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Applying Technology in Classroom

Technological disruptions are affecting
virtually all aspects of the society. In the 21st century, numerous
academic organizations have adopted the use of technology in the classrooms.
The underpinning factor for the widespread use of technology in the classrooms
is the efficiency. The term efficiency is broad, however, in the educational context;
efficiency is the ease of delivery of
teaching. The relevant organizations including the government are investing
massive resources in developing technological infrastructures in schools.
Significant improvements have been realized
in the education sector. The educational systems in the developed countries
have sufficient technological resources.
In these developed countries, learners are
introduced to the technological in
the elementary stages. The process continues
to higher levels of education such as colleges and universities. Developing
countries are grappling with myriad economic challenges. As such, few
educational institutions have well-developed technological infrastructures. The
efficacy of technology in the classroom is realized when the educators have a
comprehensive understanding of the theories of learning and incorporate it with the issues that affect the usage
of technology in education.

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In using technology in the classrooms,
tutors, instructors, and teachers must understand the core objective of
learning. Learning is a broad aspect that encompasses the process of connecting
personal and environmental experiences of an individual and influencing
enrichment, acquisition, and modification of knowledge, worldviews, behavior,
values, attitude, and skills (Anderson, 2016).
Theorists and scholars started a scientific study of learning in the mid-20th
century. These scientists contributed to the pool of knowledge in this field by postulating community of practice,
multiple intelligence, situated learning theory, experiential learning, social
constructivism, cognitive psychology, constructivism, and behaviorist theories
(Olson, 2015). It is projected that educators will achieve significant results in the
classrooms if they can effectively apply the theories
of learning with the use of technology.

In this particular context, the most
influential theories of learning include behaviorism and cognitive psychology.
A fundamental question that should be asked
is whether application of technology is affected by the theories above. Behaviorism is based
on the assumption that education changes the behavior of the learner. Can
technology affect the behavior of a student or learners? The second question is
whether educational technology can influence the cognitive psychology of
students. It is arguable that these two theories define the basic concepts of
education. The process of learning aims at achieving the two objectives (Bernard et al., 2014). The learners gain
sufficient skills that are required for
survival in the dynamic environment. Educators have an uphill task of ensuring
that students grasp the concepts that are
delivered in the classroom. This process represents
a continuum of events; the ultimate goal
is evident on the ability of the learners to apply the concepts in solving real-life situations (Anderson, 2016). The students or learners navigate through the
challenging path of positively contributing to the shaping of the economic,
political, and social landscapes of the society and the global community.

Teachers have experienced the demanding nature of enhancing the learning
process. It is an assumption from the people who are unfamiliar with education
sector that the roles of a teacher are limited to delivering lectures and
examining students. This assumption is devoid of the unlimited roles that the teachers bear in the educational
sector. Educators are also managers, entertainers, psychologists, community
ambassadors, custodians, and counselors (Bernard et al., 2014). For a teacher to produce
holistic students, he or she must execute all the roles. Technology in the tutorial
room can expedite effective execution of
the roles and responsibilities of educators. It is evident that the teachers
are facing unprecedented challenges in executing their roles. At this point, it is essential to determine an efficient way
of assisting teachers. Technology comes in handy to aid the teachers in
performing their duties.

It is
envisaged that technology in classroom
will liberate the teachers (Hooper & Rieber,
1995). However, it is critical to understand the fundamental concepts of
educational technology. In applying technology in classroom, the perspective of the classroom
must be re-conceptualized to learner-centered.
Secondly, both the teachers and learners must collaborate or partner with
technology to create a society that nurtures, supports and encourages learning
process. Distinguishing between technology in education
and educational technology is important. Technology in education is a
perception on the quantifiable amount of the devices an institution owns (Hooper & Rieber, 1995). For example, the
number of computers, projectors, and videocassettes may define technology in
education. This is a misleading way of
construing educational technology. Educational technology is the utilization of
technological ideas in providing an enabling learning environment. Educational technologist assesses how the
classroom may change when technology is
incorporated into the curriculum. Assimilation of technology in the classroom implies the necessity to change the
setting to meet the opportunities that are
accompanied by technology.

