What is learning?
What is teaching?
What is educational technology?
What can technology do?
What can’t technology do?
What is learning?
Constructivist Theory (J. Bruner)
Experimental Learning (C.
Cognitive Theory- Bloom’s
Processing of Learning
What is educational
Electronic technologies that are
used for learning and teaching.
A tutor that presents information to
Support for student exploration
A creativity & production tool
A communication tool
Drill & Practice
Telecollaboration over the Internet
Help make learning more efficient
by controlling large amount of
Strengthen teachers’ preferred
Work quickly & objectively
Provide a great wealth of
resources and allowing student
Technology can not…
Manage 20 third graders
Decorate a classroom
Make friends or show respect
Create lessons that address the
needs of diverse students
Create a web map on the main
idea/topic of LEARNING.
Technology is a tool that
teachers can use to support
learning, but learning must
If teachers do not
understand how to support
learning, technology use
will be ineffective and
Kleiman (2000) summarizes, “while
modern technology has great potential
to enhance teaching, turning that
potential into reality on a large scale is
a complex, multifaceted task. The key
determinant of our success will not be
the number of computers purchased
or cables installed, but rather how we
define educational visions, prepare
and support teachers, design
curriculum, address issues of equity,
and respond to the rapidly changing
Technology & Learning 1
Running head: TECHNOLOGY AND LEARNING
Technology and Learning
East Stroudsburg University
Technology & Learning 3
Technology and Learning
Identification of the Issue
Whether or not technological advancements and tools can assist in increased academic
achievement has been a much-debated topic for quite some time. Many believe that the use of
technology is incredibly helpful in teaching students who may struggle in a classroom environment.
On the other hand, the amount of scholars and professionals who feel that technology can prove to be
more detrimental than helpful is by no means a minority. To truly grasp the issue at hand, the idea of
what constitutes learning must first be explored. Exactly what is learning?
Learning is a change in the mental structures of people that creates the capacity to
demonstrate different behaviors. When a student learns, for instance, long division, his mental
structure enhances to the point that a mathematical problem in this genre does not seem intimidating;
the student has a new found capacity for solving such problems. There are different schools of
thought on the learning process, though, from a behavioral standpoint as well as a cognitive
The behaviorist theory considers learning to be a relatively enduring change in observable
behavior that occurs due to experience. In the aforementioned long division example, the experience
gained by the student from practicing numerous problems would increase his capacity for solving
such problems, which could then be observed through assessments or an attitude towards solving the
problems. The cognitive theory of learning differs slightly, in the sense that it does not automatically
consider the change in behavior to result immediately.
A third theory, which is quite prevalent in Bruner’s theoretical framework, is known as the
constructivist theory. This theory discusses learning as being an active process during which learners
construct new ideas based on their present and past knowledge (Egbert, 10). A common theme in the
various theories of learning deals with experience: while cognitive learning does exist, it is generally
Technology & Learning 4
considered rather meaningless when stacked up next to experiential learning. Rogers says that
cognitive learning comes in the form of absorbing vocabulary or math principles, whereas
experiential learning refers to the actual application of the lessons learned (Egbert, 10). An example
of the experiential learning would involve learning about tax preparation in order to actually go out
and prepare someone’s taxes.
Though the cognitive theory of learning has taken some hits, it is fairly in-depth, combining
several steps that encompass the entire process of learning. This is known as Bloom’s Taxonomy.
The student begins by recalling information in the form of memories. He then summarized what was
learned in order to better understand the materials. Next, the student will apply the new knowledge
by implementing it in a real-world setting. From there, the student’s cognition will analyze the
knowledge, evaluate it through checking and critiquing, and finally, produce or invent new ways of
viewing things. Understanding what constitutes learning is only half of the whole, however, as the
issue at hand is how learning pertains to the usage of technology (Rosenberg, 113).
