As teachers, we should want to ignite a spark in our students that inspires them to want to learn at their highest level. When students are actively engaged in their learning and create artifacts that reflect their learning, then they are truly exemplifying the spark that is igniting within them. Although it may be difficult to keep students continuously inspired and engaged within the classroom, I believe technology helps provides students with resources to create meaningful learning experiences. In addition, when students create or build artifacts to reflect their learning, then they have modeled the constructionist theory.
According to Dr. Orey (2009), teachers should take on the constructionist approach with their students because it supports the idea of students learning best when they are able to construct or build things in order to deepen their understanding of various concepts and skills. For example, Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn and Malenoski (2007) suggest that technology resources such as spreadsheet software, data collection tools, and Web resources help enhance students’ learning experiences because it allows them the opportunity to create and interact with data in a very quick and efficient manner. In addition, technology resources such as interactive spreadsheets, helps develop students’ critical thinking skills and promotes the use of educated decision making (Pitler et al., 2007).
Although my second grade students may be too young to generate and test hypothesis with interactive spreadsheet software, I do believe students can work in small groups to create interesting project-based activities in which they learn how to work together and collaborate on a common theme or idea. Through project-based activities, technology can prove to be a wonderful and resourceful tool for students. These learning experiences also promote an excellent constructionist approach to learning within the classroom.
Orey, M. (Presenter). (2009). Bridging learning theory, instruction, and technology. [DVD]. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Education, Inc.
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.