Salomon, G., & Perkins, D. (2005). Do technologies make us smarter? Intellectual amplification with, of and through technology. In R. J. Sternberg, & D. D. Preiss (Eds). Intelligence and technology: The impact of tools on the nature and development of human abilities (pp. 71-86). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
In this article, the authors discuss the effects of cognitive technologies on individuals’ cognition and abilities. They categorize these effects into three groupings: effects with the technology, effects of the technology, and effects through the technology. Differences between these categories are discussed as well as suggestions on how others might measure the effects and categorize them. It pulls from various studies conducted including previous studies done by Salomon in order to share examples of effects and thought expansions on those studies.
Salomon and Perkins setup their question and premise thoroughly. They lay out the specifics of their meaning of “technology” by explaining they do not intend to explore technology as a whole as other previous researchers may have, but to look specifically at technical tools that assist cognition such as word processors. They also clearly define what they mean by “smarter” (smarter performance). Also, concrete examples of the effects with, effects of, and effects through technology are shared which assist with truly understanding the difference between these. The authors also share some responses to possible arguments and critiques they might receive.
I find this article applicable to my personal interests because of the discussion surrounding the effects with and of cognitive technologies, or what I think of as “technical tools”. I believe many assistive technology tools would fall into this category and I think the authors’ discussion directly relates to the effects of these technologies for individuals with special needs. I also appreciate that the authors mention the possibility of negative “effects of” as well such as the loss of a previously acquired skill, as I think this will probably need to be an area I evaluate as well. It is also interesting to consider how studies might be developed to truly evaluate effects through the use of assistive technologies over time.
Gutierrez, K. D., & Penuel, W. R. (2014). Relevance to practice as a criterion for rigor, Educational Researcher, 43(1), 19-23.
In this article, Gutierrez and Penuel discuss the need for a focus shift to the problems surrounding the practice of teaching and education. They feel that in order for educational research to be considered meaningful, equitable, and rigorous, studies need to examine “…why, how, and under what conditions programs and policies work.” They describe some new programs at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and share that in order for these programs to be successful they need to relevant to practice. Guterrez and Penuel also discuss interventions and the challenges involved with studying their effectiveness and giving them generalizability and sustainability. They also discuss the need for new models in research and development in order to truly be relevant to practice.
The authors share realistic challenges involved with ensuring that educational research is relevant to “classroom” practice, such as natural disruptions, revisions, and many social and environmental factors including various stakeholders’ opinions and experiences. They discuss some of their personal ideas for addressing these issues such as timely stakeholder meetings held well in advance of proposal submissions. Also, Gutierrez and Penuel mention innovative research models used by others to build relevance such as the “change laboratory”. Their thoughts on the difficulties encountered with generalizability of interventions are also useful and they offer practical solutions for the root of the problem- sustainability.
I find this article relevant to my research endeavors because of their particular discussion of interventions. As a middle school interventionist I encountered many of the issues they discuss from a practice standpoint. I hope to research assistive technology and technology as a method for differentiation and I think this ties directly to interventions. As more interventions become technology-based, I think it will be essential to find relevant models for evaluating the effectiveness of these interventions and figuring out how to make those programs and resources sustainable.
Collins, A., & R. Halverson (2009). Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and the Schools. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 2009.
In this article, Collins and Halverson discuss the radical changes experienced by the world of education due to the digital revolution and an era of “lifelong learning”. They note various factors, such as the growing popularity of distance learning and homeschooling, which have contributed to this revolution and delve into comparisons between the previous “schooling era” and the age of technology. Finally, they discuss positive and negative implications of this revolution in education.
The authors give historical context by comparing the age of apprenticeship to the age of schooling and also to the current age of lifelong learning. This helps to demonstrate to readers the changes that have occurred in areas such as content, environment, and relationships. They also are realistic and begin their implications of a revolution by discussing concerns such as possible loss of diversity or narrowing of students’ horizons. Following this, Collins and Halverson also share benefits such as increased engagement and taking personal responsibility for learning. Their thoughts in each of these areas are thorough and they even conclude with possible, practical solutions for changing the education system.
This article poses options for schools and students moving forward into a world where students have more self-direction in their learning. As I continue to have interest in research surrounding assistive technology and how technology can offer differentiation within K-12 classroom settings, I like that the authors explore a more choice-based and interest-based option for education. This offers some radical suggestions for various kinds of learners to have college-path and tech/career-path applicable education.