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Models in Educational Technology

In this video we will look at 3 models: TPACK, SMAR, and RAT. and contrast them with the expectations of ISTE. I am using ISTE as my 4th model in this scenario despite it being a standard by which all other models are to be judged. 

When you look at the standards set up by ISTE and compare the models you see that all 3 of them fall short of actually making an educational model that is based around student needs and optimal educational outcomes.

 

While the 3 models offer benefits in terms of their ease of use and implementation within a school what they lack is truly transformative experiences and reasonable expectations for why the technology should be integrated in the first place. 

 

 Students can not be passive in the education system any longer. They can not have information downloaded into them as if they themselves are a computer program waiting for the next input to be written into their coding. Instead students need to be actively engaged in their education. The appeal of the 3 models is the ease of use and implementation. Certainly, awareness that technology for technology's sake isn't a valid reason for it's use if the bare bones basics of where to start a conversation. Transformation seems like a good goal but to me it feels too vague and ill defined. 

While all say they focus on improved student outcomes the one I like most is actually not officially a model but a set of standards for both students and teachers created by the International Society for Technology in Education. In order to make technology's use make sense in any class project or learning environment it should meet criteria of what a student needs. Does it encourage them to expand their thinking? Create something new? Learn in a new way? Creatively solve a problem? Become part of a larger community? If it doesn't do those things, if it is just teaching the standard materials, in a standard way, just with some ap or program then it has no additional benefit for the student and shouldn't be utilized. 

I think having the ISTE standards at the forefront of programming gives practical guidance for when technology should be used in conjunction with specific outcomes that technology should be used to reach. I think the difficulty of implementing this fully into a regular school is multi-level. 

I think the first issue that arises is:

 

Lack of time and access to programming and technology to make the ISTE goals attainable. 

 

Secondly, creating programming with these goals in mind is time consuming and requires teachers to think in entirely new ways. 

 

The most significant barrier that I can see is that teachers are required to teach to testing requirements. Implementing ISTE standards is intensive and time consuming. Students learn at different rates and have different interests. It could be that one student's interests are in molecular compounds while the next wants to figure out ways to digitize music to go along with math problems. Neither of these students would pass standardized testing while the projects that they are passionate about could be very valuable in the long term. Our educational system, in general, isn't set up to enable students to explore their own interests and create the education that builds them up. 

I do see that this could be a useful guidepost for Unschooling, Homeschooling, or online schools where the teachers and parents have the flexibility, time, and lack of these rigid testing standards (for the most part).