Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Technology's Influence on Learning

labdulnabi's picture

Over the past couple of weeks, I have learned that technology provides learners with various means to enhance the quality of their understanding and reinforce their prior learning in and outside of traditional classroom. Technology can in fact improve learning if used in an appropriate and effective manner, i.e. technology can enhance learning if it’s effectively incorporated into the course curriculum. In addition, learners can expand their knowledge through online programs and by interacting and collaborating with other individuals and content experts via social media across the nation and the world for that matter, providing easy access to information and resources.

Rose: This course and the materials we’ve learned thus far have changed my perception of the use of technology in education.

 Throne: I’d like to learn more about whether technology hinders physical interactivity now that technology has made interaction and communication so much easier via social media. 


alesnick's picture

tech and community

i share these interests and concerns.  and find it interesting that you include sustained email exchange as interpersonal (not, tech -- and I agree).  these questions also connect with the rhetoric around gaming: that it teaches collaboration, interdependence, etc -- but in a virtual, not actual space!

Robert Homan's picture

Tehcnology as a Means to an End

I am taking two other Education courses this semester, Schools in American Cities and Education Policy, and it has been interesting seeing and experiencing the overlap between the classes. One thing that I keep coming back to, especially in this class and Schools in American Cities, is the importance of community - in life and especially in the classroom. So many of the positive and negative aspects of urban schooling in the United States can be traced back to the strength and weaknesses of different communities - how people relate to one other, help one another, and think of the common good, the social good, as something that is paramount to them personally. Public schools in urban settings, however stereotyped and perhaps downtrodden in many ways, often have a strong sense of community that make them a haven for kids living in difficult situations. At the same time, a lack of community and care for the good of the other on a broader, city-wide, state-wide or country-wide level has contributed to severe funding discrepancies and a lack of attention and resources paid to urban schools.

The question that I've begun to grapple with in this class, then, is if technology - computers and the Internet and everything in between - can authentically contribute to building communities, or if they may in fact weaken it. In so much as technology decreases interpersonal interaction (and I include e-mail and sustained messaging as interpersonal interaction) then I think new technologies can be decrease a healthy sense of community within the classroom. Communities are human and organic, and thus if we attempt to replace actual human beings with technology then we lose vital links in an important chain. Technology may, however, be able to increase interpersonal interaction, and perhaps create new communities. This has indeed happened over social networks and different websites, but I think it is most important that these communities become affective and operative within the actual world, and not simply serve as selfish outlets for our own desires for temporary stimulation.