Frau's Blog

Social learning theory suggests that what we learn is learned from social interactions with other people. I think this is a pretty accurate representation of how people learn, especially children. I have mentioned on the Walden discussion board that I have a 20-month-old daughter and everything she learns is from watching other people. All he new words that she says she hears from someone else first. The same is true of a lot of her actions. She mimics her father and me and wants to do what we are doing and how we are doing it. She wants to eat what we are eating and sit where we are sitting. She is soaking up new information like a sponge right now and again, most of it is learned from watching  and interacting with other people.

Social learning theory requires students to work with each other and cooperative learning embraces that. The course text says that to be prepared for the technologically advanced “real world” that we have today, it is very important that students learn to collaborate with others. Cooperative learning can be done in many ways, but the common aspect to all of these is keeping the groups at a manageable size.

Any activity where students are working in partnerships or small groups qualifies as cooperative learning. They are many ways that technology can be used in cooperative learning as well. The text suggests students making a video together, but really any type of presentation will work for this including a Power Point presentation or making their own websites. The internet also has many valuable resources that encourage cooperative learning like setting up online pen pals with other students from all over the world.

I use cooperative learning practically every day in my classroom. The text says that while cooperative learning should be encouraged in the classroom, it also should not be overused. I can see how cooperative learning can be overused and I think with certain groups of students it has been in my classroom too. I like students to work together on most assignments because I like for them to help each other out, but over time students become less and less focused on their work. In addition to that, there are also the students who figure out that they do not need to do anything and can just copy their partners’ worksheets. Although the school year has ended, I am going to be better prepared to handle cooperative learning next year. I need to better monitor how students are working together and also give some independant work for the students to complete as well.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works.Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

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Here is my Voice Thread. I hope that everything works correctly!!!

Constructivist learning theory is based on students learning information that is meaningful to them. They can make their own presentations and projects and because the learning process is student-owned they will retain and recall the information. This is the learning theory that I find to be the most effective in my classroom. Students tend to remember the information that is applicable to their lives. In this week’s reading on generating and testing hypotheses, there are learning strategies that apply the these same concepts as the constructivist theories.

When I think about generating and testing hypotheses I immediately think about science class and the scientific method. The hypothesis is the anticipated outcome of the experiment and then the hypothesis is tested and you discover if your hypothesis was correct or not. In actuality, however, a hypothesis can be formed and tested in any subject for problem solving. My favorite example from the text is historical investigation, where students “construct a hypothesis for historical events for which there is no agreed-upon resolution” (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn & Malenoski). This same concept can be applied in my German classroom, perhaps on the advantages and disadvantages of the fall of communism in former East Germany. While it is a common agreement that communism is bad, there are many East Germans that miss the former government, everyone having a home and a job, free education and more. There are multiple viewpoints that the students could research on this topic.

In relation to constructivist theory, students can research the topic and discover the viewpoint that they agree with, making it meaningful to them. By sharing this information with the rest of the class, students are also taking ownership of the information helping them remember it.

On a side note, the course text keeps referring to spreadsheets and Excel as effective uses of technology in the classroom. I must admit that I have very limit knowledge of spreadsheets and really do not know how to use them aside from making address labels! The text mentions not wanting to use class time to teach students how to use the spreadsheet, but rather using the spreadsheet to teach the student. I’m afraid that this is the one area that I am not very useful when it comes to technology.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

The cognitive learning theory focuses on how students learn. I think of learning as building blocks, where students learn new information based upon prior knowledge. In the chapter “Cues, Questions and Advance Organizers” from the text Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works, there is a strong focus on KWL charts. A KWL chart is a cognitive learning technique that really fits with the building block illustration. The KWL chart has three columns, first what is known already, second what students want to learn about the new topic and third what the students have learned after researching the new information. This activity focuses on prior information and building onto it and learning new things. This process of learning is what cognitive theory is all about.

In the chapter “Summarizing and Note Taking”, it is a little more complicated. The text mentions that to summarize students need to delete some information, substitute some information and keep some information (p. 119). That is a lot for the brain to do, let alone to do it successfully! This is definitely a cognitive issue because the students need to decide what information is important, what information to keep and what information to filter out. The authors suggest giving students a guideline to filtering out unneeded and redundant information and they also suggest using a variety of notetaking methods.  One method is teacher-prepared notes. With teacher-prepared notes, the teacher gives the students the information that is needed. The students can identify and develop new information based on what the teacher has already given them. Teachers can present the information in a few different ways as well so that all types of learners receive the information. Different methods will give different students the opportunity to process new information in a way that effective to them – again, exactly what the cognitive theory deals with.

Reference:

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

In our class text Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works by Pitter, Hubbel, Kuhn and Malenoski, a couple new strategies were discussed. First, teachers need to encourage strong student effort and a great way to enforce this strategy is to have students monitor their own effort and progress. Second, teachers should execute a homework policy, assign meaningful homework assignments and provide different types of feedback on the assignments.

These strategies are related to the behaviorist theory, mostly because both strategies require patterns and that is common in behaviorism. in regard to monitoring progress, the text suggests several ways for students to monitor and log their progress and efforts, including spreadsheets, bar graphs, surveys, and an effort rubric. As students complete and turn in assignments, they will record how much effort was put forth in the assignment. Upon receiving a grade on that assignment, they will also record that information. Hopefully the students will begin to notice a pattern. In theory, the assignments where more effort is exerted should yield a better grade. Students will then wish to provide more effort in order to continue getting higher scores. This is also a great form of positive reinforcement. Better grades should be a reward to a hardworking student, and earning these grades should encourage more positive behavior.

