Perspectives offered in readings and lectures, in conjunction with my own experiences throughout the course, have lead me to conclude that a purposeful implementation of technology can reap many positive benefits. The interaction of education and technology is contentious, however if technology is utilised thoughtfully and carefully, one can facilitate a more in-depth and engaging learning experience.
Gresham (2012: 82) proposes that teaching through technology offers students the opportunity to “feel power and control over their own learning”, thus improving “motivation and engagement”. This was validated in my own experiences, as the weekly discussion posts and blog entries tested my knowledge and understanding of course content, and allowed me to comparatively reflect upon the work of my classmates in light of my own. Simultaneously, I was improving my writing skills and knowledge of technological platforms such as WordPress. Online discussion with other students enriched my own engagement, correlating with Gresham’s Speeches website that enabled her students “improved understanding of the content”, and facilitated “a more sophisticated level of participation” (2012:83).
Halverson’s anecdote of Cheryl and John (2013) affirms that technology can be employed for different purposes, either as a means for entertainment and leisure, or as a resource to enrich the learning experience. I can most definitely identify with this distinction, having to personally limit my own consumption of technology as entertainment when engaging in course content and completing assignments. However, Halverson’s notion that mobile devices and social networking are typically excluded from school contexts, but can be integrated in effective ways to facilitate learning, was enlightened by my experiences in EDGU 1002 (2009: 49). The use of live Twitter discussions in lectures actively engaged my interest and adapted social networking platforms to produce a vibrant learning environment, paralleling Gresham’s view that technology enables a “sense of empowerment that leads to greater motivation” (2012: 82).
Gresham, P. & Gibson-Langford, L. (2012). Competition, games, technology: Boys are loving English. English in Australia, 47(1), 81-89.
Halverson, R. & Smith, A. (2009). How new technologies have (and have not) changed teaching and learning in schools. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 26(2), 49-54.
Halverson, R. (Producer). (2013). 6 2 Technology Inside versus Outside of Classrooms Rich Halverson.