In its broadest sense, technology is described as the set of both physical and in software form,
that help us act and think better (Egbert, 11). Today, when the word technology is uttered, the
seemingly instant response in the minds of those hearing the term involves computers and
Blackberry’s, and other similar devices that constantly upgrade. In actuality, even something as
simple and outdated as an erasable pen is considered to be a technological advancement. With this in
mind, technology is not a term specifically referring to advanced computer systems, but rather the
application of scientific or organized knowledge gathered by other means, including different tools,
techniques, processes, and methods, to practical and hopefully achievable tasks (Egbert, 11).
In the classroom, or from a schooling standpoint, educational technology is the process of
applying tools for educational purposes as well as the tools and materials used. Technology comes in
a wide array of shapes and forms, and constantly changes by being upgraded. At its most basic core,
Technology & Learning 5
technology vastly increases the resources available to teach students. When electricity was first
introduced, teachers found themselves capable of incorporating television, film strips, and overhead
projectors into the curriculum. Technology has further been revolutionized to the point that usage of
software and DVDs has become rather routine and standard. Additionally, some instructors even
rely upon PowerPoint presentations to teach specified classroom lessons (Eggen & Kauchak, 443).
Educational technology is more often than not computer related, and is designed to
supplement the abilities of the instructor at hand as well as apply audio and visual enhancements to
the material; incorporating audio and video will, in theory, make the students more interested and
capable of staying focused. The reasoning that champions of technology in the classroom give for
their stance relies on the ideals that advancements in technology will improve the effectiveness of the
materials being taught. This will then result in more absorption in the mental structures of the
students, which leads to increased motivation.
Using technology to instruct in the classroom is more important now than ever, simply due to
the current times we live in. Hundreds of years ago, the idea of visual aids such as movies or slide
shows would have seemed laughable; today, these forms of technology are almost expected. There
are several issues with regards to using technology in the classroom that must be addressed, however,
ranging from the experience of the instructor all the way to the actual reliability of the materials. For
instance, a teacher must first become virtually an expert in utilizing the desired forms of technology
in order to make the most of its usage.
Review of Literature
Eggen & Dauchak (2007) talks about the subject matter of technology and learning.
“Regardless of teachers’ perspectives on technology, the way they apply it in the classroom depends
on their learning objectives and their views of learning”- (Eggen & Dauchak, 444). This is then
Technology & Learning 6
discussed in three parts: behaviorism and technology; technology and cognitive learning theory; and
social cognitive theory and technology.
Behaviorism and technology is strongly influenced by the use of technology within the
classroom and it is estimated that 85% of the existing educational software emphasizes skill learning
based on behaviorist principles. Also, learning is thought of as a change in behavior that results from
experience. In other words, the behavioral change results from both antecedents and consequences in
a relationship. Lastly, classrooms are not the best places for learning because the number of students
together with differences in their learning progress makes it very difficult for teachers to effectively
reinforce and shape behaviors (Eggen & Dauchak, 445).
Technology and cognitive learning theory each have two sub-sections. The first is the
information processing section including four parts: (1) attract attention and create accurate
perceptions, (2) manage the resources of working memory, (3) promote encoding into long-term
memory, and (4) manage processing with metacognitive skills (Eggen & Dauchak, 446).
Social cognitive theory and technology include other forms of technology way beyond
computers to capitalize on symbolic modeling to promote learning. Also, “using technology does not
produce learning. Teachers’ learning objectives must be clear, and think clearly about how
technology can help learners reach the objectives”- (Eggen & Dauchak, 449).
Egbert (2009) discusses the topic of what drives the use of educational technology. Egbert
states that technology is used in classrooms across the nation. For some teachers their interest is
doing something innovative that drives technology usage. For other teachers, obligations imposed by
their schools/districts require lab use. Others include community and or parental pressure, student
demands, and economic rewards. State and federal laws push technology use by requiring that
teachers and students be proficient and demonstrate learning. With this in mind, the current federal
No Child Left Behind legislation requires that every student be technology literature by the end of
Technology & Learning 7
the eighth grade, and teachers must be knowledgeable enough to help students reach this goal. The
increase in student excitement, motivation and achievement that teachers see as a result of
technology use is another teacher motivator to use educational technology (Egbert, 14).
