A little history of Technology – where were we? where are we heading?

January 31, 2008

We were taken through the history of educational technology by Rick Schwier in our EC&I 831 class this week. I too enjoyed Rick’s story about his science class that Travis shares in his blog and remember similar experiences in my own education where there was a meager attempt to incorporate a technology, but the philosophy of the teacher really hadn’t changed.

The chart Rick presented showing the major shift in epistemology from individual learning [objectivism (1975-programming/drill&practice), cognitivism (1980s-CBT), constructivism (1990s-IBT, 2000- elearning)] to group learning [collective constructivism/social learning (2003-social software & free and open content)] was really interesting. This is definitely a different way of looking at how our students learn today. This is extremely important for teachers, parents, and society in general, because teachers need to change their philosophy of teaching and receive adequate PD and support to do so. Parents need to understand and support these changes. Society needs to be aware of this also because the workplace will also see these changes in how people learn and work.

Traditional teachers may show some resistance to group learning because it will be noisier and in some cases more difficult to assess individual achievement and just as its predecessor (individual learning) did not suit all learners, neither will group learning. The level of comfort that the teacher has with technology will also determining the amount of resistance.

New technologies = new philosophy = new pedagogy = progress?

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5 Responses to “A little history of Technology – where were we? where are we heading?”

  1. Shaun Loeppky Says:

    Great comments Connie? Social networking cetainly changes the nature of the reserved “individual” in a quiet classroom (often the mark of an effective teacher, I am said to say) to the “noise” of social interaction. I am beginning to understand how the social web gives our students even greater power…FTF interaction can be a challenge for many of us introverts…there is real power in expression and exchange of ideas with a community of learners through a “separated” medium of communication.

  2. Rosanne Says:

    I liked your comment regarding adequate PD and support. I believe change could happen a lot quicker if teachers had adequate access and training. Expose them to a few social tools, let them get comfortable with them and then move on. Sounds simple doesn’t it. However, we know the reality.

    I also agree that there needs to be a philosophical shift regarding teaching and learning, and this shift would involve all stakeholders. How do we accomplish this? Not an easy question.

  3. Angie Balkwill Says:

    Resistance has been acceptable in the past. How can reduce the volunteerism?? That’s the burning question that I have.

    I really enjoy your blogs. Very intuitive!

  4. ccossar Says:

    How do we shift without resistance? I wonder if the teachers who have made the shift could tell us how and why? Is it working for them? Such complex questions…

  5. coreyterry Says:

    These shifts are possible if leadership will change and not be afraid to try to push some of this change within their buildings! Some of this change is complex because we (leaders) don’t work hard enough on change in our buildings. It is a constant on-going job! Sometimes our most traditional teachers become our best advocates, but initially getting them to change is difficult, but if you spend the right amount of time with them to show them how to change and support them – they will try! Certainly, its been my experiences!


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