Students’ Voices about Learning with Technology
Ruth Geer and Trudy-Ann Sweeney
DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2012.294.303
Journal of Social Sciences
Volume 8, Issue 2
Problem statement: This study argues for the inclusion of student voice as a valid means of identifying 21st century pedagogical approaches to learning. TodayÂ’s students are increasingly living and thriving in a digital world and have a new Â“digital vernacularÂ” which leads to differences in the way students think about learning. Approach: In Australia many students are already immersed in technologies and have preconceived ideas of what technologies they can expect to use in the classroom and how they will learn. Our schools are slowly changing but are struggling to understand what a contemporary learning environment might look like. Current and emerging technologies are forcing teachers to rethink how best to prepare students for the demands and challenges of the 21st century. Results: Technology plays a key role in how students play, learn, gain information and interact with others. Teachers are challenged to find ways of tapping into the natural curiosities of students allowing them to do more learning on their own. This study explores the use of student voice in an Australian primary school as a valid method to inform teachers about what tools can best support students in their learning. Focus groups, questionnaires and drawings are used to identify technologies, strategies and settings that help students to learn. Conclusion: The findings indicate that students expect to use a variety of technologies in their learning as many students use technologies as a natural tool in their everyday life. This research attempts to clarify what a contemporary learning environment might look like and what teaching strategies and technologies can increase motivation and engagement thus improving student learning opportunities. The student data also includes suggestions to teachers on how they may provide rich learning experiences for students.
© 2012 Ruth Geer and Trudy-Ann Sweeney. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.