Technology in teaching
Today in Cyprus an argument discussion is made about the effectiveness of using technology in classroom and learning outcomes. Traditional teachers continue their teaching by using the classical theories of learning. The Ministry of Education in Cyprus has decided to begin in-service training to those teachers who are not familiar with the use of new technology. But the last years a new generation of teachers believes that the use of computing and telecommunications technology, learning can also be qualitatively different. The process of learning in the classroom can become significantly richer as students have access to new and different types of information. Also students can work on the computer, or controlled experiments, and can communicate their results and conclusions in a variety of media to their teacher and students around the world. For example, using technology, students can collect environmental, and populations data from their country, use that data to create color maps and graphs, and then compare these maps to others created by students in other communities. Also, instead of reading about the human body system and seeing textbook pictures, students can use technology to see human body online, or through video and multimedia sources.
Most of teachers are familiar with the learning theories behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism. But knowledge today is growing exponentially. It is important to say that these theories were developed in a time when learning was not impacted through technology. Especially the last years, technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and how we learn. Learning needs and theories that describe learning principles and processes should be reflective of underlying social environments like technology.
Some important technology effects in learning are the following:
- Learning today occurs in different ways like: self learning, personal networks, through communities of practice etc.
- Learning is a continuing process in our lifetime.
- Learning and work activities are in the same position in many cases.
- Learning use technology as a tool for more effective results.
- Technology links learner with school environment and organizations.
- Learning theories can be supported by technology.
- Learning and knowledge resources support each other.
- By using technology in classroom pupils like it better, improved teachers's and school management.
- Use of technology improves student's confidence, collaboration, and attitudes.
- Use of technology improves student's writing and reading skills.
- Use of technology increases student's opportunities for most careers.
Our main interest as educators is on student centered approach. By using technology in teaching the teachers results in:
- Increased interest in teaching, and teacher productivity.
- Increased emphasis on individualized instruction.
- More time engaged by teachers advising students.
- Interest in experimenting with technology.
- Rethinking of curriculum and instructional strategies.
- Increased teacher and administrator communication.