The Challenge Of Defining Media And Technology In Teaching

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Media has many definitions ranging from "a particular form of communication" as in "print versus video" to "the industry that provides news and entertainment" as in "the media." For the purposes of this Literature Review media is defined as "all means of communication, whatever its format" (Reid, 1994, p. 51). In this sense, media include symbol systems as diverse as print, graphics, animation, audio, and motion pictures.

Similarly, technology has many definitions ranging from "the application of the scientific method to solve problems as in 'the technology of space exploration'" to "the things or processes which embody knowledge or craft within a culture as in 'the technology of writing'." Within this report, technology is defined as "any object or process of human origin that can be used to convey media." In this sense, technology includes phenomena as diverse as books, films, television, and the Internet.

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With respect to education, media are the symbol systems that teachers and students use to represent knowledge; technologies are the tools that allow them to share their knowledge representations with others.

The confounding of media (a symbol system) with technology (a delivery system for media) is unlikely to go away in popular discourse about education any time soon, but the distinction between media and technology must be clarified as unambiguously as possible if their impact is to be understood. The following quote from the Sixth Edition of the Encyclopedia of Educational Research (Alkin, 1992) clarifies this distinction:

Computer-based technologies cannot be regarded as "media," because the variety of programs, tools, and devices that can be used with them is neither limited to a particular symbol system, nor to a particular class of activities...... In this light, "the computer" is in fact a "multifaceted invention" of many uses, a symbolic tool for making, exploring, and thinking in various domains. It is used to represent and manipulate symbol systems - language, mathematics, music - and to create symbolic products - poems, mathematical proofs, compositions. (Salomon, 1992, p. 892)

Salomon's (1992) important distinctions between media as symbol systems and technologies as tools or vehicles for sharing media will be used throughout this paper

Research shows that students learn more when they are able to interact with their teachers and their classmates and classroom technology as stated by AACC Cerkovnik would help to improve the lectures. Online tutorials, video based classes. Smart classrooms cost between $19,000- $25,000. Training and help would be needed to ensure that this is a success though. Community College Journal Oct/Nov 2008

Before undertaking projects, educators should 1) feel comfortable using technology to teach, 2) understand the meaning of culture and the most effective and appropriate ways to study it, and 3) employ pedagogically sound strategies for guiding students in project-based learning experiences and facilitating collaboration with teachers and students in international classrooms done through the whole process of doing an online collaboration. Online education can facilitate, teachers can brainstorm collaborate share success stories and problem solve and exchange ideas and engage in Teacher Mentoring.

Teacher mentoring is realized through the development of a personal relationship between new teachers and other professionals to add value to education. In our Caribbean Society we may find that this is not often possible so teachers usually have to come up with creative solutions toward teaching students and encouraging learning while also taking on the other responsibilities that go along with the teaching profession.

The traditional classroom is expected to include a TV, DVD, a camera and a projector. A touch screen interfaces that persons could use a touchscreen so that they are able interactive display of information and interactive whiteboards to use in the schools. Even going online can increase a person's usage of interactive online learning environment.

Maddux (1998) says that the reason that technology has been unsuccessful in the classroom is that a) it is caused by a lack of fund b) those changed by attitudinal changes.

Research shows that students learn more when they are able to interact with their teachers and their classmates and classroom technology as stated by AACC Cerkovnik would help to improve the lectures. Online tutorials, video based classes. Smart classrooms cost between $19,000-$25,000. Training and help would be needed to ensure that this is a success though . Community College Journal Oct/Nov 2008

MANAGING Student Academic Work can also assist in the controlling of inappropriate behaviour.

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Most inappropriate behavior in classrooms that is not seriously disruptive and can be managed by relatively simple procedures that prevent escalation. Effective classroom managers practice skills that minimize misbehavior and the practice and use of technology in the classroom can make this a reality. When students' attention are engaged it makes it less likely for them to want to be involved in other unproductive activities. It now makes it easier for the teacher to redirect the student to what the rest of the class should be doing ( This could also have the effect of being a distraction from the usual chalk/whiteboard and talk methods that are traditional in the implementation of teaching in the classroom)

- More serious, disruptive behaviors such as fighting, continuous interruption of lessons, possession of drugs and stealing require direct action according to school board rule.

