Technology & Pedagogy

This article in Educause Review  by R. DeRosa and S. Robison discusses technology and its relationship to pedagogy – that is there needs to be one! Good points with open ed resources as an example.

… all of us need to rethink the relationship between technological tools and the pedagogies within which we embed them.

Some good takeaways in this article, worth a look.


“No ‘best technologies’ for learning”

When it comes to educational technology, academics often talk about affordances. An affordance is “a quality of an object, or an environment, which allows an individual to perform an action.” Mobile devices have many affordances lending themselves to new forms of learning. Unfortunately, many people tend to consider these affordances in a vacuum, as if their effective use wasn’t context-dependent. So we get slogans along the lines of ‘iPads improve learning’ — as though they were some kind of glistening panacea for learning.

… But there are no ‘best technologies’ for learning.

This excerpt is from a post on DNL (Digital Media & Learning) Central about 1:1 iPad initiatives. This central message is an important one. Be sure to read the entire post (link above).

Changing Technology – Changing Classroom?

How do these societal trends change learning? How do they change how we need to structure classrooms? Are complete labs filled with computers an outdated model? Do we need infrastructure that is more seamless? Are classes that are focused purely on computers and technology an outdated model? Do we need more integrated systems?

Are schools still pursuing the desktop model of learning? Learning as a place, a thing that is separate and sits off in the corner all on its own when really we should be looking at something much more integrated and faster moving?

New technologies make new things possible. They allow us to move in new directions and consider new possibilities. We need to keep moving.

Interesting questions about the direction of computing & schools today by Manitoba teacher, Clarence Fisher (post: The Desktop Model of Learning? | Remote Access – link above).
How would you answer these questions?

Ed Tech: one piece of the puzzle


Technology can facilitate this learning process; it can open up new avenues for learning; it can provide teachers with useful information about their students, and it can point children to lessons geared toward their particular needs. It can do all of this in ways that are clearly superior to other resources or methods of instruction.

But technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum. For technology to have an impact on student achievement, schools also need sound teaching, strong leadership, fidelity of use, and a supportive culture, among other things.

In other words, technology can’t improve student outcomes by itself. Instead, it’s one of several elements that must work together in harmony, like a complex dance, to elicit results.

via excerpt from the post: On ed tech, we’re asking the wrong question from Sept 21, 2011

This post makes a good point, educational technology is but one piece in a big puzzle that is education. Teaching & learning is complex, with many factors contributing to success.