Using Technology in the Classroom to Improve Learning TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Introduction – 3 Area of Study – 3 Assumptions of Learning Theories – 5 Literature Review A vision to automate – 7 A vision to informate up – 11 A vision to informate down – 12 A vision to transform – 14 Research Proposal Future Research Challenges – 18 Conclusion – 23 References 24 CHAPTER 1 Introduction Area of Study The premise of this paper is that the effectiveness of information technology in contributing to learning will be a function of how well the technology supports a particular model of learning and the appropriateness of the model to a particular learning situation. The paper begins with a discussion of the most commonly advocated models of learning. How the assumptions of computers and technology are intertwined with the assumptions of the learning models is then analyzed. The mapping of pedagogical assumptions helps to identify the types of technologies that automate the traditional learning model and those that begin to enable transformation into a new model. Although universities create and acquire knowledge, they are seldom successful in applying that knowledge to their own activities. In fact, academic institutions typically lag businesses by roughly a decade in the adoption of new technologies (U.S. Congress, 1988).
I have enjoyed sharing my ideas and thoughts with other throughout my education years whether as a teacher or a student. I chose elementary education as a profession in classroom technology particularly because of many reasons. First, I think this major will help me a lot to understanding children who are the basic part of our societies. Also, I believe this major will increase my knowledge about ...
This is certainly true in terms of the application of computers into the learning process: the blackboard and chalk remain the primary teaching technologies in many business schools even while the merits of information technology to improve communication, efficiency, and decision making in organizations are recognized and inculcated by information technology researchers. However, as schools experience increased competitive pressures, information technology is one area that schools might use to differentiate or compete with or, more importantly, to use as a catalyst for transforming educational processes. Computers and Information technology is not heralded as a miraculous yet unpredictable means of mitigating educational attrition, but as an efficacious means of enabling intentional changes in teaching and learning processes. Some schools have already begun building classroom facilities that incorporate information technologies in hopes of improving the learning and teaching processes. For example, Herndon High school in Fairfax County, Virginia houses an electronic classroom that enables groups of students to work together while communicating electronically and anonymously (Alavi, 2002).
At Hinsdale South High School, Illinois a pilot program was conducted where each student’s room was equipped with a personal computer networked to share laser printers and scanners.
Interactive computer applications and simulation exercises were used to supplement the traditional case study preparation. Students had access to digitized videos on the learning subjects, and interviews with historical and famous persons, allowing the students “to ‘visit’ the events or subjects they were studying and ‘meet’ the key players before going to class. The students also had access to Headline News, a consolidation of major news from leading magazines and newspapers across the world, and a plethora of economic and periodical databases from commercial providers to augment the analysis (The Harbus News, 2003).
Although promising, these developments remain isolated experiments even within their own institutions. While such developments represent attempts to provide technology tools to improve the teaching and/or learning processes, they are often undertaken without a thorough assessment of the learning gains desired or even possible. For instance, high expectations without clear objectives and realistic goals may lead to the development of state-of-the-art facilities, at once impressive yet intimidating, replete with potential yet lacking clear guidelines on how to use the technology to achieve learning improvements. Although promising, these developments remain isolated experiments even within their own institutions.
Teachers working with these students must implement strategies when presenting new information to their students, determining what helpful strategies should be utilized to help their students attend, recognize and remember this information. A main goal is that learning disabled students will be able to independently utilize these strategies in the future with minimal assistance from others. ...
While such developments represent attempts to provide technology tools to improve the teaching and/or learning processes, they are often undertaken without a thorough assessment of the learning gains desired or even possible. For instance, high expectations without clear objectives and realistic goals may lead to the development of state-of-the-art facilities, at once impressive yet intimidating, replete with potential yet lacking clear guidelines on how to use the technology to achieve learning improvements. Early research in the area of learning improvements that may be facilitated with information technology is thus needed. The objective of teachers and IT specialists in education is to delineate technologies currently available to support traditional and non-traditional methods of learning in order to help guide schools and universities in their learning technology investment decisions, to help professors effectively apply the new classroom technologies, and to manage the expectations of university administrators and professors concerning the benefits of the technologies. Assumptions of Learning Theories The use of computers and information technology in an educational setting will reflect either purposely or inadvertently some model of learning. The following review of learning models is not exhaustive; rather it seeks to highlight major differences among the more widely accepted models of learning in terms of their assumptions, goals, and instructional implications. Learning models are often classified as being behavioral or cognitive.
