The Influence of Technology on Learning

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The Influence of Technology on Learning

Baruch College

I. Introduction

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The fundamental aim of this paper, will be to explore the influence which

technology stands to play on education and learning. This aim will be accomplished by a

through review and synthesis of the currently available Peer-Reviewed Academic

Literature on the subject. Generally speaking, the importance of this subject can be traced

back to the broad ranging uses which technology, particularly Information and

Communication Technologies, has come to play within various realms, including

education and learning (Hew & Brush, 2007). More specifically, the integration of

technology within classrooms, has been said to bring the potential prospects, “to

completely transform education, and facilitate student’s learning…” (Gu & Ouyang,

2008; Zhang, Fang, & Ma, 2010). Even more so, the influence of technology on one’s

learning and education, cannot be explored or considered in terms of a one-dimensional

framework. Based on the research which has been uncovered for this paper, it

immediately becomes clear that this topic brings with it the requirement to explore it

from a great variety of different standpoints.

For instance, the study by researchers Bu Zhong, and Alyssa J. Appelman (2014),

explore the subject of technology and learning/education, with respect to technology and

one’s abilities to process information, or Information Processing. Another approach in

relation to the overall subject of this paper, emphasizes the extent to which technology

stands to gain acceptance as a viable tool of learning/education within the classroom,

emphasizing the teacher’s perceptions of technology on one’s education and learning

(Marta Gomez Domingo, Antoni Badia Gargante, 2015). Still another study, takes into its

main field of exploration, the potential role which various Wearable Technologies may

stand to play for one’s learning and education (Matt Bower, Daniel Sturman, 2015). It

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should start to become clear, that this topic is one which presents multiple varying

aspects for one’s consideration. The full scope of the literature/sources that shall be

considered for the overall synthesis of this paper, shall be explored more completely

within the next section of this proposal.

II. Background & Significance

To elaborate further upon the overall significance and wider scope of the main

subject for this paper, a brief synthesis of the important realities/implications of the

various academic works that will be incorporated within the final composition of the

main paper, will now be presented and discussed. Put straightforward, the main research

problem which this paper shall seek to explore, pertains to the degree to which

technology plays a role within one’s education and experiences/habits/practices as a

learner. One way of more clearly framing/presenting the underlying importance of this

paper’s main question, lies in the fact that technology stands to influence one’s learning

and education, in many different ways. Firstly, technology stands to influence the extent

of one’s ability to process information, or Information Processing: Which by definition,

pertains to the extent of how one captures, organizes, interprets and retains respective

pieces of information for later recall (The Merlin Webster; Bu Zhong, Alyssa J.

Appelman, 2014). Another contributing factor towards the overall importance of this

topic, comes from a study concerning how technology based online animation

experiences, stand to potentially influence the learning abilities/experiences of 5th; 7th

Grade schoolchildren (Yigal Rosen, 2009). Generally speaking, with respect to solely

these two research studies, the Information Processing study serves as one example of

technology standing to influence college students, while the Yigal Rosen Study explores

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one instance of technology’s role for younger school aged children. This is but one clear

example of the large dynamic scope, which technology stands to play in education and

learning, in that it clearly holds varying influences across contrasting age groups.

Moreover, a third study brings into focus the potential implications of Wearable

Technologies, specifically the places they may stand to occupy within the entire realm of

one’s learning, both within the academic environment, and beyond (Matt Bower, Daniel

Sturman, 2015). Still further, what implications lie for technology and one’s

learning/education, when gender is brought into the question, especially in light of the

one subject, Mathematics, whose surrounding academic findings present the greatest

polarizations in terms of one’s gender? (Ivon Arroyo; et al. 2013). In addition, what

considerations lie for technology and education, when the perspectives of teachers are

taken into consideration? Related to this question, what of the implications for the

patterns of acceptance of technology within the academic realm? (Xiaoqing Gu*,

Yuankun Zhu and Xiaofeng Guo, 2013; Marta Gomez Domingo, Antoni Badia Gargante,

2015). Finally, partially in relation to the already mentioned Information Processing

subject, what accounts for technology’s role when one simply opts to directly seek

information? (Hale Ilgaz, Sacide Guzin Mazman, Arif Altun, 2015). The next section,

will elaborate on each one of the sources that will compose the majority of the final

paper, in greater detail.

