Modern technologies

Digital technology and the curriculum (approx. 23mins)

The practical foundations of our modern learning systems can be traced as far back as 400 B.C. (Saettler, 1968). However, the rapid increase in the development and use of technologies during the postwar period (1940s - 60s) prompted educators to experiment with innovative ways of using modern technologies to foster learning (Gagne, 2013.
"Just as the industrial revolution radically changed the education systems in the 19th century the current knowledge revolution is starting to have a profound impact on the way we learn" (Parker, 2015, p.10). Herrington et al.'s authentic learning framework encourages students to learn with technology to explore, discover, create and present meaningful products that can be useful outside of academia.

The P21 framework states "to be effective in the 21st century, citizens and workers must be able to create, evaluate, and effectively utilize information, media, and technology" (para. 9) and they identify three essential areas for developing 21st century technology skills: Information Literacy, Media Literacy and ICT Literacy.
Project-based learning, problem-based learning, and inquiry-based learning all three closely relate to the information processing approach. They all fit well with technology-rich learning environments where the focus is not on the hardware and software, but on the learning experience. In each case, technology is used to facilitate learning (Teacher Tap, 2007, ¶4.

Technologies as cognitive tools

The increasing availability of social web technologies provides the opportunity for educators to offer students a more interactive and engaging learning experience (Anderson, 2008, Kop, 2010; Lambert & Cuper, 2008; McLoughlin, 2014). However, technology should not be the focus of the learning, as it is not about the tools, rather they should be used by students as cognitive tools to support their learning and enable them to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of particular concepts or topics (Jonassen, Howland, Marra & Crismond, 2008; Herrington & Parker, 2013).
Howland, Jonassen and Marra (2012, 4th Ed.) explain and provide examples of how technologies can be used as cognitive tools in their book Meaningful learning with technology.

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New Media Consortium Horizon Project produces a range of Annual reports about emerging technologies for teaching and learning. See Publications to view all reports.
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