Objectivism, also referred to as the traditional model of learning, is the behavioral model of learning and represents a traditional view of learning. The primary competing cognitive model is constructivism. The constructivist model has a number of derivations including collaborativism and cognitive information processing. The socioculturalism model shares some assumptions and goals with constructivism, but challenges some others. The objectivist model of learning The objectivist model of learning is based on Skinner’s stimulus-response theory: learning is a change in the behavioral disposition of an organism (Jonassen, 1993) that can be shaped by selective reinforcement. The tenet of the model is that there is an objective reality and that the goal of learning is to understand this reality and modify behavior accordingly (Jonassen, 1993).
The social-learning model and learning principles tell us training should provide the trainee with a given model to follow, (5) specific goals to achieve, an opportunity to perfect the skill, feedback on how well the trainee is progressing, and praise for transferring the acquired skills to the job. These recommendations should guide the human resource manager in designing, implementing, and ...
The goal of teaching is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from the expert to the learner. The objectivist model also assumes that the instructor is the source of objective knowledge that is related, rather then created, during class. The constructivist model of learning Constructivism denies the existence of an external reality independent of each individual’s mind. Rather than transmitted, knowledge is created, or constructed, by each learner. The mind is not a tool for reproducing the external reality, but rather the mind produces its own, unique conception of events (Jonassen, 1993).
Each reality is somewhat different, based on learners’ experiences and biases.
More moderate constructivists do not preclude the possibility of the existence of an objective world, but assume that each individual constructs his or her own reality of the objective world. The constructivist model calls for learner-centered instruction: individuals are assumed to learn better when they are forced to discover things themselves rather than when they are told, or instructed. Students must control the pace of instruction The cooperative model of learning An offspring of the constructivist model is the cooperative, or collaborative, learning model. Whereas in constructivism learning is assumed to occur as an individual interacts with objects, in collaborativism, learning emerges through interaction of individuals with other individuals (Slavin, 1990).
Every person learns differently. From kindergartner to postgraduate levels, only students can do the earning, and they do it in their own particular, individual learning styles. Some children pick something up the first time they hear it. Others may not grasp a concept until theyve had the chance to see it in print, or to write it themselves. These people all use different learning modalities. ...
Learning occurs as individuals exercise, verify, solidify, and improve their mental models through discussion and information sharing. The contribution of different understandings leads to a new, shared knowledge (Whipple, 1987).
The cognitive information processing model of learning The cognitive information processing model is another extension of the constructivist model and focuses on cognitive processes used in learning. Learning involves processing instructional input to develop, test, and refine mental models in long-term memory until they are effective and reliable enough in problem-solving situations (Schuell, 1986).
The frequency and intensity with which a student cognitively processes instructional input controls the pace of learning. Instructional inputs that are unnoticed, or unprocessed, by learners cannot have any impact on mental models (Brunning, 1983).
A major assumption of the model is that learners differ in terms of their preferred learning style. The sociocultural model of learning Whereas collaborativism and the cognitive information processing model are extensions of constructivism, the sociocultural model is both an extension of and a reaction against some assumptions of constructivism. In particular, socioculturalists disagree with Piaget’s view that the goal of learning is the formation of abstract concepts to represent reality.
Rather, knowledge cannot be divorced from the historical and cultural background of the learner (O’Loughlin, 1992).
