Using Technology in Learning and Teaching: Making the Right Choices Involves Understanding the Problems to be Solved

Using Technology in Learning and Teaching: Making the Right Choices Involves Understanding the Problems to be Solved

Ron Oliver (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3661-3.ch005


This chapter describes approaches to using technology in teaching that have facilitated engaging and challenging learning settings across a range of discipline areas. The framework of the discussion offers readers the opportunity to consider and plan their own use of learning technologies. Fundamental to the strategies described in this chapter is the use of technology to provide opportunities for learning and teaching that solve problems and provide solutions to identified needs. The chapter describes uses of technologies that are able to deliver high student satisfaction and deep learning. The chapter discusses approaches that can be implemented with a variety of technologies and encourages readers to plan and implement the ideas within their own settings.
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This chapter describes approaches to learning and teaching with technology I have undertaken in university settings across a period of 25 years from the mid-eighties to the present. During this period, my colleagues and I pioneered and trialed a wide number of technology-enabled applications and gained recognition for the quality of these learning and teaching activities at institutional and national levels. The aim of the chapter is to showcase some of these strategies.

When I first started using technology in my university teaching in 1984, there was no Internet, and there were no laptops. The applications were based on desktop computers (and terminals) organized in laboratories. Early applications of the technology in my teaching, therefore, involved using computers as a complement to existing activities. The students were introduced to the laboratory computers and encouraged to use them with the specialized tutorial programs we developed to support particular parts of our courses and programs. At this time, we were also exploring the use of productivity tools like word processors as writing aids and spreadsheets and databases as tools for inquiry and analysis. Many of the applications of the technology at this time provided interesting enhancements and additions to our learning programs (e.g. Oliver, 1989; Oliver & Kerr, 1993). An important component of the use of computers was to ensure all students were developing levels of IT literacy, an area of keen interest at the time (Oliver, 1993).

In the early nineties we gained access to developmental technologies and with the emergence of multimedia, I developed a number of interactive multimedia programs to support my students that included text, audio and video components. Many of these were in tutorial formats and they proved to be successful and popular learning tools (Perzylo & Oliver, 1994; Oliver, 1995a). By this time, some students were beginning to own their own personal desktops enabling learning resources to be distributed on CD-ROMSs which were rapidly becoming standard features of the contemporary computer (Oliver, 1995b, 1996a; Oliver & Herington, 1995).

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