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Preface

Preface

Authors: Monica Divitini, Mikhail Fominykh, Terje Väljataga, Kersti Toming, David Lamas, Sónia Sousa, Venla Vallivaara, & Tommi Inkilä

How to use modern technology to support learning in different ages?

Technology is an essential part of present-day education. The community of teachers and learners puts into practice more and more innovative tools and methods, but still technology-rich learning is a relatively new trend carrying both abundant opportunities and serious challenges. Learning theory has been rapidly developing over the last decades, proposing new approaches with new views on education and development.

In the field of learning sciences efficient learning is seen as a active behavior of an individual who can also regulate their own learning process. Working and discussing with others has bee proven to support individual learning and cognitive development. There are lots of theoretical and practical discussion about cooperative or collaborative learning.

Modern society and working life is constantly changing. That raises up discussion about life long learning. Also educators and teachers are supposed to develop their work, learn about new pedagogies and research about learning. The rapid development of technology is one challenge to educators that try to keep their knowledge and skills up to date.

Even though many studies have shown the power of collaboration in learning, the collaboration cannot be produced just by putting learners together. And even though modern technological environments can enable multiple ways of supporting communication and collaboration, there are also challenges in creating interaction that actually supports learning in these settings.

Learning in the technology-rich context has its own specifics and qualitatively differs from the one without technology. Technology Enhanced Learning is a repidly developing field and has a great potential for changing the society. However, the improvement in this area requires a strong research base that is tightly linked to practice.

Learning theory has been constantly developing and offering new methods, techniques, and best practices. Information and communication technology provides a great variety of tools, services, devices, and other tyes of sulutions which may benefit learning. However, many challenges still exist in practice. Teachers and educatiopnal institutions in general often face difficulties in setting up technological environments to augment or replace their face-to-face classrom activities or to address specific challenges. They need to select or develope a technological environment, which may consist of several specific tools. The choice should be made considering the specific learning context, including teaching method, type of activities, and type of learners.

Often educators need quick and practical solutions to their most common problems, This handbook was written to give these solutions.

This handbook was written as part of CoCreat EU-funded project. Students from Oulu University (OU), Tallinn University (TU), and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) joined their expertise to solve the challenges in different kind of scenarios. The scenarios comprises of various learning situations with different aged learners. The teams used their expertise of different fields to create new and innovative solutions to the challenges that many educators face in their everyday work. The students obtained the expertiece taking local courses New Interactive Environments at TU, Learning Theory and Pedagogical Use of Technology at OU, and Cooperation Technology at NTNU.

Handbook consists of three parts:

  • First of them presents scenarios related to learning in schools. In chapter 1, ideas to motivate learners in the domain of history can be found. Chapter 2 describes opportunities of utilizing international collaboration for learning new languages. Chapter 3 provides solutions for implementing teaching and supporting learning with big groups.
  • The second part introduces problematic situations in university learning. Chapter 4 gives solutions for avoiding problems in multicultural web courses. In chapter 5, it is described how theory and practise can be combained in ethics teaching.
  • The last part of the book consists of two chapters about learning among adults in informal settings. In chapter 6, the writers give their suggestions to learning technological issues effectively in older age. Chapter 7 describes a situtation where students with different expertise levels learn together.

All of the chapters give practical yet scientifically justified pedagogical and technological solutions to challenges in education.

Acknowledgement

The CoCreat Project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained.

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