Learner-Centered Teaching and the Use of Technology

Learner-Centered Teaching and the Use of Technology

Annette Greer (East Carolina University, USA) and Vivian W. Mott (East Carolina University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jwbltt.2009091501
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This article explores the use of various learning technologies as tools for facilitating learner-centered teaching. The article offers another perspective on the scholarship of teaching with technology—through discussion of various theoretical models of learner-centered teaching, the role of technology on the student/instructor relationships, the impact on technology in different educational settings and contexts, and learners’ cultural differences. The article concludes with a brief discussion of future trends, cautions, and speculations related to technology use in learner-centered teaching.
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Background: Educational Elements

There are many elements to be considered in any educational environment: instructors, learners, content, delivery, application, context, environment, and resources. Not only are the elements essential to understand; further, the interaction of these elements, within the context of time and the roles that each of these elements play, have varied across historical time as higher education has evolved as well. The relationship between the elements of education changes rapidly as the elements themselves have transformed with time and as knowledge has both become obsolete and expanded exponentially (Billings & Halstead, 2005; Mott, 2009). It is the changing relationship among the educational elements of instructors, students, content, environment, all influenced by the application of technology resources, that have stimulated this article.

Demonstration of technological competencies is central to the ability of instructors to meet the diverse learning needs of students. Technological competencies are based on the same continuum as the technology itself from simple to complex according to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE, 2008). ISTE has set national technology competency standards for instructors and students. As early as 1995, ISTE commissioned a white paper regarding the technological literacy skills needed for the 21st century (Thomas & Knezek, 1995). Technological literacy includes: (a) understanding math and science concepts underlying technological systems, (b) operability relative to various systems, (c) utilization and evaluation of diverse applications, (d) ability to innovate technology to solve emerging science problems, (e) awareness of the role of technology to any given career, (f) responsiveness to critical factors that lend success to any given career, and (g) appreciation of the role technology has on the various cultures of our global society.

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