Students’ uses of technologiesMoyle, K. (2010). Building innovation: Learning with technologies.Camberwell, Victoria: Australian Council for Educational Research.EDUC9701 Reading Discussion
ThekeypointsofthispresentationYoung people’s patterns of usage of technologiesStudents learning with technologiesBuilding innovation for 2020 and beyond
“Most Australian children born in the 21st century will growup not knowing life without technologies. Students’ lives areimbued with technologies: they do not separate their livesaccording to ‘without technologies’ and ‘with technologies’as adults often do” (Green & Hannon, 2007; Moyle &Owen, 2009,p.31). “In Australia, online learning in schools is currently small, butwith the widespread deployment of computers and theinternet to Australian secondary schools funded through theDigital Education Revolution, this trend might change”(P.32). “Currently there are disjunctures between many Australianschool students’ experiences of technologies use in theirpersonal lives and that which they experience atschool”(p.32).
Youngpeople’spatternsofusageoftechnologies “Australian students’ access to computers at home and at school isamong the highest in the world (Ainley & Enger, 2007)” (P.32). Australian children use the following technologies for a range ofpurposes (p.32).InternetMobile phonesSocial networkingPlaying online and computer games
Internet use “92 per cent of the Australian children (5 and 14 years old) used acomputer either at home or at school and 70 per cent of thesestudents used the Internet”(ABS, 2008, p.32 ). “Younger and older Australian children show differences in theways in which they use the Internet” (ACMA, 2009b, P.33). “Research also showed that the most common activities reportedfor using the Internet at home or at school were for educationalactivities”(ABS, 2008, P.33). “Children over the age of 8 also reported that the Internet ‘isimportant to them’, and 74 per cent of children aged between 8and 11 reported that the Internet was a highly important part oftheir lives. Similarly, 91 per cent of 12- to 17-year-olds alsoreported that the Internet is somewhat, very or extremelyimportant to them” (ACMA, 2009b, p.33).
Mobile phones A research involving more than 500 primary school students in Australia foundout that 55 per cent of children aged between 9 and 11, and 96 per cent ofyoung people aged between 14 and 16 owned a mobile phone (Moyle &Owen, 2009, p.34). Research also showed that there is a gender difference in the phone ownership(Roy Morgan Research, 2006, p. 34). “Australian children from the poorest and the richest families have the highestrates of child ownership of mobile phones in Australia”(P.34). Children use mobile phones to text messaging, making phone calls, takingphotographs and sharing files (p. 33). “Mobile phones are important to young people’s lifestyles and to theiridentities”(P.34). “A challenge for educators is to understand the relationships betweentechnologies and identity, while taking into account the potential benefits ofsuch mobile technologies for building communities of learners” (P.34).
Social networking “Majority of Australian teenagers aged 12 to 17 years, and half ofchildren aged between 8 and 11, use social networking sites”(ACMA, 2009b, P.34). “Young people communicate using messaging, email, video or voicechat. They share photos and videos and post comments in onlineforums”(p.34). “Children and young people’s preferences for a specific socialnetworking site varies according to age” (ACMA, 2009b; Moyle &Owen, 2009, P.34).Playing online and computer games “Children and young people around the world play online andcomputer games. The best of these digital games offer opportunitiesfor learning that the physical world cannot offer”(P.34).
“Australian students report they are interested in and have played oneor more computer or online game, usually outside of an educationalsetting” (Moyle & Owen, 2009, P.35). “There is a debate, however, about the value or not for young people ofplaying digital games and much debate tends to be polarized”(p.35). “At one end of a continuum, playing digital games can be regarded as aharmless diversion, and at the other, a corruptor of youth” (Seely Brown& Thomas, 2006, P.35). “40 per cent of young Australians consider it is a ‘low risk’ activity toplay online games with other people they do not know” (ACMA, 2009b).This is a “view probably at odds with that of their teachers andparents”(P.35).
