After reading several of the draft papers submitted by my peers in this class and the readings about learning theories, it is interesting to see how technology is such a vital support to learning. In my own paper, there were many technological supports for implementing differentiated instruction. I think the key is that there is no prescription for how to implement technology, what technology to implement, or when to implement technology. It seems as though each situation is different. Each of those situations will call for a different use of technology.
The learning theories that we analyzed this class also led me to believe that there is no learning theory that is better than another. Or, there is no one way of thinking that is superior to another. Each theory has its place depending on the learner. Constructivism will have a prominent role in a classroom when the learners are synthesizing or evaluating content. When a learner is called to recall data or understand the meaning of something, behaviorism may have a more active role in the learning plan.
In my classroom, I feel that it is important to get to know the students first. I will then be able to determine which way they learn best, what their readiness level is, and things that they enjoy. This information will help me to implement the most effective learning plan. It also allows me to choose the most effective technology for learning. It is at that time I can decide if I am going to use videos, blogs, a Wiki, PhotoStory, Kidspiration, Audacity, or any other form of technology to deliver my learning plan.
One of the questions I had at the beginning of this course was that I was not sure when to use technology or what technologies to use. I feel confident now saying that it entirely depends on the learners and the class. There is no right or wrong answer. The use of technology to assist learning in the classroom is entirely dependent on the learners and the content being delivered.
I will continue to make technology and its use in our school a priority. In order for students to be able to be challenged to their readiness level, technology is a must. It can enable teachers to tier their learning plans to accommodate each student and ensure that they are experiencing success in the classroom. This can be done very easily providing students the opportunity to listen to a story instead of reading it (Story Reader), allowing students to express what they have learned in print, audio, or video (i.e. Voice Thread or blogs), or providing students the opportunity to experience situations that they would not have the chance to (i.e. virtual realities).