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When Not to Use Technology: 15 Things That Should Stay Simple In Education by Saga Briggs

Cited From: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/when-not-to-use-technology-15-things-that-should-stay-simple-in-education/#ixzz3KoO5MrqH

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Most of us know better than to use technology for technology’s sake. The Shiny New Tech Syndrome is taking the world by storm, and with the added pressure of finding new ways to improve educational outcomes, we try our best not to be tempted. But there are some things–certain methods, activities, and tools–we still assume can be enhanced with a little computational flair, when really, if we stopped to question ourselves, we’d find them best delivered the old-fashioned way.

The benefits of integrating technology into learning are extremely well-supported, and range from increased motivation to enhanced cognition. Experts and non-experts alike have seen blended learning enhance students’ communication skillsdigital fluencyengagement, independence, critical thinking, and comprehensionin general. You’ll find extensive scientific support for blended learning with a simple Google search.

One study, conducted at Canterbury Christ Church University in the UK, provides an example of this kind of support. Over a two-year period, researchers collected over 300 student opinions on blended learning based on its use in audio lecures, seminars, discussion boards, and wikis. Students found the blended learning approach very flexible and, in many cases, preferable to traditional face-to-face instruction.

They cited flexibility and support, motivation and idea-sharing, interaction and explanation of ideas, communication and teamwork, and project leadership skills as benefits.

In another study, researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder measured the impact of multimedia technology on project-based learning. In completing the projects, which were built around real-world problems, some students used a variety of technological tools, including video cameras, digital editing, and Web authoring tools. Students who used the tools were found to be more collaborative and vocal within their project groups. They also scored higher on communication and audience awareness, presentation and design, and content comprehension. Teachers, meanwhile, found themselves more likely to serve as a facilitator or coach, rather than a lecturer, when their students used the technology.

There are countless studies confirming the educational benefits of technology in learning, and they represent student bodies across the world in a variety of disciplines. But what happens when technology is mis-used in education?

Learning From Computers vs Learning With Technology

If we’re going to integrate technology into education successfully, we need to understand the difference between learning “from computers” and learning “with technology.” When students learn “from computers,” the computers essentially serve as information delivery systems. In this capacity, technology simply presents a student with basic knowledge. Learning “with technology,” by contrast, means using technology as a tool that can be applied to a variety of goals in the learning process. The point is, educational technology has advanced far beyond what can easily be measured by standardised tests, and if we do not take advantage of this fact, then we are doing our students a disservice.

But there are barriers to adopting this kind of attitude. Typical issues include conservative teaching practices, lack of teacher training, not enough instructional preparation time, and inadequate access to educational software and hardware in general.

A study surveyed 60 Australian teachers and found that, even when teachers had technical skills, they were reluctant to implement technology into their lessons. Teachers were not convinced of the benefits of computers in education, and supported very limited roles of technology in learning.

Much of this appears to lead back to the “learning from” versus “learning with” distinction.

In a survey 2,170 U.S. school teachers, two groups of teachers emerged. The first group believed that computers are “tools that students use in collecting, analysing, and presenting information,” while the second group believed computers are “teaching machines that can be used to present information, give immediate reinforcement, and track student progress.” The beliefs and instructional practices of a further 4,083 middle and high schools teachers were examined, with the finding that teachers who viewed computers as tools rather than teaching machines were more likely to use technology in their lessons.

The sooner we all realise how valuable technology can be as learning tool, the sooner we will see a positive return on our investment.

Homer-Brain-Google-Effect

“Technology must be used for a practical purpose,” says Ben McNeely, a student at North Carolina State University. “That is, taking the fundamentals and technology learned over a semester and applying it to a final project, where creativity and uniqueness is required and rewarded.”

Using technology for practical purpose, and not for the sake of using technology, must be the clear objective. Mastering the functions of the latest apps and gadgets is not an educational achievement in and of itself. What matters is not how many tools a student knows to operate, but how well she uses them to enhance her understanding of the world.

When Not to Use Technology

1. When it creates harmful shortcuts.

Some math teachers ban calculators, thinking students will use them to solve basic problems they should be able to solve on their own. Some English teachers don’t allow Spell Check. Edtech presents us with a similar challenge: If we give every student an iPad from the age of 5, will they ever learn to use an actual library? Will they develop healthy imaginations? Exercise all five senses on a regular basis? This is something to watch out for.

