1.3 – Overview of Learning Technologies


We recommend that you spend 1-2 hours on this section.

 

The other courses in the MET deal more extensively with the variety of different educational technologies that are available so we won’t go into detail on this topic. An excellent resource that is worth exploring is the Introduction to Learning Technologies course from the University of Saskatchewan listed below in the Resources section.

The EDUCAUSE “7 Things You Should Know About…” series is also an excellent source of information on new and emerging technologies and how they can be used to support teaching and learning. See the link below.

One of the key points we want to make, however,  is that new tools and technologies are emerging constantly and they are becoming much more accessible to the individual user. There was a time when using educational technology meant you needed to have an educational technology support department and you had to jump through numerous bureaucratic hoops to get the technology in your classroom. The advent of cloud-based software, social media or, more broadly, the notion of Web 2.0, has changed all that. While there are still many technologies that require institutional support, and technical expertise (e.g., learning management systems, videoconferencing), the individual instructor now has access to an amazing variety of technologies that require little or no institutional support. One of the implications of this, in my view, is that we may want to reconsider our use of institutional learning management systems. Watch this brief video for a discussion of this idea.


reading icon
Read the EDUCAUSE series, 7 Things You Should Know About for some excellent summaries of new and emerging educational technologies

However, instructors, particularly in Canada, need to be aware of the privacy implications of using many cloud-based software. Freedom of Information legislation in many provinces imposes significant restrictions on using US-based services if students are required to use these services to complete their studies. Using these services on an optional basis is a different matter.

reading icon
Read pp. 25-40 of Bates & Sangrà for an overview of some of the available e-learning technologies. Keep in mind, this book is now at least three years old so things have changed.

Recommended Reading & Resources

  • Bates, A.W. & Sangrà, A. (2011.) Managing Technology in Higher Education: Strategies for Transforming Teaching & Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. pp. 25-40.

Additional Reading & Resources