As an educator, my objective is to personalize and differentiate learning for every student.

The students of today are learning in a digital age, which requires teachers to “customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.” (NETS for Teachers, 2008) This standard is in line with my Philosophy of Educational Technology. Whitby (2007) speaks to the idea of a new pedagogical “DNA” for the 21st Century whereby there is specific skill sets to be taught appropriate for a digital age. Young people (students, learners) have a new way of looking at the world, and presently, there is a fundamental mismatch, in some cases, between teachers, their pedagogy, and their students. Siemens (2004) presents the idea that learning is changing and that we are relying more on technology and the networks that learners create to access knowledge that exists outside of the individual. There is a need for ongoing learning in order to stay current and to connect to other individuals, and as Whitby (2007) states, “co-constructors learning with co-constructors of knowledge.” In turn, this will provide a rich new way of teaching and learning, utilizing Educational Technology. Teaching and learning celebrate the diversity of people. Every student learns in a different way. The paradigm of Universal Design for Learning, which was first developed by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), is a means of respecting a variety of diverse individual learning styles without requiring adaptation. This theoretical framework promotes the success for all learners by inherently having the flexibility to support each individual's needs. UDL applies to all learners, not exclusively to individuals with disabilities, but aims to provide everyone with equal access to learning. Learning involves all three networks of the brain: Recognition, Strategic, and Affective. UDL principles help educators customize their teaching for individual differences in each of the three brain networks. Flexible digital media and

Educational Technology make it easier than ever to provide multiple alternatives and therefore customize teaching and learning. In my teaching context, grade one, French Immersion, the students are truly growing and learning with what they see. Because these students are immersed in a second language environment, they are constantly seeking different and new ways to understand beyond verbal communication. Much of learning a second language involves discovery. For example, as students are emerging in their literacy, they discover that combining two letters makes a particular sound, and that the sound is found in many other words. As their vocabulary increases, connections are made and the students “must determine what variables are relevant, what information should be sought about these variables, and, when the information is obtained, what should be done with it” (Driscoll, 2005). My role as a teacher is to present many reading and writing opportunities to my students in order for them to develop an appropriate model of the concept. Educational Technology can be used to afford varied experiences that allow for personal discovery and subsequent learning. In conclusion, my philosophy of Educational Technology includes personalized learning, respecting the diversity of all learners and providing opportunities for learning through discovery. It is my philosophy that Educational Technology is a tool that affords the opportunity to differentiate my teaching to best meet the needs of my students in a learner-centered environment.

Figure 1. Learning and Teaching in the Digital Age.

References Driscoll. M.P. (2005). Psychology of Learning for Instruction (pp. 227-244; Ch. 7 – Interactional Theories of Cognitive Development). Toronto, ON: Pearson. National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers. Retrieved October 18, 2009 from: http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NETS/ForTeachers/2008Standards/NETS_ for_Teachers_2008.htm Rose, D. H., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved October 18, 2009 from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/ Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. eLearnSpace, everything elearning. Retrieved October 18, 2009 from: http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm Whitby, G., (2007). 21st Century Pedagogy. YouTube video. Retrieved October 18, 2009 from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l72UFXqa8ZU

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