In helping educators to teach and students to learn, educational technologies offer a number of advantages. The multimodal capabilities of technology allow for critical thinking and higher-order thinking skills to be promoted.
Because many of the concepts students have to learn are abstract, multimodal representations are critical to learning. Students who are digitally literate will be able to synthesize relevant information and illustrate their understanding across multiple representations of the same concept.
Educators may find it overwhelming to integrate digital technologies into their teaching due to the enormous amount of educational technologies available. An extensive number of tools are available on many online sites for each category of technology use.
A teacher who works from the top of the list down for each category will be committing a tremendous amount of time. It is essential for educators to be critically selective, and each has its own criteria or guiding principles.
A reasonable starting point would be to ask whether they have heard about the tool and its successful use in teaching and learning (e.g. from colleagues). A website with examples of how to use a new digital tool theoretically and pedagogically would provide support for deciding whether to adopt it.
There are educational technologiesthat can be downloaded and used offline, as well as those that can only be accessed online and require Internet access to access. It is possible to purchase some software packages with the computer’s software only through online or offline purchases.
There are many web-based technologies that are cost-effective, but they often have limitations in terms of functionality. In many cases, teachers can use the free versions with their classes.
There is an interdependency between pedagogy and technology, as discussed at the beginning. An exploration of a tool should be accompanied by an examination of its pedagogical potential.
It is important for educators to be aware of the types of programs and tools that are available when designing technology-supported learning. The modern technology capabilities, features, and purpose are in fulfilling learning objectives. Students may also encounter difficulties using the technology.
Teachers often concern themselves with their students’ technical and presentation abilities over the content learning aspect of a task that shifts the focus away from the technical and presentation aspects. It is important for educators not to over-focus on the “cosmetic” aspect of a tool when instructing students.
The use of technology should be used in order to demonstrate an understanding of the content and the focus on solving a problem as part of any learning task. It is important to make this explicitly clear to students through assessment criteria that reward clarity and coherence more than presentation. Educators and students must both have a reasonable level of digital literacy in order to effectively use educational technologies.
An educator can prepare purposeful and meaningful lessons by possessing a good degree of digital literacy that encompasses cognitive, technical, and social-emotional dimensions. Using educational technologies effectively will be easier for the students.
In technologically enhanced environments, digital literacy would also alleviate the cognitive load for students. Rather than having to focus on processing new information and figuring out the technical aspects of using the tool, the student’s mind can focus on the content or task at hand.