Focus Question – How does technology provide feedback to support learning? According to the textbook “feedback lets you know when you are proceeding in a positive direction and when you are moving off track” (p. 49) I chose to answer this question because I am taking all online classes this semester and I am relying not only on my textbook to help me learn the material, but I am also relying on technology to help me understand what I am learning. For example, in my history class, after I read each chapter there is an online multiple choice quiz that is available. It doesn’t count towards your grade but it allows you to instantly know if you got the answer correct. If you missed the question, it shows you the correct answer and helps you to better understand the information. And this is what our textbook says “Information technologies offer teachers and students an essential element of successful learning-rapid (often nearly instantaneous), self-correcting feedback about their efforts.” When I was in school we weren’t allowed to use calculators in any of my math classes. It is important for students to know how to work out math problems without a calculator, but now I see how calculators can be beneficial. It allows the student to check their work for the correct answer.
Connections and Possibilities – High Tech High – It is interesting to learn how successful this charter school has become since opening their first school in 2000. Their constructivist approach to learning began as one high school and has grown to twelve other schools; three elementary, four middle and five high schools. It is impressive that every graduate has gone on to college. The goal at each of their schools is as follows:
· Serve a student body that mirrors the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the local community.
· Integrate technical and academic education to prepare students for post-secondary education in both high tech and liberal arts fields.
· Increase the number of educationally disadvantaged students in math and engineering who succeed in high school and post-secondary education.
· Graduate students who will be thoughtful, engaged citizens.
The constructivism theory in education “is a learning process of manipulating and interpreting the surrounding world in a unique way for each individual” (p. 34). High Tech High offers a project-based learning environment at all grade levels, even in Kindergarten. With this type of learning environment, students are learning in a hands-on technology based environment. This prepares students to thrive and be more successful in the real world. This Transformed by Technology video shows high school students from High Tech High using technology for solutions to real-life community based projects. I was really impressed by the way they personalize learning for each student. Students work with an advisor on “long term goals and short-term performance” and students create “personal digital portfolios to document the year’s learning” (p. 35).
Summary – This chapter was very interesting and I learned a lot about how technology can be used to enhance learning. It isn’t just about giving students’ access to a computer in the classroom. I especially found it important to allow students to be creative. According to our textbook:
“Expressing one’s ideas creatively is a highly valued talent in virtually every field from the artistic to the commercial. ….creativity is an increasingly important but not easy to find, talent among today’s workers” (p. 51).
I believe that all students have a talent of some sort, while there seems to be other students who are multi-talented. Therefore, all students need to be given opportunities to express themselves whether it be by playing an instrument, drawing, writing, playing sports, etc. With the use of technology it can enable students to take their talents to the next level. For example, Poetry Writing with Jack Prelutsky is a website that teaches students how to write a poem and post it on the website. When I was in elementary school I was never very creative when it came to writing poems. This website could be very helpful for students who have the same difficulty and it gives opportunities for students to use technology in the classroom.
Edutopia.org. (2010, June 4). Transformed by Technology. (Video) Retrieved from http://howtovideos.hightechhigh.org/video/206/Transformed+by+Technology
High Tech High. (2014, January). High Tech High Goals. Retrieved from http://www.hightechhigh.org/about/
Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.