Students as viewers – Students as users – Students as producers
There are many uses for educational technology and just like any other educational structure – this too has a hierarchy (my opinion). If you think about Bloom’s Taxonomy – as you go from the bottom – up the questions that are asked and the student understanding becomes deeper, or if you think about Van Hiele’s levels of Geometric Reasoning – it moves from visualization to analysis, to informal deduction to deduction to rigor.
In educational technology there are three stages. First is simply a case where a teacher uses technology to present information. In this case – students are the viewers and are not as engaged with the technology as with the two next stages. In the second stage – students use computers to research or to be assessed. In this case students are accessing technology with their own hands and learning how to use the technology to find the information they need. Students are users. The third stage is the best use of educational technology, but is not appropriate for every lesson (really the deepest form). In this stage students are producers. They are creating their own media/presentations/websites… and therefore they are using technology not only to learn, but to express what they have learned to a larger audience than just the teacher. Watch the following film if you are more interested.