Collaborative Technology in Education

Automated simulation techniques, social networks and digital games suffer from various public relations predicaments, but today they demonstrate various powerful capabilities and advantages. The viability of these tools is a good indication that schools ought to adapt the new technological trends. However, there are various impacts of collaborating social networking technology into the curriculum. Changing over instructional approaches to fit into place the new technology is not an easy procedure. Arguably, educationalists fail to embrace and integrate technological advancements due to a lack of proper instructional strategies. This paper discusses various implications of technological advancements to current and future collaborations.

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Introduction

If you ask most educators a one-sided question such as meaning of true learning, the answers for the majority would probably lie in the same perspective. Common answers would involve students’ ability to collaborate ideas and solutions through discussions or analysis. Some answers would somewhat touch on students’ ability to work in partnership under a certain topic of study. A good response is ability to guide students to pursue different learning experiences by allowing them to struggle and acquire high levels of critical yet analytical skills in order to find excellent results. All these answers would involve ability to work around a project and decipher a significant meaning, which is associable to a real global context. In line with Klopfer (2008), it is not easy to explain to teachers that students are already engaging academically related missions outside classrooms, through the current technologically advanced activities they take on during leisure time. Although you will not find students who are looking for a learning experience after classes, what they consider fun provides a learning opportunity. Some of the common social sites or digital gaming cites include but not limited to MySpace, Facebook, Sim city, World of Warcraft, Email messages, Chat rooms and Twitter. The internet provides a super highway of information, where students of various ages spend countless hours after classes and end up acquiring some positive knowledge involvement (Klopfer, 2008).

Impact of Social Networking on Contemporary Collaboration in Schools

According to Jenkins et al (2006), today the digital technology has completely normalized the youth. It has fully incorporated all the social characteristics in their lives. Many students have engaged new styles of learning, communicating with new people and formulating creativity. The behaviours are like permanent fixtures into their reasoning styles and operating procedures; therefore, the teachers need to implement ways of playing along similar lines. It is common to find a situation where children use knowledge-gathering techniques that appear alien to the adults, mainly parents and teachers. In relation to Jenkins et al (2006) such advancements have serious impacts on the education platform.

People have established ways of harnessing the technological aspects into the career settings for decades, but failed to implement them fully. There is some resistance on usage but implementation is a good indication that educators appreciate the effectiveness and importance of technology. According to Jenkins et al (2006), the education sector is the most affected due to inability to embrace the educative digital games or automated social simulations. The institutions are also not enthusiastic enough to embrace technological platforms such as digital networks in schools, which can provide online identities for students, and thus increase chances of advancing in production through sharing of knowledge or ideas, collaborating and building rapport. The educators have a better focus on the security matters due to potential threats of utilizing social network technologies. Although security is an important feature that educators should take into account during implementation, it should not hinder usage. Advancing personal practice in technology is one amicable way of discovering, curbing and managing potential dangers.

Implications of Social Networking on Current and Future Collaboration in Schools

Facilitating social networks technology

The ability to have a reciprocating mechanism between technology and teaching required the educators to acquire advanced skills on computing expertise and accept the technologies into the classrooms. The implementation procedure has a great impact over the ability to retain meaningful class work (Jenkins et al, 2006). The excitement over gaming technologies and social networking may have strong learning objectives and achievements. The education systems ought to seek mitigation of recent technologies into the classroom so that there is a connection between class work and external experiences such as socialization or decision-making abilities among students. This is liberating the power of technology for institutional achievements.

Facilitating usage

Digital gaming technology and, social networks provide an opportunity to convey old or new concepts in an innovative way due to efficiency, effectiveness and the potential to emphasize the importance to students, either in a formal or informal way. Technology provides numerous platforms and designs that fascinate and attracts the attention of the learners. We characterize games by rules, objectives, goals, challenges, interactions, outcomes, and competitions. These attributes comprise the classroom demographics. Integration of digital games into the classroom therefore facilitates the purpose of learning, ability to adhere to rules and, aggressiveness towards goals in a fun-filled manner.

