Digital Learning Tools

Digital Learning Tools

Digital learning tools like the Samsung Galaxy Tablet 2 7.0 will change the look and feel of how schools teach and how student learn. In most southern California schools, there is limited technology. There are desktop computers in classrooms mostly for the use of teachers.  Most classrooms do not have chalkboards but dry erase whiteboards. Computers are totally in use by administrative personnel to maintain student personnel data, discipline actions, grade reporting, and transcripts. The San Jacinto School District, as part of their common core curriculum implementation plan will distribute some students a galaxy tablet 2 7.0 in lieu of textbooks in the coming fall. These textbooks will store all of the student’s electronic textbooks. 

Students will also have school email addresses that will be available to send homework assignments to their teacher. This is not a new concept.  The above video provides a report about a full implementation using laptops to replace the textbooks. The interview reports about the average cost of maintaining the laptops at $200 each year per student. This cost is less than the total annual outlay for paper and printing costs.  The placement of technology does not mean that it will be part of instruction unless the teacher embraces the technology. Digital learning tools will help improve the learning of mathematics courses like Algebra with digital applications like Mathway and Script-Calculator applications. 

Online training is here as a viable mode of instruction according to Rosenberg (2001).  Successful implementation will depend upon the support in a variety of ways considering several factors: the readiness and openness of a school culture to share information in a comprehensive manner, the readiness of management to invest resources in developing a robust infrastructure, and the readiness of trainers to design learner-centered curriculum along an ever-expanding continuum of employee needs (Rosenberg, 2001).

Rosenberg (2001) identifies knowledge management as a key in creating a culture for e learning.  E learning and knowledge management are separate processes from training.  In speaking of knowledge management, Rosenberg (2001) stresses that support to move in the learning-through-technology direction must have a management champion especially front-line managers must be on board to realize success (Rosenberg, 2001). 

Today the typical school employee use of computers include using their computer to view company policies, access forms, distribute information among colleagues, share stories, access expertise of respected sages, trouble shoot, gain up-to-the-minute advice, teach, coach, and customize one’s training needs (Rosenberg, 2001).  The building of a learning culture should include the perception that the use of the computer is a natural part of one’s job. Likewise, the student perception needs to include the concept that learning and the use of technology is part of learning today and in the future (Rosenberg, 2001). In summary, Rosenberg (2001) recommends steps that are necessary to give birth to an e learning school culture. Rosenberg (2001) discovers a successful strategy involves developing a receptive culture toward e-learning and technology, getting key players on board, communicating its value, and leading through the change.

The 21st century will contest the terrain as our society strives toward post-industrial forms of knowledge acquisition and production without having yet overcome the educational contradictions and failings of the industrial age (Warschauer, 2007).  “Educational reformers suggest that the advent of new technologies will radically transform what people learn, how they learn, and where they learn, yet studies of diverse learners’ use of new media cast doubt on the speed and extent of change (Warschauer, 2007, p. 1).

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