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Reflections About Technology

Portfolio Purpose and Educational Philosophy
Reflections about Technology

At this point into the 21st century, there is no doubt that technology is becoming part of every discipline. In some places more than others, technology in education fails to catch up with other areas in life. The reason for this is that the benefits of technology are not obvious when “traditional” teaching methods are used. Technology dictates new ways of work and study which hold the potential for benefits both ways. The computer facilitates a diverse range of learning styles, in particular those that are discovery-based and constructive. Seymour Papert best described this in Mindstorms: “The computer, simply, but very significantly, enlarges the range of opportunities to engage as a bricoleur or bricolleuse [ed: someone who tinkers] in activities with scientific and mathematical content.” For the first time, computers enable young students to participate in the content as well as the form of adult activities with relative ease. With the promise of new technologies and the growth prospects of young tinkerers, I set my goal to prepare students to handle the future workplace with confidence. In my classes, I try to  excite kids to the endless possibilities by exposing them to models of technology as tools for design. I encourage them to create their own computer-based products while exploring their own ideas, and learn to work in teams as they communicate and collaborate around common interests. I enjoy watching my students as they build confidence in themselves and witness how technology keeps them engaged, curious, and up for a challenge.

Related Links and Highlights

Jean Lave, Etienne Wenger, Roy Pea, Christian Heath (Editors): Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation

David H. Jonassen's Modeling with Technology

David H. Jonassen's Learning to Solve Problems with Technology