Week 1: Electronically Mediated Teaching and Learning

Historically speaking, traditional inventions like the television and telephone have led to others in a span of decades. Not one invention has provoked such rapid changes in education as the invention of the computer. The technology currently available to students is a game changer. As the podcast speaker Katherine Mackey mentions, electronically mediated teaching and learning is important for students because it provides teachers opportunities to personalize lessons to meet their students’ needs and it gives students accessibility to many more resources than ever before. All these changes are not only great in terms of engaging and changing the dynamics of education but they are also necessary to meet the needs of students at a deeper level.

Sir Ken Robinson very articulately said in his TED Talk, How to Escape Education’s Death Valley, “The point is that education is not a mechanical system, it’s a human system. It’s about people, people who either want to learn or don’t want to learn.”
The education system in the United States has a culture of standardization leaving behind creativity and uniqueness. Teaching using technology allows for creativity, and individualization of the learning experience, getting teachers closer to meeting their students’ needs. In his talk he compares the education system in Finland to the United States and the basic most noticeable difference is that they individualize learning, and as he states, they don’t obsess over it.

If we are to attempt to meet the needs of all or most of our students, we need to start thinking in terms of how technology saves time to utilize with those students that need it and it allows for others to move at a faster pace, instead of being an additional aspect of teaching pushed by administration. The revolution that technology in the classroom is creating is pushing the boundaries of teacher-centered teaching and turning the responsibility to the students and making the teacher the facilitator. Technology allows teachers to stop spoon feeding information to students and instead turns the students into independent learners.

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