Educational Psychology and Technology: A Matter of Reciprocal Relations
by Gavriel Salomon & Tamar Almog - 1998
Technology and instruction have recently entered an alliance of reciprocal influences. Technology serves instruction and at the same time opens up novel opportunities. Concerning the former, a major justification for the employment of computers is the acceptance of constructivist conceptions and a growing understanding of learning as a social process. Technology thus comes to facilitate the realization of the learning environments that emanate from constructivist conceptions. Concerning technology’s influence on education, ever-newer technological affordances pull instruction in new and promising directions. However, many of-these lack purpose or rationale. Why, for example, should students design their own Web sites? New questions arise that need to be answered, such as whether hypermedia programs offer frail and casual webs of information that lead to the cultivation of similarly flimsy mental networks (the “Butterfly Defect?, or whether computer-mediated communication (CMC) might create virtual, faceless learning environments. It also becomes evident that the new learning environments rely more heavily than their predecessors on students?proclivity for self-regulated and mindful learning. Can technology facilitate the cultivation of these? Educational psychology and technology are now engaged in an intensive duet that, if seriously studied, explored, and evaluated, may offer novel and improved instruction.
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