In addition, Egbert discusses three guidelines for using educational technology. Guideline #1-
Understand that realities of technology use; learning to use technology effectively takes time. Give
the teacher and students that time. Guideline #2- Examine equity and access for students; not all
students have equal access to technology. Teachers must make sure that everyone who needs it is
given fair opportunities. Guideline #3- Consider student difference; students who are physically
and/or socially challenged or have other barriers to learning must be considered while technology-
enhanced instruction is being designed (Egbert, 18).
Egbert finally summarizes the characteristics of effective learning tasks into six parts: (1)
focus on goals, (2) includes technology that is working and available, (3) includes teacher training
and support, (4) allows time to learn relevant technologies, (5) provides needed resources, and (6)
use technology only if appropriate- (Egbert, 15).
Egbert, Rosenberg, and Salend have a similar view on technologies for supporting learning.
Based on their views I have collected data and organized it into three categorizes: components of
electronic tools, and assistive technology. Components of electronic tools contain hardware,
software, connection components, input devices, output devices, processing devices, communication
devices and operating systems- (Egbert, 20). Additionally, instructional technology could include
computer based instruction, hypertext, hypermedia, CD, DVD, digital documents, web cameras,
captioned TV, interactive white/smart boards, liquid crystal display computer projection panes,
virtual reality, internet, address accessibility issues, weblog, webquests, and good digital citizenship-
Technology & Learning 8
Assistive technology is a huge favor for many students. Assistive technology is special
hardware and software technologies designed for specific needs. It can help teachers to provide larger
text for sight-impaired students, voice recognition for students with physical disabilities, and extra
wait time, feedback or practice for those who need it. Salend (2008) chats about AT as an item, piece
of equipment or product system—whether bought, modified or customized—that is used to increase,
maintain, or improved the functional capabilities on an individual with a disability. Assistive
technology is often categorized as being high or low technology. High-technology devices tend to be
electronic, costly and commercially produced, and low-technology devices are usually inexpensive,
non-electronic, easy to use, readily available and homemade- (Rosenberg, 15). These acts also
address the principle of universal design, a concept that guides the design and delivery of
products/services so that they are usable by individuals with a wide range of functional capabilities.
Finally, if AT is included within a student’s IEP (individualized education program) the teachers
must use the appropriate sources that will impact that student’s academics, social and behavioral
performance- (Rosenberg, 56).
The ISTE has created National Educational Technology Standards and Performance
Indicators for Students (revised June, 2007). The sections included within those standards not only
promote technology education but student learning. Standards are sectioned by creativity and
innovation; communication and collaboration; research and information fluency; critical thinking,
problem- solving and decision making; digital citizenship; and technology operations and concepts
A Clear Connection to the Learner (Student & Teacher)
Ryan and Cooper (2000) have a very pretty clear view of how technology is connected to the
learner, for a student, as well as a teacher. Let’s begin with the connection to the students. Many new
technologies have been introduced into the educational setting in the last decade. To facilitate those
Technology & Learning 9
new technological tools, educators group them into content-specific categorizes, even though some
examples will cross disciplines and join subjects, such as social studies and math. Many disciplines
use some technology’s tools, but how a teacher uses telecommunication in science will differ from
how another uses it in English- (Ryan & Cooper, 217).
The types of technology tools available for students could include anything from Word
Processor to Telecollaboration over the Internet. Word Processor is often used because it is easy to
cut-and-paste procedures and the ability to save and return to a document later encourage editing. It
has on-screen spell checkers, dictionaries and thesauruses aid accuracy. Alpha Smart* is a portable
and user friendly word processor, is especially popular with teachers who work with younger writers-
(Ryan & Cooper 218). Multimedia Presentation Software is another good idea for students. It
combines text, audio, video and virtual environments that help students to communicate to complex
ideas. It also caters to a variety of learning styles. PowerPoint allows students to easily combine a
variety of media or even publish a presentation on the Web- (Ryan & Cooper 218).
