The benefits and drawbacks of the integration of technology into both the curriculum, and teaching and learning practice, continue to be contentious issues on multiple fronts. On the one hand, there are those who continue to subscribe to Clark’s (1994 a, b) contention that technology has no impact whatsoever on learning achievement. Evidence may point to this conclusion that technology integration results in no significant difference in learning achievement compared to “traditional” classroom settings. However, there are many more reasons why it is imperative that teachers and schools thoughtfully plan for meaningful technology integration. Clark’s long-time rival in the media effectiveness debate, Kozma (1994 a, b), points to the fact that newer technologies enable pedagogical approaches and learning experiences that previously were not possible (and for which there can be no technology-free learning achievement comparison). These learning opportunities include the ability for remote learners, and those facing accessibility challenges, to be engaged on unprecedented levels. Another imperative for meaningful technology integration is the preparation of learners to be responsible digital citizens, who are empowered to leverage technology to meet emerging needs in their lives, learning, work, and society.
About the eBook
Technology and the Curriculum: Summer 2018 has been written by participants in EDUC 5303G, a course in the Masters of Education program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The mandate of EDUC 5303G is to
[examine] the theoretical foundations and practical questions concerning the educational use of technology. The main areas of focus… include learning theory and the use of technology, analysis of the learner, curriculum, and technology tools, leading-edge technology programs/initiatives, implementation, assessment, and barriers toward using technology. The overall focus of the course is on developing a critical, evidence-based, theoretically grounded perspective regarding the use of technology in the curriculum (EDUC 5303G Course Syllabus, Spring/Summer 2018).
Each chapter in the eBook focuses was written by a course participant, and focuses on a topic chosen by them that stems from the issues explored throughout the Spring/Summer 2018 term. The authors first submitted their chapter drafts for feedback from the instructor. Each chapter also underwent a double-blind peer-review process, before the final versions were added to the actual eBook in Pressbooks.
Why an Open Access eBook
EDUC 5303G aims to live up to its own mandate, and meaningfully integrate technology into the course curriculum, and overall learning experience. Digital communications tools, such as the Pressbooks platform, allow for a transformation of the traditional academic paper writing experience. Rather than writing a paper to demonstrate topic understanding, and competence with writing mechanics, for just an instructor’s review, technology enables course participants to write with purpose.
This eBook chapter writing endeavour allows participants in a course like EDUC 5303G to more fully engage with their peers in the writing process, in a manner that reflects the realities of academic writing beyond the classroom. The project also allows them to share their work with a global audience. This integration of technology forces students to take deeper ownership of their work, but also allows them to share the fruits of their labours with others who could benefit from their explorations of topics related to the meaningful use of technology in education.
It gives me great pleasure to facilitate access to the tools and processes used by provide the EDUC 5303G Spring/Summer 2018 participants to produce the eBook, and to share the resources they have compiled.
Clark, R.E. (1994a). Media will never influence learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(2), pp. 21-30.
Clark, R.E. (1994b). Media and method. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(3), 7-10.
Kozma, R. (1994a). Will media influence learning? Reframing the debate. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(2), pp. 7 - 19.
Kozma, R. (1994b). A reply: Media and methods. (1994). Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(3), pp. 11 - 14.
Power, R. (Ed). (2018). Technology and the Curriculum: Summer 2018. [eBook]. Surrey, BC, Canada: Power Learning Solutions. Available from https://techandcurriculum.pressbooks.com/
Rob Power, EdD, is an Assistant Professor of Education, an instructional developer, and educational technology, mLearning, and open, blended, and distributed learning specialist.
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