Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cognitivism in Practice

          Two chapters were explored this week from my class at Walden University from the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works “Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers” and “Summarizing and Note Taking” both use cognitive learning theories.  These instructional strategies not only help students become better at being organized, but also help students retain what is being learned in the classroom and understand new content that is being learned. Also, we were to explore Concept Mapping and Virtual Field Trip tools.  These tools correlate with the instructional strategies and cognitive learning theories by having students discover new ways of learning ideas and information by using technology.
            The first instructional strategies “Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers” offer teachers information to teach students ways of understanding content being learned with embedding technology.  The authors suggest that “Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers” “focuses on enhancing students’ abilities to retrieve, use, and organize information about a topic” (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn and Malenoski, 2007). By using these types of strategies and technology can help students retain information being learned such as word processing applications, spreadsheet software, organizing and brainstorming software, and multimedia programs they can help students retain the information by evoking multiple senses and help store information in a students memory because images are being used, developed and seen. 
            When it comes to “Summarizing and Note Taking” the authors suggests that “summarizing and note taking focus on enhancing students’ ability to synthesize information and distill it into concise new form.  Teachers can help students separate important information from extraneous information and state the information in their own words” (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn and Malenoski, 2007).  Although in my middle school art class students do not usually have to note take they do have to summarize information that is being learned and use that information to create artworks of their own.  The ideas that this chapter has offered like wikis and blogs are great ways for students to take ideas that have been learned and summarize them by using these types of technology.  These types of technologies can help students to have reciprocal teaching where others can share, clarify, and question each other.
            Concept Mapping and Virtual Field Trip tools are great ways for students to explore new ideas and old.  These tools help students make mental pictures of information without leaving the classroom.  These tools connect with the principles of cognitive learning theory by having students replicate memory of ideas learned, become organized, supports Paivio’s dual coding hypothesis, information that is stored as images and text, and visualize tools (Laureate Education, 2010).  All of these technologies help students keep new information that is being given to them and allows it to be stored in their memory.
Laureate Education, Inc. (2010). Cognitive learning theories. Baltimore, MD: Dr. Michael Orey.

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

Friday, November 9, 2012

Behaviorism in Practice

            Two of the instructional strategies that were discussed this week in the class that we are partaking in, “Reinforcing Effort” and “Homework and Practice” from the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works, relate to Behaviorism by reinforcing what is learned in a classroom setting.  The strategies use technology as a means to make learning more interesting and hands on for students.  Examples could include online tutorials, charts, spreadsheet software, word processing applications, iPads or iPods, etc.  All of these tools are excellent resources in technology that can reinforce ideas in the classroom outside the classroom.
            The first strategy “Reinforcing Effort” uses graphs, charts, and other programs on the computer for teachers, students, and parents to use to track the effort that students make in order to measure their effort and achievement. By using these types of strategies it can develop an attitude seeing the progress that they are making in a class.  This way of showing progress can reinforce a student’s effort much in the ways that behaviorist ideas suggest.
            The second strategy is also a reinforcing Behaviorist idea “Homework and Practice”.  When a student practices and does homework they are in turn reinforcing what has been taught in the classroom.  Dr. Orey suggests that reinforcement is much more powerful then punishment and when something is reinforced it can show that a student is learning something.  In particular in my classroom I do not particularly have homework assignments, but often when students come to me and show me that they practice drawing skills outside of school I will reward them with a sketchbook of their own so that I will reinforce the effort of practice.  I have students tell me daily “I can’t draw” and my response is “do you practice” and I am still waiting for a student to tell me yes. It is because when you want to get great at something you have to practice, practice, practice and practice.  Practice is what makes the ideas of a the Behaviorist Theory of believing that desirable behaviors need to be reinforced. 
Laureate Education, Inc. (2010). Behaviorist learning theory. Baltimore, MD: Dr. Michael Orey. 
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.