Drill and Practice is similar to an interactive worksheet, but it provides feedback for the user
and the teacher. Progress through the program depends on mastery of previous levels. Also, it is
effective at reinforcing a concept. Reader Rabbit is a popular program to reinforce letter recognition,
rhyming words and word families- (Ryan & Cooper 218). Database will organize and store complex
sets of information. Database users sort through information and filter unwanted data. The Valley of
the Shadow web site offers students access to a variety of searchable databases from two
communities during the Civil War - (Ryan & Cooper 218).
Simulations are interactive in nature; simulations allow students to reenact an event. Students
assume roles in the story, making decisions to which the software responds appropriately. Decisions,
Decisions: Local Government lets students play the role of a mayor facing a dilemma about the city’s
economic future - (Ryan & Cooper 218). Spreadsheets allow users to form multiple calculations and
Technology & Learning 10
to see all answers simultaneously. A powerful tool to manipulate large sets of data and includes easy
tools to graph. Students can study a graph of populations demographics in a community and use a
spreadsheet program, like Excel to predict future changes in that society - (Ryan & Cooper 218).
Tutorial provides the initial instruction for a topic in a self-controlled, self-paced environment;
monitors progress and evaluates the students once instruction is complete.
Students’ location within the tutorial can be saved. Intermediate Algebra allows teachers to
individualize their students’ instruction in math - (Ryan & Cooper 219). Telecollaboration over the
Internet allows for fast, inexpensive world-wide communication and collaboration. It organizations
supports these projects, allowing students to participate n legitimate research. The GLOBE Program
supports a project that uses data on acid rain and waste disposal collected and submitted by students
around the world - (Ryan & Cooper 219).
The movement towards ISTE has produced technology standards and encourages teachers to
teach these skills within the context of their academic curriculum. This trend is encouraging;
however, for technology to be truly integrated as an important part of the classroom, several addition
shifts must take place in current practices and attitudes. The impact of technology on learning
depends more on how teachers use the technology than on the characteristics of the technology itself-
(Rosenberg, 232). There is a different role for the teacher as of now. By incorporating technology
within the context, the subject matter drives the technology. Technology takes us full circle and
Project CHILD combines traditional and constructivist views of education- (Rosenberg, 233).
Professional resources and communication for teachers is also changing. Voice mail is a less
expensive technology modification. Email is also changing accompanying inexpensive and quicker
feedback. Internet and World Wide Web has many teacher resources available, reducing teachers’
isolation through technology; teachers have discovered that the Web makes possible new levels of
individualized, and encourages collaborations that take students far beyond the classroom
Technology & Learning 11
(Rosenberg, 234). Finally, management/ teacher productivity tools are helpful with technology.
Grade books done by new software save time for educators, as well as other software projects that
allow teachers to spend more time at the art of teaching and less time dealing with paperwork,
organization and materials management, including test generators, question bank, lesson planning,
IEP software, and calendars –(Rosenberg, 235).
I strongly recommend using technology as an educational tool within the classroom. Having
the appropriate training to use such technology devices within the classroom, I would love to use as
much equipment necessary to reach the learning levels, and styles of all students.
