Technology in Education Term Paper

Pages: 8 (2159 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Teaching

Technological vs. Traditional Approaches to Education

In the past, it was all about traditional teaching methods, based around the three Rs, and authority and discipline. Children were to be seen and not heard, but that has all changed." ("Youngsters Turn Back the," 2004, p. 12) These words reflect thoughts from Mrs. Liz Manley (head teacher), published in a newspaper article during 2004, as she refers to past times when teachers only used traditional teaching methods to teach students.

Tony Collins, the writer of this newspaper article adds: "Add to that technological changes such as electronic white boards and computers, as well as a brain gym and water to aid learning, and school life in the 50s would be almost unrecognizable today."

As this paper explores past traditional teaching tactics in education, as noted by Mrs. Manley, it also examines technological tools currently being utilized in education that this Collins notes.

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Technological Tactics (the traditional rote approach to teaching the basic facts, with frequent drill and timed tests reportedly contributes to significant concerns. Students may experience is anxiety when required to perform quickly. The rote approach purports that mathematics constitutes to more memorizing than thinking. A reportedly better approach starts with children's natural thinking processes. The essence of a number of current reforms in primary-grade mathematics includes the approach, yet, in addition, as a number of new technological tools, nurtures strategic thinking. Isaacs & Carroll, 1999) Isaacs & Carroll (1999) stress the advantages of a strategy approach, noting that there is no need for any between fact mastery and school mathematics reform. "Many goals of reform - helping students make connections between school mathematics and the real world, helping students develop conceptual understanding as well as procedural skills, helping students learn to explain their thinking and to understand others' explanations - can be achieved through a program that also leads to fact mastery."

Term Paper on Technology in Education Assignment

The technological age continues to render traditional classroom practices obsolete," Hinson, Laprairie & Cundiff (2005) argue. These authors also contend that a number of educators are apprehensive untrained in the realm of technology integration, particularly in creating learning environments challenge and complement students' comprehensive use of technology.

Some Studies Suggest

The 1998 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) survey on technology use in teacher education," Timmerman (2004) notes, "one computer exists for every five students in K-12 schools in the United States."

Findings from research completed by the National Center for Education Statistics (Stats in Brief: Teacher Use of Computers and the Internet in Public Schools, 2000, nces.ed.gov/pubs2000/2000090.pdf as cited by Hinson, Laprairie & Cundiff (2005) reveal that even though 99% of full-time public school teachers could access computers and the Internet in their schools, only 39% integrated technology into their lessons. Thirty three percent of public school teachers considered themselves to be capable of using computers and the Internet teaching, however 66% felt "somewhat or not at all prepared to use this technology." (Ibid)

Where to Begin

Not knowing where to begin, Hinson, Laprairie & Cundiff (2005) purport, presents a challenge to some principals who want to improve technology integration in their schools. To implement positive technological changes, teachers need skills to first use technology and then apply the techniques in their teaching.

Realistically, according to Hinson, Laprairie & Cundiff (2005), a successful Technology Integration Plan should span three to five years. The following stages represent a model of strategies proven successful when integrating technology into classroom.

Stage 1: Plan

Develop a professional development team (PDT), and include not only teachers, administrators, school staff, community members, and parents, but also students. And parents should develop the plan and guide all aspects of the initiative.

Stage 2: Preparation

The PDT will determine training and implementation, as well as, the project's aspects, including individuals who will participate; which strategies and delivery participants will utilized; evaluation components.

Stage 3: Instruction

Instruction works best on-site, with teachers allotted designated times for planning, practicing, and sharing, as well as, time to "test out" techniques and acquired training.

Stage 4: Refinement

Ensure teachers have access to all needed necessary "resources (e.g., hardware, software, and peripherals such as digital cameras)," (Ibid) along with qualified support.

