In last week’s session by Diana Laurillard – Digital support for teaching as a design science, she says:
that teachers need and deserve better digital support to help them take learning technologies into more interesting terrain than has been explored so far
There are four propositions Diana would like to cover over the course of the week.
1. The fundamental nature of the learning process in formal education is not likely to change much, but the means by which we do it will
2. Digital technologies have much to offer formal education, but have been badly under-exploited so far, so we must look to teachers to drive more interesting forms of pedagogy using technology
3. Teachers, like other design professionals, need to build on each others’ best ideas for how to teach to intended learning outcomes
4. The digital support teachers need includes (i) an ontology for pedagogical patterns; (ii) a user-oriented interface for expressing pedagogic ideas; (iii) a common repository where pedagogical patterns can be published, organised, and accessed; (iv) a knowledge base that is capable of responding to the community of users; (v) an advice and guidance wiki that the teaching community can develop, and the design tool can draw upon for advice on designs.
I would respond in 3 parts, with Part 1 here.
Based on the propositions of Diana, I have the following questions in mind, together with my responses:
1. What is the role of technology in teaching and learning? 2. What sort of technology affordance is most effective for (a) teaching, (b) learning?
In this Digital learning now:
“Digital learning is any type of learning that gives students some element of control over time, place, path and/or pace. It allows students to learn in their own way, on their own timetable, wherever they are, whenever they can.
Students are using digital learning everywhere – except school. They are gaming, texting and posting on the Internet. Imagine if we channel those digital skills into learning? Student achievement would skyrocket!” See this digital learning report too.
The not too hard, not too soft, just right approach in MOOC and orchestration of phenomena for some use, where Jon says: “It can thus become many technologies. On reflection, and looking at the video, I realise that it was a mistake to describe the stick itself as a soft technology it is not. The stick is a part of a great many (probably an infinite number) of soft technologies.
I think that this cuts to the heart of a great many of the mistakes that we make when we talk about learning technologies. We often make the assumption that, because the same thing is involved from one context to the next – a learning management system, a discussion forum, email, a whiteboard, a classroom, a teaching method, etc – that we are talking about the same technology. We are not.”
To this end, I think it sounds similar to the Yin and Yang in the use of technology here and here. The affordance of technology is based principally on the evolving Yin and Yang, and how you “manipulate” technology to accomplish the task, solve the problem, or to connect to the nodes or networks, thus creating, navigating the networks (distributed knowledge and learning) both creatively and sustainably.
In so it ends by Jon Dron, he suggests a number of relatively simple collective-based solutions:
- collaborative filtering
- tag clouds
- reputation management
- adaptive hypermedia
Technology in itself might not necessary provide the desirable outcome in education, but it surely serves a wide range of purposes in informal learning. It is the appropriate application of technology based on particular contexts that would provide meaningful and valuable learning experience to the educators and learners in formal learning scenarios.