2. When it undermines deep learning.

Experts have found that educational technology is most powerful when used as a tool for problem solving, conceptual development, and critical thinking. But if integrated inappropriately, it can backfire in a way that undermines all three skills. Be sure you are using technology to enhance the way students think, not just the way they memorise facts.

3. When it undermines basic learning.

Technology may in fact be quite intuitive for today’s younger generations, but it shouldn’t replace the basic skills our society values. Take the calculator example again, for instance. Even in our technologically advanced age, it’s not socially acceptable to have to whip our your iPhone to calculate a time zone difference of, say, five hours. We still need those basic skills.

4. When it decreases interaction.

At its best, technology is an incredible social tool, connecting people around the world. But it can also reduce the chances of interaction and the learning experiences that come with it. When you can look up the right answer on Google, you don’t get to benefit from hearing a friend suggest the wrong answer, or hearing a teacher discuss why it’s the wrong answer. Humans should learn from one another, not just from computers.

5. When it reduces the chance of failure.

This is a big one. Mistakes create learning experiences. Without a struggle, we oftentimes end up with shallow learning and false confidence. Don’t use technology to create perfect students.

6. When the appeal is purely aesthetic.

Don’t fall into the trap of the Shiny New Tech Syndrome. Just remember: If it looks better, it doesn’t necessarily promise more effective learning, and it doesn’t necessarily align with your curriculum goals.

7. When it contributes to information overload.

Part of technology’s educational appeal is that it allows students to learn more, faster. But it’s worth stopping to ask ourselves whether or not this is true. Information overload will always limit learning, no matter how much information we are exposed to and how many tools we have to process it. Do not assume your students will be able to take longer tests just because they are encountering a greater volume of information.

8. When you don’t have the time to integrate it.

If you’re not going to integrate it correctly and fully, don’t integrate it at all. Believe it or not, the way you implement technology into your lessons is just as important as the decision to do so.

9. When it doesn’t support connecting and sharing.

Don’t have your students blog if you’re not going to let them publish what they write. If they can’t share it, it’s not blogging–it’s learning to type.

10. When it doesn’t teach students about technology.

I remember playing Number Munchers in primary school. It was a stimulating relief from worksheet-style multiplication tables, but it didn’t teach me a thing about computers. There’s so much to learn nowadays in the form of coding, design tools, and advanced gamification–why wouldn’t you kill two birds with one stone?

11. When students have already mastered the task.

Multi-modal learning is undoubtedly one of the strongest types of learning, but avoid scenarios in which you’re not adding anything to the experience by incorporating technology. Does your French class really need to be studying the vocab they’ve already learned with virtual flashcards? Sounds like a waste of time to me.

12. When it hampers communication.

Don’t get me wrong–studies have shown that technology seriously enhances communication. Anonymous discussion boards do wonders for shy students. What I’m getting at is the “like” button effect: Are you really using your brain to communicate if you’re just clicking a button?

13. When it limits self-expression.

Sounds impossible considering all the creative possibilities technology affords, right? Well, think again. Some of the world’s best writers, artists, scientists, and thinkers produce their finest work with the simplest tools. Don’t let technological inspiration replace real world inspiration.

14. When it can’t illustrate a concept.

Sometimes it’s just more effective to illustrate a concept using the raw materials around you. Plus, environment is important: students remember where they learned something, which helps them remember the thing itself. A computer screen is not a memorable environment.

15. When technology isn’t relevant.

What! Technology not relevant? How can it be possible? It’s very possible. Don’t make your students present projects using Power Point if they can illustrate their topic more creatively (and accurately) with a mini-field trip on school grounds, or a scientific experiment, or an old-fashioned Sharpie sketch. Let them use whatever method of presentation is most effective, and save the technology lesson for when it counts.

“The fact is that education has already been automated,” says Temple University educator Jordan Shapiro. “Tests, quizzes, textbooks, and Powerpoints are all products of a technological way of knowing the world. They are all ways of objectifying knowledge. My enthusiasm for edtech stems from a hope that it will teach us to handle technological ways of knowing more efficiently and interactively, using gadgets and devices.

However, this is only an advantage if it means that teachers can get back to what they do best: educating instead of disseminating and assessing.”

Image by Maximidia

About 

Saga has taught and tutored writing at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. Her educational interests include psychology, creativity, and system reform. She earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from Oberlin College and lives in Portland, Oregon, USA.

