Changing How and What Children Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies
Author: Roschelle, J.M., Pea, R.D., Hoadley, C.M., Gordin, D.N., Means, B.M.
Publisher: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs & the Brookings Institution
Publication Date: 2000, Fall/Winter
Volume Title: Children and Computer Technology
Journal: The Future of Children
Journal Volume: 10(2)
Full text available online at: http://www.futureofchildren.org/pubs-info2825/pubs-info.htm?doc_id=69787
Abstract (written by WestEd)
This article explores characteristics of computer technology that can enhance learning. It highlights computer-based technologies that have been proven to enhance how children learn and what children learn, and it addresses the organizational structures and supports that should be considered when schools plan a technology strategy.
Technology can enhance how children learn because many of the best uses of technology support the four fundamental foundations of learning as defined by cognitive science: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connections to real world contexts.
Technology expands what children learn. Through technology in science, children can visualize, model, and simulate situations they could not do in the physical world. With technology in mathematics, students can see dynamic graphical representations of concepts linked to algebraic and other symbolic notation. In social studies, language, and the arts, technology usage includes activities such as electronic pen pals and multimedia production and applications such as electronic storybooks for early reading and simulations.
However, having technology in place does not guarantee enhanced learning by students. The best results occur when technology usage is coupled with new organizational structures and new instructional approaches especially teacher support, curriculum modernization, student assessment and evaluation, and ongoing capacity for change.