The merging of Instruction & Technology has created a beautiful union of learning synergy.
Justification of Technology:
An essential role for an Instructional Technology and Distance Education (ITDE) manager is defending the use of technology to those who question its value in teaching and learning, such as the teacher who heard about Richard Clark’s “delivery truck” analogy and now doesn’t feel that she wants to bother with media if it doesn’t have any impact on learning.
Education has entered the information age. Technologies are becoming so important that they are found everywhere. Skills in technology planning and use are basic competencies of the professional in education especially in the delivery of instructions. According to Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, and Zuacek (1998), intensive debates about media and the impact on learning all began when Richard Clark, a researcher and theorists, published a classic article containing his now famous “mere vehicles” analogy as stated:
“The best current evidence is that media are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence student achievement any more than
the truck that delivers our groceries, causes changes in nutrition…
only the content of the vehicle can influence achievement.” (p.19)
This quote has caused considerable furor among educational researchers since it was published in 1983. The quote suggests that learning is not enhanced because instruction is media-based. Rather the content of the instruction, the method used to promote learning, and the involvement of the learner in the instructional experience. The writer feels that media-use in this era of education revolution and information age is indispensable in enhancing the teaching learning process and for one to function adequately and actively in communication and information technologies in today’s changing world. Technology impact learning. To a great extent teaching and learning have changed but what we want is a consistent means of measuring the effect of technology on learning across schools, instead of just looking at the decades of research on technology which do not document the current impact of technology.
Technologies have increasingly become important to the professional person and have been playing an important role in the teaching and learning process. Using technologies are powerful ways to enhance the teaching, learning, and professional environment.
In this new millennium and advance technological age, education is faced with enormous challenges. For one, the teacher as a primary source of knowledge no longer suffices in a world where knowledge increases rapidly and communication is boosted by increase media-use. Technology adds the tools that facilitate access to the content, strategies, activities, and opportunities to apply new information that make learning a personal process. Technology adds the ability for students to choose how, when, and where they participate in the learning experience and to bring together a vast wealth of learning resources, including people, places, and things to which they might otherwise never have access.
Today, technology offers new and innovative ways for teachers to teach and for students to learn. It offers students access to courses and instructional materials that they would otherwise not have. It allows students to gain proficiency in using computers and other state-of-the-art technology and, subsequently prepares these students for a job market that increasingly requires computer skills. All this impact learning, and as we move from industrial education to this information age, media use will reign predominant in the enhancement of learning.
In the teaching learning scenario technology seems to have tremendous power to help both teacher and student obtain, organize, manipulate, and display information. Students can use technology tools (such as word processing, database, design, and graphing software) in the same ways as do professionals in business, communications, and research.
Using technology for meaningful activities also helps integrate a variety of disciplines, more closely resembling activities that people undertake in the world beyond the classroom. For example, word processing is a real-world technology that can help students develop writing and thinking skills. Using the computer, to revise and edit their work they are able to concentrate on the thoughts they want to express rather than the mechanical skills of penmanship, spelling, and grammar (Hornbeck, 1990).
Thus, when educators use the accumulating knowledge regarding the circumstances under which technology supports the broad definition of student achievement, they will be able to make informed choices about what technologies will best meet the particular needs of specific schools.
Because technology continues to play an important role in modern industrial society, integrating technology into the schools will help to prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing world. “Technology is transforming society, and schools do not have a choice as to whether they will incorporate technology but rather how well they use it to enhance learning” (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory & Illinois State Board of Education, 1995). Finally, technology is playing an invaluable role in the teaching and learning process as a tool for improving and ultimately, transforming the teaching and learning process to an optimum level. Therefore the teacher who heard about Richard Clark’s “delivery truck” analogy needs to look at the benefits that technology offers and challenge that statement.
Hornbeck, D. W. (1990). Technology and students at risk of school failure. Paper commissioned for the chief State School Officer, 1990 State Technology Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory & Illinois State Board of Education, (1995). Learning through technology: A planning and implementation guide [Online]. Available: http://wwwnerel.org/tandl/homepg.htm.
Simonson, M; Smaldino, S; Albright, M; & Zvacek, S. (1998).
Distance Education Foundations. Draft copy 1998.