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Educational Technology
and the Internet
Study Guide Week 2
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More Effects of Educational Technology
There have been other important findings on the topic:
A five-year report (1987-1992) by the Sacramento School District in California
found that students using multimedia and telecommunications showed improved
attitudes toward reading, social studies and science, and became more active
and independent in learning. Some also showed improved reading scores.
A survey of 550 teachers who use telecommunications technology in the
classroom reported that "inquiry-based analytical skills - like critical thinking, data
analysis, problem solving, and independent thinking - develop when students use
a technology that supports research, communication, and analysis. However,
telecommunications does not directly help their performances on state- or city-
mandated tests.
In a 1994 Software Publisher's Association (SPA) study, research found that:
Educational technology has a significant positive impact on achievement in all
subject areas, across all levels of school, and in regular classrooms as well as
those for special-needs students.
Educational technology has positive effects on student attitudes.
The degree of effectiveness is influenced by the student population, the
instructional design, the teachers role, how students are grouped, and the levels
of student access to technology.
Technology makes instruction more student-centered, encourages cooperative
learning, and stimulated increased teacher/student interaction.
Positive changes in the learning environment evolve over time and do not occur
After looking at different ways on how students are helped to improve by using
technology, reflect on your own teaching. How can you help your learners be
better up using technology?
Visit the site and learn more about the following: The
Role of Online Communications in Schools.

1.3 Why Integrate Technology in Our Schools?
At this stage, we have looked at different advantages of integrating technology in our
For education professionals computer networking creates a professional bond between
teachers and administrators and ends isolation.
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For students a new system of knowledge will enhance collaborative learning; alternative
assessment; and individualized learning.
Looking at your own context, what are the needs for technology in our classrooms

We can identify the need for:
A shared schoolwide instructional vision.
Consensus around instructional goals.
A shared philosophy concerning the kinds of activities that would support those
A planned and support snowball effect that endorses the early adopters and
gives them incentives to spread the word such as computers for their personal
use and compensation and recognition for designing beneficial instructional uses
of technology.
The distribution of equipment throughout regular classrooms:
Only effective if there is a critical mass of machines in each room (6-8)
Mobile lab
Incremental roll-out (adequately equip first some rooms, then others)
Time for teachers to become acquainted with the technology so that they can
become comfortable and proficient with continued use.

Authentic Uses of Technology
This is a fact, the use of technology and education and learning plays and will continue
to play a very important role.
What are the authentic uses of technology that affect students and the activities they
perform in the teaching and learning process? To try to answer this question complete
the following sentences with your own words:
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The technology supports students performance...
The technology use is integrated into activities that...
Technology is treated as a tool to help accomplish...

Read the text below and see if it matches your ideas.
Examples of such authentic uses of technology
Technology is and will continue to be an important aid for teaching and learning. These
examples illustrate several key features of our concept of authentic uses of technology:
The technology supports student performance of an authentic task.
In our examples, students are working on complex tasks that bear a strong
resemblance to tasks performed in non-school settings (e.g., developing a
business plan, making decisions about land use) and/or fill a genuine need
for the students (e.g., producing a deck for the school courtyard). Authentic
tasks usually involve multiple disciplines and are challenging in their

The technology use is integrated into activities that are a core part of
the classroom curriculum.
Cohen (1988) has argued that technology has been, and is likely to remain,
relegated to the margins of American education. If viewed only as a
mechanism for enrichment or remediation, technology will not move forward
the agenda of systemic reform. In our examples of authentic technology use,
teachers and students brought technology into the central activities in their
program, and made them available to all students rather than just a handful.

Technology is treated as a tool to help accomplish a complex task
rather than a subject of study for its own sake.
At one time, the dominant use of computers in classrooms was for instruction
in "computer literacy" (Becker, 1985). At the high school level, it is still the
case that technology is most often available in classes designed to teach
computer programming or word processing (Becker, 1994). Our concept of
authentic uses of technology does not deny the importance of obtaining
facility with computer software or other technologies, but places the
emphasis on use of technology within the context of accomplishing authentic
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tasks. Technology skills are acquired as a means to an end, and students
receive practice in selecting and using various technology applications to
accomplish a wide variety of tasks.
The concept of authentic uses of technology may be demonstrated more
clearly by providing some examples of technology uses that do not exhibit
the features described above. Traditional uses of technology should not be
construed as "bad" practice but simply as activities that are not likely to
transform a classroom or school.
The kinds of complex, meaningful projects within which authentic technology
use occurs require extended periods of time for their implementation. They
almost always call on skills and knowledge from different disciplines (e.g.,
mathematics to analyze survey responses, meteorology to consider natural
disasters that might strike a city). They are naturally conducive to small
group work, with different students performing different functions as on a
sports or workplace team, and with the teacher acting as a coach and
facilitator for multiple groups. In these ways, such projects exert pressure to
break down traditional school schedules of short blocks of time, artificial
barriers between what are viewed as separate subject areas, and the
boundaries between the classroom and the outside world (Newman, 1990).
At the same time, such authentic uses of technology have advantages over
more didactic uses simply because they are so flexible. Many tutorial or
exploratory technology applications are not adopted by schools and teachers
because the content they convey does not match the objectives of the
particular teacher, district, or state. Thus, the technology application is used
only with a few students as "enrichment" or is never adopted at all. In
contrast, technology applications that can be used as a tool or a
communications vehicle (e.g., word processing and spreadsheet software,
drawing programs, networks) can support any curriculum and can be fully
assimilated into a teacher's ongoing core practice (Means et al., 1993).

