The end is near! It is hard to believe I entered the Information Technology & Digital Media Literacy 6th Year program at the University of New Haven a mere 12 months ago. I am now in my final semester and I am preparing a Digital Portfolio to summarize my learning. I will design a website to display the content I created over the course of the program. This process begins with reflection. When I look back on each semester I can surmise that I have investigated the innumerable ways technology enhances the educational process. Just this week I read two articles on the topic: Saga Brigg’s 2015 article Where Edtech Can Help: 10 Most Powerful Uses of Technology for Learning and Jonan Donaldson’s 2012 article Digital Portfolios in the Age of the Read/Write Web.
Saga’s in depth explanations of ten tech uses include: critical thinking, mobile learning, access to education, deeper learning, continuous feedback, unlimited and immediate, creation and contribution, social connectedness, global awareness, and understanding learning. Donaldson see’s the use of technology as a transformative process, taking a student from learner to creator. He identifies the ability of a digital portfolio to cause students to become skilled information processors; locating, organizing, interpreting, constructing and evaluating information from all learning situations and applying it to any given task. Donaldson states technology “transforms learning into an active experience” as learners become “producers of information, collaborators, and self-directing learners” (2012).
What Saga and Donaldson have in common is that all of their examples demonstrate technology is engaging. Donaldson discusses the intrinsic motivation and autonomy that technology can provide, whereas Saga focuses on allowing students to “openly write on topics that intrigue them (students) and give vent to their ideas without having to worry about grading or grammatical errors” (Saga, 2015). They both realize students are engaged in learning when technology is part of the equation. As I begin work on my digital portfolio this week, I will keep this idea in mind. The ability of technology to engage students will be a theme I incorporate throughout.