“There is little agreement in Australia about the educational valueof computer and online games” (Moyle & Owen, 2009, P.35). “School students however, report that they think if their teacherscould play online games it would assist their teaching, and enablethem to include technologies more effectively into their classroomactivities” (Moyle & Owen, 2009, P.35). “ Understanding the nature of online game playing is important foreducators to grasp, in order to understand how children and youngpeople enjoy and can learn from such activities”(P.35).
Students learningwith technologies “There are disjunctures between the ways in which studentsuse technologies at school and the ways in which they usethem in their personal lives, for school work and forrecreation” (Levin & Arafeh, 2002, P.36). “Students report that quality of their learning that includestechnologies to be poor and uninspiring”(Farris-Berg, 2005;Levin & Arafeh, 2002; Valdez, 2005, P.36) “Students also report they feel like they are stepping back intime when they go to school”(p.36). “One of the challenges for educators is to bridge the dividebetween formal and informal learning that studentsundertake”(P.36).
“Education-related topics are the most commonly discussedtopics by students, using the array of technologies availableto them” (Childnet International, 2008; Moyle &Owen, 2009, P.37). “Asked whether they think their use of technologies outsideof school assists them to learn, the following responses werecommon from Australian students” (p.37). “go beyond what the teachers are teaching” “talk to others about what we’re learning” “to learn other things at the same time as learning what is intended” “Leveraging these activities to carefully structure consideredlearning activities may provide teachers with the opportunityto build upon some of the students’ existing practices”(p.37).
Buildinginnovationfor 2020 and beyond “The challenge for educators is how to build young people’s interests andinnovative capabilities with technologies, in ways that have meaning andinterest for them. How can this be done?” (P.38).Suggestions…. “Schools must create learning environments that encourage both teachers andstudents to experiment with ideas”(P.38). “Teaching students to be able to analyse and question information available tothem across the disciplines is a capability that will be of value to students beyondschools” (Sahlberg, 2009, P.38). “Inquiry-based, project-based and problem-based learning are approaches thatuse information processing to support students’ learning about issues of meaningand relevance to them. These approaches fit well with technology-rich learningenvironments”(P.38).
“Software applications can be used as tools to support students’ inquiries byassisting them to organise ideas, to search for current information , to preparebackground papers, and to present ideas”(P.38). “Move students from being users and consumers of technologies to beingcreators and producers with technologies”(P.37). “Allowing students to discuss their learning with other students, to network andcommunicate with each other, to share their ideas and solutions to problemsthey are trying to collectively solve”(P.38). “Networking between students and teachers in different institutions can enrichthe curricula and increase the transfer of generic and subject-relatedknowledge and skills between practitioners”(P.38). “Use of social networking sites for teaching and learning purposes offersteachers and students opportunities to develop a range of general capabilitiesand can provide students and teachers with opportunities to include social andexplorative aspects in their learning”(P.38).
“There are several potential uses of social networking sites forschool education which include creating e-portfolios and usingthem as online spaces where children and young people can recordtheir achievements, house examples of their work and promotetheir talents and interests” (Childnet International, 2008, P.39). “The Internet provides both teachers and students withopportunities to learn about each others’ work by sharingexamples of it through public showcases and online events, tocollaborate on joint projects, and to form online communities ofpractice around topics of interest” (ChildnetInternational, 2008, P.39).
Conclusion “Australian children and teenagers have access to and usetechnologies for a variety of purposes, and most uses areunderpinned by the desire to communicate with others and tocollaborate on activities”(P.39). “Children could well be reading and writing more than their peers20 years ago through a variety of media”(P.39). “Technologies such as Web 2.0 social networking technologies areproviding new opportunities for education. Used well, thesetechnologies can enhance students, learning by facilitatingcollaboration, innovation and creativity for individuals and amonggroups of students”(P.39).
Discussionquestions1. How does technology allow students to learn from people theynever would have been able to without it?2. What are the obstacles to students making better use oftechnology in academics or becoming more skilled in the use oftechnology?3. How can you move students from being users and consumers oftechnologies to being creators and producers withtechnologies?4. How can schools encourage staff technology use?