Emerging Technologies for Interactive Learning in the ICT Age

Emerging Technologies for Interactive Learning in the ICT Age

Heng Luo (Syracuse University, USA) and Jing Lei (Syracuse University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0137-6.ch005
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Abstract

Based on the review of educational technology research, this chapter describes and discusses how emerging technologies are integrated into the teaching and learning process to facilitate the learner-content, learner-learner, learner-instructor, and learner-interface interactions, as well as the new opportunities and challenges brought by them. Technologies discussed in this chapter are categorized into four types based on their distinct interactive features. Guidelines for applying them to facilitate interactive learning are proposed at the end of the chapter, based on the case studies of four interactive learning systems selected from the literature.
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The Role Of Ict In Interactive Learning System Design

Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are defined as “a diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, create, disseminate, store, and manage information” (Blurton, 1999, p.1). The advancement of ICT has created many exciting opportunities in field of education, with upgraded functionality and availability of new tools. From teaching machines to personal computers, from E-mail to Web 2.0, from audio-visual aids to interactive multimedia, the emergence of new technologies resulted in significant changes to our educational systems, creating more blended and personalized learning modes with an emphasis on activity, collaboration and exploration. However, in contrast to the rapid development and wide use of ICT in all educational sectors in the past few decades (Anderson & Kanuka, 2003), little progress has been seen in students’ academic performance during this period. For example, a report published by the U.S. Department of Education (2010) reveals that the average reading and mathematics scores for American 17-year-olds in 2008 were not significantly different from the scores in the early 1970s. Such finding can be rather heart-sinking considering that most schools didn’t even have a computer in the early 1970s.

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