Resources and Reflections

Monday, December 03, 2007

Using computers to internalize learning

More important than dispensing information to your students is teaching them how to manage their learning - the latter being the more difficult to do. Since NCLB and the creation of national and state standards the rush has been on to complete these standards as though they were part of a check-off list. Standardization of education stymies creative teaching and learning thus there is a struggle between adopting constructivist teaching styles and dispensing traditonalist styles of teaching (read ...Blame Standardized tests). A compromise, however, emerges when one decides to focus on the quality of learning.

When I heard KM explain to Ms. Mac how she has harnessed her learning in History class using a combination of websites and mind mapping tools. I ascertained that she organized and internalized her learning. It is evident she has become an active learner, unlike a passive one who is given information, asked to manage it, and learn it. Also, GSLC has been working with comics in toon doo. Tooling with this comic generator has been effective because designing, personalizing, creating, and publishing their own creations are strong personalizing elements.

The fact is teacher can rarely be sure when students have learned - unless a neuroscience minor was earned; instead, it is more important to know if they have internalized their learning - and you can do this when a student begins learning how to learn: Reflecting on the process. This is the principle behind metacognition. To get your student "metacognating" identify their learning styles (we do this), focus on the process of learning (unfortunately many teachers/people are not good learners), and encourage informal, non-sequential, non-structured learning (think: constructivist learning theory).

One of the benefits of using technology in your instruction is that students view it as an exciting means to learning (for the most part) which personalizes the learning experience. Creating customizes learning environments is one way to do this. More on this next time.


At 3:52 PM , Anonymous Michaelavme said...

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