Cross-posted this from Innovate –
Welcome to the April/May issue of Innovate, which focuses on changing the ways we think about technology and its role in educational settings. We open our issue with my interview with Joel Barker and Scott Erickson, co-authors of Five Regions of the Future: A New Way to Think about Technology (Penguin 2005). They encourage thinking about technology in terms of purposes and results, developing five interrelated groupings that form a new lexicon to help the general public participate in discussions about emerging technologies and to help us all understand the uses and potential results of a technology.
Addressing the potential results of using video game technology in educational contexts, Michael Young, P. G. Schrader and Dongping Zheng encourage instructors, researchers, and designers to explore massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). They examine the learning environments provided by MMOGs using ecological psychology, a theoretical approach that emphasizes the interrelationship between the mind and its environment, and encourage teachers and designers to utilize the learning potential inherent in this popular medium.
Our next four articles provide practical accounts of how technologies are currently being used to enhance the learning process for K-12 students, educational leaders, and university students. I interview David Macquart of the Global Nomads Group, a group dedicated to heightening cultural understanding among our K-12 children. They use videoconferencing technology to bring together classes in different parts of the world and to stream videoï¿½or webumentariesï¿½from cultural sites around the world. In turn, Donna Cooner and Ellyn Dickmann examine the advantages of using of e-journals to promote critical self-reflection, peer dialogue, and professional growth for interns in principal preparation programs. They also introduce us to Journey Mapping, a software program that can support structured e-journal writing for student principals and convenient data collection for their mentors and supervisors.
In college courses with large enrollments, the strategic use of technology can offer significant advantages as well. Jason Cole and Bruce Robertson illustrate how they used a model from the business world, market segmentation, to determine the diverse needs of students in a large core class; they then drew upon this model to develop a hybrid online/offline course that caters to different student populationsï¿½working and nonworking students as well as native English speakers and ESL students. Johnny El-Rady describes how he adopted an electronic voting system to facilitate class participation and assess student learning in a large lecture course. In assessing the pros and cons of using such a system, he argues that the benefits of such technology make it a valuable asset for instructors.
Our final feature offers recommendations for how technology should be used to maximize the value of existing university resources. John Shank and Steven Bell introduce us to the Administrators, Faculty, Librarians Instructional Parnership (A_FLIP), their model of a collaboration among instructors, administration, and librarians that centers around using the courseware system to facilitate involvement of the library in courses.
Enjoy this issue of Innovate. As always, we look forward to interacting with you through the journal’s discussion boards, live webcasts, and other exemplary features.
James L. Morrison