Stage 5: Evaluation

To determine the project's merits and impact on learning and teaching, formative and summative evaluation need to be implemented. Accessing outcomes helps determine whether or not to continue the program. (Hinson, Laprairie & Cundiff, 2005)

Aaronsohn (2003, p. 1) explains that traditional teaching includes teaching the focus on the content, with the teacher considered an expert. Curriculum content was expected to be "covered" so students could reveal their acquisition of a particular body of knowledge. Basically, student activity consisted of paying attention to and listening to the teacher. The primary focus consists of product, not process, for the traditional type instruction. This set of habits, the way he learned, according to Aaronsohn (2003, p. 1) is basically teacher-pleasing. "I wasn't really taught or expected to think or analyze -- just memorize."

DGBL

Deubel (2006) contends that teachers can transform the students' love of video games into " the Use of a Valuable, Multifaceted Learning Tool." According to this author, lessons currently being learned in school are starting to become more fun. It was only a matter of time, Deubel (2006) stresses, that technology that has fostered computer and online gaming technology would penetrate the educational system. Marc Prensky, in Digital Game-Based Learning (McGraw-Hill, 2000 as cited by Deubel 2006), "Today's schoolchildren, elementary through college, travel with their own personal Game Boys, Handicams, cell phones, portable CD and MP3 players, pagers, laptops, and Internet connections." Digital game-based learning (DGBL) links educational content with computer or online games, and, if managed properly, presents positive potential opportunities for a wealth of educational application. Basically, DGBL motivates to learn by enabling the learning to be fun. Deubel (2006) purports that the use of new technological tactics in teaching and is "versatile, can be used to teach almost any subject or skill, and, when used correctly, is extremely effective." Additionally, constructivist theory, which promotes active engagement and experiential learning, supports this type learning.

Potential Game-Based Benefits

DGBL promises to bring broad learning benefits on several fronts:

Provide deep digital engagement to students who have come to expect it.

Offer motivation for persistence in completing courses.

Enable customized learning experiences.

Promote both long-term memory and transfer of learning to practical, everyday life endeavors.

Planning and problem solving. The key to unlocking potential learning gains is to find good role-playing, simulation, or adventure games that do not include violence. Such games involve strategic planning and problem solving, and enable concepts to be developed and remembered. Adventure games, for instance, enhance reading and observation skills by forcing users to read carefully and look for details in visuals, in order to plan strategies. Simulation games expand students' common knowledge, provide real-life experiences that they might not otherwise get, and have the potential to enhance logical-thinking skills. (Players might need to select problem-solving methods and put them in sequential order to proceed through the game.) Map-reading skills are often employed in simulations, and in some simulation and role-playing games, players must create maps and take notes. The ability to take good notes, organize those notes, and find them when needed are all associated with good study skills.

Expanding vocabulary. Many games introduce new words that must be understood for the player to be successful. Thus, vocabulary building and spelling naturally improve. For example, to succeed at Civilization III (www.firaxis.com/games/game detail.php?gameid=3), a history simulation, players must understand such terms as anarchy, despotism, monarchy, communism, republic, and democracy, along with 13 terrain types (e.g., grassland, mountains, woodland).

Improving mental agility. An expert garner has anything but a lazy mind. In fact, superior gaming has been linked to expert behaviors such as self-monitoring, pattern recognition, principled decision-making, qualitative thinking, and superior long- and short-term memory. (Deubel, 2006)

Although research supports these and additional benefits of gaming, "including therapeutic effects such as the ego boost, increased motivation, and enhanced self-worth that result from excelling at complex games" (Ibid), a number of teachers are still resistant to students bring in games to class. Their reasons include:

game being inconsistent with learning objectives.

A game serving to distract students from learning.

A game's components (flickering; sounds; etc.) triggering negative and/or cognitive and physiological responses.

A game presenting unacceptable violence.

A game not fitting into the current standards-driven accountability movement in the educational realm. (Deubel, 2006) number of case studies, albeit, canned counter teachers' concerns. Video games have been found to contribute to the development of a child's spatial abilities. They also when help children with special needs improve their basic skills in language, math, and reading. Video games are reportedly even linked with social benefits, even though they are frequently played in isolation, as they constitute a common communicative interest. (Deubel, 2006)

Henry Jenkins, former principal investigator for the MIT-Microsoft Games-to-Teach project, examined the educational potential of computer and video games. He contends that when video games are utilized in learning… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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