Synthesis

Over the past four weeks the topic of my blogs have been on technology and how it is used within education, and the advantages and disadvantages it has brought as it has developed over the past few years. As we all know technology has developed to a level that would have been unimaginable 10 years ago, if you would have asked someone then what a tablet was they would have said that it was something you got off a doctor when you were not well in comparison to nowadays when it is also known as a type of technology device. We now have touch screen mobile phones, laptops, and tablets as well as highly developed software on computers such as photo and movie editing. Therefore, how has technology been inputted into education and developed the way schools, universities, and institutes teach students.

To begin with technology has brought many advantages into education in a way where students can enhance their learning. Students are now able to access information online whether it be lecture slides or podcasts that a lecturer/teacher has provided or information discovered through search engines. The information on the internet is endless and whatever topic or subject a student needs to research into there will be information about it somewhere on the internet. They are also able to view information in several different formats from books, blogs, videos, and internet forums and from several different view points for example the views of other students, other teachers, and professionals in the field. These aspects of technology enhance learning and can be brought into the classroom to get students motivated to learn.

Another advantage of technology within education is the resources available to students. There are now online tests available from the syllabus taught in schools (e.g. BBC Bitesize). These types of resources allow students to revise what they need too and then take the test and receive instant feedback. This is enhances learning as research has found that learning achievements and the learning attitudes of students, are significantly promoted when students are provided with real-time feedback (Wu et al., 2012).

Although introducing technology into education has brought both teachers and students advantages, it has also brought along quite a powerful disadvantage. By teaching students about technology and how to use a variety of different devices, they are introduced to such things as texting, social media sites, and email. When they are able to use these methods of communication they are able to part-take in cyber bullying. This type of bullying can be achieved through any type of mobile phone or the internet via email, text messages, social networking sites, instant messaging, etc. By bullying through technology the bully is unseen by peers, parents and teachers, unlike if they violently attacked someone on the school playground. It has been suggested that around “81% of young people think bullying online is easier to get away with then bullying in person” (“11 Facts About Cyber Bullying”, n.d.). However, it is just as powerful behind closed doors as it is face to face. Research conducted by Kozlosky (2009) discovered through self-reported questionnaires that 40% of students reported having experienced cyber bullying in the past few months and 22% of other students feared being cyber bullied. These statistics are worryingly high and without technology there would be no cyber bullying what so ever.

Bullying is an on going problem in schools and programs such as KiVa, an evidence based anti-bullying program, are attempting to reduce and prevent bullying from happening (http://www.kivaprogram.net). KiVa is a program that was developed in a university in Finland and targets bullying in schools from as early as Key Stage 1. If children are taught from as early on as age five about bullying and the consequences it brings hopefully they will not go on to become a bully, or if they are bullied themselves they feel strong enough to tell someone to make it stop. Also by tackling it from such a young age, when they grow up and are given a mobile phone and have access to the internet and social media websites they will not engage in cyber bullying.

Although cyber bullying is a big disadvantage that comes with technology, there is one more great advantage I would like to mention and that is the use of technology with students who have special needs. Schools have recently begun to provide students who have special needs with technology that are thought to enhance their learning. An example of how technology may be used in this way is presented in research conducted by Neely et al. (2013). They recruited two students who had autism spectrum disorder and provided them with an iPad. The researchers wanted to see the difference in their behaviour and engagement when they received academic instruction from the iPad in comparison to academic instruction through traditional materials. They discovered that when the two participants received academic instruction through the iPad they displayed higher levels of academic engagement and lower levels of challenging behaviour. These findings suggest that the participants experienced reduced escape-maintained behaviour when the iPad was in use. These results demonstrate how much difference could be made to the learning experience of students with special needs when technology is in use.

By gathering both advantages and disadvantages of using technology within education, the education system can go forward and adjust and improve their teaching strategies. As we know, technology is developing within the majority of work places, and employers are now seeking candidates that are computer literate. Therefore, although information communication technology (ICT) is a module taught in the majority of schools, is there enough being taught to meet the demands of employers. Students need to be taught how to use the latest technologies, software, and programs, and therefore in order for schools to do this, the curriculum needs to be re-evaluated and adjusted (Boe, 2011). One of the major problems with being able to effectively teach students ICT is that the teachers are not fully trained themselves, however teachers also point out that a lack of time is a huge barrier for getting the most out of technology (Bennett-Walker, 2007). Therefore, the answer to this problem is to intergrade technology into as many lessons as possible. For example, programs such as Excel could be taught along side mathematics, and English lessons could use Word and teach students how to write an effective letter. There is an endless amount of ways teachers could implement some technology into their lessons as long as they themselves were trained properly with the software and programs.

