Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Applying Technology On Some Learning Theories

Part One:
Constructivism Vs Behaviorism
Constructivism's central idea is that human learning is constructed, that learners build new knowledge upon the foundation of previous learning. This view of learning sharply contrasts with Objectivism which learning is the passive transmission of information from one individual to another, a view in which reception, not construction, is key .The Constructivism based on two notions. The first is that learners construct new understandings using what they already know (past experience). The second notion is that learning is active rather than passive. Learners confront their understanding in light of what they encounter in the new learning situation. I like what Dr. Maria Montessori said “The teacher's task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child. “ The strength of this theory is that Social constructivist scholars view learning as an active process where learners should learn to discover principles, concepts and facts for themselves and encourage guesswork and intuitive thinking in learners. It concentrated on students as proconsumers of knowledge, and teacher’s role is a facilitator. I believe that this theory can be effectively used with computer to assign students to create and design activities according to their preferences and make reflection on different topics as well as sharing information. On the other hand, Behaviorism defined learning as the relatively permanent change in behavior brought about as a result of experience or practice. The focus of the behavioral approach is on how the environment impacts overt behavior. The weakness is using reinforcements to change the behavior is not effective all the time. Understanding human behavior through observation is not sufficient to explain human’s intended action. Behaviorism can be used to teach to students to learn new computer skills and do assignment through game- activities as a tool to change overt behavior. I think that according to textbook page 58, the difference between the constructivist and constructional design is, for example, constructivists learning environment create a place where learners may work together and support each other. (Case studies) and constructional design involves four learning-by-design principles (Papert 1980): individuals are active learners and control their own learning process, creative and reflective learners and focus on solving practical problems.

Part Two: Collaborative learning
I do like Piaget’s Theory of Collaborative learning. The collaborative learning offers learners opportunities to cooperatively learn, share information, & work on assignments/ projects in groups, thus enhances the interactions among the group members to build a cooperative learning community. Every one as an inherent part of learning community is assigned to complete his/ her work. Piaget pointed out” collaborative learning has a major role in constructive cognitive development. His theory is consistent with the other popular learning theories Vygotsky 1978, Fox, & Karen; Thomas & Funaro 1990 all are emphasizing on the importance of collaboration. Piaget felt that interaction between peers is equally shared. This contrasts adult-child or a teacher-student interaction, where usually the former is in control and the latter characteristically follows what the former professes, thus not following his/her own natural learning process.” The theory will support me to enhance the notion of student- centered. Students will work collaboratively to explore knowledge, share information to complete their assignment. Collaborative learning will help me to build an online virtual community to organize flexible environment for my students to learn, consequently promotes accessibility to online distance learning. Accordingly, my course can cover a large number of students in remote areas. Since Collaborative learning is about groups of students, and groups of students and teachers, constructing knowledge together, working through problems solving together, what I want specifically, my students to learn is the skills of collaborative learning, cooperation, teamwork, communication, facilitation, joint problem solving. Therefore, Collaborative learning is supporting online distance learning and covering large number of students in remote areas, consequently helps also close digital divide and inequities in education opportunities.

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About Me

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I am working with Defense Language Institute at Monterey Bay. I have received my education in Sudan, Yemen and America. I have got MA in educational technology, 2010 at Chapman university, Monterey City California and Post master at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (UNCG). in 2004and MBA in Sudan in 1998. I got American citizenship in August 2008. I am married; I have five children , two in college and one in high school.Suheil still early grade one and Suheib is a baby of three years old, playing at home. My email address is assiraiwoo@yahoo.com. Phone number is 8312246829.