Support Your Pedagogy, Not Define It

Technology Enhanced Learning Environments should follow the theory of constructivism and allow students to interact with content to construct their own understanding of it.  As Jonassen (1995) states,, the “technologies should be used as knowledge construction tools by learners rather than programmed tutors, that students should learn with technology, not from it” (p. 41).

For designers of learning experiences, this creates a challenge.  Over the past 20 years, the accessibility to curricular content has exploded and yet we have not seen a widespread adoption to this change from educators.  Technology-enhanced learning experiences can attempt to focus on student learning through the creation of a product; this could take the form of videos, websites or music with one key emphasis on student reflection of their learning.  Further, the creation of an original artifact can help some challenging students overcome the fact that they are learning – a real challenge in some K-12 classrooms.  Finally, effective learning environments should pose large, open-ended questions and then guide students through their own process of inquiry to come up with a comprehensive answer to that question.

References:

Bates, J. (2014). Teaching in a digital age, Chapter 8. Retrieved from http://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/

Jonassen, D. H. (1995). Computers as cognitive tools: Learning with technology, not from technology. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 6(2), 40-73.

2 comments

  1. Hi Baljeet,

    I agree that posing large, open ended questions to students is an important component within technology enhanced learning environments. I’ve found that many of my students (at the grade 5/6 level) are highly interested in utilizing technology to support their learning, but they lack the resiliency to persevere through challenges when engaging with problem solving or research based tasks. They expect an immediate answer to their questions, and they become frustrated when they don’t receive this immediate feedback. I’m wondering if you’ve experienced similar situations with your students at the higher grade levels.

    I see that you’ve referenced Bates’ “Teaching in a Digital Age,” and I’ve found that his work has been fundamental in helping me to better understanding how technology integration impacts student learning and staff development. His findings have been extremely usual and practical.

    – Allen.

  2. I like the fact that your discussed “student learning through the creation of a product”. In my online classes — each student gets a different project that is then embedded into the course to help future students.

    I wonder if it is the final product or the journey that is more important.

    A good next step might be to explain why you think that TELEs “should follow the theory of constructivism”.

    Christopher

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