2003, October). A Retrospective on Twenty Years of Education Technology Policy. American institutes for research.Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). (2001). No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/index.htmlFouts, J. (2000). Research on Computers and education: Past, Present and Future. Seattle, WA.Keengwe, J., Onchwari, G., & Wachira, P. (2008). The Use of Computer Tools to Support Meaningful Learning. 16 (1), 77-92.School Enrollment Surpasses 1970 baby-Boom Crest,. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from United States Census Buraeu: http://www.census.gov/Press- release/www/releases/archives/education/005157.htmlStratham, D. S., & Torell, C. R. (1996). Computers in the Classroom: The Impact of Technology on Student Learning. Boise, ID: Army Research Institute.Technology Education. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Technology_education&oldid=308606003United States Census Buraeu - School Enrollment Surpasses 1970 Baby-Boom Crest, Census Bureau Reports retrieved August 12, 2009 Available at: http://www.census.gov/Press- release/www/releases/archives/education/005157.htmlUnited States Department of Education, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Title 1, Part A Funds for Grants to Local Education Agencies, retrieved August 12, 2009 Available at: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/factsheet/title-i.html Page 12
  13. 13. Technology & EducationOutlineI. Introduction: history of educationII. Body a. History of advent of technology in education i. Benefits of technology for learners and teachers b. Design for students c. Decrease learning timeIII. Challenges a. Students know more than teachers b. Educating teachersIV. Conclusion – Change in mindsets Page 13

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