Jonassen’s (1995) “cognitive affordances” resonated with me. I like how it frames the technology as a tool that provides opportunities and keeps the learner at the centre of the process.
I think design of learning experiences should be a shared experience between teacher and learner. Kafia (2006) laments that “In the case of instructional games, a great deal of thought is spent by educational designers on content matters, graphical representations, and instructional venues. The greatest learning benefit remains reserved for those engage in the design process” (p. 38). I like this idea that the act of design itself is a great way to organize concepts and “make meaning”. Shouldn’t we involve our students in this process?
I have found projects to be a great compromise between student/teacher design of a learning experience. In this ideal model, the teacher is providing the overall structure and scope of the project, while the student(s) are designing the content and purpose. Our school is currently exploring how to optimize this process, with much help from the Buck Institute for Education (BIE).
Jonassen, D. H. (1995). Computers as cognitive tools: Learning with technology, not from technology. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 6(2), 40-73.