Promises and challenges of using learning technologies to promote student learning of science pdf

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promises and challenges of using learning technologies to promote student learning of science pdf

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Box , Morogoro, Tanzania. We first provide some of the challenges of integrating ICTs in education followed by a description of key past and current ICT initiatives supporting the adoption of ICTs in schools using a number of case studies in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, we provide various ICT platforms deployed for education service delivery in disadvantaged African society e.

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Download the Essay PDF 1. Access to higher education has never been more important. Globalization, automation, and the Internet have fundamentally reshaped the economy by shifting opportunity away from workers with high school diplomas and toward those with postsecondary training and credentials Foote and Ryan The still-unfolding COVID pandemic has displaced millions of workers, many of whom will seek new employment opportunities through additional credentials in higher education.

Unfortunately, however, access to—and success within—higher education is unmistakably stratified by race Bowen, Chingos, and McPherson According to Carnevale and Strohl , the number of Black and Latinx students enrolling in higher education has increased since the s, but these learners are concentrated in crowded, open-access institutions. By contrast, White students are concentrated in selective, highly resourced, and highly performing institutions.

The consequence of this polarization is the reproduction of intergenerational White racial privilege Carnevale and Strohl As the U. As a result, increasing college access for students of color has become both a collective refrain and policy target. Notable policy efforts to increase college access among low-income and students of color include year-round Pell and College Promise grants, FAFSA simplification, and the elimination of remedial coursework, among others.

Of all the potential ways to increase college access, however, the expansion of online or distance education has arguably the broadest constituency. Unlike proposals to expand financial aid or eliminate college tuition, proposals to expand online learning are less likely to fan partisan flames. Because online learning touches on course delivery rather than course content, it is largely shielded from curriculum debates and vicissitudes. Politicians and school leaders are drawn to the potential cost-efficiency, while technology vendors and entrepreneurs are motivated by the market potential.

Faculty are increasingly comfortable teaching in online environments Jaschik and Lederman Online learning also enjoys a pervasive sense of inexorability; as more and more quotidian aspects of life become interconnected with the Internet, the growth of online learning only seems natural, if not expected.

With more students depending on remote learning than ever before, higher education has an imperative to ensure equity is delivered along with learning outcomes. Online education has climbed steadily over the past decade. Figure 1 shows that the number of postsecondary students enrolling exclusively in in-person courses has declined from 74 percent in to 65 percent in By contrast, the share of students enrolling in one or more distance education [1] courses rose from 26 percent to 35 percent, though this is likely an underestimate.

Figure 2 shows that among public institutions, two-year colleges had a slightly higher share of students enrolled exclusively in distance education courses but essentially the same percentage of students taking at least one distance education course as four-year colleges. Among private nonprofits, four-year institutions had a far lower share of students enrolled exclusively in distance education courses and a far higher share of students enrolled exclusively in in-person courses relative to two-year institutions.

Figure 2 also shows that for-profit four-year institutions enrolled the greatest share of students in distance education courses in , the most recent year for which data are available. Specifically, Figure 2 shows that 82 percent of students at for-profit four-year institutions enrolled in at least one online course and 72 percent enrolled in distance education courses exclusively. What Figure 2 does not show is the degree to which distance education enrollments have changed across time by sector.

The for-profit sector may account for the largest share of distance education students in a given year, but Figure 3 shows that the public and private nonprofit sectors are expanding online enrollments the quickest today. For example, the share of students taking at least one distance education course at a for-profit four-year institution grew by 19 percent between and By contrast, similar distance-education course-taking grew by 55 percent at public four-year, 58 percent at private four-year, 29 percent at public two-year, and over percent at private two-year institutions.

So while Figure 1 illustrates aggregate growth in distance education course-taking, this growth has been particularly acute within public, nonprofit institutions, save for private two-years, which have experienced tremendous gains in online enrollment but account for only 1 percent of overall postsecondary enrollments.

Despite the growing support for—and enrollments within—online courses in higher education, the argument that online education can expand college access and help mitigate the racial polarization of American higher education must contend with two realities. First, little to no empirical support exists for the notion that online education expands the higher education enrollment base.

There is even less evidence, if any, to suggest the availability of remote learning encourages people of color to enroll when they otherwise could not. But the study is unable to generalize to the population of postsecondary online learners for several reasons, including the demographics of those enrolled, the sample being comprised entirely of graduate students, and the structure of the program itself.

A more likely indication as to whether the availability of online education increases access comes from Jaggars , who found in a previous study Jaggars and Xu that community college students are more likely to enroll in online courses after they have matriculated. In other words, rather than bringing in new students, online courses primarily serve already-enrolled students looking for increased flexibility.