A homework policy that is strongly enforced can also be related to behavorist theory. Behaviorism relies on positive and negative reinforcement. Rewards for completing homework and punishment for not doing homework is exactly what behaviorism is about. A reward for doing homework could be a good grade, bonus points, or even a sticker or candy. Receiving these rewards will increase the chances that a student will do homework again for the next assignment. If a student does not do homework, a punishment could be a zero on the assignment and therefore a lower grade, or a lack of candy or stickers. The negative reinforcement should make the student want to complete the next homework assignment. The text also encourages students to monitor their homework progress and grades via word processor and spreadsheets and charts.

Although behaviorist learning theories do not seem to be in practice in classrooms as much as they used to, the basics of behaviorism can often be the basis of more complex teaching strategies. Homework is a very common part of teaching and there are roots strongly based on behaviorism there. Although I have never asked my students to monitor their progress in relation to their grades, I can see how this is a successful practice. Both are ideas that I would use in my classroom.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

This week marks the end to the course Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work and Society through Walden University. I have learned a lot over the last 8 weeks and I would like to reflect on everything that I have learned and accomplished throughout the course.

 

  • In what ways has this course helped you to develop your own technology skills as a professional teacher?

The course helped me in many ways, which I know is a very vague statement. I have always felt that I am quite computer literate, but I did not have much experience posting information to the internet, nor did I have a blog to post any thoughts and ideas to. I have looked at blogs, just for personal use, but never have I had my own to actually use as a possible resource in my classroom. While I was familiar with blogs, I was not at all familiar with Wikis or Podcasts, both of which I learned to do in this particular course. It is especially nice to know that I can use these resources to help my students to also become more proficient with technology.


  • In what ways have you deepened your knowledge of the teaching and learning process?

The way that I have best deepened my knowledge is by realizing how much teaching and learning has changed. Technology is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives. It is unnatural not to use it in the classroom. Students love using computers, iPods and cell phones. It is fairly easy to plan a lesson using the internet, but iPods and cell phones are a little harder to use in the classroom. Podcasts pair up with iPods nicely, but I would love to have the students use thier cell phones for an educational purpose. Typically phones are not allowed to be used in school and this is hard on the students because they want to check their phones every few minutes. It would be so great for students to use thier cell phones and for them to actually be allowed to use them. I have not come up with a way to personally do this in my classroom, but I would love to. The best way for a teacher to deepen their knowledge of technology is to just embrace it.

 

  • In what ways have you changed your perspective from being teacher-centered to learner-centered?

Something that I have come to understand as I begin to incorporate more technology into my classroom lessons is that students really do need to be “guided” rather than “taught”. Coming up with a project where students research information on the internet is great, but students are already familiar with the internet and do not need a teacher telling them what to do. It is better to just let them do their research and help them figure out what information is credible and what is not. There is also a certain aspect of babysitting that teachers have to do to make sure that the students are in fact researching and not checking email or playing games. I also think that there is an advantage to students learning new things on their own so they can take ownership of the information, which again, just takes a little guidance on the part of the teacher for the students to be successful.
 

 

  • In what ways can you continue to expand your knowledge of learning, teaching, and leading with technology with the aim of increasing student achievement?

By enrolling in this Masters program through Walden University, I am expanding my knowledge. Teachers should never stop learning new things and by continuing my own education I can better teach my students, especially in regard to technology. I think that as I continue to take the courses for my degree I will continue to learn more about integrating technology in the classroom and effectively applying it in my classroom.

 

  • Set two long-term goals (within two years) for transforming your classroom environment by which you may have to overcome institutional or systemic obstacles in order to achieve them. How do you plan to accomplish these goals?

My first goal that I would like to accomplish is just to give my students more time with technology. My school has very limited technological resources and it is not always easy to even get the kids in front of a computer. Part of this has to do with planning ahead and reserving the computer lab and part is due to the high demand to get into the labs. A part of this goal is for me to be better prepared with my lessons so I can reserve the compuer labs in a more timely fashion. There are times that the lab is booked over a month in advance and I am rarely planned that far ahead. So this goal is two-fold for me because to get my students more time with technoloies, I need to be more organized in planning ahead.

My second goal is to come up with as many new lessons using technology as I can. As I mentioned in a previous response, I really want to find a way to incorporate a cell phone into a lesson plan. I am not sure how to do this at the moment, but I am hoping that I will figure something out! Even if I cannot come up with a lot of new technological lessons, I would also like to adapt current lessons to involve technology, possibly by posting information and articles to this blog.

 

 

http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=24d8c219b41e873672aa

I must admit, I had a miserable time doing this. Putting the audio together was the easy part. But then I spent the better part of 3 whole hours trying to upload my audio to ANY website that would take it. My file was WMA and every site I looked at only accepted WMV. So after hours I figured out if I add a picture to go with my audio it would solve the problem. Yes, I spent hours on what would have taken 30 minutes had I just known to put a picture with the audio. It was awful.

But I am happy to report my very first podcast to all of you!


  • Stephanie: Thanks Cesar! It is wonderful to have such support through our cohort. I appreciate your comments and kind words.
  • Cesar Rubio: Hi Stephanie, You are making great strides in completing your GAME Plan. I'm so jealous! I haven't gotten mine off the ground because I don't know
  • Toni Malvestuto: I hope you have a better week this week. I know how stressful it can be when you don't have the resources you need at hand. I have also learned not

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