C. What are the major issues and trends in your field?
There are a number of major issues and trends in INSTRUCTIONAL TECHNOLOGY (InsT). Some of them is in the list.
I believe one of the prominent issues will be:-
Open Source Tools (OST) :
OST is here to stay due to the trend to customize and digitize caused by the unbridled demand of stakeholders in IT and the rapid growth of technology in education
OST is also currently referred as OPEN TECHNOLOGIES.
OST is the primary essence of EDUCATION 2.0.
Asides of being FREE of COST, OST gives the teacher the freedom to manage, modify and merge with lessons without the constraints of putting it as a priority to master the skills of using the tools such as Wikis (wikipedia, wikispace, wikiversity, wikisym), Moodle, YahooGroup, Googlegroup. OST is designed to provide the teachers to use the basic functions of tools and at the same time, getting maximum results.
On the other hand, OST allows the student/learner to commit legal “hacking” which is to manipulate the tools according to needs of the student/learner like web-blog (WordPress, Blogspot).
The emergence of open technologies in InsT has given every stakeholders the equal opportunity to express themselves with a firm sense of ownership. This is clearly shown via podcast, video-network e.g YouTube, and social network e.g. MySpace, and Facebook.
There are case studies in certain OSTs which clearly support learning theories.
Wikis is developed based on the collaborative construction theory.
In education, wikis promote the facilitation of a group writing process where a group takes responsibility for creating their own content, learning from and collaborating with one another and building upon each others’ contributions. (Grant, Lyndsay 2006)
Click here to download case-study on Wiki by Lyndsay Grant.
Other things which wikis can be used in education are (Taken from Using Wiki in Education):-
– able to create simple websites
– project development with peer review
– group education
– track group project
– data collection
b. Web-Blog-the much discussed OST
“Although writing does not help us develop writing style [Krashen contends READING develops writing style], writing has other virtues. As Smith (1988) has pointed out, we write for at least two reasons. First, and most obvious, we write to communicate with others. But perhaps more important, we write for ourselves, to clarify and stimulate our thinking. Most of our writing, even if we are published authors, is for ourselves.
As Elbow (1973) has noted, it is difficult to hold more than one thought in mind at a time. When we write our ideas down, the vague and abstract become clear and concrete. When thoughts are on paper, we can see the relationships among them, and can come up with better thoughts. Writing, in other words, can make you smarter.”
Taken from Dr. Stephen Krashen’s book “The Power of Reading, Second Edition: Insights from the Research.” – http://www.infinitethinking.org/
Writing via weblog can make a student-leaner “Smarter” in some of these aspects:-
> allowing students to develop ideas and invite feedback
> allowing students the personal space to reflect and receive teacher’s guidance.
In fact, there were a nudge for the teacher to utilize blog on account of these reasons.