1b. Technical Knowledge and Use of TEL

1b. Technical knowledge and ability in the use of learning technology

Overall Description

Over the past two years, I have been introduced to and implemented a range of learning technology as I transition from teacher-directed to student-directed pedagogy. This has mainly been by using blended learning and flipped learning utilising 360 environments, Google Forms, live/ interactive Word Clouds, IFTTT, PowerPoint, Evernote, Google Plus Communities, YouTube videos, QR Codes, and Bitly (see below for examples of use).

Overall Reflection

When looking back on the different modes of content delivery, it is pleasing to see the personal growth of resources I have used to aid engagement of learning- with consideration of pedagogy. This has not been without some hesitancy nor frustration… as a lot of these learning technologies have been novel to the students and staff as well.  Reflecting on the evidence, recent studies have indicated that while students spend significant time on digital technology (i.e. computers, mobile phones, email), once they move beyond the entrenched technology and tools, their patterns of access and use of other technologies are varied (Kennedy, et al., 2008; Lai & Hong, 2015). This was true to my experience of working with the student- as I have had to learn not to assume that they will be adept to the learning technology.  This has required some additional preparation on my behalf as I introduce the technology-enabled learning (TEL)- while students explore a case scenario utilising the technology while completing a combination of online resources and practical components. On reflection, this has worked best in the blended learning environment as I am available to assist with any initial queries of use; and has proven to be more difficult when introduced as flipped learning- requiring me to still spend time going over the “how to use” so they can catch up and then engage in the tutorial learning. That said, it has been encouraging to see students adapt to the use of these- with increasing interaction with the learning technology. This includes participation in the Menti Word Clouds (after realising that I needed to establish some “ground rules” for students posting…), and gradual reduction in instruction to the new technology as students become familiar with the resources. Areas to improve on are the introduction of the learning technology earlier in the programme. Currently, this has been limited in Year 2 and 3 as these are the years that I am more involved in physiotherapy programme. Which raises the next point- that there needs to be further education and familiarisation of staff of the technology. It is realised that this is going to be a steady journey- however, have already seen glimmers of hope with some enthusiastic staff across the School who have taken this on. I am hoping to have them “showcase” what they have done at next year’s (2019) Staff Education Day- rather than it be a “lone voice” advocating that through sound and considered pedagogy, learning technology can be used well to enhance student engagement.

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Kennedy, G. E., Judd, T. S., Churchwood, A., Gray, K. & Krause, K. (2008). First year students’ experiences with technology: are they really digital natives? Australasian Journal of Education Technology, 24(1), 108- 122. Doi: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1233.

Lai, K-S. & Hong, K-W. (2015). Technology use and learning characteristics of students in higher education: Do generational differences exist? British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(4), 725- 738. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12161.

NOTE: The following provides evidence of how I have used a range of learning technologies.