Distance education: a study analyzing the effectiveness of podcasts in a distance education found that along with being a good complement but not substitute for the traditional course materials course, podcasts contributed to an increase in student motivation. In particular, students felt they had close contact with their teachers and that a range of learning styles were accommodated through the provision of different kinds of learning materials. Read more Fernandez, Simo & Sallen (2009).
Large classes: the applications in large classes ofa range of mobile technologies including clickers (electronic voting systems), wireless laptop and digital camera, podcasts and vodcasts are described. The technologies were used to address teaching challenges like providing equitable learning environments and learning issues such as isolation in large classes. The examples demonstrate ways to use the different mobile technologies to encourage student interaction, extend learning, scaffold learning and flexibly deliver content. Read more Oliver (2007).
What you should think about when using spaces and learning technologies appropriately in your teaching
Answer Yes to these
Teaching philosophy: I believe in student-centred learning. I think about the contribution I am making to the development of students skills and capabilities for their future professional lives.
Pedagogies: Learning approaches that use space and learning technologies appropriately which characteristically emphasize constructivist learning suit my teaching.
Curriculum: There are specific learning outcomes I wish my students to have in my course.
Tools for learning: I can motivate my students to adopt strategies that use space and learning technologies appropriately. I can incorporate the use of space and learning technologies appropriately into my course.
Commitment: I can identify a ‘learning space’ or ‘learning technologies’ champion who will support innovative practice.
Why is it important?
New learning environments are being designed in response to changing pedagogical approaches that are student centred and incorporate learning technologies (Alexi Marmot Associates & Haa Design, 2006). Well designed physical spaces and learning technologies underpinned by specific pedagogical models for learning can work towards meeting current students’ needs for autonomy, connectivity and socio-experiential learning. Learning environments that create communities in which people can come together to collaborate, learn and build knowledge help develop abilities for now and the future for dealing with the technological and social changes of contemporary society (MCEETYA, 2008; McLoughlin & Lee, 2007).
What is it and how does it support learning? What does recent research say?
The purpose of ICT-rich learning environments is to blur the boundaries between learning and teaching, learners and teachers, formality and informality (MCEETYA, 2008). Learning technologies encourage students to extend their learning outside of formal classes by enabling activities such as community building, sharing information and seeking information (Cullen & Harris, 2009).
It is the ways in which learning technologies are used that make them learner centred tools (Cullen & Harris, 2009). Using learning technologies, particularly in fully online asynchronous environments, supports a learner centred approach to teaching when the teacher designs and sets up learning opportunities and then moves aside for students to engage in knowledge constructing learning (Cullen & Harris, 2009).
E-learning instruction should be designed so that students and instructors can spend more time on learning and teaching rather than managing the logistics. A recent study suggests that if attention is given to sufficient online design, strategic embedded learner support and efficient online communication then maximum time can be given to learning (Ley, 2005). Students should also know more than how to use learning technologies. They need to understand the educational benefits of the individual tool for their learning which also means teachers must address the pedagogical rationale for using the technology (Deng & Yuen, 2009).
The proliferation of social software has not only brought major social changes affecting how we live and work but has significantly enhanced opportunities in education for enabling choice, creativity and self-direction for learners (McLouglin & Lee, 2007). The most successful learning technologies meet a specific instructional need that has not been adequately addressed by traditional media. However, too much technology or technology that does not work well can be disadvantageous (Breslow, 2007).
Podcasting can accommodate a diverse range of student skills and learning styles (Fernandez, Simo & Sallen, 2009).In a recent study, students indicated that podcasts and vodcasts were beneficial online resources for learning and felt they were most useful when used alongside teaching materials such as powerpoints. They perceived that podcasts helped their understanding during the course and revision while vodcasts were useful for increased understanding of material (Parson, Reddy, Wood & Senior, 2009).