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Instructional Technologies

Instructional technology research shows that throughout the Twentieth Century, many changes have impacted the way that learning is facilitated within the public educational system, at age levels ranging from pre-kindergarten to adult education. An instructional technologies research outline will present an expansive review and analysis of the development of instructional technology over the last hundred years, with a particular focus upon the last several decades, as this represented an era in which the use of technology for learning applications increased considerably.

A Brief Outline of How to Write an Instructional Technologies Research Paper

For your project, you may want to first, center on the current extent of the use of instructional technology will be assessed, as well as the factors both limiting and contributing to its use. Then, the major advances in instructional technology from the past century will be identified and discussed, as will the pedagogical implications associated with each type of technology. In addition, the broad changes that the use of technology has implemented within our culture’s shared view of education will be considered. Finally, in conclusion, an over arching assessment of the impact of instructional technology, as well as the implications for the future, should be presented.

In summary:

  1. Begin by centering on the current use of instructional technologies in classrooms
  2. List and Describe major technological advances in a historical overview
  3. How instructional technologies have changed the view of education
  4. Assess the impact and implications for the future
Instructional Technologies

Technological Advances in Classroom Instruction

Numerous external social, cultural, and political shifts have profoundly effected our collective ideas about education and how knowledge is best produced and conveyed in a learning environment. Today, the daily activities and operations of a typical elementary school classroom would likely be unfathomable to a schoolmaster of the Nineteenth Century due to Instructional Technologies.

Although many aspects of Twenty-First century society have come together to enact sweeping changes in the current-day educational system, probably the most prominent area of change is the use of educational technology. Currently, pedagogical scenarios that would not have been imaginable even twenty years today have become standard practice in many schools.

Instructional Technologies in Higher Education

At the college level, distance learning, which leverages technology in order to transcend physical distances between student and teacher, is one of the fastest growing formats of teaching. The widespread advent of e-mail has revolutionized learning among older students and in college classrooms, greatly increasing the degree of communication between instructor and students, and fostering greater opportunities for class-wide discussion. The enormous potential of Internet technology has allowed students at many levels to expand exponentially their ability.

Although real life applications are vital to all learning schemes they cannot stand alone, regardless of instructional technology method employed to convey the knowledge, unless there exists on the part of the teacher a concerted effort to keep up with educational developments of the twenty first century; namely the incorporation of technology into the pedagogical arena. No longer can a teacher rely simply on a classic textbook for the purpose of transferring needed knowledge. As we enter a world wherein digital technologies for communication and data retrieval are becoming commonplace teachers must learn to incorporate the new trends into everyday classroom activity. When designing a curriculum wherein technology becomes an integral part of the lesson plan it is imperative that the teacher not only be knowledgeable about current and new pedagogical methods but be encouraged as to their usefulness in a learning environment. It becomes the teacher’s responsibility to bring to the student’s awareness the importance of change and innovation in an exploding technological society. Regardless of the subject being taught the teacher must convey to the students the usefulness of employing digital technology in the learning process. Further, by employing technological products the teacher must present these collaborative devises in such a way as to be motivating, efficient, and practical. The teacher must also caution students as not to use technology (i.e., computers) as a quick answer retrieval system, rather as a unique way in which to explore the many different and varied ways to help solve problems. To this end incorporating technology into the teaching of algebra to eight grade students the primary components are in the construction of standalone modules that students can access from their lab or home computer; creating a list of e-mail addresses wherein students can work corroboratively outside the classroom; converting part of the course content to independent computer study; designing clear algebra presentations using Power Point, Word Perfect, and Word Perfect; and seeking assistance from others who are proficient in, and using multimedia and Internet resources effectively.

No matter the amount of material presented, nor the manner in which the information is offered, the test of its usefulness lies in the evaluation of its applicability. Assessment of information is, therefore pivotal to the outcome of learning transference and retention. As stated earlier should the subject matter being taught not be transferred nor retained then all that has occurred is an exercise in futility. Assessment for the course in eight-grade algebra comes about through the positioning of activities that are constructive, problem solving, and enjoyable wherein a student’s strengths and needs are assessed in order to promote growth. Some examples include, but are not limited to, incremental tests, computer research, computer presentations, group assessed activities, and most importantly, self evaluation. Especially in the teaching of algebra assessing the gains a student has made in the mastery of the subject matter and the retention of the material there must always exist a respect for and an appreciation of a students need to learn, his or her willingness to learn, and the environment from which he or she has come. Without regard to these factors, the teaching of algebra will likely be burdensome and meaningless. All teachers, whether they are history, math, or English teachers must always make absolutely sure that their subject curriculum be progressive, interdisciplinary, and multicultural. The curriculum must be, therefore, interactive, developmental, and cumulative.

In summary, the use of instructional technologies involves what has been outlined above as well as being active, student-centered, and enriching. As a direct instructional provider we feel student leaning and assessment must be ongoing and performance based; provide a progressive sequence of interdisciplinary and multicultural content; and develop the necessary skills to evaluate and use new mathematical information. Educators, according to Ohlson, 1998, can only “Seek that which is steadfast and secure in nature, for only then can you deliver knowledge to another.”

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