do I apply constructivism in my classroom?
are some simple ways to get started?
are some challenges I may face?
do I assess student progress?
does constructivism align with state and national standards?
does technology complement constructivism?
do I work with my school, the parents, and the community?
technology complement constructivism?
"Constructivism proposes that learning environments should support
multiple perspectives or interpretations of reality, knowledge
construction, and context-rich, experience-based activities."
-- David H. Jonassen
The rapid development of increasingly powerful computer and communication
systems has great implications for the constructivist approach
to education. It offers a tremendous amount of information, tools
for creativity and development, and various environments and forums
for communication. Within a student-centered curriculum based
on student performance or research, new technology tools provide
many opportunities for students and teachers to build knowledge
in an engaged setting.
. The Internet and its graphic window, the World Wide Web, have
made vast amounts of information available in a timely fashion.
- Students can initiate searches more and more independently
using information technology.
- Teachers can encourage searching and classification more
readily in a technology-rich environment. (Filtering software
protects younger students from inappropriate
areas on the World Wide Web.)
- Primary source material is increasingly available in forms
that allow it to be incorporated into student-created archives
and knowledge constructions. Educational institutions have
posted much material useful in the sciences, mathematics,
literature, and social sciences. As one example, the Library
of Congress American Memories
project contains primary source material from pioneers'
diaries, the first recording studios, early photographers,
and explorers' accounts.
- High-quality, current material on major events is immediately
available. A landing on Mars, a comet hitting Jupiter, a space
walk, photographs and statistics of major storms. Students
can research, classify, and store multimedia information from
these events and more.
Increasingly powerful software applications have put tools for
interpretation and knowledge creation in the hands of learners
of all ages and abilities. Word processing and desktop publishing,
databases and spreadsheets, digital photography and art applications,
multimedia and Web-authoring programs have greatly enhanced students'
potential for expression. These computer-based tools have tapped
into students' multiple intelligences, and enabled those with
aptitude in visual learning, for example, to demonstrate knowledge
creation more effectively. Teachers are restructuring their classrooms
so that students can participate as producers. For example, teachers
might organize the students to create a museum kiosk to demonstrate
| Graphic organizer
|| concept mapping
| Programming language
|| logical structures--students use mathematical thinking with visual objects
|| Prologue, Logo, Microworld, Turtle Math
| Simulation-building software
|| systems representation
| Graphics application
|| visual illustration
| Authoring tool
|| multimedia presentations, portfolios
|| HyperStudio, Director, PowerPoint
. Computer technology has enhanced the opportunities for students
to communicate with others.
- Students and teachers can extend their dialogue beyond
the physical and time constraints of the classroom using e-mail,
listservs, and live chats. Electronic-data archives, Web sites,
and e-mail all allow for increasingly expedient and effective
collaboration between students. Visit our CONCEPT TO CLASSROOM Workshop,
on using the Internet in the classroom.
Workshop: Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation | Get Credit
Concept to Classroom | About the Series | Resources | Sitemap | Credits
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