The student should complete a brief essay analysing the use of technologies to enhance your own learning and teaching. This should also include the benefits and limitations of using technology in learning and teaching. (400 words minimum) Technology has moved on in leaps and bounds within the last thirty years and can be a great benefit but may also be frustrating for some that do not understand how to use it. From my own perspective the internet (computers, tablets and phones) has helped me to do courses that I never thought would be possible due to time, finances and distance. After obtaining the fundamentals of my knowledge and skills within the fitness industry in L2, 3 and 4 over the last fifteen years on the REPS register, I have gone on to obtain CPD’s both live and online.
The benefits for learners are no doubt the same as they are for myself in that it costs less and you can study in the comfort of your own home. It also helps adult learners to continue a normal family life schedule too. Not only are learners able to access their online resources 24/7 for their courses but also research their chosen subject utilising the internet. It is like one big massive encyclopaedia that never stops evolving. A limitation is that learners need to be aware of where they obtain their resources of information and note that they are reliable, reputable and respected resources within their industry they are studying for. As a tutor I can assist in pointing out specific reliable resources to ensure that learners know where to look for guidance. An example I often get that learners give me when I am assessing worksheets, is that other fitness teachers are reliable resources and I have to inform them that although they might be good at what they do practically it is not possible to know if that teacher is a reliable resource. How much have they studied over the last few years? Have they continued to self-develop and learn more and update with CPD’s? What did they actually take in from their course? An example of a reliable resources are those tutors that are well renowned and have a recognised specialist status within their industry and continuously work in research.
Other benefits is that technology promotes interaction between people even if you are limited by living isolated in rural areas. Learners can offer each other support by forums with group discussions and questions but if confused by any course material they should speak directly to their course tutor for clarification. Learners are therefore able to connect with heir tutor on an individual level to ask direct questions by phone or email. The use of audio and video clips can help to make learning interesting and fun and helps not only the auditory learners but also visual learners. Although audio and visual can be limiting for kinaesthetic learners within the commentary there can be examples of imagery, feeling or experiences to associate a specific point of a topic too. From my perspective I am often in contact with learners within my job by phone and email answering queries and marking worksheets. I also mark e-portfolios and e-assessments, these courses were often presented live and still can be offered this way too. Within my tutor role for my learners, I develop presentation packages in advance on different topics of interest to help their learning experiences through words, pictures, photos and diagrams which all helps the learning process.
This is a benefit to me as a tutor because I can practise in advance the topic I plan to deliver and this can enhance my teaching to be more professional and organised and also with me as the tutor present in front of the learner it is therefore not a limitation as the learner does not need to access the learning material. It is only when they are at home that they maybe limited through skills and knowledge. As part of the initial assessment it is important to ascertain the level of skill, experience and knowledge that a learner has within ICT to limit feelings of frustration. Some courses can now even be completed by Skype within the fitness industry, this can help people like myself as you grow more specialist in a specific subject.
I have found limited courses of interest in my subjects of human anatomy and biomechanics within the UK and researched further afield to America. This has opened new doors in my learning experience in subjects that I need to have a sound knowledge of. Skype can allow learners to complete practical assessments with amazing tutors that can often be on the other side of the globe. The limiting aspect of Skype is that the tutor/teacher can’t physically adjust you with hands on correction that a kinaesthetic learner would require. Therefore as a tutor I would recommend that a learner attends practical physical fitness classes for technical correction.
What has pleased me the most within my job role is when learners have a disability and the way that technology has helped them. For example a learner with a serious visual impairment using programmes such as Word to adjust font size, photos and diagrams for learners to be able to achieve their qualifications. The only thing that holds us back today is confidence and the tutor can certainly fill an essential role supporting, motivating and encouraging learners all the way.