Module B Definition of Technology Lesson 1

Which definition of technology or metaphor for technology appeals to you and why?

If had to choose one definition from those provided on technology in the classroom I would have to choose Dede’s (2003) definition as quoted in Kozma (2003) and in agreement with Trotter (1998) that: is not a “vitamin” whose mere presence in schools catalyzes better educational outcomes; nor are new media just another subject in the curriculum, suited primarily for teaching technical literacy….Instead, emerging interactive media are tools in service of richer curricula, enhanced pedagogies, more effective organization structures, stronger links between schools and society, and the empowerment of disenfranchised learners (Kozma, 2003).

What I think this definition is lacking, however, is the piece stated by Jonassen (2000) that: ” [S]tudents learn from thinking in meaningful ways. Thinking is engaged by activities, which can be fostered by computers or teachers.” He believes that technology can support meaning making by students and that this happens when students learn with rather than from technology. For too long education has seen itself as the purveyor of knowledge. Knowledge was something that we just pour into the empty vessels that are our students. This has created generations of students who know how to follow the rules to get a good grade or be successful but unable to think for themselves. Perhaps this type of education was great at schooling thousands of students who would stand on assembly lines or work in service industries. Unfortunately, the world has changed and automation is lessening the numbers of workers needed in these jobs. The work world is a much different place than it was even 20 years ago. We need to graduate students who are problem solvers and critical thinkers.

The most effective definition, in my opinion, would incorporate both of these definitions and be stated something similar to:

Emerging interactive media are tools in service of richer curricula, enhanced pedagogies, more effective organization structures, stronger links between schools and society, and the empowerment of disenfranchised learners (Kozma, 2003). [S]tudents learn from thinking in meaningful ways. Thinking is engaged by activities, which can be fostered by computers or teachers.” Technology can support meaning making by students and that this happens when students learn with rather than from technology (Jonassen, 2000).

References:

Jonassen, D. H. (2000). Computers as mindtools for schools, 2nd Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/ Prentice Hall. Retrieved from Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Jonassen+mindtools&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&btnG=Search

Kozma, R. (2003). Technology, innovation, and educational change: A global perspective, (A report of the Second Information Technology in Education Study, Module 2). Eugene, OR: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, ISTE Publications.

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