Furthermore, existing research suggests that students of color are less likely to enroll in first-year online coursework compared with White students Jaggars and Xu ; Shea and Bidjerano ; Wladis, Hachey, and Conway ; Xu and Jaggars Figure 5 shows that this overall trend varies by institutional sector.

Of greater concern, however, is that these disparities are often greatest among students of color. Xu and Jaggars reported decreased performance among all community college students in online classes but even greater gaps among Black male students. Combined, the existing research suggests that rather than closing access and success gaps in higher education, fully online courses can exacerbate them.

Importantly, these disparities are not necessarily true for hybrid courses, which the research literature largely associates with reaching equivalent outcomes as in-person courses without statistically significant disparities by race and ethnicity Alpert, Couch, and Harmon ; Bowen et al. This distinction is important, though rarely made. In fact, by combining the best elements of in-person and online learning, research suggests that hybrid delivery models can support student success while offering students the temporal flexibility they seek.

Hybrid courses require a number of physical, in-person meetings, however, which undercuts the general perception of complete access and flexibility. And little evidence indicates high-quality hybrid instruction will dramatically cut institutional costs.

At least three questions stem from the preceding. First, given that little evidence links distance education with expanded college access and success for people of color, what accounts for the steady growth in distance education over the past decade?

A second question stemming from an analysis of online education outcomes relates to possible explanations for the equity gaps in fully online coursework. While objectively true, this rendering absolves institutions of their responsibility to design and deliver high-quality, engaging, and equitable educational experiences for students. This position also fails to acknowledge the racialized aspects of distance learning Baker et al. Also, there is no support for the notion that some racial groups are inherently less able to succeed in online learning environments.

By contrast, the existing literature suggests that some online environments are simply less conducive to student success Gaytan ; Jaggars and Xu ; U. Department of Education For example, low-income community college students in fully online classes struggle with social distance, lack of support, lack of structure, and technical difficulties Jaggars Of these impediments, technical difficulties are arguably the easiest to fix.

As we have seen during the pandemic, many institutions have quite easily equipped students with laptops, headphones, product licenses, IT support, and access to high-speed Internet Cooper et al. Less easy to fix are the greater interpersonal impediments to learning in fully online courses Baker et al.

Most fully online courses are taught asynchronously, in which communication does not occur in real time but is syncopated over email, discussion forums, or learning management systems Jaschik and Lederman This often—though not necessarily—leads to greater transactional or social distance Moore , which in turn hinders the development of authentic, trust-based relationships and is inimical to culturally affirming, community-focused, and race-conscious instruction Harris and Wood Students of color are best served when learning speaks to their experiences, cultures, backgrounds, and aspirations.

Only by seeing, hearing, and knowing students can institutions and instructors offset the racial and economic inequities that are baked into institutions of higher education. But this cannot be done at a transactional distance. A third and final question is what can be done moving forward. We must continue to break down barriers to access and to eliminate the growing racial polarization of higher education Carnevale and Strohl But we must also realize that access without success does little and can actually be quite costly for students.

Even with the advent of COVID, decisions to expand online learning must be driven by research, data, and, above all else, student success and equity.

Also, our thinking and deliberations must move beyond the binary and toward learning environments that blend in-person and online learning. This blend will increase flexibility for students, maximize institutional efficiency, leverage powerful computer-assisted learning technologies, and encourage diverse learning while allowing for regular, immediate interpersonal connection, which is conducive to equity-minded interventions Harris and Wood While not all institutions will have the option to utilize blended learning, administrators and faculty can mitigate the shortcomings of online-only education with an awareness of the benefits of hybrid learning.

We must also ensure that the online learning and student equity research and policy streams that have converged in response to COVID remain connected after the pandemic has receded. To achieve this, we need more research. Much of the literature that exists today, including the literature cited in this brief, is outdated relative to our current knowledge and practices in online learning environments and the communication technologies available.

We need better, more recent data to examine the outcomes of students in contemporary online courses. Finally, we must equip faculty with the tools, resources, and expertise to deliver high-quality and engaging distance education. Faculty must have ready access to course designers, learning scientists, and education technology experts who, in turn, must also be educated about the interaction between race, class, and distance learning. Institutions cannot be expected to shoulder these burdens and costs alone; the direction, resources, and strategy must flow from federal and state policymakers.

Higher education today is increasingly polarized and stratified by race and class Carnevale and Strohl At the same moment, the return on investment from postsecondary education and training has never been higher Foote and Ryan To counterbalance pervasive inequities in American society and to prevent further intergenerational White racial privilege Carnevale and Strohl , colleges and universities must pursue policies that account for equality and equity.

