Last week I was set the task of identifying the following from the timeline below:

1)   Two technologies that I have integrated into my practice

2)   One technology that has not had an impact on my practice and the reasons why

Technological milestones of importance in education in the last 30 years.

Technological milestones of importance in education in the last 30 years.

As I considered the E-Learning timeline I was surprised by how rapidly technology has become part of everyday life. Most of the technologies listed are an integral part of my practice as a teacher and trainer, which made choosing a challenge. To decide which to discuss, I picked the two technologies I use the most and a technology I use the least:

1.   Social and Participatory Media

In an earlier blog post on Tech-Enhanced Learning, I described how sharing trainees’ work on social media facilitates community learning. In addition to this, I have started using group chats for trainees enrolled on distance courses. This provides a connection point for trainees who are often located across China to communicate, share and discuss ideas in real time. From my experience of facilitating a recent 10-week Reflective Practice course with 16 teachers, the group chat offered a means for trainees to check in with weekly tasks, discuss ideas and ask questions.

2.   E-books and Smart devices

Most modern classrooms I work in are fitted with interactive screens or whiteboards. These are a welcome improvement on the dusty chalk boards I have used in the past – not only because I’m no longer covered in chalk by the end of a lesson, but because such Smart tools can increase interaction and engagement among students. Inviting trainees to the board to move pictures and text has become a habit in my practice.

3.   Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

This technology has had the least impact on my practice to date, but that does not mean that it is an option I intend to dismiss. In my experience so far, remaining motivated on MOOCs has been a challenge due to the limited interaction and personalisation of courses. It seems I am not the only one, as the Learning and Development Survey from CIPD (2013) places video learning as the least used and effective practices.

CIPD Learning and Development Survey (2013) 

CIPD Learning and Development Survey (2013) 

Going forward, as with any technology, MOOCs are likely to be more successful if blended with other technologies and training strategies. If 100,000 students in Peter Novig’s class find it useful, then it’s not something that should be ignored. The key is in offering a variety of means for people to learn.

Would your list look the same as mine? Which technologies have you integrated into your practice?