If It's Not Online and It's Not Live, What is It?
Cathy Thurston, John Sfondilias, University of Illinois, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-44-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
If It's Not Online and It's Not Live, What is It? (An integrated model for infusing technology into education methods courses) There has been a good amount of discussion in the literature (online and otherwise) regarding the pros and cons of live ("bricks and mortar") versus online (distance) education (Dominguez and Ridley 1999; Knox, 2000; Miller, Smith & Tilstone, 1998). These discussions sometime imply a dichotomy between several modes (face to face, mixed media and distance education) or an all or none approach to teaching and learning that infrequently represents most educational environments. Whatever the long-term future, in the current and near-term, teacher education consists of predominantly live instruction with numerous opportunities for the infusion of technology in the curriculum. In our PT3 project, we take a pragmatic approach and look at what technologies are available, how technology will be used, what makes instructional sense, and what makes political sense (i.e., what will faculty and teachers accept and adopt?). Technology is integrated into the curriculum, as any instructional method would be through curriculum development (Crotty, 1995). Our evaluation plan assesses the impact technology infusion has on achieving learning objectives of a course. We believe that teaching involves a continuum of technology (and always has), and results in a product that can simply be regarded as "instruction and learning," with its associated goals and objectives. We evaluate how well those goals and objectives are attained. Of course, we attempt to break down, as much as it is feasible, the contribution of the various teaching and learning strategies to learning outcomes. A preliminary evaluation is included in this presentation. Specific courses in Curriculum & Instruction are targeted for the initial phase of the project. We consider technologies based upon a number of factors including ease of integration, cost (both people and $$), existing campus and departmental support, and potential for maximum positive impact upon teaching and learning using a variety of electronic technologies. These technologies include email, discussion boards, comprehensive course management systems, word processors, Powerpoint, streaming audio and video, electronic portfolio development and java applets. Selected examples of such technology integration are included in this presentation. Ultimately, regardless of whatever else we accomplish in this PT3 project, our project must show promise for improving the teaching and learning process, which (facilitation, instructional design and curriculum) happens in classrooms. We have designed our technology interventions to be consistent with what we know about how people learn and what constitute good teaching practices. Our integrated model for infusing technology selects and incorporates, peer coaching, collaboration, mentoring, problem-based learning and modeling using new technologies based upon their instructional appropriateness. The overall model is presented with particular emphasis upon how project management and evaluation, and specific technology interventions fit within the teaching and learning communities of practice, while realizing that internet and other forms of technology are useful tools that can provide resources just as a chalkboard, overhead projector or video cassette recorder (Rosen, 1999). References Dominguez, P. and Ridley, Dennis (1999) Reassessing the Assessment of Distance Education Courses. T.H.E. Journal. http:// thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A2223.cfm Crotty, T. (1996). Constructivist Theory Unites Distance Learning and Teacher Education. Ed Journal, 9 (4), j12-j16. Know, E.L. Skip (2000). The Rewards of Teaching On-Line. American Historical Association Annual Conference. http://www.h-net.msu.edu/aha/papers/Knox.html Miller, C., Smith, C. and Tilestone, C. (1998). Professional Development by Distance Education: Does distance lend enhancement? Cambridge Journal of Education, 28 (2), 221-230. Rosen, L. (1999). The World Wide Web: Taking on the Pedagogical Challenge. http://horizon.unc.edu/projects/monograph/CD/Instructional_Technology/Rosen.asp
Thurston, C. & Sfondilias, J. (2002). If It's Not Online and It's Not Live, What is It?. In D. Willis, J. Price & N. Davis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2002--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1795-1796). Nashville, Tennessee, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).