Responding to critics of educational technologyPresentation Transcript
Responding to Critics of Educational Technology Tricia Sproule EME 5054
Educational Technology Policies In 1983, the federal report A Nation at Risk included a recommendation that high school graduation requirements include coverage of the “Five New Basics”—English, mathematics, science, social studies, and computer science. Regarding computer science, the Commission on Educational Excellence, which authored the report, specified that all high school graduates should “understand the computer as an information, computation and communication device; [be able to] use the computer in the study of the other Basics and for personal and work-related purposes; and understand the world of computers, electronics, and related technologies” (National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983).
Educational Technology Policies A report by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills advocates, “To cope with the demands of the 21st century, people need to know more than core subjects. They need to know how to use their knowledge and skills—by thinking critically, applying knowledge to new situations, analyzing information, comprehending new ideas, communicating, collaborating, solving problems, making decisions” (2003, p. 9).
Criticism #1 Costs are high to purchase and maintain technology in the classrooms causing other enriching and essential programs to be cut such as art, music, sciences, world history, and hands-on vocational experiences. Technology is being used in day-to-day activities such as job searching and banking. In order to function and advance in the 21st Century, one must be digitally connected. “Therefore, raising the digital inclusion by increasing the number of Americans using technology tools of the digital age is a vitally important national goal” (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2000, pg. xv).
Criticism #2 Technology offers no significant gains pertaining to student achievement. The authors in the article, Generation M, report that young people are devoting 6 to 6 ½ hours a day to media!!!! (Foehr, 37). Gone are the days of learning facts, regurgitating information, and asking questions of a small amount of producers. With the new media literacies, students are surpassing school leaders and teachers making schools falling further and further behind in meeting student individual needs. Students are naturally asking questions of themselves/other through participating, creating, and developing skills on their own through a global network (Clinton, 7). It is important the learner takes ownership in their learning and experiences in order for media and methods to be effective. Without student ownership, neither method nor media will be as effective.
Response to Criticism #2 cont. Whilethere are reports against technology usage in the classroom, there are several to refute it. The Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow research found the new learning experiences: 1. required higher level thinking and problem solving; 2. student attitudes were impacted; 3. teachers lectured less and changed their teaching practices to include more cooperative group work (Foehr 5).
Criticism #3 Technology has no impact on student achievement. Research gathered by The Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET) clarifies the influence technology has on student achievement and how it prepares them for the workforce. In order to impact student learning effectively, educators need to rethink curriculum development and understand how to effectively utilize technology by incorporating 21st century skills such as collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking while providing feedback throughout the activities (Burchette, 2002).
Response to Criticism #3 In the e-Learning Report produced by the Department of Education, three recommendations were given. improve preparation of teachers including technology usage for effective teaching and learning; increase technology activities in the professional development of teachers; Improve real-time instructional support (Culp, 13).
Criticism #5 Online courses are make “no significant difference.” What about the Digital Divide? Not all students have equal access to technology and the know how to use technology tools effectively. Even if each student did have access at home, not all have an even playing field because there are so many different types of technology. Once the technology is in their hands, there are few who guide them in using the technology properly teaching them how to evaluate information, deciphering between commercial and noncommercial information presented online. By providing a broad range of professional development to teachers and offering online courses, rural students are provided with opportunities and coursework as students in other settings (Culp, 23).
Response to Criticism #5 Research conducted in Learning Effectiveness Online, found students perform equally the same as traditional students and faculty members felt learning outcomes were the same or better (Swan, 2). Carol Twigg stated, “the biggest obstacle to innovation in online learning is thinking things can or should be done in traditional ways (Swan, 2). THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!!!!! Online instruction: Supports individualized instruction Reflection Collaboration No time constraints or limitations Critical thinking and problem solving Supports self-motivation Community building (Swan, 9-14)
Find a Balance!! Rather than dealing with each technology in isolation, we would do better to take an ecological approach, thinking about the interrelationship among all of these different communication technologies, the cultural communities that grow up around them, and the activities they support. Media systems consist of communication technologies and the social, cultural, legal, political, and economic institutions, practices, and protocols that shape and surround them (Gitelman, 1999).
References Campbell, J., Davidson, M., & Jonassen, D. (1994). Learning with media: restructuring the debate. ETR&D, v. 42, no. 2, pgs, 31-39. Clinton, K., Purushotma, R., Robison, A., & Weigel, M. Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media Education for the 21st century. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Cradler, J., Burchette, R., Freeman, M., & McNabb, M. (May 2002). How does technology influence student learning?International Society for Technology Education, v. 9, no. 8, 46-56. Culp, K., Honey, M., & Mandinach, E. (October 2003). A retrospective on twenty years of education technology policy. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology, 1-32. Foehr, U., Rideout, V., & Roberts, D., Generation M: Media in the lives of 8-18 year olds. (March 2005). A Kaiser Family Foundation Study. National Commission on Excellence in Education. (April, 1983). A nation at risk. Available online at http://www.ed.gov/pubs/NatAtRisk/risk.html Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2003). Learning for the 21st century. Washington, D.C.: Author Available online at http://www.21stcenturyskills.org Schacter, John. (1999). The impact of education technology on student achievement: What the most current research has to say. The Milken Family Foundation, 1-12. Swan, Karen. (2003). Learning effectiveness : what the research tells us. In J. In J. Bourne & J. C. Moore (Eds) Elements of Quality Online Education, Practice and Direction. Needham, MA: Sloan Center for Online Education, 13-45. .