My understanding of learning theories is much deeper now than before I started this course. I was able to see where in the spectrum of learning theories my philosophy of education falls. It was surprising to me that my philosophy of education touches on many of the theories of learning. I am a dedicated practitioner of Understanding by Design and Differentiated Instruction. Technology allows an educator to differentiate for each student by tiering for readiness, matching learners interest with content, and teaching for multiply intelligences. Understanding by Design ensures that my learning plans are completed purposefully. It also helps me to implement technology into my learning plans in a meaningful way.
My teaching was impacted by this class in several ways. At the beginning of this class, I was unsure when to use technology and when I should use more traditional methods in my classroom. My understanding of the appropriate time is much clearer. I will now use technology in my classroom when the technology serves a definite purpose. Technology has to meet the needs of my students. It has to provide content that is at their readiness level. It has to enable me to teach using multiple intelligences, and it has to provide an experience to students that they would not be able to experience without technology. The use of technology has to have purpose. It should not be used for the sake of using technology. I also learned that there is a time and place for all schools of thought. I believed that the only school of thought that was valid was constructivism. I now realize that, based on the students needs and readiness levels, all schools of thought play an important part in student success and learning.
Our province is implementing new curriculum in elementary grades. I am an elementary teacher. I am constantly considering what I am teaching, how I am teaching, and why I am teaching the content I deliver. At the forefront of my mind, while I am planning, is that I implement technology with a purpose. I also consider student readiness, interest, and how they learn best. While I am considering those three factors, I try to incorporate technology in the most relevant place.
Show how perceptions and approaches to educational technology have been influenced by prevailing educational theories – My final paper described how technology is used to ensure that differentiated instruction is applied in learning plans. Differentiated instruction would be very difficult to apply in a classroom without the use of technology. My paper describes what differentiated instruction is, the learning theories that it fits into, and the technological applications which help to apply it.
Describe and account for the origins of major theories and their influence on educational technology – The learning theories paper that I wrote reflected on Discovery Learning. This paper required me to research a learning theory and reflect on its origins and its key principles. Discovery learning requires students to interact with their environment by exploring and manipulating objects, wrestling with questions and controversies, or performing experiments. A technological application that fit well with this theory was simulation. Simulation allows learners to manipulate several factors and discover what the outcomes will be based on their decisions.
Distinguish between the theoretical positions that underlie current approaches to educational technology – our readings and videos for module one helped me to reflect on my practice in the classroom. I gained a greater understanding of learning theories and which learning theories I am actualizing in my learning plans. Technology is a priority in my classroom and I ensure that students are applying the most current applications available. It helped me to become cognizant of theory and their function in my classroom.