Introduction to educational technology


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Brief introduction to the history, technology and theories of educational technology

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Introduction to educational technology

  1. 1. A Very Short Introduction to Educational Technology Mike Sharples Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University
  2. 2. Definitions Pedagogy “The theory and practice of teaching, learning and assessment” Sharples, M., McAndrew, P., Weller, M., Ferguson, R., FitzGerald, E., Hirst, T., Mor, Y., Gaved, M. and Whitelock, D. (2012). Innovating Pedagogy 2012: Open University Innovation Report 1. Milton Keynes: The Open University. Educational technology Interactive technology to enable effective learning (may include fixed, desktop, mobile and wearable devices and their software - and combinations of these) Technology Enhanced Learning Learning supported by individual or multiple technologies. In Europe, now used in preference to e-learning, or computer-assisted learning
  3. 3. Contents A short history of educational technology Theories of learning with technologies Evaluation of learning with technologies 3
  4. 4. 1920s: Pressey’s Self-testing machine 4 Image copyright OSU photo archives “There must be an ‘industrial revolution’ in education, in which educational science and the ingenuity of educational technology combine to modernize the grossly inefficient and clumsy procedures of conventional education. Work in the schools of the future will be marvelously though simply organized, so as to adjust almost automatically to individual differences and the characteristics of the learning process. There will be many laborsaving schemes and devices, and even machines – not at all for the mechanizing of education, but for the freeing of teacher and pupil from educational drudgery and incompetence.” Sidney Pressey (1933) Psychology and the New Education
  5. 5. 1950s Linear programming and teaching machines ● Based on scientific theory of ‘operant conditioning’ (changing behaviour by use of reinforcement after a desired response) ● Presentation of a linear sequence of frames of information, in small steps ● Immediate reinforcement of student responses, but the same response for each student ● Gradual progression to establish complex repertoires ● Fading or gradual withdrawal of stimulus support ● Issues: finding reinforcers that are effective and ethical; matching individual students; incorrect responses 5 In B.F. Skinner (1958) Teaching Machines 1IRFo
  6. 6. Emerging themes ● Educational technology ● Self-paced learning ● Interactive learning ● Learning design ● Formative assessment ● Motivation for learning 6
  7. 7. 1950s: Branching programs ●Based on theories from cybernetics (adaptive systems, feedback control) ●Using information from errors to eliminate incorrect responses (vs. ensuring correct responses and reinforcing them) ●Student is presented with multiple choice response ●Feedback depends on the student’s response ●Move towards adaptive and personalised teaching 7 Adaptive teaching machine
  8. 8. Multiple choice branching 8
  9. 9. 1960s: Computer-assisted instruction ● Computer-based teaching ● Adaptive teaching systems ● Programming languages for education (BASIC: Beginner’s All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) ● “Computers and computer-managed instruction systems can be expected to play a major role in transforming the educational process by giving the teacher a sophisticated aid to allow for flexible, multimedia, individualized education at a relatively small increase in cost.” H.J. Bruder, Computer-Managed Instruction, Science, 1968 9 Multi-media adaptive teaching system, with ‘light-pen’ touch screen, 1968
  10. 10. Instructivist pedagogy ●Learning as information transfer ●Instructor-led ●Sequenced learning elements ●Inform – test – explain ●Adaptivity & personalisation 10
  11. 11. 1970s: Large scale teaching systems ● Large scale projects ● Networked teaching systems ● Logo and microworlds ● Computers as coaches ● AI-based intelligent tutoring systems 11 ‘Hangman’ software on Commodore PET computer
