The science of teaching with educational technology
The relationship between pedagogy and educational technology is one that can be intimidating for a teacher to reflect on. But in our modern classrooms, it’s a very important topic to reflect upon and consider. The students in our classrooms have a different pattern of brain function that previous generations resulting from their enormous access to information, learning, and tools for creation.
Technology is very much an integral part of our modern reality and we are charged with not only teaching by using technology as a fundamental tool, but it is also critical that we teach students how to manage technology. In this information age, we have overwhelming access to knowledge and information, notwithstanding the rigors of communication demands placed upon us. Students (and adults as well) must learn to leverage and manage technology as a resource to guide their exploration and inquiry. This is a life skill in our modern society. We all must be able to ignore certain technologies when it is not appropriate to be engaged in their use, but we must also be able to leverage the information that computer technology offers us in order to expand our knowledge and guide our day-to-day inquiries that present.
Okojie, Olinzock, Okojie-Boulder (2006) point out that “a major part of the problem related to technology integration is that most educators have not addressed the pedagogical principles that will guide their use of technology for teaching and learning. The intricate relationship between technology and pedagogy has not been adequately explored.” This presents a unique
instructional dilemma, because as technology changes and evolves, it is incumbent upon the teacher to circle back on a regular basis to consider their use of educational technology. This will take some time, and the modern teacher needs to be aware of this and factor it into preparation time. There are lots of shiny things that technology vendors are eager to pitch as being the entire solution to technology in the classroom. Indeed, it would be wonderful if such a thing existed, but at this stage of modern existence, there is no such thing available.
So, it then falls to the professional, the teacher, to evaluate and consider, first and foremost the needs of their students, and then lay plans to endeavour to realize a strategy to meet these needs. Should you wish for some assistance in this process, please do not hesitate to contact Michelle – she’s been a teacher for 23 years, and as such understands the reality of classroom life. She’d love to book some time to brainstorm ideas that will be a good fit for both you and your students. Diaz & Bontembal ( 2000 ) assert that “Using technology to enhance the educational process involves more than just learning how to use specific piece of hardware and software. It requires an understanding of pedagogical principles that are specific to the use of technology in an instructional settings…Pedagogy-based training begins by helping teachers understand the role of learning theory in the design and function of class activities and in the selection and use of instructional technologies” (pp. 2 and 6). Inherently, teachers do not fear change itself, but rather are more likely to fear that change will occur and they will not be supported in the change. You have support that you may access by reaching out for what can potentially be an exciting and invigorating brainstorm of ideas for your classroom coupled with building the skillset warranted to bring your ideas to reality in a way that is reasonable, while maintaining the integrity of the pedagogy.
Diaz, D. P. & Bontenbal, K. F. (2000). Pedagogy-based technology training. In P. Hoffman & D. Lemke (eds.), Teaching and Learning in a Network World, pp. 50-54. Amsterdam, Netherlands: 105 Press.
Okojie, M., Olinzock, A.A. & Okojie-Boulder, T.C. (2006). The Pedagogy of Technology Integration. Journal of Technology Studies. 32 (2), pp. 66-71.