Technology holds a strong presence in our daily lives, so why would the classroom be an exception. Just as people evolve our implementation of technology into education evolves. As more meaningful and relevant applications are developed technology becomes more relevant in education. E-learning and blended learning have lead to increased academic achievements in preschool through higher education according to findings shown in Schacter, J. (2008), The Impact of Educational Technology on Student Achievement: What the Most Current Research Has to Say. These finding are accurate for both general education students and special needs students. Technology is the instructional delivery method of e-learning and blended learning integrates quality face-to-face instruction with technology driven methods of instruction. According to Schacter, J. (2008), student learn more in a shorter time period and develop a positive attitude toward their learning when courses implement computer-based instruction.
Because K-12 courses are becoming more often taught in an e-learning or blended learning environments, understanding the benefits and how to get the most from technology based education is a must. The goal of e-leaning and blended leaning is to promote communication between students and teacher, facilitate collaboration among students and provide a means for demonstrating learning. When designing an e-learning or blending learning curriculum we as education need to plan, develop and implement learning tools and strategies that will be meaningful, motivational and memorable for our students. A wide variety of leaning management system (LMS) have been developed, selecting the LMS that fits the needs of your course to become the platform for learning is critical. Teachers can enhance e-learning outcomes by supplying multiple sources, being timely with student feedback, give student choices, imbedding the ability for student to manage course content, carefully develop rubrics to promote student achievement, provide samples, make learning experience authentic, implement student introduction to create a connected community of learners, get the most that social networking has to offer and be sure student are aware of the technology requirement of the course (Kerr, S. 2011, January).
Students within our school district are already benefitting from the implementation of a blended learning environment. In addition, our students receive computer-enhanced instruction regularly. However, students need to become more active in their education and become more independent technology users. Therefore, I would like to see more e-learning opportunities with authentic tasks for our elementary students. Digital Literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills. Digital literacy is more than being able to use a computer. These authentic learning opportunities would strengthen the digital literacy of students, which would lead to more confident e-learners. Media Center lessons will be the central hub for implementation of digital literacy learning task. The 50 minutes student are in Media Center each week is instructional time that will focus on skills and abilities that will scaffold student to be come more confident and independent with utilizing technology to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information. Digital literacy is one knowing what tools to use, when to use them, how to use them and why you are using them. Digital literacy is essential for student to become career ready due to the continual advancements of technology in the 21-century. Technology is the driving force of the world we live in and is how new careers are created. As educators in the 21-century we have a responsibility to our student to equip them with the skills and abilities necessary to be digital literate citizens. When students have a meaningful foundation in computer literacy they are well prepared for what we cannot prepare them for because it is yet to be invented or discovered.
Technology-Enhanced Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2016, from https://learningsciences.utexas.edu/teaching/technology-enhanced-learning
Schacter, J. (2008). The Impact of Educational Technology on Student Achievement: What the Most Current Research Has to Say. Santa Monica, CA: Milken Exchange on Education Technology, 2001. Retrieved from http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwche/Milken%20report.pdf
Kerr, S. (2011, January). Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Teaching in the Online High School Classroom [Editorial]. TechTrends. Retrieved March 22, 2016, from http://iols.gmu.edu/assets/761/Article2d.pdf