Basic principles of classroom time management allows us to recognize that letting students take over lets them take the initiative to be responsive to the classroom dynamic in group activities

The teacher however must always be the guide helping the students to work through whatever problems that that your estimate is low.

In classrooms, the most prevalent positive consequences are intrinsic student satisfaction resulting from success, accomplishment, good grades, social approval and recognition. This is why social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter are as important as they contribute widely to the whole concept of social recognition.

While praise used effectively can increase a student's confidence and thus their performance it must be expressed in a genuineness, and must be hone in on a specific quality of a child. Technology helps the child to discover the quality that they may have determined to be lacking

Technology in our busy everyday lives help us to save time. Can you imagine a life without microwaves and cars. One in which we have to walk everyday to go to our various destinations? This may seem just the impossible.

While many may seem to be against the use of television and the computer as primary means to replacing teaching in the classroom this may not always be a negative. The undermentioned shows us some reasons:

Dorr (1992) indicates that most children in the USA view less than 30 minutes of television a week in school whereas their home televisions are on nearly seven hours per day! Why isn't television used more widely in education? The teacher plays the major role in deciding what happens in the classroom, and as long as teachers experience difficulty in previewing videos, obtaining equipment, incorporating programs into the curriculum, and linking television programming to assessment activities, television viewing will continue to be relatively rare in classrooms. It also seems likely that the widespread public belief that television has detrimental effects on development, learning, and behavior will continue to limit television integration within most classrooms beyond that of a relatively modest supplementary role.

• There is no conclusive evidence that television stultifies the mind.

• There is no consistent evidence that television increases either hyperactivity or passivity in children.

• There is insufficient evidence that television viewing displaces academic activities such as reading or homework and thereby has a negative impact on school achievement. The relationship between the amount of time spent viewing television and achievement test scores is curvilinear with achievement rising with 1-2 hours of television per day, but falling with longer viewing periods.

• The research evidence indicates that viewing violence on television is moderately correlated with aggression in children and adolescents.

• Most studies show that there are no significant differences in effectiveness between live teacher presentations and videos of teacher presentations.

• Television is not widely in classrooms because teachers experience difficulty in previewing videos, obtaining equipment, incorporating programs into the curriculum, and linking television programming to assessment activities.

The findings concerning the impact of computer-based instruction (CBI) in education can be summed up as:

• Computers as tutors have positive effects on learning as measured by standardized achievement tests, are more motivating for students, are accepted by more teachers than other technologies, and are widely supported by administrators, parents, politicians, and the public in general.

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• Students are able to complete a given set of educational objectives in less time with CBI than needed in more traditional approaches.

• Limited research and evaluation studies indicate that integrated learning systems (ILS) are effective forms of CBI which are quite likely to play an even larger role in classrooms in the foreseeable future.

• Intelligent tutoring system have not had significant impact on mainstream education because of technical difficulties inherent in building student models and facilitating human-like communications.

Overall, the differences that have been found between media and technology as tutors and human teachers have been modest and inconsistent. It appears that the larger value of media and technology as tutors rests in their capacity to motivate students, increase equity of access, and reduce the time needed to accomplish a given set of objectives.

Learning "With" Media and Technology

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Computer-based cognitive tools have been intentionally adapted or developed to function as intellectual partners to enable and facilitate critical thinking and higher order learning. Examples of cognitive tools include: databases, spreadsheets, semantic networks, expert systems, communications software such as teleconferencing programs, on-line collaborative knowledge construction environments, multimedia/hypermedia construction software, and computer programming languages.

In the cognitive tools approach, media and technology are given directly to learners to use for representing and expressing what they know. Learners themselves function as designers using media and technology as tools for analyzing the world, accessing and interpreting information, organizing their personal knowledge, and representing what they know to others

The foundations for using software as cognitive tools in education are:

• Cognitive tools empower learners to design their own representations of knowledge rather than absorbing representations preconceived by others.

