Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Learning Journey

We live in a fast pace, every upgrading, technological world. Our students on a daily basis encounter this technological world and think, adapt, live, and learn accordingly. They process large amounts of non-linear information; they are constantly engaged by bright, fast, walking, talking, graphics. Furthermore, they are intrinsically motivated to keep up with the technologies presented before them. These students also spend vast amounts of time in social networks, collaborating to solve problems, gain new information, and share their knowledge with others.
However, for six hours a day, five days a week, these same students are encouraged to power down from their fast passed world and attend school. At school information is presented to the students in static linear slow methods. The graphics used to engage students (if used at all) are static black and white images that generally have nothing to do with the task. Gathering knowledge or sharing knowledge with other students is a punishable crime and opportunities to use technologies come few and far between.
The conclusion we can draw from these two realities is that there is an overwhelming gap between the student’s needs and delivery. The problem is that students are simply not being engaged in the learning process. The solution is simple terms can be stated that “User-friendly technologies, when integrated effectively into a learning environment will engage students in the active process of learning” (EDUCAUSE 2009). So our challenge as teachers is to implement technologies into our classrooms effectively to help engage students into the learning process. This solution, however, presents more difficulties as “new technologies are often viewed as a way to transform classrooms but typically reinforce traditional methods of teaching and learning by delivering static information rather than supporting learner construction of new knowledge (Cuban, 1986).

As you can see there are many difficulties surrounding the relationship between technology and education. My future blog inserts will aim to provide followers with useful information on a range of technologies that can be easily implemented into the learning environment.

· Ed Educause 2009: Serious Games, Incorporating Games Into The Classroom. (2009). Retrieved 5 July, 2009, from Educause Web site: http://www.wducause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quartely/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/SeriousGamesIncorporatingVideo/157412
· Cuban, L. (1986). Teachers and machines: The classroom use of technology since 1920. New York: Teacher’s College.

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