The more meaningful, the more deeply or elaboratively processed, the more situated in context, and the more rooted in cultural background, metacognition, and personal knowledge an event is, the more readily it is learned. CHAPTER 2 Literature Review The literature and technology discussion is organized according to what is labeled visions of electronic classrooms – each vision representing a different potential impact of IT on learning. These visions were derived from the organizational research on IT visions (Schein, 1992): automating, informating up, informating down, and transforming. Some technologies can facilitate more than one vision. Both positive and negative potential outcomes of technologies are discussed. The technologies are also discussed in terms of the underlying assumptions regarding the way in which they facilitate learning and relate this to the learning models of the previous section.
What is PBL Problem based learning is any learning environment in which the problem that is asked is what drives the learning. In other words, to answer the problem that is given to you, you will need to look things up and learn some things before being able to answer the question correctly. The problem is given so that the students discover that they need to learn some new knowledge before they ...
The vision to automate: automated classrooms The vision to automate is the perception that computer and information technology is a means of replacing expensive, unreliable human labor with information technology. In organizations characterized by the vision to automate, the role of IT is to provide operational savings and improve quality by performing structured, routine, operational tasks reliably and efficiently. Because teaching and learning are at best semi-structured activities, neither is conducive to automation. Yet certain aspects of instruction, particularly the delivery of information characteristics of the objectivist model of learning, are prone to automation. Information technologies whose purpose is to provide tools for manipulating and presenting instructional material in a classroom are referred to in this paper as classroom automation technology. These include: (1) instructor consoles equipped with presentation software and display controls, (2) instructor consoles and stand-alone student computers, (3) computer-assisted instruction (drill and practice programs), and (4) distance learning. Instructor Console The instructor console refers to a computer equipped with end-user software and used by an instructor in a classroom.
The technology may be a permanent fixture of the classroom or may be brought in on a cart. The primary goals are the facilitation of presentations–freeing the instructor from the tedium of writing on a chalkboard and making the presentation more vivid and memorable for students. A study at Northwestern University (Janda, 1999) examines the impact of the instructor console in large (over 200 students) government classes on student attitudes toward showing short video clips on events in American politics, projecting topic outlines of lecture notes on a screen during class, and providing students the ability to print the instructor’s lecture outlines. The most well-liked method was video clips, but these were also judged the least helpful to learning. The ability to print the instructor’s lecture notes were the second most well-liked aspect of the technology. The less-liked topic outlines projected from a computer were deemed most helpful to learning. Similarly, a study conducted by the Air Force Academy found no significant difference in performance, although it found significant improvements in student attitudes about the instructor and the course when students were taught in classrooms equipped with instructor workstations and videodisks versus when taught in a traditional classroom (Gist, 1998).
Information Technology Computers became an inseparable and important part of our everyday life. We use advantages of computer technologies in every sphere of our life. It is hard to believe that not so long ago such device as notebook was merely a science fiction fantasy. It is more important for us to use computer devices properly. We also need to learn what method of output and input would be ...
A newness effect – a fascination with the technology – might also explain the results. This is similar to results found with transparencies in the early 1970s (Neter and Chervany, 1973).
As a consequence, although the automated classrooms may hold little advantage over traditional classrooms in terms of actual student learning, they may influence student attitudes toward the quality of the instructor and toward the organization of the course. The use of an instructor console is based on several pedagogical assumptions. One is that teaching is about presenting material; technology can improve both the process and product of presentation. The improvement occurs through the use of color and graphics.
Prior research has found that graphics can create interest and appeal to the users, can increase the comprehension of the information, and can help the information be more easily remembered (DeSanctis, 1984).
Color has been shown to increase attention but not necessarily comprehension of information (DeSanctis, 1984).
Similarly, borrowing from graphics research in the organizational context, the mode of presentation of classroom information may affect student comprehension, student recall, and student performance as well as student attitude (Benbasat and Dexter, 1985).
Instructor Console and Stand-Alone Student Computers A slightly more advanced automated classroom would include stand-alone computers on students’ desks to provide them with access to the same soft.