This is a special guest post from Jeremy O'Toole at Learning Technologies.
Educational technology plays a significant role in designing and developing authentic learning. Its role is not only to provide instruction effectively and efficiently but more importantly, to provide students with an experience they otherwise wouldn't have.
Educational Technology And Authentic Learning: The Significant Role Of EdTech In Authentic Learning Development
Hopefully you have read Designing Instruction For Authentic Learning and Developing Content For Authentic Learning as I will refer to these articles below. This article is meant to open conversations regarding models for effective technology integration.
We have discussed Authentic Learning which is a strategy found under Deeper Learning, its goal is to provide students with critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and collaboration skills. Research shows that through Deeper Learning Approaches students raise test scores, have higher graduation rates, and are more likely to enroll in post-secondary schooling - including trade schools (American Institute of Research, 2016). The data proves that Authentic Learning works and through my previous two articles you should have gained an excellent foundation for designing and developing your course using Authentic Learning – plus check out New Media Horizon Reports for K12 and Higher Ed; you’ll notice Deeper Learning is listed in both. Now it is time to focus on the role of Educational Technology.
The Role Of Educational Technology
Educational Technology should be used to provide students with an experience they otherwise wouldn’t have. Chris Dede, a Harvard University Learning Technologies Professor, argues that “technology as a catalyst is effective only when used to enable learning with richer content, more powerful pedagogy, more valid assessments, and links between in- and out-of-classroom learning” (2014, p. 6). Additionally, we must acknowledge that there is an achievement gap which looks something like a bell curve and that the digital divide is a real thing – consider the digital divide when providing experiences.
We also should acknowledge that educational technology complements our design and development and technology alone cannot create learning experiences. Teaching as a human craft is what makes learning effective, not the technology. We certainly do not want something called digital drill and kill by digitizing teacher-centered instruction (Murray, 2017). On the contrary, we want students to apply the knowledge gained by using technology to do better things rather than do things better (Dede, 2017).
Tips For Integrating Technology And Personalizing Learning
We first need to correlate the technology with our unit and course objectives. If we have our students analyzing literature, then the objective should read the same; analyze literature. We could look at the SAMR Model of technology integration, but I think the model alone limits our objective in providing students with Authentic Learning experiences; however, it is a step in the right direction. Remember, we don’t simply want to digitize business! Again, it is providing students with an experience they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Second, look at Gartner’s Hype Cycle and New Media Horizon Reports to determine what technologies are becoming of age, reaching their plateau, or are on the rise because these technologies are going to be embedded in the real world (note there are a few different industries for the Horizon Report and an education version of the Hype Cycle).
Third, remember that instruction is guided and we control rigor based on guidance of each student, therefore, instruction is personalized as each student needs different guidance. Look at the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) designed by Lev Vygotsky for more information on guidance and personalized learning. Lastly, use technology in every facet of instruction, it can certainly make the delivery of instruction and feedback more efficient with Learning Management Systems and video production. Take this example in public education, I hate taking attendance and writing it down on paper, it wastes time. Instead, use Kipin Attendance through Canvas (LMS) where students have five minutes into the class to record their attendance, this way I didn’t have to call out names or mark each student’s attendance digitally. It knocked off three minutes of wasted time per class – 180 days X 3 equates to 540 minutes or roughly 2.5 weeks of instruction devoted to attendance!
Nonetheless, we say we want students to do better things through their summative assessment. That doesn’t mean we can’t make other facets of instruction more efficient. Remember the questionable rule that if you feel you need to directly instruct, then create a video. It is still direct instruction but hopefully students complete it at home.
There Really Isn’t An Effective Model – That’s The Problem
The SAMR Model certainly gets educators going in the right direction and creates good conversations. It is even better when utilized with the Bloom’s Taxonomy as we attempt to match assessments with objectives. TPACK makes great arguments that this article coincides. Integrating these 3 models is another great start towards an effective model. What we do know is every facet of teaching should integrate technology, but the assessments should require collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration through Authentic Learning.
Do you know a model for effective technology integration? If so, share with us your model or how you integrate technology.
Originally posted: https://elearningindustry.com/educational-technology-and-authentic-learning
Looking to try something new? Flipgrid is a video discussion tool used from PreK to Universities. Watch this quick video segment to learn more.
The ability to collaborate in Google Drive is the best application of Google Apps. Did you know you can comment on a document and assign a comment to a specific person? This is a great help at several levels. Teachers working in teams or students working on projects. This allows you to use a Google Doc like a project planner. Watch the video to learn more. If you are interested in using this as a class lesson, follow this link for a free preview (click the preview option to download).
Finding shared files is an important skill when using Google Drive. Teachers can share class resources with students quickly and easily. Sometimes students aren't sure where to go to find these files. This short video explains the basics of finding one of these folders in Google Drive. If you want to learn more about this lesson, follow this link and click the preview to see a free copy of the lesson.
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It's the start of the school year and student Google Accounts are often cluttered with last years work. Have them create new folders for this year, clean out old folders or create an archive. Coloring folders make them easy to use and get the year off on the right foot. Click here to learn more.
It's important at the start of the school year to getvoff on the right foot. Behavioral expectations are key. The same applies for using technology in the classroom. This two part lesson I have designed addresses all those expectations. If you are designing a lesson to teach computer usage in the classroom, here's some ideas.
Nothing is more fun that creating an image mashup in class. This skill lets the learner take several unrelated objects and recombine the into something new. This can represent new learnings and understandings. With Google Apps, its very easy to do. More importantly, you can have kids collect real images in class, like pictures of a science lab or cultures project. The video below explains the basics of how to make a mashup in science class. If you're interesting in learning more, click the click the image below to see our classroom product.
I have created amazing lessons for the past 20 years. During that time, we went from an environment with a few computers to a setting where every student has one. Now I am in the process of updating my lessons to have a technology component. Google Apps provides a great platform for this. Create a shared drive, kids can take pictures of their lab work, edit images and make dynamic presentations on their learning. If these ideas interest you, check out my Essential Computer Skills for Science Class bundle below.
If you are looking for ways to incorporate technology into your existing lessons, this bundle is for you. Students will learn the basics of using digital images, manipulating graphics and making connections to create unique products that demonstrate their learning. When students create in this activity, they reach higher levels of learning. I use these lessons at the start of the school year, this allows me to apply these techniques to any activity during the school year. Growing some seeds in class? Create a digital image. Learning photosynthesis? Have students take a picture of the plant, then annotate the image and mash it up to show what they have learned.
Everytime we talk about social media in school, it ends up in a discussion over Facebook and student drama. I've often wondered how we could connect with our students in a positive way to teach them about social media and how to use it appropriately. Many school policies ban certain types of social media contacts with kids (I like my job), so what is our alternative? Edmodo is an educator centered social media website. It's simple to use and your classes can connect with you and their classmates. The best part is the teacher controls who is in the class and can easily monitor everything that is going on. I've even set up Edmodo classes for my after school groups to discuss important topics. If you have never used Edmodo before, check out the video and links below. Best part, its free!
Plickers are an amazing tool for classrooms. They are printable student response cards that can be stapled, glued or taped onto your kids notebooks. The best part, they are free. This gives you a quick and easy way to collect responses from bell ringers, questions or whole class assessments. If you haven't experimented with these yet, check out the video below, I highly recommend Plickers.
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