Better Learning through Technology
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Enhancing education through technology is a challenge for ICT professionals and educators the world over. NAACE and ALT recently published a report that provides a diagnosis of the current situation as well as ideas for how to advance in the right direction, based on contributions from a variety of professionals working on the field.
How can technology and education work together instead of running at different speeds or even at odds with each other? Professionals in the world of ICT and education are constantly addressing this question, one that is imperative for current and future generations. Most accept the premise that technology enhances learning, but where do we go from here? NAACE and ALT draw from the experience and opinion of a variety of contributors in their Schools Tech Report – Better Learning Through Technology to present discussions and conclusions that help us get our bearings.
In broad terms, the consensus seems to be that the relationship between technology and education has yet to be properly defined. The demands of the market are often not in alignment with educational objectives, and schools and classrooms are often reticent to fully embrace technological advances. The report further explores the consequences of this unstable relationship on several different levels, analyzing difficulties from the point of view of teachers as well as learners. A large portion of the paper, however, is dedicated to offering creative and thoughtful ways to overcome present challenges.
Some of these proposals include shifting to a framework that encourages “responsible but liberal use of new technologies,” and encouraging “formal and informal (peer guidance, self-organising “TeachMeets”, even student-led instruction) initiatives to help teaching staff develop their use of learning technologies.” More ideas, and ways to implement them, are available in the full report on the NAACE website.