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 are 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. Using such methods as the ADDIE model when designing course materials can be helpful when designing curriculum and integrating technology into lesson plans (“ADDIE Model,” 2018).
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 are 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).
Although all three major learning theories, Behaviorism, Cognitivism and Constructivism, drive Instructional Technology, the cognitive learning theory aligns very closely with Digital Skills and Digital Literacies. Cognitive learning theory tells us that the brain uses information already stored in order to solve a problem (Gupta, 2018). This is very similar to how most technology operates, educators and designers can use the information stored online and provided through technology to figure out how best to teach a certain subject or concept. We should be using technology to enhance student learning and retention.
To best do this, it is important for us to 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, 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).
Berardi, I. (2018, March 03). Digital Skills vs. Digital Literacy: What’s the difference? Retrieved from https://www.teachaway.com/blog/digital-skills-vs-digital-literacy-whats-difference
Gupta, P. (2018). What is Cognitive Learning?. [online] EdTechReview. Available at: http://edtechreview.in/dictionary/2723-cognitive-learning [Accessed 26 Aug. 2018].
InstructionalDesign.org. (2018). ADDIE Model – InstructionalDesign.org. [online] Available at: http://www.instructionaldesign.org/models/addie/ [Accessed 26 Aug. 2018].
Lynch, M. (2016, March 28). 3 Ways Technology Can Fix Education. Retrieved from https://www.theedadvocate.org/3-ways-technology-can-fix-education/