The Transformative Power of Technology Enhanced Learning
Technology Enhanced Learning (TEFL) is used frequently to describe the use of technology in education and training. Technology has played a large part in the development of many educational opportunities. The term was first widely used in the United States in the early 1970s. It has become an increasingly common term as educators, practitioners, policy makers, and people identify and describe the ways in which technology enhances education.
The need for technology enhanced learning can be seen in many areas of education and training. In the healthcare industry, there are many tools and devices that have been developed to assist medical professionals in their work. These include information systems, software, communication devices, patient navigation equipment, and new technologies such as Electronic Health Record Management (EHR). Such developments have made it much easier for healthcare workers to collaborate and perform their jobs, increasing their productivity and enhancing their quality of care.
Another area seeing technology enhanced learning in action is in the area of education and training. In the past, traditional methods and textbooks have been in wide use with little innovation or exploration. Modern learning methods include video conferencing, webinars, teacher supported instruction, and real-life experience. Some states are embracing new methods that will allow the sharing of educational videos, lessons and content with classrooms and home viewers, and some of these are now available for free online. Other options include online lesson modules and mobile learning apps.
In education, technology enhanced learning refers to those practices and strategies that help improve students’ ability to learn through different types of instructional methods. For example, in the healthcare industry, there are learning methodologies that aim to engage students in critical thinking and problem solving in a virtual setting. This includes information based decision making, problem solving exercises, and knowledge application activities. In the social work profession, these learning experiences include the creation of thematic series, games and simulations that aid social interaction, group dynamics and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Other areas seeing technology enhanced learning include arts and sciences. There are many types of courses such as those focused on the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics. Some have become very interactive and integrate video into the curriculum, while others are purely text-based. There are also flexible pedagogies that allow students to personalize lectures and do independent study. Flexibility allows teachers to adjust lesson duration and add unexpected elements to lesson plans without losing focus on the overall purpose of the course.
Another aspect of technology enhanced learning is digital literacy. It refers to the ability to use digital technologies, such as email, text and digital images, and can lead to successful navigation of digital technologies in the workplace and in school. Digital literacy requires being able to take full advantage of new technologies, such as digital whiteboards, instant messaging, and other computers. This also includes being familiar with how to respond to questions, how to listen to questions, and how to write a good essay. Teachers at all grade levels can benefit from digital literacy instruction.
Technology enhanced instruction is also used in K-12 education. Many schools have adopted technology-enhanced offerings that make content more engaging and give students more opportunities to learn and retain information. These options are especially popular for lower grades, since even children with moderate skills need some help with reading, writing and math. In addition to being used in the classroom, some of these technological applications are available in the form of apps for smart phones and tablets, which provide opportunities for educational technologies in the workplace.
Healthcare education is another sector where these educational technologies are transforming the way professionals interact with each other and with healthcare providers. The National Association of School Nurses and the National Educational Association have recently announced the formation of the Healthcare Information Management Association (HIMA). This association is expected to create standards for managing healthcare information. One of the groups involved is the Partnership for the Online Learning of Healthcare Professionals (POMPE), which was formed by the American Association of School Nurses, the National Information Exchange and the Learning Enterprise. POMPE is expected to roll out the process of developing standards for digital literacy and other online learning platforms and to establish partnerships between schools, nurses, educators and administrators.