• Cognitive tools can be used to support the deep reflective thinking that is necessary for meaningful learning.

• Cognitive tools enable mindful, challenging learning rather than the effortless learning promised but rarely realized by other instructional innovations.

• Ideally, tasks or problems for the application of cognitive tools will be situated in realistic contexts with results that are personally meaningful for learners.

• Using multimedia construction programs as cognitive tools engages many skills in learners such as: project management skills, research skills, organization and representation skills, presentation skills, and reflection skills.

"Learning From" and "Learning With" Media and Technology

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There are two major approaches to using media and technology in schools: students can learn "from" media and technology, and they can learn "with" media and technology (Jonassen & Reeves, 1996). Learning "from" media and technology is often referred to in terms such as instructional television, computer-based instruction, or integrated learning systems (Hannafin, Hannafin, Hooper, Rieber, & Kini, 1996; Seels, Berry, Fullerton, & Horn, 1996). Learning "with" technology, less widespread than the "from" approach, is referred to in terms such as cognitive tools (Jonassen & Reeves, 1996) and constructivist learning environments (Wilson, 1996).

Regardless of the approach, media and technology have been introduced into schools because it is believed that they can have positive effects on teaching and learning. The purpose of this report is to summarize the evidence for the effectiveness and impact of media and technology in schools around the world. (A limitation of this report is that the vast majority of the published research on the effectiveness of media and technology in schools was conducted in English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.) Research studies concerning the impact of these different approaches will be presented in the next two sections of this report. But first, it is necessary to clarify what is meant by the terms "media" and "technology" within the context of education.

regarded as incorrect; medium is preferred. (Berube, 1993, p. 846)

The Importance of Media and Technology in Education

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One reason for the attention being paid to media and technology in education reflects commercial or corporate interests. Although printed material continues to be "the dominant medium format" in schools (Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, 1998, p. 3), a recent Presidential report in the USA recommends that "at least five percent of all public K-12 educational spending in the United States (or approximately $13 billion annually in constant 1996 dollars) should be earmarked for technology-related expenditures...."

Still another reason for the focus on media and education stems from sharp disagreements about the value of media and technology in education. Enthusiastic endorsements of new media and technologies in education are easy to find in news reports, political speeches, and other sources. Many of these proclamations seem overly-optimistic if not hyperbolic. Consider this quote from Lewis Perelman's 1993 book titled School's Out:

Because of the pervasive and potent impact of HL (hyperlearning) technology, we now are experiencing the turbulent advent of an economic and social transformation more profound than the industrial revolution. The same technology that is transforming work offers new learning systems to solve the problems it creates. In the wake of the HL revolution, the technology called "school" and the social institution commonly thought of as "education" will be as obsolete and ultimately extinct as the dinosaurs. (p. 50)

A typical example of this comes from the present Government of Trinidad and Tobago'd desire to give free laptops to SEA students in the middle of September 2010.

However, despite such rhetoric and other, more conservative, optimism expressed in the popular press and government documents, there are also many skeptics and a few outspoken critics of media and technology in education. A recent cover story of The Atlantic Monthly entitled "The Computer Delusion" illustrates a critical view of technology in education, beginning with this opening sentence:

There is no good evidence that most uses of computers significantly improve teaching and learning, yet school districts are cutting programs - music, art, physical education - that enrich children's lives to make room for this dubious nostrum, and the Clinton Administration has embraced the goal of "computers in every classroom" with credulous and costly enthusiasm. (Oppenheimer, 1997, p. 45).

One would think that the programs such as the Arts and the music will be what the students will most likely want to get involved with as these areas are more interactive.

