In my previous blogs I have discussed the issues FLEXIBILITY, PEDAGOGY and TECHNOLOGY separetely. In this blog I would like to consider what my experiences with these issues so far and try to reflect on the relationships between them. This will be experiences from a course I follow about Pedagogies for Flexible Learning supported by Technology, but also some experiences from other courses or things I have learned. The triangle below illustrates a little bit how flexibility, technology and pedagogy are connected. As you can see, all three of them are connected with each other and they all have their influences on each other.
At first, in the last few weeks, some of the concepts I had in mind have changed. I always considered 'flexibility' as a concept that had to do with distance education, with e-learning and video lectures, studying at your own place and time. Now, however, I found out that flexibility is so much more than that :) Another concept of which my ideas have changed is that 'technology' is not only digital technology, but also non-digital technologies like a textbook and a chalkboard. Never thought of that before, because when you say 'technology' in informal conversation, you mean digital technology, right? But for educational purposes and for this blog, I have to look broader on the subject of technologies than only the digital technologies.
I discussed flexibility in my first blog. There I said that flexibility can for example change the delivery of learning material and make learning more adapted to the individual learner. The ultimate goal of integrating technology in education is to create technology-rich learning environment in which digital and non-digital technologies together support and enhance learning for every student. This an utiopian idea that shines trough most literature upon the subject. In this technology-rich environment, the teacher does not need to think about how he is using different technologies, but has the skills to switch between them easily and use the right technologies for the right pedagogies (and vice versa). This will probably lead to more learner-centred pedagogies in education, in which the students contruct their own knowledge with the teacher as a facilitator. It will change the use of digital technologies as a substitute or addition to existing learning material/curriculum to the integrating of digital technologies in the existing learning material/curriculum.
Good pedagogies can be difficult to establish for certain technologies. It will certainly take a lot of time to develop them, and it will need a lot of effort from teachers. Pioneer teachers are needed, teachers who are willing to put a bit more time and effort in their job to experiment with new technologies in teaching and to make the schools' curriculum a technology-rich curriculum. Sometimes, I am scared that developing pedagogies take a longer time than the survival time of a certain technology...And developing new pedagogies is almost only worthwhile when in increases learning outcomes for students. Take for example learning with mobile devices; many lessons have been developed already, however evidence from enhanced learning is almost not available. There has just not been enough time yet to find out these results.