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Analysis of trends

Statistics indicate that young people spend longer hours playing virtual games than even watching television (Klopfer, 2008). Students are obviously familiar with interfaces, language and playing formulas; therefore, the implementation procedure only requires a change of content to fit the learning environment. Very few games have gained popularity in the classroom such as “Civilization IV”, which requires team members to collaborate and strategize to build emperors. The game promotes decision-making procedures on maters pertaining diplomacy and societal development. It presents a profound, fun and powerful way of learning history, geography along with terminologies. Advancement into digital games reveals tougher choices on technological decisions; consequently, if the games can slightly route towards educational materials, then the involvement would be tremendous. It is also possible to implement analogous versions of the digital games into curriculums to act as simulations for real world applications. They provide interactive frameworks through visual simulations to explain complex scientific concepts. The educators should come up with a revolution of visual stimulants for the class illustrations, which are digital games that allow students to interact during usage.

Implementation Procedures

Teachers may not be good programmers or website designers, but they are key decision makers on the type of games that would be easy to collaborate into the classroom. They must decide on the shapes, rules and digital enhancements that fit their demographics. The social network sites can also come in handy for education administrators. Customized social sites ought to allow teachers to have full administrative control, to avoid misuse during instructional time. As the administrator, a teacher is able to limit to specific parameters that fit subject schemes, for instance chatting or messaging. The social site facilitates group work and student’s interaction. Good social sites for the classroom setting must be free from advertisements, password protected and monitored by the administrator. The sites must have sample projects and tools to assist students in creating new tasks. To maintain high quality, the teacher must request the account from school management and utilize administrative powers to monitor student activities carefully. Other than enhancing teacher-student collaboration, social sites ought to be dynamic enough to incorporate limited informal settings like the other informal social sites such as bookmarking, provision for creating and updating personal profiles. These are simple aspects used in maintaining students’ interests, since they associate with the social networks more closely; more like informally, and have easy access to favourite information and friends.

Age or generation differences

Teachers must utilize various social sites for different age groups. A good example is the “PANWAPA” site for children within pre-teen age group. They provide vital class work information through animations and characterization. The sites must fit into place printable teachers’ guides or other information related to activities within the class work demographics. The social sites, as the name indicates must provide options for children to connect to other global friends profiled on the site. Globalization means social cognition (Klopfer, 2008). This is connection to people, activities, articles or places of interest and different experiences.

Future Prospects

The only measure that can ensure continuation of the digital games, social networks and virtual simulations in the education sectors is ensuring all educators are enhanced, updated and in the front-end of the technology wave. To offer more benefits, educators must appreciate that children have different perceptions of the world and new technology can assist them find links for the teacher-student collaboration. We base future expectations on multimedia usage for gaining the interests of the child and fostering comprehension. The future does not focus on enhancing educators since those are current aspirations. The twenty-first century should have better methods of teaching that highly inspire children, such as use of digital simulation and gaming technologies for both technical and non-technical subjects. There is need to conceptualize, come-up with different ideas and experiment them in the education system.

Conclusion

Social and gaming sites are more than entertainment sites. They are not aged specific and once someone is able to engage the sites like ‘MySpace’ or ‘Warcraft’, and find meaning, then they begin to appreciate and have a tough but positive judgment about the site. Technological advancement presents more information than mere entertainment. Social networks are a demonstration of an advanced classroom discussions. They have an impact on thoughts and interaction of skills. This technological advancement came to reshape methods of communication, collaborating, pursuing a task and forming social networks/groups. Resent research indicates presence of more positive effects of social sites on people thinking approaches, working strategies and way of living, especially the new generation who develop under the digital gesticulate.

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References

Jenkins, H., Purushotma, R., Clinton, K., Weigel, M., & Robison, A. (2006).

Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Chicago, IL: The MacArthur Foundation.

Klopfer, E. (2008). Augmented learning: Research and design of mobile educational games. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Collaborative Technology in Education
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