  12. 12. 1970s: PLATO IV ● 950 networked terminals in 140 sites ● 8000 hours of instructional material by 3000 authors ● Aim to provide ubiquitous computer-based teaching (proposal for 1-million terminal PLATO V) ● High resolution flicker-free plasma display screen (transparent so that colour slides can be overlaid on it); touch panel; audio and slide; music synthesisers ● TUTOR authoring language ● First use of graphic simulations for teaching ● Evaluation: “no compelling statistical evidence that PLATO had either a positive or negative effect on student achievement”; no significant effect on student drop-out rates; PLATO students showed much more favourable attitude towards computers. ● In 1992 the company NovaNET was formed with the rights to PLATO technology. Changed name to Edmentum in 2012. 12 PLATO IV touch-screen networked learning terminal
  13. 13. 1970s: Logo programming for children ● Seymour Papert - student of the psychologist Jean Piaget ● Learning through programming computers ● Logo programming language and computer-controlled robotic ‘turtle’ for children ● Claims that programming, proceduralisation and debugging are valuable problem-solving skills ● “In many schools today the phrase “computer aided instruction” means making the computer teach the child. One might say the computer is being used to program the child. In my vision the child programs the computer” Papert, Mindstorms, 1980 13 Children using a ‘button box’ to control and programme a turtle
  14. 14. 1980s: Microcomputers in education ● Multimedia personal computers ● Videodisks ● Networked-based teaching and computer-supported collaborative learning ● Educational simulations ● Commercial teaching and training packages 14 Children using educational software on a BBC microcomputer
  15. 15. 1990s: online learning ●Edutainment ●Integration of video, animation, hypermedia ●Notebook computers ●Web-based learning environments (VLEs, MLEs) ●Integrated learning systems ●Intelligent agents 15 ‘Smart Operator’ adaptive simulation-based training package with ‘intelligent agent’ feedback on learner errors
  16. 16. 2000s: mobile learning ●Web-based virtual learning environments in universities and colleges ●Mobile and contextual learning ●Seamless learning ●Multimedia learning spaces ●Spoken language interaction with tutoring systems 16 HandLeR mobile learning technology
  17. 17. Old and new learning (1990s – 2010s) 17 E-learning in the 1990s Technology-enhanced learning in the 2010s Constructivist learning Social-constructivist learning Online learning Blended learning VLEs and MLEs Personal Learning Environments Media-equipped teaching rooms Flexible learning spaces Desktop computer rooms Support for students with multiple personal technologies Creating re-usable learning objects Open learning and student-created media Collaborative learning Social networked learning Evaluation of learning gains Evaluation of learning transformations Effective learning technology Effective, scalable and sustainable learningtechnology
  18. 18. The new science of learning ● Computational learning ● Infer structural models from the environment ● Learn from probabilistic input ● Social learning ● Learning by imitation ● Shared attention ● Intersubjectivity ● Neural learning ● Learning supported by brain circuits that link perception and action ● Developmental learning ● Behavioural and cognitive development ● Neural plasticity ● Teaching and learning ● Principles of effective teaching ● Contextual and temporal learning ● Learning within and across contexts ● Cycle of engagement and reflection ● Technology-enabled learning ● Learning as a distributed socio-technical system ● Orchestration of learning 18 A.N. Meltzoff, P. K. Kuhl, J. Movellan, & T. J. Sejnowski (2009) Foundations for a New Science of Learning, Science 325 (5938), 284.
  19. 19. The new sciences of learning “Insights from many different fields are converging to create a new science of learning that may transform educational practice” “A key component is the role of ‘the social’ in learning. What makes social interaction such a powerful catalyst for learning?” 19 A.N. Meltzoff, P. K. Kuhl, J. Movellan, & T. J. Sejnowski (2009) Foundations for a New Science of Learning, Science 325 (5938), 284.