III. Literature Review

The literature Review section, shall be further broken down into various

subsections, to maintain solid organization and coherence.

Citations

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All of the academic works that shall be considered for this paper, will now be

presented and briefly described for clarification.

The Yigal Rosen (2009) Study, explored the influence of how Brainpop, an online

interactive animations platform for learning, influenced 5th/7th Grade School Children’s

perceptions, for learning Science and Mathematics.

The Ivon Arroyo (2013) study explored Gender Based Differences, of how an

Online Based Interactive Technology Learning Platform, influenced the learning abilities

of various Public School Students for learning Mathematics. The study found differing

responses by Male/Female Students to the online programs animated talking guide.

The Leila A. Mills; et al. (2013) study, explored the relationships between social

media usage, and the tendencies for users of Information and Communication

Technologies, to actively seek out and share information.

The Hale Ilgaz, Sacide Guzin Mazman, Arif Altun (2015) study, also explored the

tendency for college students, for this study throughout various Turkish Universities, to

seek out, and/or share information using Information Communication Technologies. It

found distinctive findings than the previously mentioned, similar study.

The Marta Gomez Domingo, Antoni Badia Gargante (2015) study explored the

perceptions of teachers on the usage of technology, and what the perceptions of teachers

might mean for technology within learning environments/classrooms.

The Xiaoqing Gu, Yuankun Zhu and Xiaofeng Guo (2013) study explored the

underlying factors of technology integration within classrooms, and the connections of

this with the usage extent/familiarity of technology for both students and teachers.

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The Bu Zhong, Alyssa J. Appelman (2014) study explored information processing

in college students, by observing how they recall information from news articles.

The Matt Bower, Daniel Sturman (2015) study surveyed various educational

experts, and gathered/interpreted information/data on their perceptions of the

advantageous uses and relevant disadvantages for integrating Wearable Technologies into

educational environments.

Compare

The major overarching similarity across all eight studies, which can be clearly

framed, is that technology holds the potential to bring forth an impact on the

education/learning/information processing, whether good or bad, for those involved,

namely for teachers and for students. For instance, the results of the Yigal Rosen study

2009 showed that the online animations had a positive impact, on the perceptions of the

5th/7th grade students concerning learning science and technology. The same can be said

in the case of the Ivon Arroyo (2013) study, at least mainly for the female students, which

showed a positive reaction towards the online aid avatars of the programmed online Math

Learning Environment. Similarly, in terms of the integration of Wearable Technologies

within the classroom, from the Matt Bower, Daniel Sturman (2015) Wearables Study, the

educational experts who consulted within the surveys conducted under the study, reported

13 total positive, advantageous uses or affordances for Wearable Technologies within the

Classroom.

The relevant Studies on Information Processing/seeking behavior, found like

correlations, that participants (mainly college students) tended to engage in information

seeking behavior given relevant conditions/circumstances. For instance, both the Hale

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Ilgaz, Sacide Guzin Mazman, Arif Altun and Leila A. Mills (2013, 2015) studies found a

certain subset of college students utilizing Information and Communication technologies

for the primary purposes of information seeking, as well as another subset of students

which utilized ICT for Information Sharing. Finally, the study relating to teacher’s

perceptions of technology, and the other exploring the underlying factors of technology

integration within classrooms, and the connections of this with the usage

extent/familiarity of technology for both students and teachers, both found that the

perceptions (especially of one’s perceived importance of technology) and the familiarities

of both students and especially that of teachers matter, in terms of the apps and ICTs used

within classrooms, and how well integrated ICT ends up being within the education

environment Marta Gomez Domingo, Antoni Badia Gargante, 2015; Yuankun Zhu and

Xiaofeng Guo, 2013).

Contrast

One main point of contrast concerning the eight Research Studies, has to do with

the respective Participant Sample for each one. For example, the Wearable Affordances

Study (2015), gathered its data, and based its overall findings, from responses from a

preselected group of Educational Experts. The Leila A. Mills, and Hale Ilgaz et al.

