There’s something about this model which captured my attention. It divides the uses of educational technology into three phases and the division resonated with my experience. In this model, Phase one and two takes technology and infuses it into traditional lessons. Phase three is quite a bit different, more advanced, and requires a paradigm shift.
One phase is not better than the rest
The model does not assume that one phase is better than the next, and hierarchy is not meant to be implied. However, it is described as a progressive process in the sense that a teacher will unlikely find him/herself in phase three, without having gone through and experienced phase one and two first. However, once having reached phase three, all the approaches in the different phases can be applied where appropriate.
Phase one: Replacing analogue presentations with digital
- Teacher: Producer, learns knew presentation tools
- Student: Consumer, no specific skills required
Phase one includes a dynamic presentation, replacing the chalkboard or whiteboard with video presentations, power point presentations, interactive whiteboards. Using different means of presenting helps the student build background knowledge, “you don’t get what you don’t see”.
Phase two: Textbooks are replaced by electronic forms of content
- Teacher: Information broker versus information source.
- Student: Learns to use online sources to access knowledge/information.
Teachers will usually move into this when they feel comfortable with phase one. A prerequisite is that students have computers. In this phase, textbooks are replaced with electronic forms of information. Students use their computers to access information. The product can be very traditional, such as a research paper or worksheet.
Phase three: Paradigm shift
- Teacher: Manager of group learning dynamics
- Student: co-creator, producer, reviewer
Phase three really begins to change the way teachers teach. It involves 21st century content standard skills, which are communication, collaboration and creation. Teachers have to think of students in a slightly different role, and themselves as well. They have to think of students as producers of information, and the end product can be a typical research paper, but can also be a movie, a podcast, or presentation with new presentation tools. In a further advanced stage of this phase, student can also publish to the world, using web 2.0 methodologies and tools. Publishing to a wider audience engages the students, and they can be called upon to not only be producers, but also the audience as well as peer reviewers, commenting on the work of their classmates.
Just in time, life long learning
There is much in this model I agree with, and had some “aha” moment first time I watched the movie. And it is the possibilities within phase three, using social networking platforms and linking students to professors, researchers, experts in the field, that I find exciting. The amount of inspiration which can travel both ways, learning, sharing… a network which is there for you to tap into for “just in time learning”, and “life long learning”.
To engage today’s student, I think facilitating professors to be competent in all three phases is a prerequisite to providing a professional educational system. A professor can then at least actively choose if s/he wants to meet and approach students with their own communication and learning styles, or not. In terms of providing our young academics with the skills to be competitive in the professional market, to keep learning, and share knowledge, I think phase three hits the nail on the head.