Blog Post 2-Introduction

Introduction:

Technology is one form of support in which education has moved away from the one-size-fits-all model to more personalized learning, where disadvantaged learners may have support developed for their benefit (FitzGerald, et al. 2018).Technology has been a great help because it has taken some of the jobs teachers do, such as reading to students and helping them with spelling, and given that ability to students to help them achieve success. However, at Grade 4, students are just learning these skills and it can be overwhelming for the teacher and the students to work through this process. It is also costly to educate teachers in use of the technology as well as to supply and maintain it.

While technology is a great help it is important to keep in mind that while people created technology it also has shaped humans (Chen, et.al., 1999), so there are social and ethical implications to using it.  In teaching 9 and 10 year old’s, I often question whether it is too early to let technology shape student’s reading and writing patterns. I question whether students need to utilize their own minds first in order to learn these skills or whether we jump into technology. Kucirkova and Cremin (2018) mention that the digital revolution has changed the way we understand reading which has become more image based and in turn has made reading more personalized.

Personalized learning is a recurring trend in education and there are a number of different programs to deliver learner-centered education. This can be done by delivering different options, including engaging learners in games and play (FitzGerald et al., 2018). The internet has made information transfer from static information to a more interactive, personable, and social experience (Caruso, 2018). It has also engaged teachers in professional development to utilize these new skills. The need to update teaching skills means that performance has improved, which can engage teachers in the ability to provide self-directed learning opportunities for students (Caruso, 2018). These skills allow teachers introduce different digital technologies within the classroom experience in the 21st Century of learning.

 

The purpose of this paper is to research the following questions:

  • How does technology enhance personalised learning with intermediate students?
  • How do we address the issue of affordability of devices and programs?
  • What are the implications for teachers using digital technologies?

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References:

Caruso, S. J. (2018). Toward understanding the role of Web 2.0 technology in self-directed          learning and job performanceContemporary Issues in Education Research, 11(3), 89-98.             https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1184612.pdf

FitzGerald, E., Jones, A., Kucirkova, N., & Scanlon, E. (2018). A literature synthesis of    personalised technology-enhanced learning: what works and why. Research in Learning       Technology, 26(2095), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v26.2095

FitzGerald, E., Kucirkova, N., Jones, A., Cross, S., Ferguson, R., Herodotou, C., Hillaire, G. &    Scanlon, E. (2018). Dimensions of personalisation in technology-enhanced learning: a   framework and implications for design. British Journal of Educational Technology.   49(1), 165-181. Doi:10.1111/bjet.12534

Kucirkova, N. & Cremin, T. (2018) Personalised reading for pleasure with digital libraries:            towards a pedagogy of practice and design. Cambridge Journal of Education. 48(5), 571-      589. https://doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2017.1375458

5 Comments

  1. Hi Alison – thank you for sharing your post.

    Your topic is very interesting and well worth the investigation into how technology can enhance personalized learning in our students. All our students benefit from some measure of differentiated teaching in order to be most successful and create deeper and more
    meaningful learning experiences in schools.

  2. Your questions on personalized learning leaves much food for thought. Technology has certainly opened doors for education in that it offers flexibility for learners to meet the curriculum requirements by pursuing their own interests, goals and media, at their own pace. I can see this being very effective in smaller classes where individual learner programs can be set up and managed by the educator. It would also be more affordable with regards to devices and software. However, in larger classes, this would have far reaching implications for the educator regarding time, class management, discipline and planning, not to mention the cost involved. Without good planning and supervision, personalized learning may feel like a free-for-all. I agree that educators would need continuous professional development to keep up with the evolving technology.

    1. I agree that in smaller classes this type of learning would be highly beneficial. I often end up with a class of 30 9/10 year old’s and have not found a way to do this type of learning successfully and have mostly gone to guided practice so that in older grades they can be more successful.

  3. Hey Alison,

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. I have been teaching grade 3 online this year which has been a stark comparison to the previous years in grade 11/12 math. I have found that my grade 3’s have surprised me with how well they do with the technologies. I am with you about whether the technologies are enhancing learning or just creating a straight across replacement. I also really like how you are highlighting a huge problem, we can bring in all of these new flashing technologies but we need to take the time to teach the people who are supposed to be using them. Teach the teachers!

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