Paper 23

Generated: Mon Nov 10 15:03:03 2003

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23 - TitleEducation in the Digital Age: A Framework of Global Technology Design for Diverse Learners
AuthorsGülsün Kurubacak, Anadolu Üniversitesi Açıköğretim Fakültesi
PC MemberNo
Contact personGülsün Kurubacak, gkurubac@anadolu.edu.tr, 222-3350580/Ext.2573
Main Fields5. Egitim teknolojileri ve uygulamalari
Other Main Fields
Abstract + KeywordsGlobal Technology Design for Diverse Learners (GTDDL) is a new paradigm for online teaching and learning, implementing and assessment with innovative technologies that create virtual education based on individual learner differences.

The main key point of GTDDL is to provide educators with opportunities to collaborate, communicate, and acquire support with others from the world to explore, exchange and share knowledge. GTDDL provides a useful framework: 1) to help educators and diverse learners turn the challenges with cultural, educational, and legal changes in virtual learning milieus, and 2) to enable learners with widely different needs, skills, and interests to reach the same national standards.

GTDDL focus on the need for personal assistive devices. However, exclusive emphasis on assistive technologies places the burden of adaptation on online learners, not the curriculum. The idea that virtual learners must procure or "be prescribed" special individual tools whenever they cannot use standard curriculum undermines learning for everyone. Entirely traditional tools and methods (such as printed materials, uncaptioned videos and software, undescribed images and posters, etc.) create barriers for diverse online learners.

Providentially, novel technologies have equipped learners with remarkable online educational resources in the digital era. Also, these technologies provide online educators with an opportunity to respond to the complex individual differences. Digital technologies create flexible, open and distance virtual milieus for educators to adjust learner differences (Rose & Meyer, 2002): (1) to differentiate problems a learner can have using particular kinds of learning media from more general learning problems and (2) to draw upon a learner’s other strengths and interests blocked by the exclusive use of printed text. GTDDL integrates the virtual tools and resources into a framework, which help educators to take action successfully.

Within the GTDDL framework, allotments between ability and disability give way to the complex and delicate patterns of strength and weakness that affect all virtual learners. The GTDDL framework guides online educators through the process of integrating flexibility into virtual learning milieus: 1) setting the goals of online learning, 2) selecting materials and methods to support virtual diverse learners in reaching those goals, and 3) designing accurate ongoing online assessment. Learners with disabilities are becoming successful and confident members of online learning settings while their classmates thrive in ways impossible in the regular classrooms of the past. GTDDL does require change, and change requires activism. Although educational reform efforts in online learning are most visible in traditional classrooms where they are being practiced, the most successful ones extend beyond teachers and outside classrooms to involve administrators and parents as well as politicians. GTDDL within online education system must become a part of a virtual society that helps make it happen.

The GTDDL framework supports assistive technologies, which have an imperative function in the online education of learners with physical and/or language disabilities need properly designed wheelchairs, adaptive switches to control devices, or speech synthesizers. Also, the GTDDL framework represents information and knowledge through text, sound, and images. One of the crucial characteristics of online learning settings is flexibility that it goes beyond traditional educational environments in their ability to meet the various needs of diverse learners in a variety of online educational contexts.

Finally, the virtual contents in the GTDDL framework are versatile, transformable, storable and transferable. With the GTDDL framework, online educators and learners can access to the regularly updated online resources provided by the perspectives and contributions of diverse experts, mentors, and peers from all over the world.

Key Words:Global Technology Design for Diverse Learners, Diverse Learners and Technology, Online Education and Diverse Learners, Assistive Technologies, Education in Digital Era.
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