As an educator, it is hard not to get excited about the recent advancement of technology. With excitement abound, it easy to forget that the process of teaching and learning is rather a complex matter and the infusion of ICT is not the silver bullet that most expect it to be. The recent fiasco of iPad procurement in California worth nearly 1.3 billion dollars to put a device in the hands of each student recently was cancelled and now being investigated by the authorities. Critics argued that it was too expensive in a time of dramatic budget cuts. Some also worried that the rollout had been rushed, that the software wasn’t finished and had glitches, and that the district’s infrastructure, training and security procedures were insufficient for this kind of effort (NPR.org, 2015). Nevertheless, I believe ICT has an important role in the classroom in enhancing instruction and producing deeper learning but it needs careful consideration, planning and training.
As technology increasingly plays a central role in all our lives, inadvertently educators are more interested by the question of how technology can be used to transform education and enhance student learning (Hew & Brush, 2007). There are three broad areas that one must familiarise with if intending to implement ICT in the classroom; these areas are the knowledge dimension, cognitive dimension and the different pedagogical approaches. These correlates with the TPACK framework (Baran, Thompson, Mishra, Koehler & Shin, 2009) that emphasises the importance of Content, Pedagogical and Technological Knowledge. The knowledge dimension here refers to the teachers deep knowledge of the subject being taught. Technological knowledge is generally poses a great challenge for most teachers. For one, a teacher needs to know technologicy related to their subject matter and dedicate time to keep up. In addition to the knowledge dimension, the revised Bloom taxonomy (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001) includes the cognitive process dimension. This particular taxonomy provides a unique two-dimensional framework for evaluating and classifying learning by knowledge type and cognitive process. Such a framework can help researchers and educators to obtain a better understanding about the intended learning, as well as the instructional activities (Su, Osisek, & Starnes, 2004). Finally one must be familiar with the various pedagogical approaches such as transmissive, dialogic, constructionist and co-constructive instruction. Now a particular teacher may possess varying skills in the different domains, but to reach the competency needed to design lessons using ICT, the three knowledge domains need to synergise. This is no easy task for even the most experienced teacher. Therefore central to success of ICT in the classroom is dependent upon knowledge and implemention of a framework such as the one proposed above.
Does the use of technology produce positive impact? I am inclined to say yes based on my own experience and successes. Yet it must be emphasised that just because some form of technology is being used in the classroom, it does not mean the learning outcomes are necessarily achieved. In fact, one may achieve the same or better outcomes without it. The positive effects are not necessarily attributed to the technologies per se but to how the technologies are used. Like any other tool, pedagogy and instructional strategy should be developed and practiced, along with the use of technology (Hew & Wing, 2012).
Anderson, L., Krathwohl, D. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York:Longman.
Hew, K. F., Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: Current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research.
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Hew, K., Wing S. C. ‘Use Of Web 2.0 Technologies In K-12 And Higher Education: The Search For Evidence-Based Practice’. Educational Research Review 9 (2012): 47-64.
NPR.org,. ‘The LA School Ipad Scandal: What You Need To Know’. N.p., 2014. Web. 30 May 2015.
Schmidt, D., Baran, E., Thompson, A., Mishra, P., Koehler, M., & Shin, T. (2009). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). Journal Of Research On Technology In Education, 42(2), 123-149.
Su, W. M., Osisek, P., & Starnes, B. (2004). Applying the revised Bloom’s taxonomy to a medical-surgical nursing lesson. Nurse Educator, 3, 116–120.