New technologies and the latest technology trends can be exciting for most educators or designers. While the intention for integrating technology is to always help the student better understand the content being taught, we need to be mindful of how we are using these tools and when we are integrating them by keeping the objectives at the forefront. The goal should never be the use of the technology itself, instead we should be using it to help enhance the experience for students.
Educational Technology can help resolve several common issues in the Education field. Helping students with disabilities is one of the main issues surrounding technology. There is a wide range of disabilities that can be reached by using technology in the classroom. Reading, writing, listening, and memory disabilities are a few examples of what technology has assisted students with. A wide range of tools are available and as time goes on more tools will be developed (Lynch, 2016).
To do this best, we must understand the difference between Digital Skills and Digital Literacies. A few examples of Digital Skills, according to a blog written by Irma Berardi, would be tweeting, posting to Facebook, and posting videos to YouTube using an iPad (Berardi, 2018). Through experience, students are learning these skills in everyday life as technology keeps growing and becoming a more predominant force. Our job as educators and designers is to show students how to responsibly use technology and gain meaning from it. Using these Digital Skills as a base, students will start to form Digital Literacies. Berardi defines Digital Literacies as articulating the drawbacks and advantages of each tool and knowing how to protect their online reputation (Berardi, 2018).
Technology can help address issues faced by students with disabilities, and there is a wide range of tools available to assist them. The cognitive learning theory aligns closely with digital skills and digital literacies, which are important for students to acquire. Digital skills are abilities such as tweeting or posting to social media, while digital literacies involve understanding the advantages and drawbacks of technology tools and protecting one’s online reputation.