Educational technology essay

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Educational technology essay

  1. 1. Educational Technology Essay Thalia Banton Educational Technology Mr. Onywere Bethlehem Moravian College 2BBA February 21, 2014
  2. 2. Educational Technology Essay Topic: Digital Natives “What should we call these “new” students of today? Some refer to them as the N-[for Net]-gen or D-[for digital]-gen. But the most useful designation I have found for them is Digital Natives. Our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet”. (Prensky, 2001). Young people currently at university and College have been labelled “digital natives” (Prensky, 2001). According to www.techopedia.com website a digital native is an individual who was born after the widespread adoption of digital technology. The term digital native doesn't refer to a particular generation. Instead, it is a catch-all category for children who have grown up using technology like the Internet, computers and mobile devices. This exposure to technology in the early years is believed to give digital natives a greater familiarity with and understanding of technology than people who were born before it was widespread. Today‟s students through college represent the first generations to grow up with this new technology. They have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Today‟s average college graduates have spent less than five thousand(5,000) hours of their lives reading, but over ten thousand(10,000 )hours playing video games (not to mention twenty thousand(20,000) hours watching TV). The first concept Prensky describes is that of the Digital Native. The current generation they have always had the Internet, laptops, cell phones with text messaging ,AIM, Facebook or MySpace, PlayStations, digital cameras ,DVD players, blogs, and any other number of digital technologies that allow them to instantly capture or communicate with the world. They use these tools as extensions of their bodies and minds, fluidly incorporating them into their daily routines
  3. 3. Educational Technology Essay (Prensky, 2005). They have learned the language of technology as they communicate instantly with their peers. These students, like all Natives, adapt quickly to changes in their environment and look for new ways to incorporate the latest technology into their fast-paced lives. Computer games, email, the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives. Our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet. Students demonstrate being Native Speakers of the digital language by using language like OMG, sending emails, communicating with family and friends across the world, to have fun, for educational uses such as to do assignments etc. This provides an active experience for students. This means technology can equip students to independently organize their learning process. So, instead of being passive recipients of information, students using technology become active users. At the same time, technology transfers some responsibility for learning to students. Through online learning (which provides increased access to course content, more scheduling flexibility, and better access to alternative education choices)and alternative media (such as digital games and project-based learning), students have the flexibility to direct their individual progress. Technology makes life much easier, most of all it saves time and energy. One positive implication for the teacher who teaches Digital Natives is becoming or being technologically savvy. Being technologically savvy means knowing a lot about modern technology, especially computers. Becoming savvy with technology requires enthusiasm and alot dedications. Technology is the fastest growing field right now and there's no sign of stopping anytime soon. Technology is becoming more and more advanced. Being technologically savvy is not an impossible task, but it definitely requires time and energy to master the basic. Therefore a teacher who is technologically savvy will teach his or her students well and pass on knowledge
  4. 4. Educational Technology Essay as he or she would have mastered the basic requirements. Also students will complete tasks effectively and efficiently. One implication for policy makers in their quest to equip Digital Natives with the required skills for the future is Policies Related to the Use of Educational Technology for Learning. While the recently released draft of the National Educational Technology Plan(NETP) (U.S. Department of Education, 2010) puts a strong emphasis on 21st century skills and on using technology to personalize learning, other recently released national standards and policy documents(such as the common core standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts, and the blueprint for the technology in specific academic content standards. Along with the articulation of the standards will come the need to test students‟ knowledge of and skill with technology? This will require the development of new assessments that are well aligned with the standards. Existing high school tests, which traditionally require memorizing facts, often have very little to do with what it takes do well in college or in the workplace (such as writing and problem solving).There is a need for assessments that measure complex21st century competencies and that incorporate the use of technology. The Assessment and Teaching of the 21st Century Skills Initiative by Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft at the University of Melbourne is undertaking some initial work in this area. States also play a key role in supporting online learning. By establishing and financing virtual schools that offer courses aligned with their standards, states reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) do not explicitly address technology. The responsibility to integrate the recommendations from the NETP with the common core standards and other reforms falls on states and local leaders such as Ministry of Education. To effectively guide practice, states should articulate Technology standards aligned with the NETP and related
