Effective use of Technology in Education

There are 3 main ways in which technology can be used in education.  One of them is horrible.  One of them is neutral.  One of them is great.  One of them is used extensively.  One of them is increasingly being used.  One of them is not being used enough.  One of them is technology being used to demonstrate an idea.  One of them is using technology as a replacement for pen and paper.  One of them is using technology to create.

This post has been updated and is now available on our new site:


Technology as a demonstrator is horrible.  It is the equivalent of fast food for the mind. It is easy to digest.  It is marketed well.  It makes you feel satisfied in the short term but long term has very little value.  There are many examples of this in educational institutions ranging from flash animations of physics and chemistry theories through to programs that teach languages via simple cartoons.  We are presenting the ideas in ways that mean the student has to do very little in the way of thinking to understand it.   They sit back and observe rather than actively applying.  Research suggests that the clearer the font on a piece the harder it is for us to retain it for example…..

10 Responses to “Effective use of Technology in Education”

  1. 1 Megan, Student ED 205 April 3, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I like the way that technology has been divided into three sections. And I like the catagories that it has been divided into with regards to educational purposes. I tutored for 2 years and I liked to use what technology was available to me whenever possible. Usually the best method was to have my students create something for me.

  2. 2 Adam August 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I agree with Megan’s response in relation to the three categories. As far as paperless classrooms are concerned, I bet that the impact of technology in that class would be stronger than neutral. Obviously, as described in the post I agree. However, I would bet a year’s salary that teachers that are that adept in the use of technology and willing to go against the status quo are using technology to create as well. We also can’t dismiss technology as a presentation/demonstration tool. It plays a role with large groups, but I understand the author’s perspective and agree with the approach. Thanks for breaking it down in three parts, easy to digest.

  3. 3 Tomaz Lasic August 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Excellent insights and eloquently put what many of us walked (not just talk) every day. Thank you.


  4. 4 baconbytes August 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I like that you approached the neutral technology with the idea that if it’s done well, the advantages can outweigh the disadvantages. This also is the “gateway” to your highest level of technology use. I chose to focus on this level because I believe this is where the majority of teachers are right now in using technology in the classroom. By approaching it in a potentially positive way, I think this will encourage teachers to move onward and upward with their technology use in the classroom.

  5. 5 Neal McQ November 25, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    As a new teacher of ICT right now, there’s some great pointers even for myself in here. Thanks for the useful insights, I know I’ve already had a major focus on creativity work (although partially due to the coursework I’m currently on which makes it easy) but I’ll have to see about continuing to implement it in this manner!

  6. 6 Vicky Carlson May 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I agree that the most effective use of technology is for students to use technology to share what they have learned. I would not, however, dismiss the use of technology to demonstrate a concept. Often an animation or short video can be very helpful to supplement reading or lecture to reinforce a concept or present it in a different way.

    • 7 Ryan May 22, 2011 at 4:13 am

      If the other material is of high quality, and the demonstration is a supplement and combined with other material then yes, I can see it’s benefits. I have chosen to label it horrible however as it is more and more not being used this way and has the downsides discussed in the article. I see them as increasingly being used as a substitute for actual teaching. It is very easy to be lazy and let the demonstration do the work for you.

      • 8 Vicky Carlson May 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

        I have also seen “horrible” uses of technology to create. Without planning and guidance, student projects can be little more than exercises in copying information. The successful use of any technology is still the teacher who plans, guides, and inspires students.

  1. 1 Increasing Use of Technology Does Not Equal Effective Use « The BottSpot Blog Trackback on August 16, 2009 at 10:08 pm
  2. 2 Visual or textual methods of education? « Elevated Formation Trackback on October 2, 2009 at 2:46 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: