Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Technology, Pedagogy and Change Management--The Perfect Storm

In many of the previous posts, I have suggested that harnessing technology in the service of effective pedagogy is not just a nice add on but is an essential in an age of information and learning. Having stated this, there is a necessary caveat which is:

" Not all the emerging technologies are going to be readily useful in creating irresistibly engaging E-Learning and in some cases can be disregarded completely!"

This is where we face the triumvirate of forces acting in a  perfect storm on efforts to create effective E-Learning. We need to consider the importance of "change management" in dealing with this storm. That is why we need to exercise a critical discernment when evaluating the potential of a technology to have sustainable and lasting benefits leading to the enrichment of the learning experience for learners now and in the future. For an organization and the learners who make up their learning culture, every piece of new technology that is introduced creates stress if the proper mechanisms are not in place to create a sense of trust among all who are impacted by the technology introduction. This has always been the case but the difference in today's world is the exponential rate that new technologies are evolving and being introduced.

In an organization which has taken steps to make learning among employees a core value that is in sync with this digital information and learning age, the danger is creating an environment in which, metaphorically speaking "the tail wags the dog". Simply put:

"Technology should not be the driver for change; evolving pedagogy and the needs of the learner should be, in which critically harnessing technology is done in a thoughtful manner"

Key Evolving Technologies Requiring Critical and Thoughtful Consideration

Mobile Learning: Mobile Learning has been one of the technologies that has been receiving much press lately but there are some critical questions that need to be asked that deals with time between introduction of the technology and its adoption:

  1. Has the pedagogy been put to the test using such a technology? Given that the purpose of such a technology is not only to provide access to learning any time and anywhere but also to present learning in short digital bites, has the divide been defined between learning that is strictly anecdotal and learning that leads to an in depth understanding of the topic?
  2. What will be the learning focus in using such a technology, skillset development or factual content?
  3. In a world of distraction, does the use of such technology distinguish itself in useful ways from the "white noise" that makes up the environments of many societies?
  4. If mobile learning incorporates augmented technology in some form, how will this harmonize with the environment that we are acting within and which is impacting on us?

Next..looking at other emerging technologies

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