Innovating education with new technologies? or changing the pedagogy with technology?
The technology has transformed our lives, both at home, at school and at work. In most cases, they have transformed our lives, whether in content, in the speed with which it operates, the effectiveness of the results, and so on.
This is especially true in education. The use of new technologies in education does not reduce the work of teachers. Often leads to increased workload, especially in the initial stage. But one thing is clear: Its use is changing the concept of teaching, the role of teacher, the learning process and the student behaviour.
The tools and technologies considered “traditional”, such as blackboard, paper and pencil, calculators, word processors, etc., meant, in his time, a significant improvements in educational efficiency but did not transform the teaching-learning process.
The integration on the communication an information technologies are transforming the way learning produces.
New tools and digital learning technologies provide great potential for improvements in access, presentation of existing training material and methodology of work.
What are the most important changes?
I will mention a few … (among many)
Traditional media vs. digital media
- The medium that traditionally dominated the learning and education were the existence of printed books.
- The digital media (text, audio, video and digital images) add new features. This lets you express an idea in a redundant manner, i.e. the same idea can be expressed as text, image, sound or video, promoting the development of different learning styles.
- The main beneficiaries of this innovation in education are students who see increased opportunities for access to learning materials traditionally difficult as mathematics, geography, physics, chemistry, to name a few. The use of video games, strategy games, videos, graphics and other media gives the motivation and attractiveness to facilitate interaction and learning outcomes, that is difficult to achieve in the dominant face-to-face sessions and the written text.
A different student?
The increasingly common use of digital technologies can help the different learning styles from students. The technology facilitates the creation of learning materials and learning activities that enable the student to select the most appropriate method and material to his personal style of learning.
New forms of evaluation
The traditional evaluation has privileged learning as stored numbers, recorded facts and verbs and words spelled correctly.
This raises new questions
- Allow digital media an easy way to measure of expected learning outcomes?
- Do these digital media strategies allow to incorporate evaluation as an ongoing process (eliminating for example the final exam?)
- Do it help the teacher track successes and failures?;
- Do it support the permanent improvement of teaching and learning processes?.
We are in the beginning of a long way
Our teachers need to feel safe integrating new digital technologies to their daily work, they need to acquire pedagogical and technical skills, they need to know how to create didactic materials with web tools (many free to use), and how to integrate existing Open Educational Resources on the Internet, they need to expand their experience in collaborative work and implementation of new forms of assessment, and so on.
Does this mean that we are innovating in pedagogy?
No, but the use of new technologies in education opens the possibility to apply old pedagogical recommendations, which until now were expressed as the incontrovertible theoretical truths but not implemented in the daily work of education.
We are beginning a process that has no return …