MIL Activity 8.4 Digital literacy for 21st century learning and teaching

What do you think are the benefits of using digital technologies or ICT (information communication technologies) for school or community-based learning?

Currency – recent thinking and reporting

Variety/diversity – broader range of information than what is available off-line

Suitability – info that matches the developmental stages, needs, nationality of the researcher

Responses to the video 10 benefits of digital tech from Amplivox

1 Students love it

‘Students love [technology]’ is a foolish reason to use it. Students love sugar too, but that doesn’t mean sugar should be the engine of learning. ‘Students enjoy learning using technology’ is a better reason. And this is the FIRST reason? Wouldn’t it be better to start with ‘tech use improves learning?’

2 Engages 4 key components to learning: active engagement, group participation, feedback and connection to real-world experts.

Well, tech can if applied well, but this is a very conditional statement. It depends significantly on the choices of hardware, software and their uses.

3 PD

Again, a very conditional statement, depending on what hardware, software and activities are used.

4 Makes life easier for teachers

Rarely, if ever, does tech make life easier for teachers. It requires a learning curve and maintenance. It can make life more interesting and learning more effective, but rarely easier.

5 Improves test scores

A dubious benefit since standardized tests and their scores are highly suspect as measures of real learning.

6 Helps students with short attention spans

Ironic as many detractors of tech claim that it shortens students’ attention  spans. Combined with #1 above, it can help students pay more attention if they are engaged in the learning activity.

7 Learn from the experts – free resources

This is true when the experts are authentic and communicate at the students’ levels. WWW files are rarely leveled for comprehension and development, so need vetting using IL strategies.

8 Encourages homework (flipped classroom)

Ironic again because it means that homework is done in class, which makes it classwork.

9 Saves money – multiplies teachers in classroom

Direct contradiction of the intro, which states that tech will not replace teachers. It is inaccurate, if not bad PR, to call tech a teacher and suggest that teachers should use it. Tech is learning assistance appropriately applied by professional teachers.

10 Removes obstacles to learning

This plays into the hands of the producer (Amplivox), which manufactures and sells an antiquated teaching aid: amplified voice. Their definition of ‘obstacle’ is hearing difficulty. There is no mention of sight impairment.

Overall, this video presents 10 debatable and inaccurate representations of learning with tech. Most significantly, it omits media and information literacy as benefits of tech in learning.


Posted on April 23, 2013, in UNESCO Media & Information Literacy Course. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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