Technology's Impact on Learning

Discussion in 'General Education' started by a2z, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Mar 9, 2014

    Another post has been going off topic so I thought I would bring that conversation here. I started to get confused and the topic made it to two different posts.

    I read an article the other day. I wish I could find it and link it. It compared the USA to Finland, South Korea, and Poland via the experience of exchange students. The use of technology was a big difference between the countries. Even in the poorest of schools there were Smartboards in the rooms or other forms of technology. In the other countries, technology in the classroom was almost non-existent. Technology isn't necessary for learning and teaching. The article commented on the focus in the US to rely on things that don't really equate to better learning.

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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    I think technology is a valuable tool. It allows for more creative and in-depth lessons. Are there other things that could improve teaching also? Sure. Would I be a better teacher/would my kids learn more if you took away my technology, but gave me more access to class book sets and math manipulatives? Maybe. Would I be a better teacher if you took away my technology, but hired another teacher so that I had half the students? Probably... though the technology is a one-time cost.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Look into the SAMR model. I just took a class on this because my district has 1:1 ipads this year. They were talking about how if you use the technology as a substitution, it doesn't really have any impact on learning other than students may be slightly more interested. Substitution would be things like playing a multiplication game on the i pad or putting a powerpoint up on the smartboard- you're using the technology but you could easily accomplish the same goal without it. To have the technology make a real impact, you have to do things with it that would be impossible to do without the technology. For example, if a teacher makes podcasts or videos for students to watch while she's working with small groups, she can literally "clone the teacher" which would be impossible without the technology.
     
  5. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    I really think you need to find this article to start this thread. You're not giving us really anything of substance to go on other than a possibly misremembered (unintentionally, of course) article.
     
  6. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Point taken, honest teacher. I'll keep looking for that article. It definitely isn't research, most likely a blog article, but the substance was that other countries don't have technology but are performing well without it.
     
  7. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    The best (not only in my opinion, but backed by AP exam scores) AP chemistry teacher I've known did not use any "technology" in her room at all. She had an old overhead projector and a computer that she used to take roll. She didn't even type up anything in Word. All of her tests were handwritten.

    I can remember setting up three computers in her room because a teacher that was to float in there would need them. A new assistant principal came into the room and was telling her that she should use them too. He couldn't give a suggestion as to how it would actually improve student learning, however.

    As I said in another thread. I think technology is great as it helps ME do my job easier and faster. But it is hardly necessary for student learning.

    There is a teacher in my school that has every gadget known to man for her classroom. She teaches the same subject as I. Her EOC scores are consistently lower than mine and her students frequently come to me for tutoring before a test. I would suggest that her students are learning less in her class than mine are with me.

    Another coworker also loves his gadgets. He loves the "clickers" that he can hook up to his SmartBoard. He will occasionally quiz his students to gauge their learning. I, on the other hand, use individual white boards. I like my method much better. I don't have to rely on preset questions. If I see students are struggling with a certain concept I can keep questioning them in a single direction. He is stuck with the questions he created ahead of time and each class must get the same series of questions. I can have open-ended questions. He is limited to multiple choice. I can see if one student is strugging more than others - he has to either have anonymous responses or wade through a whole list of answers. I can have students draw their responses (show me a graph depicting exponential growth...). I can see if a section of my classroom is faring better than another (those up front miss fewer than those in the back???). And my way eliminated guessing. So simply substituting the clickers for the whiteboards gains nothing.

    In the example above, with the podcasts - that would be a neat way to use current technology to enhance learning. I don't know how I personally could use iPads or such to improve learning in my class though.
     
  9. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I can tell you that my students get much more individual practice on the computer program we use for reading with the laptop cart than they would simply on the 2 computers we have in our classroom. This program not only gives them weekly practice, it also tracks their progress-so it helps give me data on their performance in many areas of reading very quickly. Without that it would take much longer to individually test them.

    I also think to compete globally students will have to understand how to use technology. Could you teach without it, of course. But are we properly preparing our kids for such a technologically-centered society without it, I don't think so.
     
  10. Honest_Teacher

    Honest_Teacher Comrade

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    Technology is not necessary for "good teaching." Technology is not going to fix "bad teaching." The right technology, implemented in a purposeful, intentional manner, can greatly improve a good teacher's results, however.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I'm confused. In which country do the poorest schools have Smartboards? Because we're not even a poor school and we don't have them.

    I agree that technology doesn't equate to better learning. It depends on how you use it. But I think in today's economy students are required to become technologically literate in order to compete.

    I think the number one things to focus on to improve learning are 1) creating a better community and increase the quality of life for all students and stabilize their environments, 2) focus on teaching new teachers the best teaching practices and classroom management in teaching programs, 3) create systems whereby teachers can continuously develop their practice and are prompted to constantly reflect on their teaching in order to improve (i.e. I'm actually worried that without BTSA next year I won't push myself to develop professionally, at least not in a formal fashion).
     
  12. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    In the United States many of the poorest schools have smartboards or other technology. That doesn't mean every poor school has them or that every wealthier school has them. However, there has been a huge push of technology and many, many schools have smartboards and other tech in the schools.
     
  13. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    I will say one thing I have done this year that I am most proud of is use more technology in my lessons. Are they wonderful activities that I couldn't do without the technology? Not all the time. Are the students more engaged when I use technology? Yes. I hope all of us know teachers who are excellent and don't use technology. I know several. However, I really think my lessons have been enhanced this year during the times I have used technology.
    I didn't read the article so I can't comment on what the author was trying to say but it sounds like they were saying technology isn't a cure for bad schools. I don't know if anyone here would say it is. Could it enhance lessons if used? I would say yes.
     
  14. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Mar 10, 2014

    I love using technology. I have SMALL classes (three kids in one class). They're able to interact with other students. That is so beneficial. It gets stale discussing literature with three students.

    I am currently reading that book. It's unfair to label technology as a problem. The schools and how the countries treat education is so different. You have to look at the whole picture.
     
  15. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    I think technology is beneficial to learning if used consonantly and appropriately. One example, is a teacher teaching a math lesson using a PowerPoint and has one of those clickers so now she can walk around the room. But that example could be out dated for some schools now. To make it "modern" the teacher is using the wireless tablet to annotate on the slide while still being engaged with the students of having the students annotate on the slide with the wireless tablet.
     
  16. jpommes

    jpommes New Member

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    I'm new to this forum and so I hope I'm not reviving a topic that's too old, but I find it fascinating because I've personally seen teachers do great things with technology but I've also heard teachers talk about how it just gets in the way of effective teaching.

    So how do you judge whether or not a technology's going to give more benefit than the amount of work you put into it?
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Welcome to the forum, jpommes. You've raised a very good question; that's an entirely valid reason to resurrect a thread that really wasn't that old.
     

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