Sunday, August 18, 2013

EDEM630 : Reflection 2

The journey of EDEM630 continued and moved to Personal Perspective of theories of change. Here I came across various models of change and innovations regarding the technology. However, the model that attracted the most is Technology Acceptance Model.

Going through the weeks of exploring the theories, I asked the following questions to myself:
How willing are students to embrace a new technology-supported approach that engages them in the entire education lifecycle?
Can information technology improve the education process, making it more enjoyable and increasing learning?

On the other hand, I also believe that the online participatory education transforms the traditional instructor-dominated learning process into a cooperative learning experience. Learners learn, create and solve problems in an asynchronous virtual learning environment in which they can see all content, questions, answers and feedbacks.

While some students have trouble adjusting to the radical change in their traditional role, research shows overall acceptance and recommendation of the participatory approach.

It also supports a Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) adapted to the educational context for predicting acceptance of this new approach to learning made possible by information technology.

The online education transforms the traditional instructor-dominated learning process into a cooperative learning experience. Collaborative learning often results in higher learning compared with individual-oriented learning due to social interaction among students. On the one hand, this enhances knowledge sharing, helping students clarify confusing course materials as well as grasping understanding beyond the individual‘s perception. On the other hand, the underlying assumption for educators is that collaborative learning holds the promise of active construction of knowledge, enhanced problem articulation, and benefits in exploring and sharing information and knowledge gained from peer-to-peer communication.

Among the pedagogical advantages of collaborative learning online, besides its fundamental characteristic of helping students to actively construct knowledge, are that collaboration models activity in the workplace, enhances students' understanding and appreciation of diversity, and may give students a sense of belonging .Perhaps most importantly, collaboration allows distant students to interact socially and develop a feeling of community in online courses. For information systems researchers, there is a need to further investigate students‘psychomotor, cognitive, and affective skills in computer-supported collaborative learning environments. A number of technologies (e.g., online discussion boards, visualization tools, multimedia) have been implemented to support the online educational content delivery. Our participatory learning engage the students to increase their learning and their enjoyment of the learning process.

What factors lead to the acceptance of a technology supported educational innovation?

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the most widely used model in Information Systems, predicts that Behavioral Intention to Use an information system in the future is a product of Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Ease of Use. I t has seen many variations in its development and has been criticized for treating its constructs as ―black boxes with little effort going into understanding what actually makes a system useful . A number of authors have extended TAM by proposing external variables as antecedents to better explain perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use 


This unified TAM model identifies a variety of individual differences (i.e., gender, age, and experience, social influence, etc.) that may affect acceptance of IT within an educational context. Recent TAM research has further incorporated individual characteristics and situational/contextual variables to understand initial and continuous acceptance and adoption of an IT.

Higher education and e-learning sectors is an important and widespread domain utilizing information systems, so understanding what constructs impact educational technology acceptance is critical. Therefore, researchers have utilized TAM to evaluate educational technologies acceptance. They adapted TAM to examine effectiveness of a particular desktop technology or online learning communities

Therefore, it is useful to build on adapting and extending the TAM model and not to a particular technology, but to a particular technology-supported learning process in asynchronous learning networks.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Scenario Matrix-EDEM630

The Future of Mathematics Education
The Big Question/s:
What do we know about Mathematics in NZ Schools?
Why do many students do not succeed in Mathematics?
What needs to be done to confront obstacles with the subject?
Will technology be an effective instructional medium for Maths education?

Today's students will live and work in the twenty-first century, in an era dominated by computers, by world-wide communication, and by a global economy. Jobs that contribute to this economy will require workers who are prepared to absorb new ideas, to perceive patterns, and to solve unconventional problems.
Learning Goals:Geometry and arithmetic--thinking and calculating--are not only paradigms of school mathematics but also caricatures of mathematics in the minds of parents. Today, for quite different reasons, neither goal is especially relevant. Although most children learn to calculate well enough, calculators have made this hard-learned skill virtually obsolete. And although high school students still study proofs in geometry, little learned there-and little is all it is-transfers to clarity of thought in other important areas of life.
To help today's students prepare for tomorrow's world, the goals of school mathematics must be appropriate for the demands of a global economy in an age of information.
Social Constructivist Approach: Teacher will always evaluate students’ prior knowledge at the beginning of a lesson. Teacher will guide students to restructure their existing ideas. Teacher gives opportunities for students to apply their ideas. Teacher will guide students to make reflections. Social constructivisms stress the need for collaboration among students and practitioners. Mutual dependence or positive interdependence. Each member is responsible for completing the assigned tasks, mastering the material and explaining the work to the class, group members sit together to discuss and teach what they know to other members, students need to develop listening, respecting others, sharing responsibility.
Reform and Controversy in Maths Education: To begin, there are two terms in this controversy which both sides seem to agree upon their definition. They are "traditional maths" and reform math (modern maths). Modern maths involves a type of curriculum intended to help children discover, understand and integrate knowledge through the independent exploration of mathematics.  It is also about how children learn and how to enable students to reach the content goals that are set for them by their teacher. It is hardly ever described as a math curriculum which initially allows students to discover mathematical concepts on their own and then reinforce them with repetition and practice. It has garnered a broad but shallow consensus among the two sides of the controversy and has obviously become a point of conflict which has to win.Traditional maths that is common when today's adults and elders were in school and suggests that children mimic mindlessly what teachers model with the hope that somehow the mimicry will lead to learning.  Modern maths have the desire to make math fun and interesting. Teachers let technology, manipulatives, group work/cooperative learning and the use of realistic situations act as the means to the end.
Parents and traditionalists have taken the stance they have in believing there is no place for "modern math" in a mathematics curriculum.  These people believe that any change is bad and that mathematics should be taught the traditional way - because that's how they learned it so "their children and grandchildren should learn it the same way. They also feel that widespread testing on computation skills will keep us on the straight and narrow path. Traditionalists have no place for problem-solving of real-world situations in a mathematics curriculum. Traditionalists believe mathematics to be a set of rules, skills and facts that need to be learned, maintained, and drawn upon when and if necessary. Other traditionalists understand mathematics to be "a unified (but static) body of knowledge, with all the parts logically connected, there to be discovered by humans. In essence, the traditionalists support the behaviorist theory of learning which is based on stimulus-response theory. Hence, the teaching is very directive and the classroom is extremely teacher-centered.
Modern Maths is one in which students engage in purposeful activities that grow out of problem situations, requiring reasoning and creative thinking, gathering and applying information, discovering, inventing, and communicating ideas, and testing those ideas through critical reflection and argumentation. On the other hand, the modern maths follows the cognitive theory of learning. Because of this, their teaching is very indirect and the classroom is notably student-centered.
One underlying issue in the controversy, which can be seen as a problem of understanding, is what each side is using as their definition of mathematics.
Effective  Instructional Technology for Maths Education: Today, classroom teachers may not have personal experience with the technology and present an additional challenge. In order to integrate technology-based activities and projects in their curriculum, teachers first need to find the time to learn to use the tools and understand the terminology required for participation in projects or activities. They must have the ability to use technology to improve student learning, and to strengthen personal development training.
Educational technology enables students to improve the skills and concepts through multiple representations and advanced visualization. Its benefits include greater accuracy and speed in data collection and graphics, real-time display, the ability to collect and analyze large volumes of data and collaboration data collection and interpretation and presentation of results more varied. The technology is also engaged students higher-order thinking, builds strong problem-solving skills, and develop understanding of the concepts and procedures, when used appropriately.