Of the various descriptions of technology and its impacts on learning, I found Chris Dede’s comments in Robert Kozma’s book (2003) to resonate with my views. He noted that technology’s mere presence and availability in schools does not immediately or automatically produce better learning environments. Instead they are tools that facilitate a myriad of new possibilities from ones that directly impact individual learning (empowerment of disenfranchised learners), classroom environments (richer curricula and enhanced pedagogies), and the larger learning community (stronger links between school and society). This very neatly supports Jonassen’s (2000) assertion that “[S]tudents learn from thinking in meaningful ways. Thinking is engaged by activities, which can be fostered by computers or teachers.” In total, technology provides stronger, more interactive, more meaningful, and more engaging learning opportunities which in turn provides students with a deeper and more connected understanding.
To me, a technology enhanced learning experience is one that uses technology to bridge the needs and desires of both students and teachers in order to provide a more meaningful and effective learning environment. For students, this would mean that technology offers them more stimulating and engaging activities, an adaptable pace for individualized learning, and ways to explore and connect their curiousity. On the other side of the classroom, technology would provide teachers with automation of menial tasks for time efficiency, dynamic but focused learning activities, and opportunities for students to create and formulate their own knowledge.
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.