On technology and pedagogy
My perspective – derived from personal experiences – is that technology is now more commonly accepted that it was a few years ago. More ‘traditional’ teachers are still not very fond of it but the younger ones are. Still, using technologies in pedagogy requires rules and common sense – it must be learned to serve us as a tool otherwise we end up being dependent on it and unable to use the ‘old ways’. This applies to writing, (re)searching and even oral communication (it’s not uncommon here to see youngsters saying ‘lol’ instead of actually laughing). Another thing that must be addressed is to be able to browse, to look and to find what one needs through all the noise and overflow of information. Many, including myself, faced this right here on this MOOC. ‘Keep calm and carry on’ fits perfectly because at the end of week one with so many posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and personal blogs the feeling can be deferring – I wouldn’t be surprised if people have given up seeing such information to process!
Innovative methodologies to get the young ‘digital natives’ to learn is to turn everything into a game (Gamification) so that they get to do their tasks and assignments by incentives and systems of achievements they know so well from videogames – example: DreamBox Learning. This trend goes further than education into healthcare – see Gluco-Share or Ayogo. They’re fundamentally utopic in nature – by using this sort of methods students learn more and learn better because this is how they think anyway so it’s easier for them and in ten or twenty years’ time this will form great minds that can think further ahead and in ways we never thought possible. Critics, think otherwise, where the reliance on technologies can ‘desensitize’ kids who see the world through monitor proxies and avatars eventually leading to and Idiocracy.
Now the challenge must be finding a middle ground, a point of equilibrium to help the digital natives see that this sure can be fun and helpful but it’s not the only way, especially by actually physically doing stuff. Google is a great engine but sometimes it can be easy as asking someone who knows about given subject or saving the ‘need’ to know right away to a later time, where you can look for info in a book.