(2013) studies drew their samples from Turkish University Students, meanwhile the Bu

Zhong; Alyssa J. Appelman (2015) study drew its sample from teachers and Primary

School Students from Spain. The Yigal Rosen Study (2009), drew its sample and carried

out its methodology within the Public School System of Israel (5th/7th Grades), while the

study concerning technology’s Gendered Impact for Mathematics Learning (2015), drew

its sample from the US (Massachusetts). Also, the Yuankun Zhu; Xiaofeng Guo (2013)

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Study exploring ICT Penetration/Acceptance in education, was solely conducted within

Shanghai, China. The origination of the respective samples, and the geographic regions

within which each study was conducted is of paramount importance, as it stands to

present various implications for the significance of each study’s results and drawn

conclusions.

A second point of contrast, arises from the fact that each respective study

concerns contrasting dimensions/perspectives in exploring the potentiality for technology

to enter into the realm of one’s learning and education. For instance, the Yuankun Zhu

and Xiaofeng Guo study (2013) takes into consideration the influential position of the

role of instructors, in terms of how technology stands to enter into the educational realm,

as well as the perspective of the students. The same goes for the Wearables Study (2015)

whose sample consisted of educational experts, (instructors, department heads etc.)

though this study did not approach its research question, inclusive of the student’s

perspective. A third area of contrast, the methodologies of the two studies concerning

information processing/seeking/sharing, only considered these behaviors for the students

themselves, taking the perspective of the information seeking student directly. Finally,

the Yigal Rosen (2009), and Ivon Arroyo (2013) represent specific case scenarios. In

other words, these two studies, examine particular case scenarios, specifically within

context of one particular school subject (Mathematics), and the implementation of one

particular technological Innovation, ICT Learning Platforms which employed Computer

Animation (Brainpop and Wayang Outpost).

Critique

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Various points of critique can be proposed for several of the studies considered

for this paper. One critique which can be raised, concerns the Leila A. Mills (2013), Hale

Ilgaz et al. (2015) and Yuankun Zhu and Xiaofeng Guo (2013) studies, that the

conclusions each draws concerning Information Processing/Seeking/Sharing and

technology acceptance for education. The application of their results and conclusions

could potentially face difficulty and bias, if one were to apply their findings to the other

differing educational environments throughout the nations of the world, since their

research pertains uniquely to the education conditions for Turkish and Chinese

Universities. More specifically, the conditions for technology acceptance in education for

one country, may differ from another. Also, the INformation

Seeking/Sharing/PRocessing Behaviors for students of other countries may vary based on

relevant (Social) factors.

Critique, can be made of the Matt Bower, Daniel Sturman Wearables Study

(2015), in that firstly their study one emphasizes the perspectives and perceptions of the

Education Professionals themselves, and fails to take into consideration the perspectives

of the students. Secondly, the study also fails to acknowledge the fact that perhaps the

majority of the polled Educators, may have never actually used any wearables in an

education setting in the first place. Thus the education experts’ responses can be critiqued

to rely heavily/purely on the descriptions of wearables which the study itself provided to

them, as well as their own potentially limiting perceptions, which may be lacking in any

practical experience with having utilized wearables themselves.

Connect

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This paper, ultimately serves to draw upon, and synthesize the diverse array of

notions, results and conclusions drawn and analyzed within each of the research studies

considered for the overall construction of this paper. Firstly, after having surveyed all the

literature, it should become clear that technology stands to impact one’s learning and

education, through a great variety of ways, and cannot be considered as one dimensional.

Additionally, it’s not just Online learning Platforms, as in the Ivon Arroyo (2013) and

Yigal Rosen (2009) studies where technology plays a role. More so, one can also see the

emergence of mobile technologies, especially those relating to the countless mobile

applications, which educators stand to potentially incorporate into their lessons/lectures

as referenced by the Marta Gomez Domingo, Antoni Badia Gargante (2015) study which

concluded that a teacher’s own perceptions/opinions/understandings concerning

technology, reflects which apps/services/platforms get used within an educational

context, with the study going further to identify a great variety of such apps/platforms.

Thirdly, the potentials for Wearable Technologies are also nevertheless still an emerging

segment, as explored in the Matt Bower, Daniel Sturman (2015) study, an area which can

be argued to demand further research, as this study merely surveyed and reported

potential Affordances (Potentially beneficial Uses), without employing any practical

explorations.

