What are the criteria by which TELEs can be evaluated?

In Wiki Task 1 - here and here - we looked at what Technology Enabled (Enhanced) Learning Environments (TELEs) are. The next step is to look at criteria for evaluating if and when a technology is a good TELE. Criteria are one of the most fundamental elements of making a high quality decision. Simply put, criteria are the way that you define success for a specific decision.1

Considering my definition in previous post, “Technology Learning environments are digital structures, tools, and communities where students and educators find inspiration and draw upon resources to make sense out of things, where they connect and construct meaningful solutions to problems in the 21st century.”  the criteria by which TELEs can be evaluated, are/should be included in this definition.

  1. TELEs feed inspiration;
  2. TELEs provide resources (easily);
  3. TELEs enhance  ‘meaning making’ on those resources;
  4. TELEs make it easy  to connect to others (humans and nonhumans);
  5. TELEs enable problem-solving for relevant 21st Century problems.

Thinking some more about these elements, we see that they mix technology with the way humans use the technology. In our previous reading assignments this human – nonhuman connection was constantly present. We cannot see the technology distinct from the teacher that uses it. In the Latour paper humans (teachers)  and nonhumans (technologies) are  mixed. Latour draws our attention to how we delegate work to technology and how we use technology to turn a major effort into a minor one.  The reading assignment on social distributed cognition learns us that knowledge not only lies within the individual but also in the individual’s social and physical environment (thus: the technology that the teacher uses).

So, logically, the criteria drawn from the definition above imply  two types of criteria: teacher-centred and technology-centred.

Teacher (mentally) stimulates students through the technology.
The technology is no barrier for inspiration, makes it easy to find and share inspiration.

Teacher curates resources for  students.
Technology is user-friendly and visually appealing in providing resources.

Relevant meaning making:
Teacher is able to design relevant and meaningful assignments with those resources.
Technology becomes part of student’s life.

Teacher is able to connect with students easily to gove feedback.
Technology enables easy sharing.

Teacher creates opportunities for solving real life problems.
Technology provides a variety of tools and structures to work on real life problems. Technology makes constructing relevant digital artefacts easy

Note that this is not meant to create another division. Not ‘either/or’ but ‘both …and’ are important.

Some further reading that inspired me:

1. http://decisiondriven.wordpress.com/2008/02/10/what-are-criteria/