Yet, if equity means giving more to those with the least, our approaches thus far to serving students through distance education have fallen short. Alpert, William T. Couch, and Oskar R. Bowen, William G. Chingos, Kelly A. Lack, and Thomas I. Chingos, and Michael S. Carnevale, Anthony P. Rodriguez, and Cameron Sublett. Fain, Paul. June 26, Foote, Christopher L. Gaytan, Jorge. Glazier, Rebecca A. Luke Wood. Center for Organizational Research and Education, March 26, Jaggars, Shanna Smith.

Jaggars, Shanna Smith, and Di Xu. Jaschik, Scott, and Doug Lederman.

The promise and challenge of the age of artificial intelligence

Download the Essay PDF 1. Access to higher education has never been more important. Globalization, automation, and the Internet have fundamentally reshaped the economy by shifting opportunity away from workers with high school diplomas and toward those with postsecondary training and credentials Foote and Ryan The still-unfolding COVID pandemic has displaced millions of workers, many of whom will seek new employment opportunities through additional credentials in higher education. Unfortunately, however, access to—and success within—higher education is unmistakably stratified by race Bowen, Chingos, and McPherson According to Carnevale and Strohl , the number of Black and Latinx students enrolling in higher education has increased since the s, but these learners are concentrated in crowded, open-access institutions.

We use cookies essential for this site to function well. Please click "Accept" to help us improve its usefulness with additional cookies. Learn about our use of cookies, and collaboration with select social media and trusted analytics partners here Learn more about cookies, Opens in new tab. AI now powers so many real-world applications, ranging from facial recognition to language translators and assistants like Siri and Alexa, that we barely notice it. Embracing AI promises considerable benefits for businesses and economies through its contributions to productivity growth and innovation.

We propose a definition of synchronous communication based on joint attention, noting that in certain mediated communication settings joint attention is a matter of perception rather than determinable fact. The most salient properties of synchronous computer-mediated communication SCMC are real-time pressure to communicate and a greater degree of social presence relative to asynchronous communication. Finally, we identify questions for future research. Computer-mediated communication CMC is by now a staple of research in language acquisition and pedagogy, just as it has become central to the social and professional lives of many millions of people worldwide. In parallel with this ascent, certain distinctions that once seemed clearcut have begun to blur, as communication platforms increasingly offer a mixture of modes, permitting users to choose between combinations of text, audio and video in synchronous or asynchronous modes, to communicate privately or publicly, and to interleave conventional text with images, animations, and emoticons. This Special Issue arises out of the belief that even in such a luxuriant communicative ecosystem, the distinction between synchronous communication SC and asynchronous communication remains analytically and practically important, i. We will argue that SC, whether face-to-face or mediated, has always occupied a special niche in the communicative landscape; that this role has specific cognitive, cultural, linguistic and interactional consequences; and that mediated SC therefore offers special opportunities, but also special challenges, to practice and research in language teaching and learning.

The promise and challenge of the age of artificial intelligence

Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Attempts to use computer technologies to enhance learning began with the efforts of pioneers such as Atkinson and Suppes e. The presence of computer technology in schools has increased dramatically since that time, and predictions are that this trend will continue to accelerate U.

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Educational technology

The idea that online learning might revolutionize higher education, lowering the cost of high-quality learning opportunities for students with limited access to traditional higher education, follows similar hopes for earlier technologies, including radio and television. If such a revolution is to come, it is still far from a reality. Strong evidence indicates that students with weak academic backgrounds and other risk factors struggle most in fully online courses, creating larger socioeconomic gaps in outcomes than those in traditional classroom environments. The central problem appears to be the lack of adequate personal interaction between students and instructors, as well as among students. Hybrid learning models do not exhibit the same problems and there is potential for online learning to develop strategies for overcoming these difficulties.

Doug Valentine University of Oklahoma Sottovoce7 aol. Distance learning and its relationship to emerging computer technologies have together offered many promises to the field of education. In practice however, the combination often falls short of what it attempts to accomplish. Despite the problems, many users like technologies such as compressed video and see continued growth in the area. This paper will examine some of the current research and thought on the promises, problems, and the future possibilities in modern distance learning, particularly types that are delivered via electronic means. Before any discussion of distance learning, we need to look at the way the term has been defined in the past and how it is currently defined in the literature. The term can be used to describe any of a number of instructional situations.


PDF | Technologies have the potential to support language teaching and learning, but English as a Second programs for English learning that allowed ELL students to log in and use technology in their ESL classrooms, those promises and challenges are in- lenges to technology integration in science education.


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