New Pedagogies needed for Edtech Integration

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Technology has always existed, and there is nothing really new to teach our students.

If we can consider this argument for a moment, and consider the implications of what it means for Education.

If technology has always existed and evolved, then learning has also had to evolve across time and space. The newest and rapidly evolving technologies in 2014 are no exception! Now more than ever, our education systems need to change across time and space to use technology effectively to teach our students.

Great educators know that integrating new edtech into pedagogy is a skill that requires knowledge, practice and understanding. Sound familiar? This is based on the same principles we use to teach the curriculum.  However, in our 21st century, there simply is not a lot of readily available research and discussion with PLN’s that are explicit when it comes to technology integration and the implications on Pedagogy. The old pedagogies do not fit anymore, however. We do need more opportunities to share and engage in meaningful Professional Development to create these opportunities.

Technology integration alone does not equal higher test scores and more effective learners. In fact, as just one example, there are many students who are easily distracted by technology, and simply do not have the working memory to be able to process the pictures and text at the same time. There are very real implications to our students when we integrate the newest Technologies. As Educators, we do need to know what we are doing.

Technology is not new!

Technology in itself is not new. Technology has always existed. Modern technology has been around as long as people have existed, and doesn’t just refer to the 21st century. Absolutely no one can deny that the newest inventions tend to engender or require the development of certain skills or attitudes. Today this requires a great deal of change. But is there anything really new? Human nature and the learning strategies do not melt away and erode simply because some of us have computers, tablets, internet, and Wifi.

Good teachers know that abandoning good teaching practice, & allowing yourself to be distracted by technology results in poor teaching.

Educational research has pointed toward some of our lower levels of literacy across the Western world stemming from educators having temporarily abandoned certain practices that will continue to stand the test of time, for new technologies. Others have argued that the spell check and word processors of our modern day technology, has resulted in generations of students with increased difficulties in spelling, reading, and writing, and critical thinking. If there is actually truth to any of these arguments, we as Educators have much to contemplate when it comes to integrating Technology.

In order to successfully integrate technology, we need new pedagogies. Our 20th century pedagogies do not lend themselves to technology integration in our learning environments!

Perhaps before we jump into integrating the newest technologies, and the newest ‘flavour of the month’ perhaps, we also remind ourselves of the ‘truths’ that make us good Educators, and the research based art and science behind our teaching practice, and make sure that whatever tools we use in the classrooms, we do NOT abandon good pedagogy to simply use a new technology in our classrooms.

Further, human challenges will always remain human challenges, will always remain human challenges.  Regardless of the date and time in history. New technologies do not automatically offset universals in the areas of human behaviour. They also should not offset opportunities to revamp pedagogy for the better.

How do you integrate Educational Technologies into your pedagogy?

 

Deborah McCalllum

© Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education, 2012-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah McCallum and Big Ideas in Education with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

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