Learning and educational technology – some thoughts

As a first “home assignment” in our Introduction to Learning and Educational Technology -course we were asked to think about what is our current understanding about educational technology, and what are our personal aims for educational technology studies.

I see educational technology as various different hardware and software that can be used to aid in both teaching and learning in general. The imporant thing is to first understand how people learn, and then think about how different HW and SW can be applied to help in learning. The same HW and SW is not applicable to all situations of teaching or learning, so it’s a matter of finding the rights tools for the certain context.

In Learning, Education and Technology studies I want to learn about the different ways how people learn, about the different technologies that are available, and then hopefully learn to apply this information to working life. I’m especially interested in life long learning and learning of expertise.

Lately I have been thinking about the issues of how employees in working life gather a lot of information and skills that they may not be totally aware of themselves, and therefore might not be able to use the full potential that they have in themselves. Sencondly, it has been discussed in Finnish media how the retirement age should be raised from 63 to 65, while at the same time employees struggle with coping at work (coping with workload and work-related stress, for example). I think that job satisfaction is one important aspect in coping at work – if job satisfaction could be improved I think it would help employees to cope better at work and perhaps would enable them to stay longer in working life aswell. But how to improve job satisfaction? Could one solution be that if people (both employees and employers) would be more aware of how people learn and how to support learning, and would apply this in working life( for example through development discussions), it would raise job satisfaction. Thus we would have more  motivated and productive employees, and without a doubt, content employers as well.

Well, here’s a though I would like to explore more during my studies. A possible subject for thesis, what do you think?

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About kaipihla

A student in Learning, Education and Technology Master's degree program in University of Oulu, Finland.
This entry was posted in Learning and Educational Technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Learning and educational technology – some thoughts

  1. Lara says:

    Hello, this is Lara. I am currently doing an internship in the LET unit and one of my tasks is it to comment on the LET students’ blogs. I am a student myself in a programme similar to LET (Educational Technology in Saarland University, Germany) and I hope I am able to give you some feedback on your blog from a peer-perspective.

    First, I would like to share my thoughts on your post about your current understanding about educational technology:

    This post is nicely structured into different components and your reader can get a good overview about your understanding of educational technology, your goals and your specific interests.

    You describe three main elements of educational technology: hardware, software and how people learn; and you emphasize that the learning-element needs to be understood first before hard- and software can come into play. I agree with you in that point, the technologies should be designed to meet certain needs in education. However, there are also different approaches that start from the other end: For example the “medium-based design”-approach. Here is a related article if you are interested: https://home.cc.gatech.edu/je77/uploads/3/mbd-ile.pdf
    I also like your note that the success of technologies is highly context-dependent, that there is not the single correct tech-solution for an educational “problem”. I’d say it is really important to keep that in mind.
    I appreciate that you set explicit learning goals that will guide you through your studies. Goal setting can help you in actually achieving your goals as you are more aware of what you aim for. I think it is beneficial how you already keep in mind the application of the acquired knowledge to working life. As you are already experienced in “real life work” those connections might be especially accessible to you, because you have a good idea of what is needed out there.
    You already have quite specific interests and ideas of how to use the skills and knowledge you’ll be gaining. In my opinion this is quite useful and also an early focus on possible thesis topics can help you to study in a more focused and meaningful way. You’re intended direction (enhancing job satisfaction through support of learning) sounds interesting to me and you’ll surely learn things in your studies that will help you exploring this topic. While studying with a concrete idea in mind, staying open for different directions and topics at the same time may be enriching.

    Concerning the overall look of your blog, I can only say positive things: The readability is good as you make usage of reasonable paragraphs; you nicely introduce yourself, your background and your goals and enrich this with pictures. I am looking forward to read more from you soon.

    Best regards,
    Lara

    Like

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