Furthermore, this paper also perhaps stands to present the reality that, the impact

of technology on education, is most evidently a global phenomenon. The literature

surveyed for this paper alone, clearly cited relevant studies conducted throughout Turkey,

Israel, Spain, the United States, as well as within China. By synthesizing all these

different studies, one is able to affirm this reality, that technology stands to impact

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education and learning, on a large, globalized scale, regardless of where/what context one

opts to learn. This impact stands to vary based on the contexts within each country, as

well as for each stage, as one ventures through the education process (different grades,

Primary Secondary Education etc.). This notion shall be elaborated further, within the

Preliminary Suppositions and Implications Section.

IV. Research Designs and Methodologies

The Research Designs and Methodologies for each of the Research Studies

Considered within the Synthesis of this paper shall be explored, in brief. The Leila A.

Mills (2013) study involved volunteer College Students, responding to “an online

learning preference survey battery.” (Mills et al., 2013, P. 2) The question contents for

the Survey, which electronically circulated through Social Media, to find potentially

interested participants, was formulated based on four instruments, “the Information and

Communications Technology Learning survey, the Social Media Learning scale, the

Technology Affinity Survey, and the Computer Attitude Questionnaire.” (Mills et al.,

2013, P 3) The results were collected, coded/correlated, and analyzed towards the aim of

answering the research questions. The Hale Ilgaz et. al (2015) study also involved the

circulation of a survey, based on the ICTL Scale, which contains questions concerning

one’s information Seeking/Sharing behavior. The scale was ultimately modified to fit the

research parameters for surveying University Students in Turkey. The results were then

collected and analyzed.

The Ivon Arroyo (2013) study, involved Public School Students throughout

various Massachusetts Schools, being observed when interacting with an online Math

Learning Platform Wayang Outpost, for daily hour long Math Lesson Sessions, with the

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results being recorded on a weekly basis, over the entire 10 year span of the study. The

study emphasized the particular observations of how the students interacted with the

programs programed animated help/guiding Female Avatar, with the results being

tailored to explore variations in interactions between the opposing genders. The Yigal

Rosen (2009) study, gathered electronic data/analytics based on how a group of pre-

selected schools incorporated, and utilized Learning Animations from the BrainPop

Platform Library, as part of their day to day instruction on particular topics related to

science and technology.

The Matt Bower, Daniel Sturman (2015) study, involved the circulation of a

precreated Survey Questionnaire to various Educational Experts throughout different

learning organizations/institutions. The contents of the Survey Questionnaire, focused on

the potential Affordances and Disadvantages for utilizing Wearable Technologies within

Educational Contexts, which the participants could potentially identify/agree with in

answering the survey.

The Marta Gomez Domingo, Antoni Badia Gargante (2015) study involved the

administration of an extensive 80 question survey utilizing Google Forms, to participant

teachers, concerning their experiences/perceptions with the utilization of various

technologies as part of their daily instructional routines. The questionnaire was

administered after a period of 3 months, during which the participating teachers had

utilized various pieces of technology within their classrooms, including Wireless Internet,

Ipads, Laptops, and relevant learning/Educational Apps and Platforms.

The methodology of the relatedly relevant Yuankun Zhu and Xiaofeng Guo

(2013) study, involved 3 stages. The first stage, involved the determination of the sample,

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whereby a Stratified Random Sampling Technique was employed to determine and select

the K-12 Students and Teachers throughout the various School Districts in China, who

were to participate in the study. The second stage, involved the development and design

of the survey that was to be utilized for the actual data collection. The contents of the

survey, was adapted from the Survey Designs of relevant previous studies, with

everything be modified/adapted towards the aims of this present survey. The final stage,

involved the conducting of a statistical analysis of the gathered survey data, and a final

interpretation of the results towards the overall findings of the research study.

Lastly, the Bu Zhong, Alyssa J. Appelman (2014) study, involved participant

Public University Students within the United States, completing 3 different tasks within a

Computer Lab, for Research Credit. The participants wrote a brief essay, to measure their

online media creation/information processing abilities, read a preselected news article,

and answered survey questions about its contents to test their information recall abilities.

Lastly, participant students answered a questionnaire concerning their generalized

utilization, immersion, and perceptions of online media.

