Sunday, October 12, 2014

Entry 10 IDT1415 Are you driven by technology or by pedagogy in your teaching?

I would confidently say that my teaching is driven by pedagogy as I have become more aware in the last few years of how informed decisions regarding technology integration are at the heart of a sound approach.  Puentedura's SAMR model, Mishra and Koehler's TPACK Model and a personal interest in cognitive psychology with a passion for Guided Discovery as opposed to Guided Learning as it allows the teacher to combine action learning principles with scaffolded input to provide an enhanced experience that 'recognises the boundaries of cognitive load while encouraging the passion for student exploration' (Harvel 2010:169). These have informed and continue to influence my lesson planning and design on a regular basis. For instance, some of the questions I often ask myself when deciding whether a tool is to be integrated into a lesson or session and which have become a sort of self assessment criteria are:

1. What is/are my aims for the lesson (regardless of technology)?

2. What part of my lesson would be more engaging and cognitively challenging if I added technology?

3. Once No. 2 is clear, what tools do I know already or remember seeing somewhere which can help me enhance my lesson? Once there is an answer to this question, try and test the tool.

4. Will the lesson be the same without the chosen tool? If yes, discard it. If not, ensure it is recyclable.

5. How is the students' use of the language and learning experience enhanced by this tool? Identify this before moving on otherwise it'll be infotaiment!

6. Will my students need training? If yes, then how am I going to give it e.g. a quick screen cast? In or outside class? With lower levels usually in class to 'show' them what I mean. If not, what do they need to know to be independent enough to complete the self training stage before the next lesson?

In short, the above inform my (re)definition (note the 'R' for Redefinition in the SAMR model) of tasks that otherwise could be implemented without any technology. As a consequence, technology integration is not necessarily an element that is omnipresent throughout the curriculum but rather an ad hoc enhancing experience.


Harvel, C. 2010. Guided Discovery Learning. In: Heekap, L. 2010. 'Faith-based Education that Constructs: a creative dialogue between constructivism and faith-based education', Eugene, OR., Wipf and Stock Publishers, 169-173.

Mishra, P. and Koehler, M.J. 2006 'Technological pedagogical content knowledge: a framework for teacher knowledge', Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-54.

Puentedura, R. R. 2006. 'Transformation, Technology, and Education'. Online at: [accessed: October 11, 2014]

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