By Mary Patterson
If we consider the constructionist and constructivist pedagogical ideas of Seymour Papert and Jean Piaget, how is all this technology helping students construct meaning? And more importantly, how can technology help us do it better?
Learning scientists are partnering with technology experts and teachers to answer these questions. Current trends in Cyberlearning include research on games and virtual worlds, data visualization tools, collaborative learning environments, intelligent tutors, augmented reality and immersive environments, embodied multimodal learning, learning analytics,
adaptive learning and more.
For instance, PIs: Karl Ola Ahlqvist, Andrew Heckler, Rajiv Ramnath of Ohio State University are exploring the idea of using online map games to generate critical thinking and impact learning about a far-away place in a tool they call, GeoGames.
The Center for Innovative Research in Cyberlearning provides a peek into the future with projects highlighted on their page http://circlcenter.org/projects/
What are YOU curious about? What learning questions do YOU need answered that would give you better insight into how students learn? What technology do you WISH existed right now?
Imagine turning your classroom into a planetary system or a town above an aquifer. Researchers, Thomas Moher, Tanya Berger-Wolf, Leilah Lyons, Joel Brown, Brian Reiser, from the University of Illinois at Chicago in a project titled,” Using Technologies to Engage Learners in the Scientific Practices of Investigating Rich Behavioral and Ecological Questions,” use dynamic phenomena that are imagined to be “embedded” in the physical space of the classroom, made accessible through stationary or mobile “portals” (tablet and laptop computers, large displays, etc.) and provide continuous location-specific visualization of the phenomenon. Students collectively observe, manipulate, and chronicle the embedded phenomenon, and construct models to reflect their understandings.
In Massachusetts and Virginia, researchers, Charles Xie of the Concord Consortium and Jennifer Chiu from the University of Virginia are helping students see science concepts in action in the real world, by developing mixed-reality technologies that augment hands-on laboratory activities with sensor-driven computer simulations in a project called, Mixed Reality Labs: Integrating Sensors and Simulations to Improve Learning.
As teachers, we are often the receivers of technology systems and learning theories. Wouldn’t it be great to have a hand in the design of these things based on what we experience each day? Let’s start this conversation!
Teachers, what do YOU need from technology and learning sciences?
PLEASE SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS!