Sustainable Use of Technology in Teaching: A Principled Approach

Talip Karanfil, Steve Neufeld


The bewildering pace of change in technology has had a polarizing effect on the teaching profession.  Teachers tend to cope in two ways, either by finding the least invasive ways to use technology without interfering with their standard mode of practice, or by embracing technology at every step and turn in new and innovative ways.  The former does a disservice to students, but the latter is unsustainable.  This research explores the sustainability of using technology in teaching and puts forward principles and guidelines to determine the most effective technology to use in the most sustainable fashion.  In this framework, the onus is put on students to complete active learning projects in and outside the classroom.  The resulting learning environment and the learning activities employed in the classroom are investigated in this study. Data were collected via field notes, student interviews, researcher journal entries, and student reflections.  The findings of this research indicate that a principled approach to the sustainable use of technology in teaching fosters a student-centered orientation which raises student motivation, reduces the affective filter and builds confidence without placing undue pressure on the teacher or on limited educational resources.

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