Technology. Friend or foe?
There is always a ‘fad’ or some new exciting form of education that teachers jump on the bandwagon for. As a beginning teacher, this was quite intimidating to see other teachers focusing on a particular program to energise their students into their learning. For my own classroom, I currently and will in the future, ensure the students get a future oriented but relevant education. According to Core Education, the major trends for 2015 are in five categories.
- Cultural [learner agency, maker culture]
- Technology [learner analytics, digital convergence]
- Structural [networks organisation, learner orientation]
- Process [innovation & entrepreneurship, global connectedness]
- Economic [inclusive design, new forms of assessment]
(“Ten Trend categories | CORE Education,” n.d.)
The students today, have a whole new world of technology. They are able to use the technology as a tool for learning not just as a time saver or gap filler. As much as we hope that every student in our class all have access to some kind of a device at home or at school, this is not yet a reality. However the opportunities are much more prevalent than they have been in the past. Beyond the exposure to the technologies, it is about ensuring the students in the classroom use the technology as a tool for their own learning.
“The optimistic view of young people as a ‘digital generation’ – as somehow automatically liberated and empowered through their experience of these new technologies – is little more than a form of wishful thinking’ (Buckingham, 2013). Following on from the students using the technology as a learning tool, as teachers we need to allow the students to have the time to immerse themselves in the technology and not assume that they will learn just by using the technology, but teaching them the skills to use them correctly.
A whole new environment.
Modern Learning Environments (MLEs) are taking over schools throughout New Zealand.
The collaborative and cooperative environments are open planned and allows students to be self sufficient and responsible for their learning.
“Researchers have stimulated greater awareness that, because measures of learning outcomes cannot provide a complete picture of the educational process, researchers, evaluators, and practitioners need to pay more attention to classroom learning environments.” (Lederman & Abell, 2014, p116)
In an MLE, the students are getting the best deal out of their environment and their teachers. The teachers are able to teach to their curriculum strengths while the students are able to thrive with the confidence of the teacher, extending their knowledge beyond the expected. At the same time, the students are able to gain independence, to take control of their learning and to extend their knowledge beyond their intended.
I agree with the modern learning environment, it allows for extension for the students and lets the teachers extend their abilities and own knowledge. It is important to have solid relationships between the teachers of the learning environment, to ensure there is true collaboration and equality across the responsibilities.
Buckingham, D. (2013). Beyond Technology: Children’s Learning in the Age of Digital Culture. John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=5fhhCppd0zQC&pgis=1
Lederman, N. G., & Abell, S. K. (2014). Handbook of Research on Science Education, Volume 2. Routledge. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-9wABAAAQBAJ&pgis=1
Ten Trend categories | CORE Education. (n.d.). Retrieved February 8, 2016, from http://www.core-ed.org/thought-leadership/ten-trends-categories