The Power of Technology in K-12 Education

The Power of Technology in K-12 Education

Rachael Peggs
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9235-9.ch013
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COVID-19 forever changed the lives of everyone in the year 2020. It caused heartbreak, the loss of loved ones, and changed forever what we considered to be normal. Education and schools took a completely different shift when schools closed, and students were transitioned into 100% online learning. Although this shift was abrupt and extremely hard, it has changed learning in a multitude of ways that we can now begin to understand. One of these is channeling learners' creativity, intrinsic motivation, and interest recognition using technology in the curriculum in crisis and non-crisis learning situations. Throughout this chapter there will be a review of problem-based learning, gamification, game-based learning, and simulation-based learning and the benefits associated with each of these and the major role that technology plays in each to be successful along with an exploration of the problems associated with technology and recommendations for educators, schools, administrators, and policymakers.
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2020 is a year that will never be forgotten and drastically changed the way of life as we know it. A disease called COVID 19 took the world by surprise causing a national pandemic. Isolation and lockdown, closing of businesses, many loved ones passing from the illness, wearing face masks anywhere you go, and schools closing leaving teachers to frantically figure out how they are going to teach in this new world we now live in are just a few of the life changing effects from COVID 19. As these are all devastating and no one is more important than the other, schools have struggled immensely from this rapid change. The world of education that we once knew before COVID 19 seemed to dissipate and a drastic shift took place. Moving from in person classrooms to 100% teaching online has created many challenges for both students and teachers. Students were uprooted from their classrooms and now had to face learning in their home environment, which can be extremely difficult due to the immense number of distractions that they can encounter and the limitations some students face with the lack of resources they need to participate in online school. Students needed to have motivation and perseverance through this time to ensure they would still make significant academic gains, which is easier said than done, as many students struggled before COVID 19 with these skills. There are a multitude of factors to consider when each student's learning environment is different from one another when learning from home. But what if this new norm for teaching actually benefited our students and opened new opportunities for everyone? However, most teachers did not think about it this way and struggled to figure out how they would teach their curriculum online while still having meaningful and engaging lessons and learning how to use various technologies that can seem daunting and overwhelming. Not only were there an immense number of changes for the students, but also for the teachers. Their prior teaching styles and strategies needed to be completely adjusted, if not changed, to deliver meaningful and appropriate instruction. In a national pandemic it is completely normal to think the worst before looking at the opportunities it may bring us, especially with the continuous devastating news COVID 19 has brought about. But now having been in this pandemic for over a year we can begin to understand these new opportunities from online learning and technology. One of these is channeling learners' creativity, intrinsic motivation, and interest recognition using technology in the curriculum in crisis and non-crisis learning situations.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Game-Based Learning: To incorporate game like features into a real-life educational setting.

Universal Design: A framework for instruction that anticipates and addresses the needs of a variety of learners, including students with disabilities.

Problem-Based Learning: Student centered learning approach where students work together to solve a problem, oftentimes real-world problems.

Equity: To be fair and equal.

Real-World Experiences: Experiences within the classroom that are applicable to the world outside the classroom.

Simulation-Based Learning: The integration of multiple skills in an environment, believed to be real to replicate real world problems that must be solved.

Gamification: Application of typical game playing elements into other areas of activity.

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