Week 10 Initial Post
EDET674 with Dr. Lee Graham
Future Direction of Technology
The convergence of economic-, demographic- and pedagogic-trends combine to build an accelerated change in recent years in how technology is used in classrooms. This blog is primarily focused on the pedagogic trends education is taking toward a new day of online training.
“Education is no longer a process of acquiring knowledge in preparation for life and work, but a process of first preparing and then repairing knowledge throughout the life span” (Moore & Kearsley, p. 276). This has been true for me. In many ways, I have grown with technology, and it has been, and still is, continuous throughout my lifespan. For example, I recall overhearing a conversation between students in an on site traditional graduate school class whereby the particular students agreed among themselves that distance education is of lower quality that what we were receiving. Personally, I had already been thinking about how limited I felt by program selection that was provided within a time-frame where I could leave my children (knowing an adult would be available to them) and make the average 1 hour drive to site. Also, after needing to get home during dark winter drives after class before conditions were less than safe, forced me to return on a Saturday to go to the college just for library research. I had been asking around as to when we could begin to access research online! Looking back, we did have some collaborative discussions in class, and there were certainly benefits to meeting in person, but that same college has taken a somewhat balanced approach to face-to-face learning and online learning. As I observe my daughter learning through this model, I have noticed what is to her a standard process of learning. Even with very bad weather this winter, she was not limited to that geographic institution on one Saturday per month. They were able to continue on via internet and make up the face-to-face time when weather conditions improved. This is to me slowing down to the pace of real life, when normally technology is considered to speed things along only. My daughter has less time on the road, and more time to read, research, and be available to her two children—all within the same college and travel distance. Mobile technologies will take distance learning to the next level—creating quality in pedagogical design unsurpassed by traditional means.
Mobile technologies are at the center of change in delivery and reception of educational pedagogy. When course designers and educators create a platform for teaching and learning, they use pedagogy that is fashioned in ways of learning and categories that are strongly grounded in research as described by Kukulska-Hulme & Traxler (2013): 1) behaviorist learning with quick reinforcement and feedback (from instructors and course peers); 2) constructivist learning with the building of new concepts through social connections within and questioning, analyzing, and surveying their own physical environment; 3) situated learning where a mobile device is used in a germane environment; 4) collaborative learning within and without the group the student is participating in; 5)informal learning where a mobile device can be used to keep records and communicate quickly something that contributes to group research 6) supported learning like quick and ready access to research, monitoring progress within sites the group is collecting information through.
Students learn through apprenticeship. This style of learning is situated in contexts that are meaningful and context-specific. It is a gradual release of responsibility via scaffolded learning. “Mobile learning can be designed to support this context-specific and immediate situated learning . . . situation-relevant content, situated support, and planning how learners will capture and share their experience either in situ or afterwards (Kukulska-Hulme & Traxler, 2013, p. 247). Authentic learning tasks with technology on hand allows learners to take pictures and record data, quickly communicate to peers their findings to compare, while using social discourse on the topic. Learning is on the move, spontaneously communicated through micro-blogging like Twitter, and simultaneously it is personalized. So with mobile devices becoming more and more accessible, students now and futuristically benefit from learning design that guides students to in how to use these tools to research than ever before.
Educational theory of social constructivism has been used in recent synchronous online courses within graduate programs. Students and instructors co-construct the experience in the online ‘classroom’ (Branch & Groot, p. 4). Instructors are present to facilitate and guide discussions and learning experiences, with a “high-touch and high-structure” (Branch & Groot, p. 4) program philosophy. From needing to know HTML code to post content online for their students and highly structured with a heavy emphasis on textbook-based learning, to creating Web 2.0 tools like podcasts, building wikis, blogging, and using Flicker photo media. During an interim, there has been (and still is) an adjustment time for students to adapt from using only PowerPoints and Webquests. Both instructors and students had to just step out of their comfort zones and begin to use these tools. This paragraph describes my experiences from the time I began my online learning experience to present as I learn to access learning through multiple vehicles of Web 2.0. Further, I must say I have now experienced (and still am experiencing) truths of Connectivism as a new learning theory, such as; “learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions. . . ability to see connections between fields, ideas, and concepts is a core skill” (Branch & Groot, p. 9).
Branch, J., & de Groot, J. (2013). From face-to-face to distance education: the story of two canadian school library educators. School Libraries Worldwide, 19(1), 1-12.
Kukulska-Hulme, A., & Traxler, J. (2013). Design principles for mobile learning. In H. Beetham & R. Sharpe (Eds.), Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing for 21st century learning (2nd ed., pp. 244-257). New York, NY: Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group.
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2012). Distance education: a systems view of online learning. (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.