Application 4: Online Learning in K-12 Schools Podcast

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Connectivism and Social Learning in Practice

In this week’s learning resources we explored one strategy for social learning called cooperative learning. In Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, and Malenoski’s book, they provide many examples of social networking and collaboration tools that correlate to this strategy and social learning theories in general. Dr. Michael Orey states that “collaborative and cooperative learning are when kids are working together to construct an artifact and everyone in the group is responsible for the work” (Laureate 2009).
There are many types of multimedia in which students can create. A video is an excellent way for students to demonstrate their understanding and apply what they have learned. Along with multimedia there are a vast amount of web resources available to teachers and students. Web 2.0, also called the “Read Write Web” has made it possible for teachers and students to create and share their artifacts with others around the world. This form of cooperative learning shows just how education has become more global than ever. In addition to web resources there is communication software that enables students to share their ideas with others. Blogs and wikis allow students to post their work, share it, and comment on others work. A wiki is an online collaboration tool that facilitates the working together of students to create projects and artifacts.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Program 8. Social Learning Theory. [Educational video]. Baltimore: Author.

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

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In this week’s learning resources we explored the strategy of “Generating and Testing Hypotheses” (Pitler et al, 2007). The core tools for implementing this practice contain an overriding technology component. Traditionally, this concept is considered scientific in nature; however, it can be applied in many other subjects not related to science. Generating and testing a hypothesis can be accomplished using six different tasks. They are systems analysis, problem solving, historical investigation, invention, experimental inquiry, and decision making. Many, if not all, of these tasks relate to constructivist/constructionist learning theory. In each instance students have the opportunity to create an artifact of some kind that builds upon their knowledge and strengthens their comprehension of the concepts.

There are several technologies that relate to the concept of generating and testing hypotheses and make this strategy more engaging for students. Spreadsheet software enables students to gather, organize, and analyze data and then draw conclusions based upon their findings. The artifact that is created provides a tool for students to learn the content the curriculum entails. Data collection tools use inquiry as a means of learning. They “enable students to see the bigger picture and recognize patterns (in data)” (Pitler et al p. 210, 2007). Web resources and gaming software allow students to put themselves in real-world situations that might not be possible to achieve otherwise due to financial or impractical reasons. These include virtual simulations, multiplayer strategy games, and online role playing games.


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

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cognitivism in Practice

After reading the sections “Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers” and “Summarizing and Note Taking”, I noticed some correlations between these strategies and cognitive learning theory. According to Dr. Michael Orey, technology such as word processing, spreadsheet, and organizing software can be used effectively by “integrating multiple senses in presentations (which) improve learning” (Laureate 2009). Pintler, Hubbell, Kuhn, and Malenoski mention specific benefits of these types of software in their book, Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. Word processing programs have the capability to create charts and tables for note taking as well as data organization. Spreadsheets can also be used to organize data and greatly decreases the amount of time taken to create them due to the multitude of calculations that the program does for them. Organizing and brainstorming programs allow students and teachers to organize their ideas and put them in a visually appealing array that promotes processing of information.

All of the above mentioned tools employ cognitive learning theory. Dr. Orey believes that short-term memory and working memory are most important in classroom practices and they provide a bridge to long-term memory which is the location educators ultimately want information to reach. These technology tools also relate to Paivio’s Dual Coding Hypothesis which Dr. Orey states in this fashion: “People remember images better than they can remember just text” (Laureate 2009). Spreadsheets, concept maps, and word processing all have the capability of incorporating visual images in the products students create. These images then help to imprint information in their short-term and working memory which is eventually transferred into their long-term memory.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Program 5. Cognitive Learning Theories. [Educational video]. Baltimore: Author.

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

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Behaviorism in Practice

In this week's learning resources we were introduced to two concepts for combining technology with behaviorist theories of learning. In the book, "Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works", we learned about two strategies, "Reinforcing Effort" and "Homework and Practice". Both of these ideas use the behaviorist notions of reinforcement, rewards, and consequences. For example, the chapter on reinforcing effort provides several activities that use technology to reinforce good behavior. Spreadsheets programs can be used to help students track the relationship between effort and success. They soon realize that the amount of success they achieve is proportional to the amount of effort they put forth.

Another activity demonstrated the usefulness of homework and practice. Homework assignments should be given to reinforce what was learned in class. They should be used for practice and students should be given appropriate feedback. This relates to behaviorist theory because it accentuates positive results while trying to eliminate less desirable results. When a student is given specific feedback on their work, they will know exactly what they have done correctly and what they need to do improve.

Similar to the previously mentioned spreadsheet activity, another example from the learning resources mentions an activity done by a physical education teacher and football coach. By having his team members track their workouts, they were able to see the progress they were making. They saw the amount of weight they were lifting, as well as their speed increase. this allowed their positive athletic behaviors to be reinforced while minimizing their negative results.


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