You can reach her on Google+@sagamilena or saga.briggs @ oc.edu.au.

Cited From: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/when-not-to-use-technology-15-things-that-should-stay-simple-in-education/#ixzz3KoP6ygSD

YouTube Safety Options for Families by Leah Nieman

http://leahnieman.com/youtube-safety-options/


YouTubesafety

The question I get most often when I’m speaking is, “How can I set up my YouTube account for ‘family friendly’ viewing?” YouTube is a great resource. Here are some YouTube safety options you can use for your family. As always, I recommend talking to your kids about what they view online. Open communication is going to be key.

Set up Safety Mode

Think of Safety Mode as Parental Control for YouTube. Opting in to this setting will help screen out objectionable content you might not want your family to stumble across while enjoying YouTube. Enabling Safety Mode on YouTube automatically enables Google SafeSearch (his is a similar filter for Google Search). Please keep in mind that Safety Mode might not screen out all questionable content. (I give an example in the video below.)

Safety Mode works on your browser. If you use multiple browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE), you’ll need to log in to YouTube and enable Safety Mode for each browser that your family uses. Be sure to log out of your YouTube account after enabling Safety Mode.

Here’s a quick video that will walk you through setting it up in a snap:

Safety Mode is great but, as with any filter, please don’t rely on the filter alone. Instead, be sure that you are talking to your kids about online safety. And remember, they need to be able to come to you if they feel unsafe or have questions.

Create Playlists

Playlists make it easy for you to filter out content that isn’t age appropriate. Remember to begin allowing your kids to have a part in creating their playlists as they get older.

Sara at Happy Brown House has a great video showing how easy it is:

But, what about older kids?

How do you begin guiding kids so you can help them build towards full independence?

1. Watch with your kids. Kids naturally want to share videos they love with their friends and family. Let them know you are interested and invested in their lives.
2. Take the time to watch alone. If you are uncertain about a video or a creator your child has mentioned, take the time to research it. If your concerns are solid, share them with your child.
3. Encourage your child to subscribe or create playlists for their favorite videos and creators. It means they will be notified when new videos are uploaded. And, it means they have to search less to find what they want.
4. Comments, ads, and suggested videos can be clues. Are they helpful, encouraging, and appropriate? If not talk to your child about the fact that they have to constantly weed through them. How does this make them feel? Is this a positive or negative influence in their life?

YouTube can be a great resource for families. We can use it safely. And, in the process, we can guide our kids so they can learn safe guidelines for using YouTube.

 

The Myth of Average: Todd Rose at TEDxSonomaCounty

Related Posts:

  1. Universal Design Learning Explained for Teachers
  2. What is Universal Design for Learning
  3. Learning in the Digital Age: The Reality and the Myth
  4. Prof. Richard E. Mayer – On the role and design of video for learning
  5. Presentation of the Week: Learning How To Learn: Let’s talk about Learning, not technology!
  6. Advice to Young Scientists (TED Talk)

SafeGov Releases Results of Survey on Australian Parents’ Views of Cloud Services and Online Privacy in Schools

Jeff Gouldby Jeff Gould, SafeGov.org

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

SafeGov.org today released the results of a survey conducted by Brunswick Insight in May 2013 on Australian parents’ views of cloud services and online privacy in schools.

One thousand parents of children in Australian primary to high school equivilents were asked a series of questions related to cloud computing use in schools, the use of children’s data for commercial and advertising purposes and options for protecting the privacy of children.

The survey provided the following insights:

  • Parents expect major benefits from cloud services provided to children in schools. Australian parents expect that cloud services provided in school such as email and document collaboration will help their children acquire the skills and problem-solving abilities they will need in the 21st Century economy.
  • Parents don’t want commercial data mining or online advertising in schools.While most parents in Australia are not aware that some cloud providers could “data mine” children’s email and web browsing for ad targeting purposes, they overwhelmingly object to the practice once informed.
  • Parents want schools and government to take action. Parents’ objections to data mining in school are more than theoretical – they want it stopped. They believe schools and government are in the best position to take effective action. Specifically, they expect new regulationsand voluntary opt-out policies.

For full details on the survey results and the high-level findings, please view the report here.

Recommended Device Many2One 2014

Recommended Device..

For students in years 5 to 10 2014 we are continuing to recommend the iPad generation 2, 3, 4 or 5 (iPad Air) 32 GB Wifi only model as the preferred choice of device.

