Has the Use of Technology In Learning Boosted or Diminished The Development of Creative Thinking Among Learners?

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Has the Use of Technology In Learning Boosted or Diminished The Development of Creative Thinking Among Learners?

Academic Subject: Investigating Practice

Word Count: 2000

Submitted by: Student

Rationale

Over the last two decades, digital technology has been made available to a wide range of the population. This has changed the way in which people do things such as music, art, and other disciplines offered in learning institutions. It has led to development of new discourse practices thus challenging previous methods of social interaction (Jones, 2014).

To increase productivity in teaching and learning, most institutions in the 21st century support online programs. This is due to advanced technology, allowing learners to use computers and other devices to access open programs for specific courses (Aharonson, 2013). Some online programs are used to supplement already studied content in class and some of them are entirely online schools, which allow all interactions for the courses to be virtual (Williams, 2012). For instance, in my role of apprenticeship delivery in digital business and marketing, the apprentices are given both classroom and online training. To ensure that the available technologies are utilized, learners are visited at their workplace monthly, and are given specific targets to achieve. They are encouraged to learn how to be creative with the available technologies.

With the current rate of globalization, there has been constant need to use technology to support learning activities. For instance, most countries of the United Kingdom have embraced online programs, a step that demands improvement in the technological skills of the learners as well (Vries, 2011). Most of the institutions have incorporated blended learning, whereby the actual interaction between the learner and the tutor is supplemented with online opportunities. This way, the cost of instructional materials is reduced and learners are able to properly utilize the time they have outside class (Jones, 2014). Due to this demand, in my practice, we have come up with digital platforms for apprenticeship to help learners achieve their goals and workers to attain their monthly milestones.

For my Education Investigating Practice, one can sought to find out the impact of the use of technology in learning on creativity of learners. We can all agree that advancements in technology especially when used for learning activities, massively improves the quality of education given in institutions. It has also availed opportunities for marginalized groups to easily access learning opportunities through blended and purely online learning practices (Jones, 2014). Using online programs to supplement classroom interaction is the style, which has been currently embraced by most institutions. The online opportunities are only meant to improve what was studied in class and to provide access to online instructional materials. This saves time, minimizes costs, and utilizes available resources for the enhancement of learning, (Fisher et al, 2013).

Another way in which technology is incorporated in learning is by the use of open educational resources, which are readily available on the internet such as digital libraries and podcasts (Vries, 2011). Learners readily access these materials and they may use them for reference and research purposes. Open educational resources have highly supplemented learning activities in the institution especially with the ready availability of internet services for the learners.

As per the majority opinion, the use of technology in learning has increased convenience for both tutors and learners. Advancement of technology in learning has been accused to diminish innovation and creativity among the learners, but on the wider perspective, it has created more good than harm. Despite negative effects, the positive impact of the use of technology in learning may eventually outweigh the negative outcome of using technology in learning (Hammond, 2015).

Commentary

Most learning institutions in the United Kingdom as well as other Western countries incorporate digital systems in their curriculum with evaluation of how they will benefit their learners technically (Simpson, 2010). They, however, do not consider how the systems will affect their learners creatively. Research shows that the use of technology in learning will boost the technical and creative skills (Takeuchi, 2008). This can not be concluded before proper research is carried out on the same.

Analysis and Evaluation

A number of learning institutions, both in the elementary and secondary levels, have absorbed the use of media as a learning technique. Instead of using the old way of classroom teaching, teachers have embarked to the use media as a technique to convey necessary information to the learners (Lee et al, 2012). This is a way of reducing workload for the teachers and reducing the volume of classwork. Instructional materials such as videos, audios and podcasts can always be put away for future use, whether weekends or holidays. This way, learners identify creative ways of presenting their class assignments and research projects using media. They get technical skills required for the learning process as they progress.

However, if learners are instructed to copy and perhaps label the same images from a print textbook, they are likely to forget easily and it may be hard for them to reproduce it in future. This means that the understanding of information withdrawn media instructional materials will increase creativity of these learners. For instance, in reproducing images from virtual materials, the learners will draw the same image in slightly different ways that passes the point home.

Presently, most topics especially in science subjects are taught using visual materials such as videos and presentation. This leads us to the fact that higher populations of the scholars we have today have a good mastery of visual literacy. Considering the rate of globalization and advent of technology, it is a good thing to embrace visual literacy, though it may not offer all the skills one requires in learning. According to my learners, most of these visual instructional materials are technical and may be watched for pleasure. However, they can be played when need arises (Huang et al, 2013).

Some learners claim that it is easier to read books for pleasure, since any kind of written information is displayed in an artistic manner, which is interesting to learners depending on their level. Reading improves creative, mental, and social skills. When learners are left to read and discuss content in a classroom situation, they do improve their chances of remembering that information. Learners have also claimed that it is easier and more interesting to read hard copy textbooks compared to e-books since it improves their critical analysis and induction of the content. However, those that have been exposed to virtual instructional materials prefer them to the traditional ones (Simpson, 2010).

Most institutions have now wireless internet access for learners for the purpose of reference or clarification of class work. Learners who are given the chance to verify content online while it is being taught get additional content for the course. Most educational sites provide links to related information on the internet, giving learners a chance to get exposed to a variety of the same information as discussed by different scholars. The availability of Adobe Connect, illustrated in figure 6 allows learners to utilize web meetings and webinars appropriately. This enables access to remote learners and improve creation of such technology.

It gets quite hard for learners to multitask checking the content online and listening to the speaker, though it helps learners to develop a higher concentration span and creative skills. Studies have shown that learners who constantly access the internet while studying will become good at technical subjects such as aviation which require one to multitask. Learners are therefore able to develop such skills which will enable to think creatively and make quick rational decisions (Strijker and Collis, 2005).

