Saturday, November 22, 2008

Week 12. Podcasting, Webcasting, and Coursecasting

Regarding technology application in education, I always try to avoid using because I want to, but using when necessarily and when students have benefit. I have a lot of chances to discuss course design with teachers this week, and I found that most of them are gradually accept the truth that more and more technology has been adopted in the physical classroom. However, I found out most of the teachers they still perceive “technology application” from the “web 1.0” perspectives.

Take my “teaching writing to EFL multilingual writing practicum” for example, our group member decided to have on-line forum. This on-line forum discussion will ask students read articles or watch videos and then they have to post and respond to others. I asked my other group members, what are their purposes or reasons for integrate on-line discussion in the physical classroom? They told me, “We want it because we want students to do something at home after the regular class hours is replaced by individual meeting with the instructors. Besides, it’s different from traditional writing class so it might work.” I argued these two points strongly.

First of all, I believe that before adopting new technologies in the teaching, these technologies should be evaluated. In the “Formative evaluation strategies helped identify a solution to a leaning dilemma,“ the authors suggested using formative evaluation strategies to evaluated new technology which provided users criterions to measure the achievement of the goals. In the articles, there are students from medical school requested that lectures should be videotaped and make available on a Web site. To respond students’ request, school use formative evaluation to systematically determine whether videotaping was the best solution. By doing this, school course designers can understand students’ attitude, parents’ attitude, and solutions for possible problems. All these pre-testing evaluation can provide a clear guideline for future adjustment. Second, merely integrate an on-line activity into traditional classroom will not make the class different, because technology will not function till it is well designed. I believe that on-line discussion should be used when students can have more productive produce. Overall, I believe technology can bring more possibilities, and break the limitation within traditional classrooms, but all these benefits relied on well-designed course structures.

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