Educational technology is synonymous with instructional innovation. Technology is a
product of evolution. As such, the evolving knowledge is used in enhancing the traditional knowledge and concepts. Over the
past 50 years, the society has experienced an improvement in the number
of technological innovations. However, the education sector has been affected
to a lower degree with the technological innovation. Researchers have developed
a model for explaining the educational technology. The model is multistep and is designed in a pyramidal structure. It
consists of the following phases, evolution, reorientation, integration,
utilization, and familiarization. The efficacy of educational technology will be realized if the educators progress through
the five phases (Hooper & Rieber, 1995). According to educational technologists, the traditional roles of technology were limited to familiarization, utilization,
and integration. It is important to note that
the roles of technology in classrooms have been modified to incorporate
two additional phases that are
reorientation and evolution.

In discussing the model of educational
technology, educators or teachers should start from the fundamental point that is familiarization (McCombs, 2000). In applying the desired or appropriate technology
in the classroom, the teacher should be well
acquainted with that particular technology. Ordinarily, teachers are
familiarized with the technology by attending workshops or seminars. In
these forums, the teachers will be introduced
to the technology and how they can use it to achieve class objectives.
Different subjects require different technologies. For instance, a teacher of
physics will require an educational
technology that is dissimilar to that one needed
by a teacher of Geography or History. This
means that familiarization stage introduces the educators to the choice of appropriate technology. In the
seminars or workshops, the teachers gain firsthand experiences on the
educational technology and question its applicability in the classroom. The
teacher can learn the fundamentals of the
technology and offer incisive criticism on that particular technology (McCombs,
2000). Considering the theories of learning that have been discussed, the teacher will use the
knowledge to predict how the technology might affect the behavior and cognitive
psychology of the students. It is assumed
that the teacher has an in-depth understanding of the capabilities of the
learners. The educator will utilize the extra
expertise that is required for the determining the psychological stability of
the learners.

The second phase of the model is the
utilization. In this phase, the educator
will apply the technology in the classroom setting. The teacher who is at this stage has gone beyond the
familiarization stage to try the technology
out. However, an inherent danger that lurks for educators is the premature
satisfaction when the limited use of that technology (Wang et al., 2010). This stage is
critical as it determines whether the technology will proceed to the later stage or will be discarded. Teachers are likely to reject a technology if they experience some troubles with it. As such, this stage is arguably the highest phase that
educators may adopt with a particular technology. The third phase is integration. It is a breakthrough in
the classroom. The educator will incorporate the technology into the curriculum by designing specific tasks to accomplish.
Teachers will view the technology as an integral aspect of learning. Such
implies that the technology becomes indispensable. This stage represents the
last phase of adoption; however, it only represents
the genesis of in-depth understanding of
the educational technology. Integration of technology marks the beginning of
professional metamorphosis if the teachers further the adoption pattern.

The fourth stage is the reorientation. The
phase requires the instructors to reconceptualize the objective and function of
the classroom. Conceptualization of the class enhances the knowledge
acquisition by the provision of an
enabling learning environment. Reorientation phase treats the student as the
subjects. The educators strive to ensure that their students gain the requisite
knowledge on those particular problems tackled in the classroom. The last stage
of educational technology is the evolution. By evolution, it means that the
education system must be flexible and adapt to the technological changes
affecting it. This is the hallmark of
successful application of technology in the classroom. Educators who have
successfully undergone the five stages
will utilize the technology to the advantage of the students.

In education, there is a continuum of
learning philosophies that are critical to
the education system. There are instructions and constructions. The instruction focuses on the teaching technique
of the educator. The teacher should disseminate
good instructions
to the students. Consequently, it is expected that the students will pass. Instructions are more aligned to the behavioral
adaptation of the students. Constructions deals exclusively with the cognitive
abilities of the students. It is anticipated
that students will actively construct knowledge as an individual effort. In the
process of teaching, there is a clear-cut line of transformation that separates
the two sides, that is the transition from behavioral to cognitive view. In
applying technology in the classroom, it
is important for the educator to have an
objective approach in the classroom. The
two perspective of educational transformation affects the efficacy of educational system. The teachers should
understand the factors that promote the transformation.
The ultimate goal of the classroom process is to ensure that students can grasp the concepts learned and used them to make necessary changes in the
society. The ability of students to learn the concepts depends on the cognitive
development and prowess. Using technology in the classroom should consider the
cognitive impacts of that particular technology.

