Technologies for Enhancing Pedagogy, Engagement and Empowerment in Education: Creating Learning-Friendly Environments. Edited by Thao Lê and Quynh Lê . Hershey, Pa.: Information Science Reference, 2012. ix + 320 pages. ISBN 978-1-61350-074-3. $59.00.
Article first published online: 1 JAN 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Teaching Theology & Religion
Volume 17, Issue 1, pages 92–93, January 2014
How to Cite
Yugar, T. (2014), Technologies for Enhancing Pedagogy, Engagement and Empowerment in Education: Creating Learning-Friendly Environments. Edited by Thao Lê and Quynh Lê . Hershey, Pa.: Information Science Reference, 2012. ix + 320 pages. ISBN 978-1-61350-074-3. $59.00. Teaching Theology & Religion, 17: 92–93. doi: 10.1111/teth.12174
- Issue published online: 1 JAN 2014
- Article first published online: 1 JAN 2014
Contemporary educational practices, in both secular and religious settings, ought to examine the challenges and benefits of web-based learning to their teaching. Indeed, the vast majority of students only know a world that contains sophisticated technology. This book recognizes and addresses the fact that a majority of educators are not proficient in web-based learning, theory, and praxis, or sophisticated technologies. This volume is distinctive because each chapter's authors are experts in their respective disciplines, are well-versed in computer science, and represent diverse social locations on a global-level. In educational theory, this book is an invaluable resource because it employs a systematic examination of this topic, bridging qualitative and quantitative research case studies, and illuminates the challenges and benefits of integrating technology into varied classroom curricula and settings. Through case studies, each chapter analyzes the positive and practical limitations of web-based learning in diverse educational settings including tertiary, special, secondary, university, and graduate levels.
The aim of the volume is to help educators transition from conventional to student-centered pedagogical methods that integrate Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT) as an “educational tool,” not as “a mere technological device for social communications and entertainment” (306). It provides novice educators with a working knowledge of digital resources, key terms, definitions, and concepts such as problem-based learning (PBL), student-centered learning (SCL), digital learning environments (DLEs), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR), so that they might meet the needs of students who are intimately connected to the World Wide Web.
This book is an excellent resource for both the novice educator with limited technology experience and the seasoned educator who considers him or herself fully versed in the use and application of technology in the classroom. It is also a beneficial text for educators who are interested in increasing their use of technology in various teaching contexts.
This volume helps educators successfully move through a process of engaging student virtual worlds for teaching and training. The use of applicable scenarios through case studies helps highlight practical applications and considerations needed for contemporary educational contexts. Technological resources are seen as viable means toward improving curricula quality and education through cooperative and problem-based learning, critical thinking, and cognitive higher-order thinking (306).
The major contribution of this book is that it systematically addresses a gap in educational literature that grapples with the burgeoning use of technology and the ethical guidelines for use of technology in diverse educational settings. Technologies for Enhancing Pedagogy, Engagement, and Empowerment in Education claims that web-based collaborative learning is more successful when supplemented by a comprehensive ICT support system and professional development programs to assist educators in tailoring digital resources within their specific areas of expertise. It is uncertain whether educational institutions will be able to fully implement the recommendations made by the volume's authors. Educators will find this book helpful for reflecting on the use and implications of sophisticated technologies in various classroom contexts.