Saturday, October 18, 2008


Still trying to get siked for a presentation... What Computers Bring to Constructivism

Constructivism as a theory of learning has existed for over one hundred years but has not been widely accepted or applied in public schools. Modern technology is significantly impacting society and our daily lives. Public schools have and will continue to reflect societal change.
In a technology rich environment one must remember that the educational focus is on learning and instruction goals instead of the technology itself, because technology are merely tools or vehicles for delivering instruction.
It is not what the equipment is used which makes it relevant to a constructivist classroom. Technology makes possible the instant exchange of information between classroom as well as individual students; it allows instant access to databases and online information services, and provides multimedia resources such as interactive audio and video. Technology also allows to present educational materials across media formats.

Studies show that in technology rich classrooms there are many observable changes:
1. There is a shift from whole class to small group instruction.
2. Coaching occurs rather then lecture and recitation.
3. Teachers work with weaker students more often rather than focusing attention on brighter students as in traditional settings.
4. Students are more actively engaged.
5. Students become more cooperative and less competitive.
6. Students learn different things instead of all students learning the same thing.
7. There is an integration of both visual and verbal thinking instead of the primacy of verbal thinking.
The key to success lies in finding the appropriate points for integrating technology into new pedagogical practice, so that it support the deeper, more reflective self-directed activity children must use if they are to be competent adults in the future (Strommen & Lincoln, 1992). It has been suggested by some theorists that the role of technology in education is so important, that it will force the issue of didactic versus constructivist teaching. Teachers will no longer have the choice but will be compelled to use a constructivist approach in a technology-rich environment.

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