Contemporary roles of educational
technology supersede the traditional roles (Zhao
et al., 2002). Educational goal is
numerous. Among those numerous goals, the educational
psychologists have emphasized three cognitive outcomes. The cognitive goals
include the ability of students to remember, comprehend, and utilize the
information. Ostensibly, achieving one the outcomes
is a daunting task for both students and
the teachers. Skeptics are questioning the essence of education, as many
students are unable to use the information they learned during school years (McCombs, 2000). It is believed that inability of the learners to use the information
acquired in school is attributed the superficially processing that is evident
in the schools. Seemingly, the schoolwork is more focused on organizing and
remembering the lesson content rather than making the classroom sessions more
meaningful to the learners. Scholars have identified three stages that affect
meaningfulness of information (Spector et al., 2014). The stages include selection, organization, and
incorporation. The students select the information they deem important, after the selection of random information, it is
organized. For information to be
meaningful, it has to be organized. The
degree of meaningfulness depends on the nature of the organization. Educators should ensure that information is incorporated with familiar experience or knowledge
for it to be long-lasting. Contrastingly,
information that is associated with
unfamiliar knowledge has a short
duration. One outcome of education is the vast
reserve of inert information that remains
underutilized and is eventually forgotten by the learners. The focal point of
the argument is based on the instructional nature of education. Using technology
in classroom falls under this category. Such implies that it is crucial to evaluate better methods of using
technology to improve meaningfulness of information.

Assuming an educator has a background in the learning theories, the psychology of education and application of
technology in a classroom setting, the
objectives of learning will be achieved.
The information that the students will acquire in the classroom will be utilized in the later life. Efficacy of
educational technology is evaluated on the quality of students that are produced (Spector
et al., 2014). If upon evaluation, the student’s exhibit remarkable
improvement, the technology used in education will be sustained and the educators will be inspired to cover more
areas. However, if the results are beyond expectation,
the legitimacy, efficacy, and viability
of the technology will be questioned. As such, it becomes a matter of extreme
importance when an educator is considering using
technology in the classroom. The contemporary learning environment is
based on the unfettered urge to ensure
that all aspect of education is premised
on technology. The trend can lead to unplanned moves that may be detrimental to
the education system. Numerous factors are in play.
Hence they should be considered before adoption of any educational
technology.

In conclusion, it is evident that
technological disruption is continually affecting the educational landscape.
Educators are instrumental in determining the efficacy of technology in the
classroom setting. The traditional roles of technology have changed. The
current society is incorporating theories of learning and technology in
improving knowledge retention and utilization. As such, it one of the education
goals is likely to be achieved. Technology in the classroom enhances the efficiency. Effective use of technology in education
improves the quality of students output. Educators should apply knowledge in the classroom after conducting an in-depth
analysis of all factors that shape
students’ knowledge and experience. It is incumbent upon all the education stakeholders
to work collectively in promoting technology in the classrooms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Anderson, T. (2016). Theories for learning with emerging
technologies. Emerging technologies in distance education.

Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Schmid, R.
F., Tamim, R. M., & Abrami, P. C. (2014). A meta-analysis of blended
learning and technology use in higher education: from the general to the
applied. Journal of Computing in
Higher Education, 26(1),
87-122.

Hooper, S., & Rieber, L. P. (1995). Teaching with technology. Teaching:
Theory into practice, 2013, 154-170.

McCombs, B. L. (2000). Assessing
the Role of Educational Technology in the Teaching and Learning Process: A
Learner-Centered Perspective.

Olson, M. H. (2015). An
introduction to theories of learning. Psychology Press.

Spector, J. M., Merrill, M. D., Elen, J., & Bishop, M. J.
(Eds.). (2014). Handbook of
research on educational communications and technology (pp. 439-451).
New York, NY: Springer.

Wang, F., Kinzie, M. B., McGuire, P., &
Pan, E. (2010). Applying technology
to inquiry-based learning in early childhood education. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37(5),
381-389.

Zhao, Y., Pugh, K., Sheldon, S., & Byers, J. L. (2002). Conditions for classroom technology
innovations. Teachers college record, 104(3), 482-515.

 

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