Constructivism and Technology

Introduction

Task

Process

Evaluation

Conclusion

 

 

Introduction

This WebQuest will help you go beyond the basics of integrating technology into the classroom and give you a further understanding of constructivism - individuals building their own understanding - to a more thorough explanation of the theory and its various aspects.


Task

As a teachers, you are being asking to implement a constructivist teaching style that incorporates the use of technology. As you work your way through the the content in your textbook and become more familiar with effective uses of technology you will develop an understanding of constructivism. As you work your way through this WebQuest you will start to developing your own understanding of what constructivism and inquiry-based teaching strategies are.

After reading and analyzing a variety of resource materials, you will develop a presentation that provides a brief overview of this theory and the essential elements of constructivism. The overview will be presented to the class in an effort to further develop our understanding of constructivism. As a teacher, you know that the implementation of a new philosophy requires an open mind. Identify what you perceive to be some of the advantages and disadvantages of adopting the constructivist approach and present this in a visual format.


Process

Step 1: Research the theory of Constructivism

In furthering our understanding, you will select and read from the following resources to gain a better understanding of constructivism.

An Introduction to Inquiry-based Learning
http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/approach/inquiry.asp

How to Develop an Inquiry-based Project
http://www.youthlearn.org/learning/activities/howto.asp

Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning
http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index.html

Inquiry-based Learning
http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/index.html

Constructivism
http://carbon.cudenver.edu/~mryder/itc_data/constructivism.html

Constructivism and Technology
http://www.teach-nology.com/currenttrends/constructivism/and_technology/

Constructivist Theory
http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/constructivism.htm

ASCD The Definition of Constructivism
http://www.ascd.org/portal/site/ascd/menuitem.d36b986168f3f8cddeb3ffdb62108a0c/;jsessionid=G53TI9GtodXUKALa7UlH8CfIGxbWtWQbgZlDN4t6cj02ybAcdtYn!-91809162

Step 2: Create a list of the pros and cons of Constructivism

As you gain insight into the constructivist learning theory, you recognize that there are some definite advantages to teaching this way; however, as a teacher already overburdened with a multitude of tasks, you can also identify some disadvantages to this approach. You feel it is very important to make other teachers aware of the pros and cons of this issue and acknowledge that there are some concerns you have.

Create a presentation of constructivism - what is it? What does it look like? How does it differ from a traditional approach? Be sure to include the advantages and disadvantages of using the constructivist approach. This will be part of your presentation to the rest of us.

Step 3: Share out with the class

Present your findings with the group. Include the essential ideas and various aspects that are important to a constructivist learning environment.


Evaluation

Use this checklist to make sure you have met the requirements of this task.


Conclusion

Constructivism is more than individuals building their own understanding. It requires more than active, hands-on learning. It demands teachers and students to take various roles and truly invest in their learning. It requires reflection, interaction, investigation, more reflection and analysis. This approach to learning takes time and recognizes that not everyone is going to be on the same page or even take away the same understanding from a single lesson. This theory acknowledges the complexity of the teaching / learning cycle.