Success or Failure of the Recommendations
Some applications can be classified as cognitive tools when they are used to engaged and
enhance thinking. These tools are applications that manage information in ways that allow users to
think more clearly, creatively, and critically. They allow users to organize information in new ways,
evaluate it, and construct personally meaningful representations of it. They derive their power from
their flexibility and their ability to unleash creativity and foster significant cognitive processes. In the
words of one team of researches, “we learn best ‘with’ technology rather than ‘from’ it.” Cognitive
tools aren’t necessarily meant to make learning easier. Instead, they often require students to think
harder, more critically, or more creatively than without the tool. Much of the working world uses
cognitive tools for everyday tasks, and we believe that all teachers and students should have similar
There are many computer technologies that might be considered cognitive tools. Today most
educational software applications use a combination of instructional techniques to achieve the
desired outcomes. It would be relatively rare to find an application that neatly fits into only one of
Technology & Learning 12
these categories. Moreover, teaching approaches that use educational software normally draw from
two or more of these categorizes, combining instructional techniques and technologies.
Failure of the recommendations conclude that technology is always updating, so once you get
used to a program, there will be newer and more current programs, so you must stay updated and
constantly current. Sometimes the system or technologies won’t work, due to Internet connections
being faulty, too many people logged onto the network. Whereas a teacher can adjust to the learning
styles of several students, technology is more concrete and set in stone.
Overall, it is inevitable that technological advancements are going to shape the future of
teaching and classroom instruction. To what extent is yet to be determined, but whether the
technology comes in the form of interactive computer software or advances in overhead projectors
and/or chalk boards, the materials used by teachers to instruct students will consistently go through
changes. Because technology has become so important in the classroom, it is always important to
remember that the “how” is usually better than the “what.” By that I am referring to the abilities of
the teacher to incorporate the technology correctly, as opposed to just blindly putting it into use.
With this in mind, I feel it is incredibly important for teachers to attend training sessions on
the uses of newer technologies. On top of that, collegiate level students looking to gain employment
in the teaching profession should be required to have at the very least, cursory knowledge, of
technology before even being considered. Things may have been different 200 years ago, but our
society is now technologically advanced, and even teachers need to adapt to the times.
Technology & Learning 13
Cooper, K. R. (2000). Those Who Can, Teach. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Egbert, J. (2009). Supporting Learning with Technology: Essential of Classroom Practice. Upper
Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall .
Kauchak, P. E. (2007). Educational Psychology: Windows on Classrooms. Upper Saddle River,
New Jersey: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall .
Michael S. Rosenberg, D. L. (2008). Special Education For Today's Teachers. Upper Saddle
River, New Jersey: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall .
Salend, S. J. (2008). Creating Inclusive Classrooms: Effective and Reflective Practices. Upper
Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
1. Standard/Outcome: I.B
2. Demonstrate Mastery: (1) Research on existing technologies. (2) Use of
instructional theories and teaching models. (3) Learner characteristics,
developmental levels and individual differences as related to instructional
3. Artifact Benefit: This PowerPoint was created as a visual aid for a presentation
in my PSED 516 course Learner and the Learning Environment. It proposed
that teaching and learning should connect with the use of technology however
there is no research done to provide feedback that proves technology enhances
The agenda of the PowerPoint is: What is learning; What is teaching; What is
educational technology; Technology Tools; What can technology do; What can’t
technology do; Activity; and Summary.
Technology is a tool that teachers can use to support learning, but learning must
be foremost. If teachers do not understand how to support learning, technology use
will be ineffective and inefficient.
Overall, it is inevitable that technological advancements are going to shape the
future of teaching and classroom instruction. To what extent is yet to be determined,
but whether the technology comes in the form of interactive computer software or
advances in overhead projectors and/or chalk boards, the materials used by teachers
to instruct students will consistently go through changes. Because technology has
become so important in the classroom, it is always important to remember that the
“how” is usually better than the “what.” By that I am referring to the abilities of the
teacher to incorporate the technology correctly, as opposed to just blindly putting it
With this in mind, I feel it is incredibly important for teachers to attend training
sessions on the uses of newer technologies. On top of that, collegiate level students
looking to gain employment in the teaching profession should be required to have at
the very least, cursory knowledge, of technology before even being considered.
Things may have been different 200 years ago, but our society is now technologically
advanced, and even teachers need to adapt to the times.