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Curtin University

Educational alignment of learning technologies

Considerations for choosing technology for teaching

Knowing which technology to use for your online teaching can be difficult and sometimes overwhelming. This episode highlights issues you should keep in mind when making this decision.

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Technology should be integrated into education as enabling tools where we ask "Which technology will address my teaching need?" rather than reverse engineering our approach of trying to find a need for the technology. Technology has opened up the opportunities to provide personalised, flexible and inclusive educational programs that breakdown boundaries and provide for authentic learning experiences (Laurillard, 2008).

The following educational alignment of technologies has been designed to better inform you of the educational affordances of each technology. Technologies are aligned to four learning principles - reflection, collaboration, authentic tasks and creation.

The announcement tool is an effective one to many communication tool designed for teaching staff to push notices to groups of students. This simple tool can play a vital role in your communication strategy.

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Reflective:

Some blog tools allow you to add a post by sending an e-mail. Blogs are a primary tool for reflection and e-mail acts as a convenient editing medium.

Collaborative:

E-mail is useful for confidential or formal communications. It can be difficult to manage numerous e-mail discussions and another tool should be considered.

Authentic:

E-mail is an authentic communication tool when dealing with industry professionals.

Create:

Unless you are using e-mail to create a remote blog post another tool should be considered.

Reflective:

The act of discussing and sharing ideas fosters the consideration of various perspectives and encourages independent thinking.

Collaborative:

Discussion boards are a communication environment that fosters knowledge seeking and information sharing.

Authentic:

The diverse applications of discussion boards means that it can be a useful learning tool for any context and can facilitate any form of discussion.

Create:

Discussions boards are not intended for presentation; however it is possible to provide links to resources you wish to share.

Reflective:

The group can be given access to their own discussion board, blog, podcast and other Blackboard tools. This can allow students to reflect on their learning, provide feedback to their peers and to facilitate their cooperative efforts.

Collaborative:

The Group Tool can be an effective and efficient way of setting up group workspaces for students with all the tools they need to collaborate automatically included.

Authentic:

Putting students into smaller work groups reflects real-life project scenarios. It gives students a sense of belonging and responsibility.

Create:

The group tool provides access to a wide range of Blackboard tools that can be suitable for developing and presenting student work.

Reflective:

A Blog effectively facilitates the aggregation of students' personal commentaries and supporting materials developed to express their interpretations of a topic.

Collaborative:

The comment features allows peers to further discuss a topic or provide feedback. Blogs can be jointly authored with students assuming different roles.

Authentic:

Sharing blogs with the wider knowledge community provides opportunities to working alongside field experts. It can also motivate students to do their best work.

Create:

Blogs give students identity and ownership. They allow for the inclusion of music, video and image. Viewing permissions can restrict or enable community sharing.

Reflective:

Reflective writing can be completed in a wiki however a blog may be a more appropriate tool for students to capture their learning journey.

Collaborative:

Wikis are commonly used for collaborative work fostering the development of students' communication and teamwork skills. Information on student contribution is retained.

Authentic:

A wiki represents a work-in-progress, where students build on and critically assess their work to reshape notes and ideas into a comprehensive document.

Create:

The interlinked pages that form the wiki provide for efficient presentation of a variety of information and media.

Reflective:

Student reflections can be captured as audio recordings rather than written text. It allows for ideas to flow naturally and creatively.

Collaborative:

Podcasts can be creative works with multiple contributors. Subscribing to a podcast broadens the community of knowledge.

Authentic:

Audiovisual materials evoke an element of reality that is captured and conveyed in an efficient and convenient way.

Create:

Podcasts allow for a diverse application of audio visual resources that can be developed with ease using a variety of technologies.

Reflective:

Use Hotseat reports to isolate key areas of concern for reflection and review in tutorials.

Collaborative:

Class can construct responses and suggest questions in real-time.

Authentic:

Hotseat engages the learners own preferred technology and gives them a voice in the lecture.

Create:

Create a hierarchy of interest in topics.

iLecture and Echo 360 PCap Tool information | Showcase |

Reflective:

iLecture allows students to subscribe to, listen and watch lectures at times convenient to them for their learning needs.

Collaborative:

Lecture recordings do not foster collaborative learning. However web 2.0 video technologies such as YouTube and Vimeo allow users to subscribe, leave a comment, rate and share.

Authentic:

It is possible to upload a video of a situation that is otherwise inaccessible to students.

Create:

iLecture allows lecturers to publish any audio video material within the constraints of copyright.

Reflective:

There is an abundance of tools that foster reflective learning. There are tools that help students gather and share mixed media artefacts, bookmarks and resources.

Collaborative:

The social focus of web 2.0 tools transforms the majority of web 2.0 learning tools into collaborative working spaces.

Authentic:

Harnessing web 2.0 tools for learning develops student digital literacy in preparation for the technology saturated working environment.

Create:

Break out of the shell and deliver a presentation that is creative, innovative, engaging, collaborative and interactive.

Reflective:

By encouraging and facilitating student input and involvement, an Bb Collaborate session will stimulate deeper learning.

Collaborative:

Breakout rooms in Bb Collaborate provide a space for groups of students to work together in addressing a question or topic.

Authentic:

Bb Collaborate sessions can be accessed anywhere that has internet access, enabling various student cohorts and guests to participate.

Create:

From presentation to highly interactive tutorials, Bb Collaborate is an excellent real time online learning environment.

Reflective:

Take a photo, annotate it and tweet it (microblog) all on a mobile device

Collaborative:

Attend a virtual classroom, participate in discussion boards, or chat via Skype all on a mobile device

Authentic:

Develop 21st century digital literacy skills

Create:

Create a map, digital story or blog post. More and more is possible every day

Reflective:

A self reflective quiz can help a student identify their strengths and weaknesses and further guide their study.

Collaborative:

Tests, quizzes and surveys are completed individually however results for an information gathering questionnaire can represent a larger cohort.

Authentic:

Tests, quizzes and surveys are efficient ways of gathering information from a large number of students at one time.

Create:

Student generated quiz questions can foster critical analysis of content in order to devise good questions

 

Laurillard, D. (2008). Digital technologies and their role in achieving our ambitions for education: Institute of Education, University of London.