CULTURAL-HISTORICAL THEORY: A THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FOR CHANGING THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT LEARNING AND EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY
After the disappointing introduction of Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) in the 80s and early 90s, today with the technological advances of the Internet and Web 2.0 the use of information technology and communication (ICT) in the field of education training is experiencing a resurgence. The demand for higher education is increasing as is the need for lifelong education. These increasing demands effect the political, social and cultural challenges facing higher education; the result is that higher education must become more flexible and better serve a more diverse population. E-learning tools can play a catalytic role in facilitating the emergence of new learning methods. Authors point out that the use of these technologies will fundamentally change the teaching profession. Teachers will need new competences and skills in order them to assume new roles necessary for the use of education technology. In addition, authors speak of a paradigm change in teaching because of these new instructional methods using ICT, the issue of how teachers view their role and teaching practices becomes salient. Other stress that today they are not precise assessment on the use of information technology and communication in education (ICTE) and how they are incorporated by management teachers. However, these authors posit that fundamentally, the educational model, in institutions of higher education has not evolved and is mainly based on a transmission model. I have shown in previous work, how a group of teachers at a French business school moved toward the adoption and integration of LMS into their pedagogy. The faculty incorporated the LMS tools little by little. Each step of the incorporation allowed them to find a solution to “classic” learning challenges such as: evaluate students’ preparation for a course, evaluate students’ knowledge acquisition from the course, allow students to interact together in order to share their knowledge and at least develop e-learning modules providing feedback about learners' mistakes. To facilitate this transition I worked with developing the teacher's understanding of learning theories by Vygotsky and Bloom as well as a series of practical tools. To build their learning model, teachers relied on the cultural historical- theory of Vygotsky, the mastery learning of Bloom, and tools used in the development and organization of the course to deliver a variety of objectives to students with a wide range of levels following a process oriented methodology such as that of Feuerstein. Taken together these three areas allowed teachers to develop a better understanding of how students learn and how they can better assist students in mastering the course goals and objectives. This understanding was crucial in the teacher's development of course materials and incorporating the LMS. These groups worked together for three years at the end of that period, I conducted a series of interviews with these teachers and a control group of teachers from outside this group, to compare their use and incorporation of the LMS. In this paper I will present the result of the analysis of the interviews. I will show that, as others have argued, the use of ICT in education is a catalyst that promotes educational innovation. I will argue that for this to be true, the ICT must be associated with a pedagogical model and an educational approach that gives teachers the opportunity to develop the ability to analyze and adapt their own pedagogical practice.