V. Preliminary Suppositions and Implications

Various suppositions and implications can be drawn at this point. The first

implication, concerns the globalized extent to which technology stands to penetrate/gain

adoption within educational/learning contexts. Potential Future Implications in this

respect, may include explorations concerning the degree to which technology has gained

acceptance within particular countries, what types of technologies, whether it be Mobile

Devices, Laptops, Tablets, Convertibles (Laptop-Tablet Hybrid Devices) or Wearables

gain acceptance where/what grade level(s) etc. Also of important potential

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considerations, is whether or not the spread of technology is equal or disparate across

differing grade levels, especially across different regions of the world (Marta Gomez

Domingo, Antoni Badia Gargante, 2015).

Further implications, can relate to how social/societal circumstances stand to

impact the acceptance of technology in learning/education, including but not limited to:

economic advantages/disadvantages between various nations/regions, relevant public

policy directions on the subject etc. In addition, further inquiries/studies can be made as

to the degrees to which technology is either positively and/or negatively impacting one’s

learning and education, a focus area which during my own extensive research proved

difficult to find extensive materials on. More so, are there any opposing forces against the

spreading influence of technology within learning/educational contexts, such as from

public officials, educational administrators, parents etc? Furthermore, one’s exploration

of the subject can take a particular focus on Mobile Technologies, such as Mobile

Phones, Mobile Apps etc. and how they stand to potentially affect one’s education. A

Potential area of focus, can involve to what extent does mobile technology/devices enable

one to take his/her learning experience on the go? Finally, does one’s processing,

obtaining of and sharing of information vary in any form? Potential areas of focus, can

include variations in terms of geographic region, grade level, nature of the

information/subject matter, type of device(s) utilized etc. (Yuankun Zhu and Xiaofeng

Guo, 2013).

VI. Conclusion

To conclude, clearly technology stands to present far reaching implications, with

respect to one’s learning and education. An exploration of this subject, evidently requires

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one to consider and approach the subject from a variety of differing perspectives. Such

perspectives, include the perspectives of the students, the perspectives/positions of the

teachers, in terms of particular types of technologies which could potentially affect one’s

education (Online Learning platforms, Mobile Devices, Wearables etc.). This subject,

also requires one to take into particular consideration, differences between various

regions of the world, grade levels, and any other social contexts, in that how technology

stands to impact one’s learning, could potentially differ between contexts.

VII. References

Arroyo, I., Tai, M., Burleson, W., & Muldner, K. (2013). Gender Differences in the Use

and Benefit of Advanced Learning Technologies for Mathematics. Journal of

Educational Psychology, 105(4), 957-969. doi:10.1037/a0032748

Bower, M., & Sturman, D. (2015). What are the educational affordances of wearable

technologies? School of Education, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109,

Australia, 343-353. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.023 0747-5632/

Domingo, M. G., & Gargante, A. B. (2015). Exploring the use of educational technology

in primary education: Teachers’ perception of mobile technology learning impacts

and applications’ use in the classroom. Computers In Human Behavior , 56, 21-

28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.023 0747-5632/

Gu, X., & Ouyang, F. (2008). Current development the future trends of ICT in education.

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In Look back and look forward into China educational science. Beijing, China:

Educational science publisher.

Hew, K., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning:

Current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Educational

Technology Research & Development, 55(3), 223–252.

IIgaz, H., Mazman, S., & Altun, A. (2015). A Cross Cultural Perspective on Information

Communication Technologies Learning Survey. Springer Science Business Media

Dordrecht, 160-168. doi:10.1007/s10758-015-9257-5

Mills, L. A., Wakefield, J. S., & Knezek, G. A. (2013). UNDERSTANDING

INFORMATION SEEKING BEHAVIOR IN TECHNOLOGY PERVASIVE

LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS OF THE 21ST CENTURY . TOJET: The

Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology , 12(4), 200-208. Retrieved

September 23, 2017.

Rosen, Y. (2009). THE EFFECTS OF AN ANIMATION-BASED ON-LINE

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ON TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE AND ON

MOTIVATION FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LEARNING. J.

EDUCATIONAL COMPUTING RESEARCH, 40, 451-467.

doi:10.2190/EC.40.4.d

Zhong, B., & Appelman, A. J. (2014). How college students read and write on the web:

The role of ICT use in processing online information. Computers In Human

Behavior , 38, 201-207. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.05.037 0747-5632/

Zhu, Y., & Guo, X. (2013). Meeting the “Digital Natives”: Understanding the

Acceptance

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of Technology in Classrooms . Department of Educational Information

Technology, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China, 16(1), 392-402.

doi:ISSN 1436-4522