Another popular belief is that television viewing is detrimental to the academic achievement of school-age children and teens. While some studies have reported a negative correlation between the amount of television viewing and scholastic performance, such statistics are susceptible to misinterpretations because of intervening variables such as intelligence and socioeconomic status (Seels et al., 1996).Undoubtedly, the most widespread belief about television is that it fosters violence and aggressive behaviors among children and adolescents (Winn,

Research Results

The most positive research news about learning "from" television can be found in the classroom where 40 years of research show positive effects on learning from television programs that are explicitly produced and used for instructional purposes (Dorr, 1992; Seels et al., 1996). In addition, most studies show that there are no significant differences in effectiveness between live teacher presentations and videos of teacher presentations (Seels et al., 1996).

More importantly, there is strong evidence that television is used most effectively when it is intentionally designed for education and when teachers are involved in its selection, utilization, and integration into the curriculum (Johnson, 1987).

Historically, studies of the large-scale implementations of instructional television have shown mixed

Future Needs

Unfortunately, there is a paucity of developmental research focused on how teachers might best use television in the classroom to enhance academic achievement. We know that motivation is an important factor in gaining the most from any educational experience, but we don't know how teachers can effectively motivate students to attend to educational television. We know that feedback concerning the message received (or not received) from television is important, but we lack clear directions as to when and how teachers should provide that feedback. And even when recommendations for using television in the classroom do exist (Stone, 1997), there is little evidence that these guidelines are integral parts of the curriculum in most teacher preparation programs (Waxman & Bright, 1993).

Learning "from" Computers

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The earliest forms of computer-based instruction were heavily influenced by the behavioral psychology of B.F. Skinner (1968). These programs were essentially automated forms of programmed instruction. They presented information to the student in small segments, required the student to make overt responses to the information as stimulus, and provided feedback to the student along withdifferential branching to other segments of instruction or to drill-and-practice routines. Although this basic behavioral model continues to dominate mainstream educational applications of computers such as integrated learning systems (Bailey, 1992), interactivity in some of today's most innovative applications, such as constructivist learning environments (Wilson, 1996), is based upon advances in cognitive psychology and constructivist pedagogy (Coley et al., 1997) (see Section Three of this report).

Research Results

The good news is that even with a primarily behavioral pedagogy, computers as tutors have positive effects on learning as measured by standardized achievement tests, are more motivating for students, are accepted by more teachers than other technologies, and are widely supported by administrators, parents, politicians, and the public in general (Coley et al., 1997; President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, 1997).

Integrated Learning Systems

Integrated learning systems (ILS) utilize computer networks to combine comprehensive educational "courseware" with centralized management tools.. In a special issue of Education Technology magazine devoted to ILS, Bailey (1992) asked two primary questions: "Why do they (ILS) continue to dominate the school technology market? Are they as effective as the vendors claim?" (p. 3).

Why are ILS so popular among educators, at least those with the power to make purchasing decisions? Bailey (1993) and Becker (1992b) describe some of the perceived advantages of integrated learning systems that help to explain why ILS dominate the school technology market, Networking allows centralized management by teachers and administrators.

The Effects of Learning with and of Technology

Salomon, Perkins, and Globerson (1991) make an important distinction between the effects of learning with and of technology:

First, we distinguish between two kinds of cognitive effects: Effects with technology obtained during intellectual partnership with it, and the effects of it in terms of the transferable cognitive residue that this partnership leaves behind in the form of better mastery of skills and strategies. (p. 2)

Easy Learning?

Cognitive tools are learner-controlled, not teacher-controlled or technology-driven. For example, when students build databases, they are also constructing their own conceptualization of the organization of a domain of knowledge. Cognitive tools are not designed to reduce information processing, that is, make a task easier, (Perkins, 1993).

The nature and source of the task or problem is paramount in applications of cognitive tools. Past failures of "tool" approaches to using computers in education can be attributed largely to the relegation of the tools to traditional academic tasks set by teachers or the curriculum. Cognitive tools are intended to be used by students to represent knowledge and solve problems while pursuing investigations that are relevant to their own lives. These investigations are ideally situated within a constructivist learning environment (Duffy, Lowyck, & Jonassen, 1993). Cognitive tools won't be effective when used to support teacher-controlled tasks alone.

