Frameworks for integrating technology into optometric education

This paper discusses some areas where technology may be applied to teaching in optometry and describes two frameworks which can be used when considering how to integrate technology into learning.

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Introduction

Technology has driven a major societal change permeating the very traditions, beliefs and rituals of our social and work milieu. Following the revolution caused by the introduction of the Gutenberg printing press, the current digital epoch has been recognised as the second major event in history that has extended and enhanced access to information and learning (Brynjolfsson 2014; Topol 2015). Research shows that digital technologies can be used to provide educational opportunities that were not possible before this digital era. These technologies allow learning in contextualised settings and provide a variety of learning opportunities for those studying optometry (Yi 2016) and for those educating patients about eye care (Lee et al. 2007).

However, knowing how to integrate technology into learning has been described as a ‘wicked’ problem (Mishra and Koehler 2007). Research has demonstrated that educators may not be integrating technology effectively (Kurt et al. 2013). There is evidence that educators who do use technology primarily use it for low-level tasks (Chen et al. 2014; Hsu 2013).

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