EIDT 6510 Impact of Technology and Multimedia

Posted: June 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

impact

We are experiencing an exciting time in the world of education where the traditional approach of instructor-centric classrooms is undergoing major metamorphoses in response to the evolution of technology and multimedia tools combined with the changing characteristics and demands of learners in the 21st century.  As someone who is in the process of learning about instructional design and technology and online facilitation, I found the content and materials presented in my course this week to be particularly relevant and useful.  Consider this paragraph by Conrad and Donaldson (2011, p. 4),

While the history of education has been filled with instances in which students and teachers were focused on student-oriented learning, today’s pedagogical evolution has added technology to the equation.  New media offer a wealth of opportunities for interaction yet many times are employed in a non-interactive mode that tends to focus on creating an online lecture.  Lecture is effective for knowledge transmission, but if it is the primary strategy used in the online environment, the course becomes a digital correspondence course with the potential problems of learner isolation and high dropout rate.

love of learning

The use of media, interactive media, and technology in the learning environment can engage students in their own learning, contribute to the creation of the learning community, and improve student retention (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010).  However, there are many factors to consider in the appropriate selection of technologies for a course as a particular technology should not be used simply because it exists, or because it is the latest and greatest.  In fact, the first thing the facilitator must consider is that their use of technology tools should be based upon their own comfort level and at their own pace, however, Boettcher and Conrad suggest that the facilitator can still “encourage students to use graphics and audio and video media in their work as they are so inclined and as it fits the content and their own comfort and skill level” (2010, p. 106), pointing out that this may also provide a learning experience for the facilitator on different tools.  In addition to personal choice, Boettcher and Conrad suggest that the facilitator should also consider the features available in the LMS/CMS in which the course is housed, e.g., the presence of discussion boards, blogging capabilities, and synchronous meeting functions. The selection and use of a technology tool should be based upon the purpose of a course function or activity and the subsequent enhancement of learning as a result of using that tool.  The learning activity should drive the selection of technology…not the other way around.

disability-symbols

Another consideration with serious implications relates to the accessibility and usability of the course and its contents/technology.  For the purposes of complying with current legislation by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regarding accessibility for persons with disabilities, and more importantly, to support the actual learning of these individuals in the online environment, it is crucial that the use of technology tools does not present barriers to either the access to, or the achievement of, learning (Cooper, M., Colwell, C., & Jelfs, A., 2007).

As a graduate student of the Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology, I have had the opportunity to test drive several technology tools with which I did not have prior experience.  I hope to be able to utilize some of these tools in the event that I will facilitate online courses in the future (and where they are appropriate to the circumstances!).  Some tools that I am fond of include the following,

 tech mountain

I also used other technology tools such as those contained in Adobe Creative Suite, e.g., Flash, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop, however my training and use of these products was too minimal for me to determine whether or not I wish to use them in the future.  What I can say is that my extremely limited exposure to these products has only taught me that I need to take additional classes outside of my graduate program to achieve any level of competence in their use. Fortunately, I do see the bigger picture in that I comprehend the purpose and appropriate use of technology tools in the online learning environment in engaging learners in the creation of a learning community and in enhancing learning through interactivity.

 

References

Boettcher, J. V., Conrad, R. (2010) The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Cooper, M., Colwell, C., & Jelfs, A. (2007). Embedding accessibility and usability: Considerations for e-learning research and development projects. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology. 15(3), 231-245.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2010). Enhancing the online experience. Retrieved from http://class.walden.edu

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Comments
  1. Hi Lorena!
    I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for the resources! You stated, “I also used other technology tools such as those contained in Adobe Creative Suite, e.g., Flash, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop, however my training and use of these products was too minimal for me to determine whether or not I wish to use them in the future. What I can say is that my extremely limited exposure to these products has only taught me that I need to take additional classes outside of my graduate program to achieve any level of competence in their use” (Bull, 20114). I am of the same mindset when it comes to these new software products like Adobe. I feel like I should have another MS and have it in Web design or graphics so I KNOW how to use the software. Of course, there are the Lynda.com tutorials BUT if I am going to spend that kind of time and energy learning something new, I might as well have the degree to back it up. There is so much technology out there to tap into! So much information and so little time!
    Thank you for the enlightening post!
    ~ Katrina

  2. Angela says:

    Hi Lorena,
    You posted some good ideas for technology use among instructors/facilitators. I like the idea that now the student will become front and center in their education because lectures can be boring. I took a motorcycle safety course with my 17 year old son and during the lecture he was all into what the lecturer was teaching but after about 40 minutes he had totally tuned out. I think had there been some technology he might have been more inclined to stay with the lessons. I tell this short anecdote because it proves that today’s students need more stimulation to stay with the teacher.
    The ADA is also a great motivator of making institutions make education accessible for all students which is how it should be.

    Angela

  3. Lee says:

    Great blog posting. Thank you for sharing pontoon and voice thread. I will definitely add to this to my toolbar of great resources.

  4. traciemw says:

    I agree with you that learning environments can help engage the student in the learning community. I also wanted to tell you that after reviewing your post, I clicked on the PowToons link and I tell you that I was very you impressed and I will be using this in my instructional design from now on. I absolutely love it thank you for the resource.

  5. Awesome posting!!!!!!!!!!!! After being in this program, it’s kinda of hard to come up something we have not read or heard already. You did catch my attention with your technology tools. I never heard of Pow Toons. I visited the site and I am really impressed with it. Thx!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ~virtualvoice2u~

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re welcome, Chuck…and everyone else intrigued by Powtoons. Powtoons is a lot of fun to play with and people are impressed with your results!

      • bebedezign says:

        Hi Lorena,
        Your post is interesting and makes some rather great points, I liked the tools that we have had contact with during the our time through this educational journey… however I have also had reservations about our ability to function properly in the outside world without the additional training to develop as Instructional Designers… e.g., the last job descriptions that were posted for our review all seem to ask for a technology we do not possess or have even been introduced to even through our limited access, such as Captivate by Adobe or Mohive by CrossKnowledge. At this particular time, I know when I finish this Master Degree, additional courses well be required even though I derived from a IT background, technology is every changing and there is always something we don’t seem to possess that the job market seems to want.
        Thanks for sharing.
        Bridget

      • bebedezign says:

        Hi Lorena,
        Your post is interesting and makes some rather great points, I liked the tools that we have had contact with during the our time through this educational journey… however I have also had reservations about our ability to function properly in the outside world without the additional training to develop as Instructional Designers… e.g., the last job descriptions that were posted for our review all seem to ask for a technology we do not possess or have even been introduced to even through our limited access, such as Captivate by Adobe or Mohive by CrossKnowledge. At this particular time, I know when I finish this Master Degree, additional courses well be required even though I derived from a IT background, technology is every changing and there is always something we don’t seem to possess that the job market seems to want.
        Thanks for sharing.
        Bridget

        Other tools that are used with Academic Simulated Learning is Tool Wire and Smart Builder.

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