  5. 5. Educational Technology Essay standards (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009; International Society for Technology in Education, 2007). In addition to separate technology standards, states should also embed an explicit focus and can contribute to broadening available educational experiences that are attuned to individual students „interests and needs. Technology can support and enhance teachers teaching and student learning in three central ways: It can expand the scope of classroom learning beyond the physical boundaries of the classroom (and also beyond inclusion of only teacher and students) It can expand accessibility of, and engagement with, content and information, It can expand the ways students can demonstrate what they have learned. Also three (3) ways in which the teacher can integrate technology in teaching and learning, to aid in improving the quality of students‟ learning experiences is to improve the quality of education for our students by the use of power point presentations to teach a lesson, Showcasing videos, online forums/discussion, projects etc to facilitate different types of learners. For example students who are auditory learners would love the integration of videos in class while teaching a lesson. There interest would be catered for. Properly used integrated technology, will help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge based economy. Technology integration provides students with equitable access to the knowledge and skills necessary for college and career readiness. Effective technology integration is achieved when the use of technology is routine and transparent and when technology supports curricular goals. Many people believe that technology enabled project learning is the ne plus ultra of classroom instruction. Learning through projects
  6. 6. Educational Technology Essay while equipped with technology tools allows students to be intellectually challenged while providing them with a realistic snapshot of what the modern office/world looks like. Through projects, students acquire and refine their analysis and problem solving skills as they work individually and in teams to find, process, and synthesize information they've found online. The myriad resources of the online world also provide each classroom with more interesting, diverse, and current learning materials. The Web connects students to experts in the real world and provides numerous opportunities for expressing understanding through images, sound, and text. Using technology for purposes, such as writing, research and analysis—rather than simply drills and practice—can enhance student competencies that surpass the knowledge and skills typically measured in achievement tests. These competencies include problem solving, creativity, collaboration, data management and communication. New technology tools for visualizing and modeling, offer students ways to experiment and observe phenomenon and to view results in graphic ways that aid in understanding. And, as an added benefit, with technology tools and a project learning approach which enable students to use the internet, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems in the classroom. Integrating Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of adviser, content expert, and coach. Technology helps to make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun.
  7. 7. Educational Technology Essay In concluding, in education, instructional technology is "the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning," according to the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Technology enhances teachers teaching and students learning .Through technology students can demonstrate what they have learned. Technology makes life easier, it saves time and money. Properly used integrated technology, will help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge based economy. Technology integration provides students with equitable access to the knowledge and skills necessary for college and career readiness. It also enhances the relationship between the teacher and students as there is immediate feedback. In my opinion, technology is growing rapidly and as such students must be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to utilize these various technology efficiently and effectively or else will be left behind as technology continues to integrate. Technology also provides an active experience for students. New technology tools for visualizing and modeling, offer students ways to experiment and observe phenomenon and to view results in graphic ways that aid in understanding. And, as an added benefit, with technology tools and a project learning approach which enable students to use the internet, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems in the classroom.
  8. 8. Educational Technology Essay References Barrs, K. (2011). Mobility in learning: The feasibility of encouraging language learning on smartphones. Bennett, S., & Maton, K. (2010). Beyond the „digital natives‟ debate: Towards a morenuanced understanding of students' technology experiences. MacLean, G., & Elwood, J. (2009). Digital Natives, Learner Perceptions and the Use of ICT. In M. Thomas (Ed.). Kopcha, T. J. (2010). A Systems-Based Approach to Technology Integration Using Mentoring andCommunities of Practice. Education Technology Research and Development. Zucker, A. A. (2008). Transforming Schools with Technology: How Smart Use of Digital Tools Helps Achieve Six Key Education Goals. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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