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Teaching Styles & Technology - Essay Example

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The objective of this paper is to delineate technologies currently available to support objectivist (traditional) and constructivist (non-traditional) methods of learning in order to help guide primary schools in their learning technology investment decisions, to help teachers effectively apply the new classroom technologies and mold their learning styles in accordance with the students' needs (learning styles).
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Teaching Styles & Technology
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Download file to see previous pages Because teaching and learning are at best semi-structured activities, neither is conducive to automation. Yet certain aspects of instruction, particularly the delivery of information characteristics or teaching styles are prone to automation. Information classroom technologies facilitate student access to information to improve the availability or reality of learning materials. In contrast to automated classrooms that improve the efficiency of information delivery, the goal here is to make new, qualitatively better information available that would otherwise not be. Learning networks, hypermedia, simulations, and virtual reality are information classroom technologies.
While IT infrastructure developments represent attempts to provide technology tools to improve the teaching and/or learning processes, they are often undertaken without a thorough assessment of the learning gains desired or even possible. For instance, high expectations without clear objectives and realistic goals may lead to the development of state-of-the-art facilities, at once impressive yet intimidating, replete with potential yet lacking clear guidelines on how to use the technology to achieve learning improvements.
Learning models are often classifie...
The primary competing cognitive model is constructivism.
The objectivist model of learning is based on Skinner's stimulus-response theory: learning is a change in the behavioral disposition of an organism (Jonassen, 1993) that can be shaped by selective reinforcement. The tenet of the model is that there is an objective reality and that the goal of learning is to understand this reality and modify behavior accordingly (Jonassen, 1993). The goal of teaching is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from the expert to the learner. Errors in understanding are the result of imperfect or incomplete knowledge transfer. The model makes several pedagogical assumptions regarding learning and instruction. In terms of learning, the first assumption is that there exists a reality that is agreed upon by individuals. Second, this reality can be represented and transferred to a learner. Third, the purpose of the mind is to act as a mirror of reality rather than as an interpreter of reality (Jonassen, 1993). Fourth, all: learners use essentially the same processes for representing and understanding the world.
In terms of instruction, the objectivist model assumes that the goal of teaching is to efficiently transmit knowledge from the expert to the learner. Instructors structure reality into abstract or generalized representations that can be transferred and then recalled by students (Yarusso, 1992). The objectivist model may be the most appropriate model in some contexts--for example, in factual or procedural-based learning. However, models challenging objectivism have emerged. The most widely accepted alternate model is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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