The first measure of the framework is "Engagement." This component measures how well a technology tool helps a student focus on the learning goals and tasks. Three elements are present when engagement in learning goals through technology is present. First, technology tools engage students in time-on-task. Second, the technology enables the learner to investigate learning goals and construct knowledge. Finally, when engagement in the learning goals is present the technology enables co-use or co-engagement. Technology tools with strong pedagogy are ideal, but Kolb notes that when tools do not have built in instructional strategies to support a measure, building instructional strategies around the tool to support learning goals can be effective.
I found Kolb’s discussion of research on active learning compelling. According to Kolb, research shows "active learning practices have a larger impact on student performance than any other variable in learning" (40). For this reason, technology tools and instructional strategies that force hands-on investigation and knowledge construction (active learning) are the most compelling to my students and I. Being mindful of which tools enable my students to actively investigate learning goals and construct knowledge at their own pace creates an environment that supports active learning. I frequently make use of the strategy "I do/we do/you do" as it ensures the learner has a model and a guide on the side when new skills, concepts, and ideas are introduced. In the context of my capstone project, the 21 Things 4 Educators site has strong pedagogy. The structure of each Thing enables the learner to actively investigate concepts in educational technology that support professional learning goals. The structure of each Thing enables the learner to self-pace and focus on the learning goals. Each Thing also supports time-on-task with a hyperdoc that enables the learner to reflect on the learning goals throughout the Thing.
The second measure of the framework is “Enhancement.” The Triple E Framework defines "Enhancement" as an improvement to traditional teaching methods. When "Enhancement" is present, there are three ways technology improves traditional methods of instruction. First, the technology tool enables higher-order thinking skills. In other words, the technology is helping students reach higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy that would otherwise not be possible without the tool. Second, the tool creates scaffolds that make it easier for the learner to understand concepts and ideas presented in the lesson. Finally, the tool enables learners to demonstrate competency in new ways that would not be possible without the tool. As with the previous component, some tools have instructional strategies for enhancement built in. For instance, tools that provide opportunities for the learner to reflect on the use of technology push the learner to use higher-order thinking.
Given that I teach adult learners, techniques that enhance traditional methods of instruction by creating paths for differentiation and personalization are the most compelling for my setting. Providing opportunities for adult learners to personalize professional learning supports principles of adult learning theory. Specifically, adult learners need professional learning to be relevant and applicable to their setting. The technology adds values by enabling educators to customize their professional learning paths based on their needs and interests. In the context of my capstone project, the site is designed for flexible delivery. Educators pick a Thing based on their interests and needs. Multiple means of representation, engagement, and action and expression are present in each Thing. Incorporating UDL principles provides additional opportunities to personalize learning based on interests, needs, and preferences.
The final measure of the Triple E Framework considers to what degree a technology tool supports the "Extension" of learning goals. Three elements are present when technology extends learning goals. First, the technology enables anytime, anywhere learning. In other words, the technology enables the student to keep working outside of the regularly scheduled school day. Second, the technology creates opportunities for the learner to connect with real-world experiences such as using technology to connect with experts and solve problems. Finally, technology tools extend learning goals when they enable the learner to manage working digitally to constructing knowledge and make sense of the world around them. The final element is the most compelling, because anytime, anywhere learning and connecting with experts to solve real world problems would not be possible without a means to manage communication, collaboration, and digital content.
Several components of the 21 Things 4 Educators site extend learning goals to everyday tasks. For example, the "Connect" section of each Thing helps the educator make connections to teaching and learning in other classrooms. The site also enables the educator to continue learning outside of their classroom. At this time the site has options that would engage the learner in co-learning. For example, the learner may be using the site with a PLC team or may select to “Apply” their learning by engaging in a dialogue on Twitter with colleagues. At this time, I have two ideas I’m thinking about for my capstone project. An onboarding experience would frame personalized professional learning for new users coming to the site. After applying the Triple E Framework to the site, I am also considering the value that would be added by an interactive knowledge check for each Thing. A knowledge check interactive would enable the learner to check their understanding before they choose an option in the “Apply” section to demonstrate competency. An interactive would enable engagement through the site with immediate feedback for progress monitoring and reflection.
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