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Experiences with Technology in the Classroom
Why use technology to promote education reform? Can you think of some reasons?

In the following sites you will find some examples of successful reform-based classroom
activities. Search through them and make a list of the most interesting ones according to
your context.

WHY Use Technology to Support Education Reform?
HOW to Use Technology to Support Education Reform?

If we are about to use technology, HOW can we ASSESS its effectiveness?

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How can we assess implementations in technology?
Here are some ideas to assess the role of technology in education:
Student demonstrations
Portfolio assessment
Student products
Digital portfolios

We know that in order to make the most of technology, different strategies have to be
implemented and roles have to be played by all the elements involved so technology
can be best used. How can we promote change in our schools to succed with using

How can we promote change?
In a Department of Education educational forum of 1995, 400 educators, parents,
interested community members, and business leaders, established the following roles of
technology in promoting change:
Access to New Sources of Information
Information Transfers
Professional Development
New Learning Experiences

Promotion plays an important role, but technology alone will not result in the kind and
degree of change necessary. Keep in mind that it helps to:
Access new sources of information.
Provide information transfers (supports new ways for teachers and their students
to present and disseminate their research and analyses as well as their creative
Encourage teacher networking and collaboration, professional development
through networking.
Demonstrate new learning experiences (students as producers and creators of
multimedia, not just passive recipients.)

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1.4 A Vision for Technology in Education: Learning in the 21
What do you think the requirements for learning in the 21
Century are? Check the items
in the table that apply to this.

A greater dependence on new communication and computing
technologies that support new levels of student creativity and

A change in the role of teachers from "sages on the stage" to
mentors, researchers, publishers, technology users, knowledge
producers, risk takers and lifelong learners.

Involvement of parents to play a major role in the education of
their children and to work actively with teachers to connect
formal and informal education.

Partnering of local businesses and other community
organizations so they become actively involved in the schools

Collaborations that bring students, teachers, and researchers
together to create new curriculum for K-12 learners and adult

If you chose more than one of the requirements from the previous chart, you agree with
over 400 educators, parents, interested community members, and business leaders
present in a Department of Education forum in 1995 (

1.5 Building Schools of the Future
Schools development go hand by hand with advances in technology. We started for you
a list of some elements which are necessary for future schools. Try to add some other
elements you consider important.
Schools of the future must be open and flexible.
New communication should promote new collaborations and a higher level of
cooperation and creative problem-solving.

Go to additional resources 3 to expand your ideas on elements of future schools
As we can see schools of the future will be very close related to technology. Technology
will play a more important role in how to deliver education on the teachers side and how
to receive and expand knowledge on the students side.

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This is a good chance to review current practice in your own context. Think
carefully to your own experiences as a teacher. What means of technology are
applied in your classroom?

You probably chose television, VCR, VCD,CRD, computer, e-mail, internet, etcsince
thanks to technological advances, most devices can be used in the classroom making
teachers and students efforts and goals easier to achieve. But, this has not always been
so easy. It has been a result of several projects and research. Lets start analyzing some
of the first projects for using technology in education.
1.6 Advantages and disadvantages of using technology in language teaching and
What are the advantages and disadvantages of these technology tools?

Technology Advantages Disadvantages

You may be wondering if technology use gives mainly positive effects. It wouldnt be
surprising to see that one potential general disadvantage of many of the new or
extended technologies is that they require special wiring that schools may not have.

What do you think about these other disadvantages?
Many new users fear technology
Technology breakdowns can be disruptive and usually require experts to repair.
Initial hardware, software, and online connection costs can be high.
Equipment rapidly becomes outdated.
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Some schools misuse or under use technology (e.g., for drill and practice only) or
use it when a more traditional technology may be even more effective.