The main idea that I took away from the Meaningful Learning with Technology chapter is that technology is a valuable tool for promoting learning, and it is important that educators integrate technologies into their classrooms so that students are properly equipped for the 21st century. This chapter has not really changed my ideas about using technology in education. I knew that technology was a great tool for learning when used properly, but it is not a substitute for a great teacher. When I use technology such as blogging, J Exam software, and CENTRO in my college courses, my teacher is leading my learning experience, and technology just makes it easier. This chapter did bring to my attention the importance of using technology to promote higher-level thinking in learning. Sometimes you need to memorize facts when you learn, and technology can be a useful tool to facilitate this. However, students are more likely to remember the information they learn and apply their skills in the real world when they analyze and synthesize the the material they learn, as Bloom’s Taxonomy suggests. Technology can be used to facilitate this kind of learning.
My career goal is to become a speech pathologist, and technology is a very important tool in this discipline. One of the most important skills to my discipline described in this chapter is using technology to communicate effectively, since teaching people to communicate is the main goal of speech pathologists . When I shadowed a speech pathologist at a rehab center, a child with apraxia used a tool where he would click on buttons on a toy with pictures of various words on them. When he clicked on a button, the machine would produce that word, so he could hear how that word sounded when produced. This child was physically unable to say many common words and sounds, but with this tool he learned to put sentences together using the words on this machine and thus learned to communicate. The therapist also downloaded apps on her iPhone that the child used to learn various articulation and phonology. These apps made learning seem like a game to the children. They also required the kids to reflect critically on their learning experiences in speech therapy, which is another skill described in this chapter.
Citations for Pictures:
My brain has changed and developed over past years, and my learning has thus changed accordingly. As a child, I learned best by observing others doing things and copying them. For example when I was in kindergarten, my teacher tried to explain to me how use addition and subtraction signs in math problems. I was very confused until my teacher told me to simply watch one of my classmates do a problem on the board. Suddenly, it all clicked for me. Observing others is still a helpful tool for me in my learning, but as I have grown and matured, I have branched out into other learning methods too. I am mainly a tactile learner. I learn best by doing things and later receiving feedback from an instructor on my performance and how I can improve. I use technology more in my learning now than I did as a child because I have a better understanding of it, and adults trust me to use their technological devices more now than when I was a child.
Technology has been a valuable tool for me in my learning. Smart boards are one of my favorite classroom tools because I like their interactive features. They were especially helpful to me in my high school calculus class. My teacher’s Smart board allowed him to show the class multiple examples of math problems in an easy and accessible way. Blogging was helpful to me in many of my classes as well. In my ENGL1102 class, my professor created a Blogger account in which she would post discussion questions, and everyone was required to post a response and comment on other classmate’s responses. This was a helpful tool to me because I could see everyone’s different views on the discussion topic. Online homework, such as the J Exam program used in my CHEM1211 class, was very helpful because it gave you feedback on whether your answers were right or wrong and explained how to solve the problems.
Other forms of technology were not as helpful in my learning and tended to confuse me. When teachers show videos in class, my mind tends to drift because there is no interaction involved. These videos were also often off-topic from the main focus of the class, so I really had no motivation to pay attention. In my CHEM1211 lecture, each student had to purchase a clicker and use it to submit answers to online quizzes. These clickers were not very helpful. Quizzes were stressful because the clickers often didn’t work. It was also very easy for other students to cheat off one another in clicker quizzes, which is not beneficial to learning.