Friday, April 25, 2008

Use of Technology in Learning

Imagine there's a classroom. I wonder if you can. Imagine one teacher teaching in that classroom. Now imagine more classrooms. Imagine one teacher teaching in all those classrooms. How is it possible you say? Simple - videoconferencing. Through the use of technology, many classrooms in Ontario are changing the way we learn. Students are using online learning communities, moodles, blogs, videoconferencing and yes "cell phones" and PDA's to learn.

Teachers often complain of cell phone text messaging use in the classroom. Why can't students learn to turn it off? Why not turn the negative into a positive? Just today, I noticed a student using a cell phone as a calculator to do her math. With internet access through cell phones, the possibilities are endless.

Yesterday I sat in on a videoconference with a famous author. The author, through the use of videoconferencing, was able to "teach" 3 classrooms simultaneously and might I add, successfully. What an idea!!

A York University initiative called ABEL has enabled many schools in Ontario to use technology to teach their courses. Through access to the latest technology, ABEL teachers can create online chats, blogs, moodle and videoconferencing. My own personal experience with ABEL has been very positive. Students can log onto the moodle with their passwords and see what they have to do this week. They love it!

Use of technology in classrooms can be viewed negatively by some, however, this is a case where the positive outweighs the negative. Technology is here to stay. Why not harness its prowess?

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