The digital world is changing constantly and it is often difficult to keep up to date with its full impact on education and schooling (Howell, 2012). Educators are faced with constant challenge of refining teaching and learning techniques (Howell, 2012). Despite these complexities, the need for a digital pedagogy is clear, as it enhances student engagement and motivation, and educational outcomes become focussed on equipping students with the skills to ensure that they become life-long learners (Howell, 2012). Through the creation of my summations using WordPress, Sway and PowToon, I have come to understand the potential impact of digital technologies on teaching, including skill development, creativity in the classroom and catering to different learning styles.
Blogging, previously had seemed to be something done purely for interest and entertainment. However, I have come to see the opportunities this platform offers, by incorporating multiple literacies, through text, audio and visual elements (Davis & McGrail, 2009; Huffaker, 2004). It has been shown that educational blogging provides authentic learning, creative outlets and improves social skills, literacy, and ICT skills (Morris, 2013). The use of blog programs aid in the development of students ‘digital fluency.’ Blogs offer a place that can be both individualistic and collaborative, that allows self-expression and engagement in digital communities (Huffaker, 2004; Morris, 2013).
Through the inclusion of auditory and visual technologies, such as Sway and PowToon, I have discovered platforms that offer formats suited to the individual learning needs of different students and developed skills to cater to these needs. Visual learners prefer when “ideas, thoughts, concepts, processes and other information are represented and associated with images, graphs, charts and videos,” while “recordings, tapes, video tutorials and many others come under the tools for auditory learning” (Bhaskar, 2013, p. 1). These creatively engaging tools encourage students to use their own skills to present the information they have found (Howell, 2012; Killoran, 2015).
Through my engagement with these technologies, I became familiar with a range of skills. The skills these technologies develop allow students to share ideas, become creators, and join global conversations, which support theories of constructivism, constructionism and connectivism (Howell, 2012; Killoran, 2015). The focus of teachers should be on finding creative ways to inspire students to become engaged learners, particularly by using technology in play (Howell, 2012; Killoran, 2015; Bennett & Lockyer, 1999; Butler-Kisber, 2013; EF Explore America, 2012).
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Bennett, S., & Lockyer, L. (1999). The impact of digital technologies on teaching and learning in K-12 education. University of Wollongong: Wollongong. Retrieved from http://www.ndlrn.edu.au/verve/_resources/impact_digital_technologies_k-12pdf.pdf
Bhaskar, S. K. (2013) Technology is helping students to adopt their own learning style. Ed Tech Review. Retrieved fromhttp://edtechreview.in/trends-insights/insights/465-technology-helps-students-to-adopt-their-learning-style?limit=1&start=1
Butler-Kisber, L. (2013). Teaching and learning in the digital world: Possibilities and challenges. Learning landscapes Vol 6(2). Canada. ISSN 1913-5688
Davis, A. P., & McGrail, E. (2009). The joy of blogging. Literacy 2.0, 66 (6), 74-77. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar09/vol66/num06/The-Joy-of-Blogging.aspx
EF Explore America. (2012). What is 21st century education? Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax5cNlutAys&feature=youtu.be
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.
Huffaker, D. (2004). The educated blogger: Using Weblogs to promote literacy in the classroom. First Monday, 9(6). doi:10.5210/fm.v9i6.1156
Killoran, T. (2015). Tosca Killoran on how to empower kids with awesome technology. Piktochart Infographics. Retrieved 19 September 2016, from https://piktochart.com/blog/tosca-killoran-empowering-kids-with-awesome-technology/
Morris, K. (2013). The benefits of educational blogging. Retrieved from http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/03/08/the-benefits-of-educational-blogging/