How Is Technology Changing Learning?

Recently, as part of my final project for EDU P&L 823 – The Functions of the Computer in the Classroom, I asked the question “How is technology changing learning?” using six different channels of communication: on this blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, via email and face-to-face.  The question was deliberately very open-ended and I received some very interesting responses.  But, perhaps more interestingly, were the differences between how people responded on each of these channels.

Obviously, the channels that reached people with whom I had close connections (email, face-to-face) received a lot of responses.  Other, more ephemeral, forms of communication where connections are not as strong, received far fewer.  In some ways, this was a bit humbling — I have a hundred followers on Twitter and even more on Facebook — but the response rate was very low.  Perhaps the people with whom I communicate via these channels simply weren’t interested in this question?

Although these new channels (Twitter, Facebook) are changing communication, clearly they do not completely replace the others.  And perhaps integrating them all is the most effective approach.  Watch my final presentation below.

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2 Comments

Filed under Research

2 responses to “How Is Technology Changing Learning?

  1. Hmmm… may be they weren’t interested – I buy that totally – at least on Twitter- where people are there really to push their own agendas they are not interested in ‘you’ and what you have to say but rather in ‘you’ as a number a.k.a follower.

    Facebook is a bit different. People are interested in what you have say but there are other problems… lol… facebook does not make it easy for anyone to find things that they actually might be interested in.

    And your question- about learning and technology- well, the technology part is there- lets see how the common, on-the-street, person uses it. Sometimes (most times) the initial purpose for the developement is very different from what the technology gets used for most. Any good communications platform can be used for learning. I was surprised at how quickly non-English speakers picked up the language given a good voice messaging (voice chat) technology.

    • These are both good points. Connections on Twitter can be very loose, although I have found a couple of Tweeps with whom I am “tight” this way. Facebook did have tighter connections, which makes sense, too. Would other, more direct, questions have elicited a greater response? Possibly. I tried to keep the question very open-ended and thereby got some really interesting responses (which I should compile and share in another post) but differences between the channels of communication was the most striking result of this project for me.

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