In today's time, there are so many opportunities for students to enhance their learning in the classroom through the integration of instructional strategies and technological tools. No longer are students confined to simply taking notes with pencil and paper while listening to their teacher lecture, but with the support of technology, students now have a world of knowledge and cognitive strategies presented to them in very meaningful and engaging way. In today’s classroom, teachers can provide more comprehensive lessons for students as they take notes with advanced graphic organizers that help them summarize their thoughts about new and complex concepts (Lever-Duffy and McDonald, 2008). Through the use of word processing applications, teachers can present their notes to the class on the projector and provide students with spreadsheets, charts or tables to help further organize their thoughts about the lesson or concept being taught (Lever-Duffy and McDonald, 2008). What is even more fascinating is that if students have the opportunity to take notes on their computers during a lesson, then they can share their thinking with their classmates on their class webpage. This will help to provide additional support for students and provoke meaningful discussions about various concepts and skills being taught in class. With the support of technology, these cognitive instructional tools help make learning more powerful and more interactive than ever before.
When I think about my own experience as a young student, I immediately remember being in my American history class and feeling completely bored and disconnected with learning. My teacher would always sit on the corner of his desk and read us his lesson to us in a very monotone voice. We would try to swiftly record everything he said to us so that we could memorize it for the next exam. I remember thinking this was the most uninteresting class I have ever had and it took everything within me not to fall asleep during the lesson. Just imagine how much American history would have come alive if our teacher added just one simple component and that was technology through cognitive learning. Envision our teacher taking his students on a virtual field trip to an historical place. The virtual field trip would have created episodic memories for us that would provide wonderful, solid learning experiences to enhance our short and long term memories (Orey, 2009). These visual experiences would help provide the tools needed not only to do well on our exams, but to also help instill a love of learning for the remainder of our lives. No longer would I have approached his class with hesitation and boredom, but through the use of technology-based cognitive learning, I would have come with much more excitement and eagerness to learn at my highest level.
Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J. (2008). Theoretical foundations (Laureate Education, Inc.,
custom ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Orey, M. (Presenter). (2009). Bridging learning theory, instruction, and technology. [DVD]. Baltimore, MD:
Laureate Education, Inc.