The impact of new technologies on the learning process
As you know, the perception of each person has its own individual characteristics. At the same time, it is common for everyone that we cognize the world with the help of feelings: hearing, sight, smell, touch, etc.
From a physiological point of view, each channel of perception works separately. We hear with our ears, see with our eyes, and touch with our skin. However, some people do not feel at all – this phenomenon is called anesthesia. If a person simultaneously experiences several sensations, this is called synesthesia.
Synaesthetes – people who are capable of synesthesia – have a greater, compared with others, and unique sensory experience. In the world, the number of such people is very small. However, in some cases, almost every one of us experiences something similar. We simultaneously use several channels of perception in the communication process, when our brain interprets various symbols (for example, pictures or emoticons in messages) or determines the meaning of the words that we hear from the interlocutor or choose in order to convey our thoughts to the interlocutor.
The use of symbols in communication is devoted to the science of semiotics, and to the various meanings of words is semantics. Many scientific papers have been devoted to the issues of synesthesia, semantics, and semiotics in connection with the processes of perception and understanding. However, new studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provide an opportunity to take a fresh look at these phenomena and consider them in combination.
The processes of perception and understanding of meanings are key in human learning. Understanding this mechanism gives us new ideas in order to improve existing teaching methods and move on to new educational paradigms.
The process of teaching a person can be described using the “three C model”. The main components in it are synesthesia, semiotics and semantics. They interact in a way that provides understanding and communication ability. In this case, semiotics includes an understanding of the meanings of symbols, and semantics include the perception and understanding of the meanings of words, as well as their use in the communication process. When all three components of the model interact, training takes place.
With the advent of the Internet, the communication process has changed a lot. Computers, tablets, social networks and many other technologies have changed the world and in many respects influenced how we gain new knowledge about the world around us. The psychic learning mechanisms themselves have changed.
Traditional psychology of learning combines various theories that describe the learning process and put forward ideas on how to make it more effective. Today there are more than a hundred such theories. They cover such a spectrum of topics as emotions, empathy, perception, visualization, repetition, attention, motivation, memory, intelligence, semantics, semiotics, cognition, associative thinking, understanding of mental models and many others.
In modern conditions, the psychology of education is approaching media psychology, which uses psychological theories applicable in the media regarding the perception of images, graphics and sounds, which are transmitted using modern technologies.
The renowned Canadian scientist Marshall McLuhan shared psychology and media technologies, examining the messages and the environment in which they spread. If you project this idea into the learning process, the teaching material in chemistry, mathematics or the English language remains so regardless of what technologies are used to transmit it.
Today, media psychology is often considered in conjunction with the psychology of learning. Scientists are trying to establish how modern technology can make the learning process more effective.
The use of the ideas of mediapsychology in studies on the psychology of education becomes relevant in connection with the emergence of new forms of education: distance learning, blended learning, online learning, etc. And the “three C model” discussed above is widely used here.
Today, the Internet is a global network for the dissemination of thoughts and ideas. Learning is due to signals that enter the brain through different channels of perception. This process is unique to each person and for each type of perceived information. However, it is synesthetic in nature and involves the simultaneous experience of several senses.
Today there are more and more scientific papers on the interaction of perceptual channels. Scientists have found, for example, that sound can enhance visual or tactile perception. Sound can also cause tactile sensations.
Research in the field of cinema has confirmed that musical accompaniment is very important for the perception of the film. These are just a few examples of the multi-sensory perception that we face in everyday life.
Sensory experience in each person manifests itself in different ways. Feelings and sensory reactions arise and are perceived as a result of the interaction between different parts of the brain. For example, emotions also arise as a reaction to sensory signals. Synaesthesia is the reaction that we experience without being aware of it.