It has been argued that the use of technology in learning helps to improve technical skills among learners. That through advancement in technology they are able to be computer literate and get exposure to relevant software. However, the importance of technical skills is as good as that of creative skills. When learners are exposed to technology, they use what has already been innovated and they master how to use it. They also get skills that will enable them to innovate something practical. Research shows that the use of technology has made learners more creative. The more they master technical skills, the more they improve their creative skills (Rawlings, 2010).

Many disciplines have been improved by use of apprenticeship which has made teaching, learning and evaluation to be digital, thus easy and not biased. For instance, the Apprentice Remote Access program allows learners from remote areas to learn whenever they want as long as they log in to the system. It allows those who cannot access expensive programs to access them so long as they have an internet connection. According to the Ofsted report, “Arch apprentices develop excellent high-level digital, information technology (IT) and employability skills, which ensure that they are exceptionally well prepared for employment and their future careers.” The apprenticeship remote access program has been demonstrated in figures 1 and 2 of the appendix. This has promoted creativity among learners as they are exposed to different kinds of innovation (Huang et al, 2013).

With the use of technology in learning, it has become easier to verify originality of content. This reduces cases of cheating when verifying class assignments and research projects. Online assessment programs have also made it easier for both tutors and learners. Tutors are able to save time while learners can utilize what they learn online to innovate more. It is also easier to manage and evaluate progress of the clients using platforms such as the Arch campus. The attached Ofsted report on page 3 claims that, “Managers make excellent use of management information systems to scrutinize the progress of apprentices and quickly identify any barriers to learning. Regular discussions with staff and reviews with employers ensure that interventions are timely and well managed. Apprentices’ achievements within the planned timescales are increasing rapidly.”

The use of the internet as a learning resource has led to improved learners’ technical and creative skills. This is with the availability of google academy, which offers free online courses to train on google analytics. When learners learn about these skills early enough, they are able to utilize them even in the job market. They become more employable and competitive. The creation of the competition makes learners to be more creative thus more marketable (Simpson, 2010). The google academy interface has been illustrated in figure 5. In programs such as blended learning, learners spend minimal time in the classroom setting.  A lot of time is spent on the digital platforms whereby learners interact with each other as well as their teachers. Such platforms are good at improving creativity for those learners who may not be good at face to face interactions. Such learners get the chance to actively participate in online activities and express themselves.  (Huang et al. 2013).

The E-portfolio systems illustrated in figure 7, 8 and 9 allow the learners to stay on track since they are able to post their portfolios in the system and get feedback regarding them. The apprentices are able to receive verbal and written feedback for respective improvements, thus challenging the apprentices to achieve industry standards. For instance, my learner took part in the online study to produce quality email marketing campaign. Attached is the brief of my learner’s work which met the learning outcome and criteria, which boosts creativity.

It has been argued by various scholars that the development of digital instructional materials will diminish the skills of learners since they will lean more towards embracing globalization, but we should consider the fact that it helps to develop all the required skills. Technical skills as well as creative skills are not the only factors that constitute learning but rather it is the intellectual development of an individual in character as well as the knowledge base (Simpson, 2010).

From the above analysis and evaluation of the use of technology in learning, we can realize that it boosts the creative skills in learners. It has multiple advantages technically, and has a huge positive impact on creativity of the learners. Therefore, the use of technology in education should be embraced, however, it should tag along with methodologies that improve the creative skills of learners. To improve professional practice, the programs developed for digital learning should be made more interactive and visual. Chatrooms should be able to support video and audio uploads so as to make the learning outcome more relevant. The system should not be fully eroded by technology but since its incorporation makes it easy for both the teacher and the learner by saving time and being convenient, learning institutions should embrace it.

References

  • Aharonson, B. (2013). Understanding the relationship between networks and technology, creativity and innovation. 1st ed. Bingley, U.K.: Emerald.
  • Education Week. (2017). The E-Rate Overhaul in 4 Easy Charts. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/the-e-rate-overhaul-in-4-easy-charts.html [Accessed 14 January 2017]
  • Fisher, A., Exley, K. and Ciobanu, D. (2013). Using technology to support learning and teaching. London, Routledge
  • Hammond, T., Valentine, S., Adler, A. and Payton, M. (2015). The impact of pen and touch technology on education. Germany Springer Publications
  • Huang, R., Kinshuk, and Spector, J. (2013). Reshaping learning. 1st ed. Berlin: Springer.
  • Jones, R. (2014). Discourse and creativity. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Lee, J., Lin, L. and Robertson, T. (2012). The Impact of Media Multitasking On Learning. Learning, Media and Technology, 37(1), pp.94-104.
  • Rawlings, T. (2010). Understanding the Evolution of Technology Through P2P Systems and Its Impact on Learning Environments. E-Learning and Digital Media, 7(4), p.395.
  • Reed, R. and Berque, D. (2010). The impact of tablet PCs and pen-based technology on education. 1st ed. West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press.
  • Simpson, A. (2010). Integrating technology with literacy: using teacher-guided collaborative online learning to encourage critical thinking. Research in Learning Technology, 18(2).
  • Strijker, A. and Collis, B. (2005). Advanced Technology for the Re-use of Learning Objects in a Course Management System. Advanced Technology for Learning, 2(1).
  • Takeuchi, M. (2008). Access to Creativity: position of technology in the Ontario curriculum for English language learners. E-Learning, 5(4), p.492.
  • Uden, L. (2012). Workshop on learning technology for education in cloud (LTEC’12). Berlin: Springer.
  • Vries, M. (2011). Positioning Technology Education in the Curriculum. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Williams, J. (2012). Technology education for teachers. Rotterdam: SensePublishers.

 

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