Empowerment is a powerful and effective model to encourage, increase self-learning motivation, classroom participation, and improve student enthusiasm in learning. Building trust between students and teachers is the most effective key to pursuing empowerment in the school and classroom environment, and credibility is base on quality and carries forward communications. With the mobile technology and a high-speed internet connection highly advancement, geopolitical and time restrictions same no more. (Rock, M. & Gregg, M., 2009) The empowerment opportunities for students have improved from one aspect. However, technology can enhance the autonomy of students. Yet, maintain a high degree of credibility level between teacher and student.
Delimitation (classroom technology use policy)
Digital technology has become a part of the lives of young people, although technology has opened up many new fields and eliminated many restrictions for education. However, the abuse of electronic products and mobile devices in the classroom has often become a struggle between teachers and students. (Ledbetter, A., 2013) At the same time, these misuses of digital and mobile devices also have a negative impact on students’ learning, affecting their participation and concentration in the classroom. The traditional model trend to prohibiting students from using digital or mobile products in the classroom, but it does not seem to be able to solve this problem. The worse consequence is to cause deeper conflicts between students and teachers. (Ledbetter, A., 2013)
But in fact, our students are all born in the digital age, and training in digital technology and related technologies is a must for them. Instead of restricting the use of technology products in the classroom, it is better to use positive and encouraging methods to enable students to learn more effectively through these new technologies ‘‘to explore new means of student collaboration, to provide complex modeling and virtual experience opportunities, to study simulated and informal learning techniques, and to enhance students’ research capabilities’’ (Ledbetter, A., 2013), equip skills for their future.
According to Ledbetter’s research, encouraging classroom technology use policies effectively improves students’ meaningfulness in the classroom and increases teachers’ credibility. (Ledbetter, A., 2013) Ledbetter suggests that learning empowerment much achieve three main purposes, ‘(1) meaningfulness; (2) competence; and (3) impact’.(Ledbetter, A., 2013) When students feel the task meaningful, confident to execute and their advice can influence the classroom, they feel empowered mostly and reported learning desire also increase. (Ledbetter, A., 2013) Although Ledbetter’s research’s main object is college students, I believe the same applies to primary and secondary school students.
When students allow the use of digital or mobile devices that they value in the classroom or for their class works, and they are usually handy tools, they also feel that their expectations are recognized. It makes them feel meaningful in the classroom, confident in completing the classroom tasks, and have their opinions respect. (Ledbetter, A., 2013) Ledbetter’s report that under this type of classroom technology use encouragement policy, has found less using digital devices for information or using software unrelated to the classroom or classwork. Also, express more attention to and participate in the content of the course. (Ledbetter, A., 2013)
Another point is clear rules and close communication, ‘consistently enforces the rules ‘ is important. (Ledbetter, A., 2013) I believe this can increase the trust between teachers and students, and through the process, allow students to provide their ideas and opinions, further deepen their participation in the course, and let them feel that their opinions are respected. It also meets ISTE standard for student 1b: Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process. Let students can participate in building their only classes.
Technology enhancement (accurate and quick feedback response)
We understand that in the process of empowering, students will inevitably have different degrees of difficulties and errors. If teachers can provide students with accurate and effective advice in a short time or even instantly, they will be able to effectively assist students in completing the tasks they need to achieve more success. STE standard 1c: Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
In Rock, 2009 research of Bug-In-Ear (BIE) system trainee teachers can get their mentor or manager feedback instantly during the internship course and provide guidance through portable earphones, 73.3% of intern teachers expressed that this technology has greatly helped them increase their confidence in the internship class. The research also found that most intern teachers who participate in the use of this system can adjust in real-time after receiving their manager’s opinions during the internship class. And improve their teaching behavior and attitudes. (Rock, M. 2009)
Rock also pointed feedback has to immediacy and positive, corrective, and specific. (Rock, M. 2009) This will help students more effectively. Although Rock research was back in 2009, it still sufficient proof of proper use of technology to provide effective communication. Improve students’ sense of more meaning in the classroom and increase their confidence in completing tasks. But at the same time, it will not reduce students’ autonomy in the classroom or classroom-related work.
I also believe that as the development of mobile digital devices becomes more mature, this type of technology can not only be applied to higher education above colleges but also can assist primary and secondary schools to provide students with more opportunities for improvement in learning.
Ledbetter, A., & Finn, A., (2013). Teacher technology policies and online communication apprehension as predictors of learner empowerment. Communication Education, 62:3, 301-317
Rock, M., Gregg, M., Thead, B., and Acker, B., (2009), Can you hear me now?, Evaluation of an online wireless technology to provide real-time feedback to special education teachers-in-training. Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children. Teacher Education and Special Education. Volume 32 Number 1 February 2009 64-82
ISTE Standards for Students, https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students