We would like to acknowledge that the iPad Mini is also an attractive option and a suitable choice.

80 to 90% of our students who already part of the Many2One program predominantly use an iPad. The rest have chosen to mainly rely on an Apple laptop,  MacBook Pro or MacBook Air.

Bring your own Browser…

We are rapidly moving to online, web based, learning management systems and tools.

This allows for  a more flexible device model and hence our students in years 6 to 12 in 2014  are permitted to bring to class a variety of mobile technologies.

These include Apple, Android or Windows based tablets, laptops or smartphones.

Many2One means many devices and many brands or types of technology for each person. We are working towards an open environment where our community can ultimately choose any appropriate mobile learning technology.

A Comprehensive Guide for Effective Use of iPad in Teaching

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/09/a-comprehensive-guide-for-effective-use.html

iPad, this mystic gadget that has been making the news since its launch a few years ago, has now secured a strong foothold inside different educational settings. Its sharp design, practical portability, and the sublime sense of mobile gadgetry it bestows upon its users and, above all, its widespread among learners , all of these factors combined made this tablet an indispensable tool in the learning toolkit of students.

With this huge presence inside our schools, several school districts have finally adopted it as a teaching and learning tool to be used inside the classroom. App developers, on their part, have also noticed this increasing potential of iPad in education and therefore started creating and developing apps targeting the educational audience. From apps for toddlers to advanced research apps, the app store now is teeming with all kinds of educational apps.

In this context, several teachers are planning to incorporate iPad for the first time in their classroom instruction. For these folks, I dedicate the following guide:

1- Get students to know their iPad
The first thing you should do with your students before they start using their iPad is to make sure they know their away around it. The graphic below is made for this. It will help students know iPad different specs.

2- Rules for iPad use
Now that students know how to handle the different iPad functions, get them to read and understand the iPad code of best practices. The graphic below will do the job

Click here to enlarge it. You can also check these similar posters on iPad proper usage in  class.

3- App evaluation rubrics
Now that your students are familiar with their iPad, you need to provide them with some educational apps to install. Here are some essential app checklists and rubrics for evaluating whether an app should be considered for classroom use or not. Check out the rubrics HERE.

4- Questions you should ask before using iPad with your students
Here is a concise list of some important questions teachers need to be able to answer before using iPad with their students. Check out the list HERE

5- iPad skills students should have
Make sure that your objectives behind integrating iPad in your class include teaching students and helping them master these fundamental iPad skills. Check it out the full list HERE.

6- 100+ ways to use iPad in class
If you are running short of ideas on how to employ iPad in your teaching, this post will provide you with a variety of creative ready-to-use tips. Check them out HERE.

7- iPad resources, tutorials, and guides for teachers
Here are more resources and guides on how teachers can effectively integrate iPad into teaching. These resources vary from educational app resources to video tutorials to graphics, all of which are ideal for classroom use. Check them outHERE

8- Educational Apps
If you don’t have time to look for apps to use with your students in the classroom , the lists below will be of great help to you. These are curated selections of the best apps you can find for each subject area.

1-Digital Storytelling Apps for iPad
2- Presentation Apps for iPad
3- iPad Apps to Create eBooks
4- Printing Apps for iPad
5- Science iPad Apps
6- Video Apps for your iPad
7- Educational Music Apps for iPad
8- iPad Apps for Reading Disability
9- Math iPad Apps 
10- Note Taking Apps for iPad
11- Whiteboard Apps for iPad
12- Multiple Intelligence Apps for iPad
13- iPad Apps for Blooms Taxonomy
14- Dictionary Apps for iPad
15- Audio Recording Apps for iPad
16- iPad Apps for Kids
17- Google Apps for iPad
18- Wiki Apps for iPad
19- Grading Apps for iPad
20- Screen Sharing Apps for iPad
21- Homework Apps for iPad
22- Mind Mapping and Brainstorming Apps for iPad
23- PDF Apps for iPad
24- Apps to Create Digital Portfolios
25- Textbook and Audio Books Apps for iPad
26- Learning Apps for iPad
27- Photo Collage Apps for iPad
28- iPad Apps for Professional Development
29- Writing Apps for iPad
30- iPad Creativity Apps
31- Reading Apps for iPad
32- iPad Apps for Research
23- iPad Apps to Help you Stay Organized
24- iPad Annotating Apps