To conclude, technology needs to be taught a lot more in schools than it is at the moment. The world of technology is still developing and students need to know about software and programs for when they go out and seek employment. Although cyber bullying is a major disadvantage within technology, with programs such as KiVa being developed hopefully students will understand the consequences of bullying and will not engage in it. As I mentioned, research is already showing how children with special needs can benefit from assistive technology, therefore funding should be made available for each and every child with special needs to take advantage of this. All in all technology is improving and enhancing students learning in numerous ways and schools should take note of this and use it effectively within education.            

 

References

Bennett-Walker, S. Technology use among physical education teachers in Georgia public schools. ProQuest Information and Learning, 68. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.unicat.bangor.ac.uk/psycinfo/docview/622022060/1415419B66933DF2622/3?accountid=14874

Boe, J. A. (2011). Strategies for science, technology, engineering and math in technology education. ProQuest Information and Learning, 71. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.unicat.bangor.ac.uk/psycinfo/docview/861791408/14153F3128D15CAE668/4?accountid=14874 

Kozlosky, R. (2009). Electronic bullying among adolescents. ProQuest Information and Learning, 69. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.unicat.bangor.ac.uk/psycinfo/docview/622063848/14169DD41C73E1283C3/3?accountid=14874

Neely, L., Rispoli, M., Camargo, S., Davis, H., & Boles, M. (2013). The effect of instructional use of an iPad on challenging behavior and academic engagement for two students with autism. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7(4), 509-516. doi:10.1016/j.rasd.2012.12.004

Wu, P., Hwang, G., Milrad, M., Ke, H., & Huang, Y. (2012). An innovative concept map approach for improving students’ learning performance with an instant feedback mechanism. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(2), 217-232. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2010.01167.x

11 Facts About Cyber Bullying (n.d.). In Do Something. Retrived November 27, 2013, from http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-cyber-bullying

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About psp2cb

Masters psychology student in Bangor University.

8 responses to “Synthesis”

  1. Caroline's Psych Blog says :

    Technology is often used in schools these days, but unfortunately in many case sit is not being used to its full potential, teachers use technology to support learning, rather than as the basis of their teaching, teachers are often not as the savvy as they could be and some struggle to perform more than very basic things on a computer, one of the reasons for this is that unlike other professions technology in the classroom is seen as supplemental to other methods rather than essential to it (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010) Effective Technology use requires not only provision and funding, but ongoing support and training to ensure that teachers are using it to its full teaching potential.

    This lack of correct usage can play a big part in the success of the software, for example when Means (2010) compared two schools using the same software, one with high educational gains ad one with low educational gains she found the high gains schools started using the software earlier in the term, used it for longer and crucially regularly reviewed the students’ progress on the software, this enabled the teachers to manage classroom use of the software and maximize the gains made by students using it. Tondeur et al (2010) takes this argument a step further and suggests that not only should teachers be encouraged to use and integrate technology into all aspects of the classroom and for all lessons, but that a part of their training should specifically focus on the design and production of educational software so that they enter the classroom not only prepared to fully utilize the technology but able to act as guide and mentor to other less experienced teachers helping them introduce and integrate technology into every lesson.

    References:
    Tondeur, J., van Braak, J., Sang, G., Voogt, J., Fisser, P., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2012). Preparing pre-service teachers to integrate technology in education: A synthesis of qualitative evidence. Computers & Education, 59(1), 134-144.

    Means, B. (2010). Technology and education change: Focus on student learning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 42(3), 285-307.

    Ertmer, P. A., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T. (2010). Teacher technology change: How knowledge, confidence, beliefs, and culture intersect. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 42(3), 255-284.

  2. naomihogben says :

    Your blog has clearly presented and pulled together information for using technology within education. The availability and the different forms information can take on the internet is extremely useful as there is something to suit all types of learners and definitions for each level of understanding. As you have suggested online test are extremely useful within education, especially for revision purposes, the immediate feedback provided allows students to clearly see which areas they need to revise more.

    However, it can be argued that bullying through social media is not a disadvantage of using technology within education, as students were using social media and this problem existed long before education realised the benefits of social media. It can be argued that education tries to utilise social media in a more positive way, through highlighting the ease of communication between teachers and peers, allowing students questions to be answered quickly and information passed around efficiently. Therefore, education is using social media in a positive way, and promoting sensible use of social media and not introducing cyber-bullying. In addition, education using social media is a way for teachers to monitor and try to reduce the amount of bullying.

    I would also disagree with your conclusion that technology should be integrated into all aspects of education. Technology should only be used if its adds to students learning and they gain benefits from it, some students prefer not to rely on technology and prefer to hand write their work. Using technology just for the sake of it is not beneficial and could be seen as detrimental to students learning as it opens more opportunities for procrastination.

