connell

					Preparing teachers for tomorrows
technology enhanced classrooms

       Michael L. Connell, Ph.D.
                    344 FAH
              College of Education
              University of Houston
              Houston, TX 77204
               MKahnl@aol.com
  A Few Thoughts On Educational
     Technology and Change…
Students today can't prepare bark to calculate their
  problems. They depend upon their slates which
  are more expensive. What will they do when the
  slate is dropped and it breaks? They will be
  unable to write.
...Teachers Conference, 1703
Students today can't depend upon store bought
  ink. They don't know how to make their own.
  When they run out of ink, they will be unable to
  write words or cipher until their next trip to the
  settlement. This is a sad commentary on modern
  times.
...Rural American Teacher 1829
Ball point pens will be the ruin of education in our
  country. Students use these devices and then
  throw them away! The American virtues of thrift
  and frugality are being discarded. Business and
  banks will never allow such expensive luxuries.
...Federal Teacher, 1959
Calculators and computers will be the ruin of Math
   education. Students will never learn math
   concepts. How will they calculate when they
   don't have their calculator with them.
...Many Teachers Today
           Changes in Society
Society is rapidly changing from an industrial focus
 emphasizing manufacturing to a highly
 information-centered orientation. This change in
 focus has created dramatic changes in the nature
 of life and environment in the society we live in.
Harnisch, D. L. & Connell, M. L. (1991). An
introduction to educational information
technology. 3rd Edition. NEC Technical
College: Kawasaki, Japan.
      Change is not a constant!
We have already seen dramatic changes in the
 nature of life and society. Furthermore, changes
 in an information-based society occur at a
 continuously accelerating rate. 6000000




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         Information Overload
As information management tools become more
 common in the work place, in school and at
 home, the time that is spent in dealing with
 information will become greater.
Furthermore, we are often at a loss to evaluate the
 reliability and accuracy of the information we are
 buried under.
     Drinking from the Fire Hose
Notice we haven't even mentioned the internet and
 it’s implications for education yet!

It is often said that researching a topic on the
   internet is like trying to drink from a fire hose –
   you get more than you want, or can even handle,
   but it certainly is what you need!
              So now what?
How can we help prepare teachers to manage this
 flood of information for effective teaching? And
 what kind of teachers should we prepare?
          Who will teach
in an Information-Based Society?
Some people still imagine a teacher-replacement scenario
 when thinking of technology in the classroom. In this
 view discussion concentrates on replacing teachers with
 machines, and the perceived efficiency of teaching.
               The Human Case
Such an approach comes from a basic misunderstanding
 of the foundational role of teacher. In this simplified
 perspective a teacher is viewed as a mere provider of
 stimulus, evaluator of results, and guide to next stimulus
 – in other words a human Skinner box.
Does this look familiar?
           Teaching Thinking
However, education involves human growth. Thus
 the mere development of new information
 sources and presentation schemes does not
 immediately lead to improvements in wisdom -- or
 pedagogical methods.

We cannot limit ourselves to simplified models of
 teaching which reproduce a Skinner box!
 Expert Teachers in Technology
     Enhanced Classrooms
The role of the teacher, far from being replaced by
 a simple instructional delivery system, is actually
 more critical in a technologically enhanced
 classroom.
           Teachers Roles
        Are Enhanced As Well
The tremendous flow of information possible in a
 technology enhanced classroom, coupled with
 the immense modeling and tools which
 technology enables, makes the role of teacher of
 critical importance.
     How should we teach in an
       information society?
Clearly we must enable our teachers to become
 not just skilled at using technological tools, but to
 become skilled at knowledge creation, validation,
 and enabling these same skills in others.
  Teacher Competencies in an
      Information Society

A competent teacher is not only skilled in
 observing students' behavior, analyzing student
 data and evaluating student performance but also
 is skilled in using technology to gather
 information and prepare instructional materials,
 present lessons, and obtain students' feedback.
       A Guide to Information
A competent teacher serves as a guide to
 information resources. The teacher must be able
 to analyze new information and evaluate existing
 information within the context of a meaningful
 problem setting.
          Problem Solving in an
           Information Society.
A legitimate problem for investigation using a
  computer might involve:
 Identification and selection of what data to include in a
  problem
 Identification of problem goals
 selection of appropriate procedures and control
  statements
 Verification of obtained results.
Thoughts on the Role of Teaching
The best environment for students is not created solely by
 installing an expensive CAI system or by preparing fine
 instructional materials. It can only be created by having a
 pool of capable teachers.
Such teachers must be as comfortable with pedagogy as
 they are with content. They must be as comfortable with
 a student as they are with a computer mouse.
            Student Skills in an
            Information Society
A primary objective of education in an information
  society should be to enable students to:
 receive information and respond to it intelligently,
 create information that is considered to have high value
  by others,
 select and comprehend information required for creation
  of new ideas,
 communicate one's thought accurately and concisely
  using appropriate representations.
             Closing Thoughts
We must ask the difficult questions concerning at what
 point technology enters into educational efforts and the
 affects upon desired educational values. If not, we run a
 great risk of misapplication which could seriously
 damage the educational enterprise.
On the other hand, when the goals, values and
 assumptions of education - including a careful
 examination of the role of the teacher - are carefully
 considered the adoption of technology may well live up
 to it's promise as a powerful educational tool.
                     References
 Harnisch,D. L. & Connell, M. L. (1991). An introduction to
  educational information technology. 3rd Edition. NEC Technical
  College:Kawasaki, Japan.

 Connell,M. L. (1997). AI or IA: The Choice is Yours! Educational
  Technology Review, Summer(7), 27-29.

				
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posted:2/17/2012
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