Technology vs. The Teacher

After completing the readings from the first two weeks I am now starting to get a better idea of what e-learning is and what it encompasses.  It is understandable that I was somewhat confused about this topic as e-learning can be referred to using many different terms (Guri-Rosenlit & Gros, 2011, Confusing Terminology, para. 5; Canadian Council on Learning, 2009, p.13).  When I initially approached this course, I was pondering whether or not e-learning was the new way that computers were going to take over teaching jobs.  Ever since I started teaching I have been hearing how computers were going to replace teachers, yet it still has not come to fruition. 

Guri-Rosenlit & Gros (2011), state that one of the expectations of e-learning is that the use of the technologies would magically transform the education system putting students at the center and giving them the ability to be creative problem solvers and high level thinkers (Introduction, para. 2).  Technology is not the big game changer that people perceived it to be.  Schools are having the same difficulties with information and communication technology.  All the money that is and has been directed into technology has not necessarily changed the way that individuals teach.  The way in which teachers use the technology is what will be the game changer.  Teachers, whether they are working online or in the class need to use the technology to help improve the learning experience for the students.   Technology is only one of the many tools that an educator can access to improve the overall learning experience.  Changes that occur need to be within the teachers’ pedagogy (Friesen & Lock, 2010).  Teachers need to understand how students learn today and take advantage of some of the technologies they regularly use in order to make the learning more meaningful.  I’m not sure what this would look like in an e-learning environment as I still am seeing the transformations of this within the school. Regardless of how things change, teachers will need to evolve along with technology in order to meet student needs. 

 References

Canadian Council on Learning, (2009). State of E-learning in Canada.

 Friesen, S. & Lock, J.V. (2010). High performing districts in the application of 21st century learning technologies. College of Alberta School Superintendents.

 Grui-Rosenblit, S. & Gros, G. (2011). E-Learning: Confusing Terminology, Research Gaps and Inherent Challenges. The Journal of Distance Education, 25(1).

About pjstokes

I like just about all sports...mainly participating in them. I have also recently taken up photography as a hobby (the background pic is one of mine).
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3 Responses to Technology vs. The Teacher

  1. drdoug says:

    Pat, you made some good points in your post. Interesting followup on the Guri-Rosenlit & Gros article. Do you now feel that “e-Learning” and “technology” are synonymous? If not, what is the distinction? I agree that teachers need to gain a better understanding of how students learn, then integrate the technology accordingly. How have you been able to take advantage of technologies to make learning more meaningful in your own practice?

  2. pjstokes says:

    I do see e-learning and technology as being synonymous. Technology is the driving force behind e-learning.
    Presently I am using many different technologies within my class from the SMARTboard to an IPad. I try to allow students to use different technologies to accomplish tasks. Our school recently opened up the WiFi for student owned devices. This in itself is providing many challenges for us including responsible use as well as trying to find ways to actually use the technology rather than the students using for only social networking. The students can be our guides on how we can use the technology within the class if we allow them to take on some of the reponsibility for their own learning.

    • drdoug says:

      I can identify with the challenges of using the technology in a responsible way. When I was at SAIT, some instructors in the “laptop” program ended up banning laptops from their classrooms. Unfortunate, as it was difficult for them to see what a valuable resource their students were bringing to class every day. Yet I know how difficult it was for them to adjust to the new reality and modify their teaching strategies accordingly. Thanks for responding Pat.
      – Doug

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