  3. emmapsuee7 says :

    I have found your blog really interesting to read and I especially enjoyed your blog entry about using technology to support students with special needs, as the topic was something I also looked into whilst covering the subject of technology and education. I like that you have addressed the positive aspects such as, enhancing learning, increased access to information and resources and the ability to view information on a number of different formats; as well as the negatives such as cyber bullying. The use of technology has of course been a popular topic across this module’s blog entries, but most others who have covered the topic of technology and education have only really considered the advantages without taking into account the negatives (myself included). Cyber bullying is an unfortunate side of the world of advancing technology, which is mainly beneficial. Hopefully programmes such as KiVa will result in this issue being tackled. The world of technology is continuously developing and I agree that students need to be made more aware of the advancements and that more funding should be made available so more educational beneficial technology can be incorporated into our classes. The use of technology is something that can benefit all learners, with or without learning difficulties.

  4. James says :

    All this talk of technology and I am surprised there has been little mention of blogs! We can use technology to completely redesign the way we learn, and work in our own time. Thirty years ago, the idea of students writing, discussing and choosing their own work on a giant virtual system, from anywhere in the world would have been inconceivable. Perhaps this is why technology is yet to be fully integrated into learning, as technology has evolved too fast for the education system to take hold of it. Fortunately universities, who have more control over the way they choose to teach, have started to use technology and hence we have this science of education module. The mainstream education system, ran by politicians, have no idea how to create a learning environment online, the best they can do is to try and copy other countries who are high on the education leader-boards.

    Perhaps a privately ran, independent system can be designed by academics and then pushed into the education system as a requirement for homework. I’m sure there are already loads out there, but it isn’t possible for teachers to grade their work without them knowing about it. There are so many advantages to using technology as you say, and hopefully the government will realise this and give some sort of funding to push it forward?

  5. eltonnghc says :

    I agree that applying technology use in education is an effective way to enhance teaching quality. Moreover, it can increase students competitiveness. According to computerland (no date), it pointed out that adding technology in learning can help to students to become successful members of the 21st Century workforce. Moreover, it also indicated that combining technology with education can train a lot of different ablilty, such as critical thinking and collaboration, which were very important in a working environment. Moreover, Langley, J. (2011) pointed out that there would no students left behind in class. By comparing with traditional teaching environment, some shy or introverted students might not followed the progress of teachers and they are not willing to ask teachers actively as well. As a result, they can’t follow the progress of the lecture. Therefore, by using advanced technolgy, they can follow the lecturer more easily and they could ask questions through technological tools, such as ipod and computer. However, he subsequently pointed out the limitations of applying technology in education. The thing that maybe negatively affected is the writing quality of students. Although some people may argue that students can still learn wirting skills through computers, using pen to wirite essay is a noraml thing is real life. If students get used to use computers instead of using stationary, it may exert negative effect on their writing skill.
    From the above, I would suggested that applying technology in learning is an effective way which can enhance teaching quality and students competitiveness. However, if overuse of technological learning or just use it individually, it may provide negative effect to students. Thus, I think it would be more suitable to implement technological learning and traditional ways of teaching simultaneously.

    Reference
    computerland (no date). Benefits of Technology in the Classroom. Retrieved 3 December 2013, from http://www.computerlandeasttexas.com/benefits-of-technology-classroom.php

    Langley, J.(2011). The Benefit and Danger of Education Technology, Retrieved 3 December 2013, from http://www.edudemic.com/low-income-edtech/

  6. Bex Loak says :

    I think that you have highlighted an important point on the use of technology in the world. More and more employers are looking for recognised qualifications on IT Skills and not just the average GCSE in Information & Technology. I propose that schools start to involve technology into more subjects and teach students how to use specific software for subjects just like we do with SPSS. I think that this may need to be taken further into allowing students to take for example administration or computer courses for GCSE’s so that they can show employers that they do know what they are doing as many students do know how to use a variety of technology software, create websites, blog etc., but just don’t have the piece of paper to prove that they do. By allowing students to take their IT education further in school then they will be enabled to gain employment after schooling.

  7. amalald says :

    Great topic. i would like to take this chance to share the future of technologies.
    ‘Augmented reality’ blends information about the user’s real-world environment with additional information — think of battlefield data on a soldier’s goggles — creating an interactive environment for learning or decision-making. Combining 3D imagery with interactive response provides powerful contextual, situational learning experiences. To bring it down a notch student can have personal teaching styled teachers. Without going into the programming this method of technological teaching is currently available but not in public schools in the UK. Schools in America are using Google made glasses which make teaching a personal and unique moment. A computer on a pair of glasses is the essential point but never the less it is only now that it is available ( Fredrick 2013). students, are significantly promoted when students are provided with real-time feedback (Wu et al., 2012), so this method of technology will pioneer an new era of learning and teaching.

    Refrences:
    Boe, J. A. (2011). Strategies for science, technology, engineering and math in technology education. ProQuest Information and Learning, 71. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.unicat.bangor.ac.uk/psycinfo/docview/861791408/14153F3128D15CAE668/4?accountid=14874

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