Technology – A Way of Acting

Muffoletto (1994) argues that technology is “not a collection of machines and devices, but a way of acting.” As educators, if we are truly aiming to integrate technology as a means of supporting the diverse learning needs of our students, we must address the accompanying skills and attitudes that influence the ways in which our students engage with technology.

Through developing technology enhanced learning experiences, educators should focus their task design, and their corresponding assessments, on creating learning opportunities which emphasize designing (creating things, not just using or interacting with things), personalizing (creating things that are personally meaningful and relevant), collaborating (working with others on creations), and reflecting (reviewing and rethinking one’s creative practices). In order to create a more integrative approach to technology, the shift in approaches to assessment requires an exploration at a fundamental level. Bates’ SECTIONS framework (2014) states that assessment should also be influenced by the knowledge and skills that students need in a digital age, which means focusing as much on assessing skills as knowledge of content. In turn, this encourages the development of authentic skills that require understanding of content, knowledge management, problem solving, collaborative learning, evaluation, creativity and practical outcomes.

References

Bates, J. (2014). Teaching in a digital age, Chapter 8. Retrieved from http://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/

Muffoletto, R. (1994). Technology and restructuring education: Constructing a context. Educational Technology, 34(2), 24-28.

3 comments

  1. Hi Allen,

    Your four points, designing, personalizing, collaborating, and reflecting are excellent for describing the process a student can follow for authentic learning to take place. My experience aligns with your view: creating student engagement is greatly enhanced through personalized learning opportunities that are meaningful to the learner (often times at their own choosing).

    Baljeet

  2. I like the fact that you discussed that technology is “not a collection of machines and devices…”.

    I wonder if teachers think about the individual learning experiences of each their student?

    A good next step might be to explain why teachers are looking to integrate technology.

    Christopher

  3. I always find assessment to be a really difficult component. How do you assess these skills in an efficient, objective manner? Assessing knowledge is easy, but many of these methods only assess short term memorization. One thing that’s really important in medicine is application of knowledge. Do they know the content, and are they able to apply it to a situation that may differ slightly? We can assess this using a long clinical stem question format, but these are much harder to make then simple knowledge questions. Do you think it would be the same for assessment of skills?

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