Teachers and schools must continue to understand students master the technologies often used in today’s learning at home, not at school. And now even higher academic standards must be reached. Technology appears to be the key to that educational opportunity. Marshal McLuhan, a Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar, who coined the expression in 1967, “the medium is the message,” helps explain the importance of contemporary communication technologies to changing American views as much as any message or curriculum taught.
The student’s level of knowledge and skills must be known for teacher’s to evaluate the effectiveness of curriculum being used or the technology used to assist the student in learning. CAST Universal Design for Learning helps the teacher understand that when effective student learning is shown, individual differences must be accommodated. Different ideas must be able to be communicated via different media to help accommodate those different types of message as well as matching the differences or diversity of the student receiving those messages. Once calculators were banned from solving math problems because such supports were rejected in problem solving because they appeared to be a crutch. We now realize that in real life problem-solving scenarios such technologies are seen very much reasonable and appropriate for scaffolding the learning to the level of the learner. In order for teachers to see learning take place, the student and curriculum outcomes need to be observed over time. The bigger picture will likely show how effective students learn when teachers engage students with curriculum using technologies brought into the everyday classroom that are very much similar to those students master at home.
Lindquist, J. (2004). The future of anytime, anywhere education. THE Journal, 32(4), 32-34.
Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New tools, new schools. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.
Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Available online at the Center for Applied Special Technology web site,http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/.