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?
Caruso, S. J. (2018). Toward understanding the role of Web 2.0 technology in self-directed learning and job performance. Contemporary 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