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Technology In Education Forum

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by ferrule, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Well done on the forum David. I posted this up a while ago:
    I like the idea of forums and the notion of workers educating workers. For your degree, perhaps have a look at notions of democratic education, and the limitations of constructivism (this strongly claims that we can provide scaffolding for students etc, pressuposing that they are willing and engaged). I used to think that better teaching could improve learning, but as technology has developed, its shifted learning further away from the relations of teacher/student that are so important. You will be well aware of the instrumental limitations of education, and particularly vocational education in this form. Electronic resources have also led to a pedaogical revolution of learning propositional knowledge (facts or surface knowledge) being substituted for learning in the real world, with lip service paid to such terms as knowledge and understanding.

  2. @cosmos: that caused a wry smile as I was once pulled up on an observation for not using IT during a practical lesson on chainsaw maintenance in an engineering workshop that barely had a 13A socket, let alone WiFi, computers and projectors!
    @simon: education is a funny place right now with technology - the things that technology has to offer education (teaching, learning and assessment) is huge... or is it? I basically fall on the 'love it' side, rather than 'loathe it' side, but even I believe that technology is being used because it's shiny and new - rather than it having any empirical benefit. It does have a place in supporting and engaging learners, but I also believe that delivery needs to be built specifically for this medium. I read a great research paper which basically said about creating 'interactive students' rather than 'active learners'; i.e. we get students to click on links, and move stuff around a screen, but dont take into account how they learn (something akin to being a busy fool really!).
    I hope you both find some time out to register on the forum - there's hardly anyone there at the moment, but give it time...!
  3. I agree that people love or loathe IT, and I am interested in knowing why.
    I also agree that IT is a powerful resource, and have used it to great advantage in the past in teaching plumbing students. When programme-led apprenticeships kicked off big style about seven years ago, I had a problem teaching 16 year-olds, often with learning difficulties, behavioural problems, and lack of desire. Following the curriculum was very difficult, because these students were expected to sit through 3 hour sessions of plumbing theory, without ever having experience of the real subject matter. So I started filming my plumbing jobs at work - very low budget, think blare-witch - the films showed start to finish real jobs like bathrooms, boiler changes etc. This made a significant difference to their enthusiasm, but learning was questionable like it always is. It was also very funny as I am not destined for film...think Oliver Hardy without the acting tallent. They were also unedited, and filmed by my apprentice, so they showed my mistakes...which turned out to be the best bits.
    I then moved it up a gear and lent a cheap digital camera to one student and told him to take pictures of plumbing at home and in the street - which he responded to. This then formed the centre of the lesson each week (I just binned the real curriculum). What I observed was egagement of nearly all the students, who had now started to take their own films and pictures on their mobile phones. In those days access to projectors was nil, so I bought my own and we did films of plumbing, deconstructing the pictures to reveal faults and poor workmanship - show them what it isn't so they can best understand what it is (socrates). The students were now starting to understand what a pump was, and other components. Many years on, I now undestand the philosophical aspects of my teaching actions, in terms of helping students participate, instead of being spectators. I think this is what you mean by 'interactive', but be careful with this notion, Pavlov had similar ideas.
    However, there are weaker sides to IT in education, I think these would be Powerpoint and online-assessment (as a primary source of [abstract] knowledge testing) to name but two.


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