The Asian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (AJSoTL) is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online journal. AJSoTL seeks to create and nurture a global network of academics and educators who will discuss ongoing changes and future trends in tertiary education.
Technology has asserted its presence in many classrooms around the world. But is technology truly useful in helping us to deliver our classes better, or to enhance our students’ learning? This forum invites all practitioners to reflect and debate on the matter. Please participate in this online discussion — we love to hear from you!
To use or NOT to use technology is not the issue, it should be all about HOW technology is being used in the classroom!
Sorry, in my previous post I submitted a different URL, I should posted this url:
We must consider technology in 21st Century classroom. If kids like to spend time more on youtube and facebook and focus less on their studies... that means something is not quite right with our schooling system... that means that we must consider technology and should try to adopt ways to teach our children in the way they like it or prefer it.
I came across a very nice article over here, related to this dicussion:
A decent article that alerts us about the downside of technology use. With careful planning, teachers can avoid most of the situations.
While learning can be online, any high stakes assessments should be under monitored settings - even if students are assessed for collaborative work.
With massively open online courses coming up from leading institutions, coverage of content may not be done in the way it is done now. Whether a teacher in a local institution wants to have the flipped classroom or not, the classroom would have already been flipped by the external forces. If the teacher continues traditional lecturing format, and does it in a very ordinary manner, the attendance will drop. Students will want to learn in effective, efficient ways and are not likely to want a face to face class unless some real value addition is provided. They can meet friends outside of school or on the mobile phone these days; colleges do not have the socialization value as well - simply put, there are cooler places to hang around in the city.
Teachers will have to think hard on how to add value in face to face classes. Connecting ideas and applying them to challenging and realistic multi-phenomena problems, dispelling misconceptions, helping them to extend concepts through discussions in small groups, getting the groups to share and get the whole class richer would be needed than ever before. Coaching will be the name of the game - the teacher will be a feedback provider than a content dispenser. May be a chance for a good number of faculty members to amplify the feedback path they have been largely ignoring for too long.
The certification of competencies (towards job readiness or achievement of learning outcomes for that level) may (and perhaps should) also move out of universities into the hands of reputed external bodies (this may take some time) - with same content being available, why would learning outcomes have to be different at different universities or have to depend on who is teaching the course? Learning outcomes for courses may get standardized. External testing will also prevent faculty from teaching to the test (teaching and testing by the same person is an obvious conflict of interest which has been neglected for logistical convenience). Already there is talk of "badges" based on completion of courses from entities such as edX - edX may set up local franchaises in different countries to conduct tests, interviews etc. for a reasonable cost. Students will pay for a "badge" from a reputed university (they will save money by cutting down on travel from home to the university each day to pay for the badge!!!!).
Consolidation, layoffs/downsizing (right sizing!!!) in Universities will become a more common occurrence - in response to these external forces. I am not kidding!! Actually, someone has dreamt such a thing. See http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2011/05/why_harvard_and_yale_had_to_me_1.html
Question: How many D's/C's does it take to change a spoilt light bulb?
D's/C's: What is Change?
You must have seen this MIT-Harvard announcement today
This experiment may succeed or fail. But it is bound to succeed at some point in the near future.
The last paragraph (which I reproduce below) is important but my guess is some success will be achieved on this front in about 2-3 years time.
“What faculty don’t want to do is just take something off the shelf that’s somebody else’s and teach it, any more than they would take a textbook, start on Page 1, and end with the last chapter,” he said. “What’s still missing is an online platform that gives faculty the capacity to customize the content of their own highly interactive courses.”
In the light of what is happenning in this space (aided by technology, of course),
1. How will teaching look like when students will not want to come to the class for gaining content?
2. There may come a time when employers may find it OK to employ people based on something like edX certificates. Employers want graduates to know content, deploy them in different situations and more importantly to generate ideas, communicate, work in teams etc. What would be the role of universities should this situation arise? How will research intensive universities and teaching-only universities respond to this situation?
There are certainly both pros and cons - i use lots of IT in the classroom - and out of it - and find that it can help students - especially the shy, retiring ones, to participate - but this defeats the purpose of education - which is to draw them out - after all - if all undergraduates can only interact online - instead of being willing to make a stand/express themselves - then what is the point of a universtiy education?
I know of some who eschew technology - but think these Luddites are missing out on a lot - with things like augmented reality, video streaming etc - there is a lot to be said for technology in the classroom - but technology for technology's sake is pointless - there must be a balance between using technology for teaching and assessment - and proper engagement of students/interaction
As teachers, we are often unhappy that students do not open up for discussions or debates in class. Traditional and technology-based strategies are considered to overcome this situation.
Now, if any of us have the opposite kind of problem in the classroom (which is rare but none the less possible), there is a potential solution offered by Japanese researchers. In their article "SpeechJammer: A System Utilizing Artificial Speech Disturbance with Delayed Auditory Feedback" the authors outline some interesting possibilities with their "serious" technology. To read more, visit http://arxiv.org/abs/1202.6106
The PDF version of the article can be downloaded.
Personally, I like the idea of an inverted or flipped classroom - where technology is perdominantly used outside for "seeings" (as opposed to the more well known "readings"), "listenings", "Doings" (simulations, serious gaming) etc. The class time (lectures, tutorials) is used for deep discussions, analyzing authentic case studies etc. In the classroom, technology in the form of clickers can be used to take votes on multiple opinions, to test the level of existing misconceptions etc. Learning can definitely be enhanced by technology if used judiciously both inside and outside the classroom. The 21st century classroom is indeed the whole world -
Technology is perhaps best deployed in situations where efficiency is needed. For example, it can be great to transmit information (content). Technology (with a lot of pedagogical basis) can help to personalize and deepen learning - for example in educational games, adaptive tutoring systems (this is a highly efficient system for the student but can be a very intensive experience for the teacher to develop this ).
The words "truly" and "better" need to be clarified;what I am trying to say is that the baseline ought to be specified. Just as much as beauty is said depend on the eyes of the beholder, success in teaching with technology depends on the user. In fact, it would depend on a combination of factors like who uses it, what is it used for, on what kind of audience it is used, the context etc. It would be best if people share their positive and negative experiences with technology. In particular, if the same person has experienced both success and failure in her/his use of technology for learning, some illuminating lessons can be learnt.
Do you have a view you'd like to share?