Multimedia as a Cognitive Tool

Another aspect that we would look at is the use of of multimedia construction software Programs. Multimedia is the integration of more than one medium into some form of communication or experience delivered via a computer. Most often, multimedia refers to the integration of media such as text, sound, graphics, animation, video, imaging, and spatial modeling into a computer system (von Wodtke, 1993). Employing relatively inexpensive desktop computers, users are now able to capture sounds and video, manipulate audio and images to achieve special effects, synthesize audio and video, create sophisticated graphics including animation, and integrate them all into a single multimedia presentation

Multimedia presentations are engaging because they are multimodal. In other words, multimedia can stimulate more than one sense at a time, and in doing so, may be more attention-getting and attention-holding.In the cognitive tools approach, multimedia is not a form of instruction to learn from, but rather a tool for constructing and learning with. Learners may create their own multimedia knowledge representations that reflect their own perspectives on or understanding of ideas. Or learners may collaborate with other learners to develop a classroom or school multimedia knowledge base.

Research Results

Ideally, tasks or problems for the application of multimedia construction software as a cognitive tool should be situated in realistic contexts with results that are personally meaningful for learners. Beichner (1994) reports on a project where these conditions were met in a unique way. The subjects in this

Carver, Lehrer, Connell, and Ericksen (1992) list some of the major thinking skills that learners learn and use as multimedia designers:

Project Management Skills

• Creating a timeline for the completion of the project.

• Allocating resources and time to different parts of the project.

• Assigning roles to team members.

Research Skills

• Determining the nature of the problem and how research should be organized.

• Posing thoughtful questions about structure, models, cases, values, and roles.

• Searching for information using text, electronic, and pictorial information sources.

• Developing new information with interviews, questionnaires and other survey methods.

• Analyzing and interpreting all the information collected to identify and interpret patterns.

Organization and Representation Skills

• Deciding how to segment and sequence information to make it understandable.

• Deciding how information will be represented (text, pictures, movies, audio, etc.).

• Deciding how the information will be organized (hierarchy, sequence) and how it will be linked.

Presentation Skills

• Mapping the design onto the presentation and implementing the ideas in multimedia.

• Attracting and maintaining the interests of the intended audiences.

Reflection Skills

• Evaluating the program and the process used to create it.

• Revising the design of the program using feedback.

something "from" these communications. The instructional processes inherent in the "from" approach to using media and technology in schools can be reduced to a series of simple steps: 1) exposing students to messages encoded in media and delivered by technology, 2) assuming that students perceive and encode these messages, 3) requiring a response to indicate that messages have been received, and 4) providing feedback as to the adequacy of the response.

Television and the computer are the two primary technologies used in the "from" approach. The findings concerning the impact of television in education can be summed up as:

• There is no conclusive evidence that television stultifies the mind.

• There is no consistent evidence that television increases either hyperactivity or passivity in children.

• There is insufficient evidence that television viewing displaces academic activities such as reading or homework and thereby has a negative impact on school achievement. The relationship between the amount of time spent viewing television and achievement test scores is curvilinear with achievement rising with 1-2 hours of television per day, but falling with longer viewing periods.

• The preponderance of the research evidence indicates that viewing violence on television is moderately correlated

Journal of Research on Technology and Education

Practical Learning A Vital Opportunity

By Kate Shoesmith, Senior Manager for Policy & Practice, City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development

Embracing Technology in the Secondary School Curriculum: The Status in Two Eastern Secondary Schools.

Karleen A Mason The Journal of Negro Education; Winter 2007; Vol 76, No. 1; Academic Research Library pg. 5

The Impact of Media and Technology in Schools A Research Report prepared for The Bertelsmann Foundation Thomas C. Reeves, Ph.D. The University of Georgia February 12, 1998

Global Projects and Digital Tools that Make students Global learners by Sheila Offman Gersh

CultureQuest projects can be viewed at http://culturequest.us/sample_projects.htm, http://culturequest.us/teacherprojects.html, and http://techshowcase.googlepages.com

Teachers mentoring other teachers: What to do and what to avoid when offering teacher support

by Christina Pomoni