Technology is perhaps the strongest factor shaping the educational landscape today. Many educational environments are showing support for increased levels of technology in the classroom by providing hardware such as tablets and computers, enhancing internet connectivity, and implementing programs designed to improve computer literacy for both teachers and learners.
Although teachers generally appreciate the benefits of educational technologies, they often find smooth and effective integration of new educational technologies challenging. From acquisition of new technology equipment to adaptation of curricula and teaching techniques to incorporate new educational tools, technology integration presents significant challenges to educators.
Technology finds a myriad of environments for its application. One of them is education. Educational environments offer room for innovation and creativity by using interactive technology in and outside the classroom. This is true for primary education, but even more so in higher education settings. Learners and instructors are highly exposed to educational technology in using their computers to manage
scholarship and measure academic performance. But how is this high level of reliance and exposure to educational technology perceived by students and their instructors? What are the associated benefits and limitations?
A first approach analysing the challenges that affect classroom technologies could be classified in External and Internal challenges
Johnson, A. M., Jacovina, M. E., Russell, D. E., & Soto, C. M. (2016).
External Challenges to Classroom Technology
First-order barriers to the successful integration of technology into the classroom are factors external to educators implementing technology. External barriers must be addressed at the institutional level and changes are typically incremental (e.g., rolling out access to technology one level at a time). Although there is growing evidence that first-order barriers are being tackled
Internal Challenges to Classroom Technology
Even with first-order barriers removed, digital technology would not immediately and seamlessly appear within all classrooms using appropriate pedagogy. Individual educators are ultimately responsible for using technology, and thus even when given resources, they have choices about how to use technology
current lesson plans meet the needs of students, there is very little motivation for the teacher to alter them.
Teacher Skills and Knowledge. Effective educators must not only be domain experts, but also understand how to flexibly use the affordances of different pedagogies for particular content topics. With the advent of numerous novel technologies over the past decades, educators have an abundance of technologies to leverage to make their teaching more effective. Although the potential benefits are clear, the sheer number of possible combinations of technologies and pedagogies for different tasks and students is overwhelming
As an educator think about the challenges mentioned and reflect if you have experienced some of them in your personal experience.
Digital education is generating new learning opportunities as learners engage in online, digital environments and as faculty change educational practices through the use of hybrid courses, personalized instruction, new collaboration models and a wide array of innovative, engaging learning strategies.
Furthermore, a 21st century view of learner success requires learners to not only be thoughtful consumers of digital content, but effective and collaborative creators of digital media, demonstrating competencies and communicating ideas through dynamic storytelling, data visualization and content curation.
There are many evidences that show how technology has a positive effect on student learning expectations and outcomes. Evidence also shows that technology integration is becoming more
common in public and private educational environments. Technology integration is shown to be effective in all age groups and is also shown to be helpful for learners with special learning needs. The advantages and strengths of Online Learning and of using technology in the classroom could be summarized as follow.
Strengths of Online Learning
There are many reasons why online programs have become a popular form of distance learning in higher education today. The online environment offers unprecedented opportunities for people who would otherwise have limited access to education, as well as a new paradigm for educators in which dynamic courses of the highest quality can be developed.
Source: University of Illinois
According to your experience, what are the strenght of technlogy used as a teaching tool? Write them down and then discuss reasoning with your colleagues
This topic gave an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of technology used as a tool for teaching in a learning environment.