About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3909-3917
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

BROACHING FRAGMENTED LEARNING: PRINCIPLES FOR REFLECTIVE LEARNING IN THE CYBER-AGE

M. Sanders, M. Thorsby

Lone Star College - CyFair (UNITED STATES)
More technological growth has arguably occurred in the past 100 years than is likely to have occurred in the previous ten centuries. This myriad of innovations, which have become routine today, is altering the dynamics of human societies everywhere. As the computer has moved from laboratories to classrooms and from homes to the pockets of students, a whole range of social norms, customs, and social expectations are changing at an unprecedented rate. This litany of change is driving traditional educational institutions towards a radically different future. As educational institutions assess and map the horizon of the future, a variety of challenges await that are only just now beginning to emerge.

This presentations explores the impact emerging technologies continue to have on education and argues for the necessity of a sustainable framework to properly assess the role of technology whereby institutions maintain their social relevance. As universities increasingly replace the traditional theatre of education with digital environments, the efficacy and role of the university is called into question. The cyber-age has given birth to a whole population of cyber-students whose expectations bare the mark and promise of informational immediacy. Consequentially, traditional modes for the prompting of critical reflection increasingly appear antiquated. It is, however, the opinion of the presenters that technology must be embraced so as to promote reflective learning environments that engage students. The task at hand is to determine the means and criteria that enable reflective virtual spaces for critical examination.

Accordingly, a set of core principles are postulated for instructing students in the cyber-age. We begin by highlighting the impact emerging technologies are having on institutions of education while exploring the social role education plays in the advancement of an educated and critical citizenry. Despite new opportunities resulting from technological advancements, one must acknowledge the potential dangers for fragmented learning. A number of education critics such as Neil Postman and Hubert Dreyfus have warned that an overflow of information might result in “an onslaught of incoherent and fragmented trivialities… at the expense of engagement, reflectivity and depth.” Indeed recent research into the phenomena of ‘multitasking’ indicates and confirms that just such a result is occurring within student populations. Yet institutions of learning offer a venue for broaching a future of fragmented thought and action by retooling the traditional means for vetting information in the academic environment. By articulating principles for education in the cyber-age the necessary framework for a coherent and effective use of technology in the classroom emerges. These principles enable institutions to responsibly incorporate technology while maintaining the necessary level of academic rigor essential for developing reflective thinkers.

There is no doubt that universities will continue to transform as societies evolve technologically. The task at hand is to reformulate the framework for integrating innovation into the classroom. It is likely that the form and details of future technological civilizations, as well as pedagogical means, remain unknown but the shape of the future must be contemplated now.
@InProceedings{SANDERS2011BRO,
author = {Sanders, M. and Thorsby, M.},
title = {BROACHING FRAGMENTED LEARNING: PRINCIPLES FOR REFLECTIVE LEARNING IN THE CYBER-AGE},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {3909-3917}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Sanders AU - M. Thorsby
TI - BROACHING FRAGMENTED LEARNING: PRINCIPLES FOR REFLECTIVE LEARNING IN THE CYBER-AGE
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 3909
EP - 3917
ER -
M. Sanders, M. Thorsby (2011) BROACHING FRAGMENTED LEARNING: PRINCIPLES FOR REFLECTIVE LEARNING IN THE CYBER-AGE, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 3909-3917.
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