Technology Integration in Student Centered Learning – Article Review

Article: Technology Integration, 1 to 1, and Student Centre Learning: Five Ideas to Consider

Mike Gorman:

Technology in the classroom in the 21st century is inevitable and growing exponentially. As an instructor, I have to ask myself, “are my teaching methods growing exponentially or am I becoming obsolete?” Personal motivation to keep relevant is so important in this fast moving technological world we live in to help students learn. The movement to student-centered approaches to learning is a positive movement, with the use of technology sprinkled in as needed.

The above-noted article outlines the use of technology in a student-centered approach to learning and shares a view “that students…not technology…should be the centre of learning”. But, who doesn’t like the glitz and glamour of new technology? Technology, including applications/software can help students access information in creative ways such as YouTube (visual and audio combined) or simply by reading material. Technology should be considered simply a “tool” in a “tool box” of learning methods instructors have at their disposal. Students can learn how to learn through self-discovery with technology. We all want students to be able to learn how to learn independently, and technology can help support that.

Most of my students in my class do not bring their textbooks to class; they bring their smart phones, iPads and laptops. Students are able to view the course textbook online and search key words and chapters during the class. Bye-bye text books, hello e-books! At first I found this distracting as I was never certain what the student were viewing. Were they on facebook? Were they emailing a friend? Or, were they engaged in the content and taking notes as the class progresses. In addition, as costs rise, students are finding technology a less expensive way to fund their education and you can’t fault them for that.

Here are few words of inspiration for incorporating technology in the classroom. Realize that to introduce technology in a student-centered approach to learning is a process. Experiment with it. Try it. Adjust as necessary. Try it again. Learn from your mistakes. Be creative. Solicit feedback from students. Don’t be afraid. Ask other instructors how they introduce technology in the classroom. Be adventurous. Have fun. It can be addictive!

An instructor at Red River College once said, “you can be in the 21st century and teaching like you are in the 21st century, or you can teach like you are from the 20th century”. Which one are you? Let’s all embrace technology as a tool to help students learn.


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