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Evaluation of 3 Learning Technologies

28/10/2012
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If you can imagine it , you can make it happen.  Professor Paul Kim

Innovation is not necessarily making a change but allowing yourself to create a change by pushing the boundaries of the current situation or the environment. It’s the age old moment of saying ‘What if ….?’.

How does that moment come about? In an ideal situation, a number of factors influence this moment, creating a synergy of experience, knowledge and a bit of serendipity. This synergy develops from a dialogue amongst people. We rely on each other to make some progress, if there is a need, there is a reason to pursue the synergy. Put another way, if there’s a will, there’s a way.

How does this fit into the realm of education? In order to make progress, one must approach pedagogy with an open mind. In order to create the appropriate pedagogy, one must have the ideal philosophy. In a nutshell, philosophy (the love of wisdom) leads to pedagogy (which means literally ‘to lead a child’). (For a detailed explanation, please refer to Freire, Piaget, Vygotsky). Given the appropriate conditions, this should lead to progress.

A facilitator can help create these appropriate conditions, by encouraging others to develop their own philosophy, through his/her expertise in pedagogy. In other words, a teacher can instill the love of learning in a student. Along the way, he/she will need a hand.

The learning technologies that are available in the 21st century provide the ultimate example of human beings making a progress, a spiral of progress in fact. The following tools, inventions or simply put learning technologies, provide an insight into a ‘what if?’ moment. Perhaps initially as a means to communicate, collaborate and create. Eventually as a means to create the appropriate conditions that are conducive to learning – i.e. the appropriate pedagogy.

The following learning technologies are selected for evaluation – a Web 2.0 tool –  EduCreations, Developing Apps – using LiveCode and a 3D multi-user virtual environment – Second Life. The summarised version of the positive and negative aspects are given below. The full details can be found in here.

In summary:

Web 2.0 Tools

The positive aspects:

  • Student engagement
  • Ease of Use
  • Collaboration

The negative aspects:

  • Accessibility issues
  • The Cost
  • Intellectual Property


Developing Apps

The positive aspects:

  • Student engagement
  • The ownership
  • Endless possibilities

The negative aspects:

  • The learning curve
  • The cost
  • Time


3D Multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs)

The positive aspects:

  • Communities of practice
  • Immersive
  • Innovative

The negative aspects:

  • Technological implementation
  • Training
  • The cost

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