Technology rules in new interactive teaching model

A new education model shows the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in classroom teaching helps students become knowledge creators and producers.

The PhD study by Griffith academic Dr Sarah Prestridge from the School of Education and Professional Studies shows children are more actively engaged in learning when using such technologies.

Funded by an Australian Research Council linkage grant, the study was implemented in 10 Sunshine Coast primary schools over two years.

“The common best practice teaching belief was that teachers used technology as an incentive,” Dr Prestrige said.

“That is, teachers wanted students to learn in the traditional ‘chalk and talk’ way and then let them ‘play’ on the computer as a reward,” she said.

“We wanted to change that understanding and see how ICTs could enhance children’s learning. This model helped change their beliefs about how students engaged with technologies and demonstrated good classroom practice.

Interactive whiteboards, the internet, power-point presentations and spreadsheets, blogs and chat-rooms were utilised in the students’ curriculum.

“The technology helped the children become creators; they design their own websites, make movies and produce knowledge. They’re able to communicate with anyone in the world, via email and chat rooms.

“By challenging the old ‘learning by rote’ method, this model helps teachers design ICT professional development that is strategic, flexible, effective and an empowering approach to change.”

Dr Prestridge will graduate with a Doctor of Education on Saturday, December 15 with 600 education graduands at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.