When do you believe technology enhances learning, and when do you believe
it does not?
How has technology impacted your own learning?
Does your school, library, or organization have a specific learning philosophy that guides ed-tech purchases and implementation? If yes, what is that philosophy?
More than 450 responses were received (those that agreed for their answers to be
shared publicly can be seen at http://www.modernlearning.com).
For the purposes of this report, “educational technology” (often abbreviated as “ed tech”) is assumed to refer principally to the use of modern electronic computing and other high-tech, mostly Internet-enabled, devices and services in education.
When it becomes a distraction.
● When there is little or no preparation for it.
● When just used for testing / score tracking.
● When used for consuming and not creating, or just for rote learning.
● When “following the education trends: everyone else is doing it.”
● When the tech is “an end rather than means” (also stated as, ”when I don’t have a plan or learning goal…”). We found this very significant, and it is the focus of Observation 6.
● When there is a lack of guidance in how to effectively use new ed tech tools (“when there is no PD”). This is the focus of Observation 4.
● Finally, when it “gets in the way of real time talk / sharing.” Forgetting that the tech “cannot mentor, motivate, show beauty, interact fully, give quality attention, [or] contextualize.” Also: ”outcomes related to acquiring the skills and attitudes cannot be enhanced by technology.” As mentioned in the introduction, this would be missing the “human factor.” One respondent
captured this as follows: “3 reasons tech innovation fails: Misunderstanding Human Motivation, Human Learning, or Human Systems.”
Networked information technology has rendered the words “teacher” and “student” more ambiguous. YouTube tutorials and social-media discussions, just to cite a couple of obvious examples, have made it abundantly clear that at any given moment anyone—regardless of age or background—can be a learner or a teacher, or even both at once.
1. Computers and internet access alone don’t boost learning
Handing out laptops, providing high-speed internet access or buying most other kinds of hardware doesn’t on its own boost academic outcomes. The research shows that student achievement doesn’t rise when kids are using computers more, and it sometimes decreases.
2. Some math software shows promise
math programs such as SimCalc and ASSISTments. One popular program, DreamBox, showed small gains for students, as well. Only one piece of software that taught reading, Intelligent Tutoring for the Structure Strategy (ITSS), showed promise, suggesting that it is possible to create good educational software outside of math, but it’s a lot harder.
One commonality of the software that seems to work is that it somehow “personalizes” instruction. Sometimes students start with a pre-test so the computer can determine what they don’t know and then sends each student the right lessons, or a series of worksheet problems, to help fill in the gaps. Other times, the computer ascertains a student’s gaps as he works through problems and makes mistakes, giving personalized feedback. Teachers also get data reports to help pinpoint where students are struggling.
3. Cheap can be effective
a study in San Francisco where texts reminded mothers to read to their preschoolers. That boosted children’s literacy scores.
This session will describe an approach to online discussions that moves beyond the threaded message boards of D2L Brightspace, yet still maintained an asynchronous online delivery. Using teams, discussions were differentiated by product to allow students to turn in an artifact that represented their shared understanding during specific online course modules. Strategies, Technology guides, rubrics, and student feedback will be shared.
Presenter: Michael Manderfeld
Senior Instructional Designer
Minnesota State University Mankato
“Use technology to nudge students away from looking for confirmation for what they already know. Instead, challenge them — encourage risk and confusion that can’t be solved with a few clicks. Find learning technologies that identify and push against a student’s cognitive gap, that space between what a student knows and doesn’t know.
As far as technology itself and education is concerned, technology is basically neutral. It’s like a hammer. The hammer doesn’t care whether you use it to build a house or whether on torture, using it to crush somebody’s skull, the hammer can do either.