Aligning technology with pedagogy

Aligning Technology with Pedagogy Aligning Technology with Pedagogy Having read the book ” Pedagogy first: Making web-technologies work for soft skills development in leadership and management education” by Morgan and Adams (Morgan and Adams, 2009) I came up with a few ideas concerning the alignment of pedagogy and technology in a classroom. In this paper I am going to discuss them with the reference to other teachers and educators. Effective teaching and learning at school have been thought to come as a result of intensive development of software skills and acquiring knowledge of a variety of new tools. At the same time, pedagogy, this “ art or profession of teaching” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 2011) was given not enough attention. In other words, teachers hardly had a chance to learn how to utilize the advanced tools in the most effective way, so that students’ learning reaches maximum. To orchestrate every part of routine practice in a secondary school classroom, including technological devices, is the biggest objective that we have today. Only moving this way will we be able to provide favorable learning environment at school. . Today there are a lot of teachers and school headmasters who recognize the pivotal role of pedagogy for making up programs. What is more, pedagogy seems to be of the utmost importance for the preparation of the future teachers. Only having learned enough pedagogy will the teachers be able to set a positive environment in a classroom and deliver the designed programs in the best way. Let us find out what is exactly is “ pedagogy”. According to Roget, pedagogy can be defined as ” The act, process, or art of imparting knowledge and skill.” (Quoted in McKenzie, 2003). Furthermore, pedagogy has got its own definition from “ The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards”: Content pedagogy refers to the pedagogical (teaching) skills teachers use to impart the specialized knowledge/content of their subject area(s). Effective teachers display a wide range of skills and abilities that lead to creating a learning environment where all students feel comfortable and are sure that they can succeed both academically and personally. This complex combination of skills and abilities is integrated in the professional teaching standards that also include essential knowledge, dispositions, and commitments that allow educators to practice at a high level (The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards). Interestingly, the understanding of pedagogy by the Secretary of Education is different. To teach “ how to be a teacher” is the primary objective of pedagogy, as stated in “ Paige Uses Report As a Rallying Cry To Fix Teacher Ed”. Moreover, the Secretary suggests that pedagogy is something American teachers do not need. Instead, the importance of the scientific approach is underlined. As for technology, the majority of teachers today associate it with power points, podcasts, World Wide Web, laptops, speakers, a projector, etc (Daniels, 2007). While the general view of the technology enhancement is predominantly positive, more and more teachers argue that there should be built a clear hierarchical relation between these two concepts. In particular, rather than let technology rule the classroom and pedagogy, the latter should be seen as superior to technology. To support this idea, an example can be used that reflects on the insufficiency of technology as a principal learning condition. At the beginning of the century laptops were being actively promoted for every student as a guarantee of improved learning. An advertisement of laptops might have looked like this: The Laptop Promise “ If you buy a laptop for each student . . . Better writing Expanded knowledge Increased achievement – higher scores Improved skills for the modern workplace Enhanced learning & teaching efficiency Heightened motivation for all involved Enriched preparation for global citizenry Elevated problem-solving & decision-making Intensified student-centered learning Augmented teaming and cooperation” (Quoted in McKenzie, 2003). Still, a few years passed and everyone could see that such promises were no more than just an inflated claims used in marketing. According to McKenzie, if the listed results are wished to be seen, pedagogy has to become the centre of the teaching-learning relations. Pedagogy will help to use all these devices, including PDAs, laptops, calculators, projectors, etc in such a way that they complement the process of learning, but not impede it. For instance, as C. W. Daniels says, we have to look for a way how technology can be used in a role of a tool that will not be an obstacle to learning. In case with taking notes on laptops while listening to a teacher, the author admits to the fact that technology does more harm than good since the majority of learners tend to be distracted by their computers. Some check their emails, others just surf the Net, or play games. One can learn more effectively if he/she lets the laptop record the teacher’s voice (so that he can easily reproduce everything heard at home) while putting down the most important things in writing (Daniels, 2007). In other words, the author stands for the fruitful combination of both pedagogy and technology. To conclude, pedagogy has accumulated a number of teaching methods and ways to support and motivate learners at school. Changing types of activity in a classroom, shifting the emphasis on students rather than making a teacher a central figure, finding an individual approach to every student are just some of the things that are crucial for the learning success among students today. As the tool of pedagogy, technology has a right to be relied on while teaching. Yet, not too much. References Daniels, S. W. (2007) Thoughts on Pedagogy: Does Technology in the classroom Help or Hurt? Retrieved on 5 February 2011 from http://gatheringinlight. com/ McKenzie, J. (2003) Pedagogy Does Matter! Fno. Org. Retrieved 5 February 2011 from http://fno. org/sept03/pedagogy. html. Morgan, Adams (2009) Pedagogy first: Making web-technologies work for soft skills development in leadership and management education.