TIE IT UP: Technology Integration in Education

must Improve Transfer and Usable Proficiency


McGonigle, D. (October, 2007). Editorial: TIE IT UP: Technology Integration in Education must Improve Transfer and Usable Proficiency. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 11, (3) [Online]. Available at http://ojni.org/11_3/dee.htm

We cannot TIE IT UP when the technology available today is still governed by the antiquated, ancient educational practices of the past – educationally we are stymied and education more often than not is broken. All of the technology cannot put education back together again – only educators can. We as educators must revamp the educational processes. Think of the ancient practices of lecture that are just being redone in a new technological vein known as podcasting. This technology provides much more capability than is being used and permits us to jazz up our teaching, challenge our students and get their intellectual juices flowing. Think before you record – is it meaningful – we are a doing profession and our educational episodes should support that! According to George Mason University (2007), “lecturing minimizes feedback from students, assumes an unrealistic level of student understanding and comprehension, and often disengages students from the learning process causing information to be quickly forgotten” (¶ 4). If you are just recording your voice so people can receive your lecture anywhere, anytime – you are still lecturing and have not broken out of that mold. Lister (2006) says it all, “along comes a medium that attempts to mate dinosaurs and virtual pets. Is podcasting causing a revival in the lecture method?” (¶ 2). Using technology to perpetuate old habits is not a worthwhile endeavor.

The role of educator must continue to evolve in this new technological era where lecture must become passé and interactive or automated educational episodes the norm. As we enact our new roles we learn to provide a different ambience in our face-2-face and virtual learning spaces. As an educator, we are assuming the roles of sage, catalyst and observer. The sage sets the stage and is catalytic to ignite or an observer as necessary based on the objectives of the learning episode. The educator is the sage or knowledge/wisdom holder and catalyst for learners to gain their own knowledge/wisdom, founded in the context that makes sense to them based on their experiential background and knowledge base. The learner is the knowledge developer, catalyst or observer as necessary to meet the established objectives. The learner enacts the educational episode as it pertains to her/him and evolves her/his knowledge structures; he/she is catalytic to ignite or an observer as necessary to enact a learning episode that has meaning and is rewarding to him/her. In order to develop the necessary knowledge/wisdom, the learner acts as catalyst and may interact with the educator and/or other learners or may sit and critically think alone. As observer he/she may just sit back and take in all of the stimuli.

TIE IT UP – think about the podcasting example of just continuing in the lecture mode. Instead why not create a radio show format -- interview experts in the field. Have fun, get your creative juices flowing and break out of the standard mold.

This new way of viewing education must be fully understood and embraced before we add technology to the mix. Technology must be able to support and not hinder the work that needs to be done by the educator and learner. We must be able to TIE IT UP into a package that works to support, encourage and nurture our learners through the educational episodes we design. Technology should help us meet our goal of creating learner-centered applications that foster the evolution of the learner’s knowledge structures. Above all, education should be fun and meaningful!


George Mason University. (2007). Teaching strategies. Retrieved on September 14, 2007 from http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/part-time/strategy.html

Lister, S. (2006). Do Podcasts Justify the Lecture Method of Teaching? Retrieved on September 12, 2007 from http://connect.educause.edu/blog/slister/dopodcastsjustifythe/2040