  20. 20. Types of learning Learning as… Learning sciences… Changing behaviour Neuroscience Behavioural science Enhancing skills Cognitive development Storing information Information sciences Gaining knowledge Cognitive sciences Epistemology Making sense of the world Social sciences Socio-cultural and activity theory Interpreting the world in a new way Phenomenology Personal change Psychoanalysis 20
  21. 21. A theory of learning for the mobile age 21
  22. 22. What is distinctive about learning in a mobile age? 22 ●Mobility as a central concern ●Learners are continually on the move ●Need to understand learning as a mobile and contextual activity ●Involves a blend of portable, wearable and fixed technologies ●Embraces learning in both formal and informal settings ●Scalable and sustainable
  23. 23. Theories of learning with technology John Dewey’s Instrumental inquiry ● Knowing is activity in the world, involving a combination of thoughts and external artefacts as tools for inquiry ● Every reflective experience is an instrument for production of meaning ● Inquiry-led learning Yrjö Engeström’s Expansive Activity Theory ● Learning is a cultural-historical activity mediated by tools, including technology and language ● Activity systems contain the possibility for expansive transformation, as contradictions are internalised and resolved ● Social-constructivist learning Gordon Pask’s Conversation Theory ● Conversation is the fundamental process of learning ● Learning is a cybernetic process of “coming to know” through mutual adjustment and negotiation ● Conversational learning 23
  24. 24. Dewey’s instrumental inquiry ●Education should be based upon the quality of experience ●For an experience to be educational, there must be continuity and interaction ●Continuity: experience comes from and leads to other experiences ●Interaction: when the experience meets the internal needs or goals of a person ●Pragmatic instrumentalism: Knowing is activity in the world, involving a combination of thoughts and external artefacts as tools for inquiry 24
  25. 25. Dewey and social learning “The principle that development of experience comes about through interaction means that education is essentially a social process. This quality is realized in the degree in which individuals form a community group. … It is absurd to exclude the teacher from membership in the group. As the most mature member of the group he has a peculiar responsibility for the conduct of the interactions and inter-communications which are the very life of the group as a community.” Dewey, “Experience and Education” (1938) 25
  26. 26. Dewey and reflective learning Learning comes when a person strives to overcome a problem or breakdown in everyday activity, or recognises part of the continual flow of activity and conversation as worth remembering Every reflective experience is an instrument for the production of meaning A mis-educative experience is one that stops or distorts growth for future experiences A non-educative experience is when a person has not done any reflection and so has not obtained lasting mental growth 26
  27. 27. Engeström’s expansive activity theory ● Learning is a cultural-historical activity mediated by tools, including technology and language ● Activity is the focus of analysis ● Activity systems are multi-voiced, with many perspectives, transitions and interests in continual interaction ● Activity systems are shaped over time ● Activity systems contain the possibility for expansive transformation: they go though extended periods of qualitative change, as the contradictions are internalised and resolved, leading to the emergence of new structure, tools and activity. Learning as cultural historical activity 27
  28. 28. Example ● Learning at university is an activity system shaped by the history of higher education and mediated by tools, including technology and academic language ● Teaching and learning activity is the focus of analysis ● Teaching and learning activity systems are multi-voiced: many teaching methods, learning strategies, cultures ● Teaching and learning systems in universities are shaped over time ● University systems contain the possibility for expansive transformation. For example, students bringing their own devices into lectures initially caused tensions and disruptions - but also possibilities for radical transformation to a more student-centred learning activity. University as an activity system 28
  29. 29. Pask and learning as conversation ● A theory of how we come to know ● Derived from cybernetics ● A conversation is the minimum necessary structure to enable learning - Multiple conversations within one mind - One conversation across multiple minds ● Can involve technology as a conversational partner 29 ● Conversations about the how and why of a topic ● Conversations about the how of learning (for example discussing study skills and reflecting on experiences as a learner) ● Conversations about purposes, the why of learning, where the emphasis is on encouraging personal autonomy and accepting responsibility for one’s own learning
  30. 30. Conversational framework Adapted from Laurillard (2002) Rethinking University Teaching. A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies. London: Routledge) 30
  31. 31. Evaluating learning ● John Hattie - synthesis of over 800 meta-studies of what influences learning success ● All the meta-studies used a standard measure of ‘effect size’ ● Important influences on learning success: - make learning expectations and progress visible - provide rapid feedback Visible Learning – John Hattie 31 Each possible influence on learning is measured in terms of positive or negative ‘effect size’ J. Hattie. Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement
  32. 32. Where next? 32
  33. 33. Open University Innovating Pedagogy ● Annual report ● Explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world ● To guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation ● Weak signals