Changing How and What Children
Learn in School with Computer-Based Technologies (Jeremy
M. Roschelle,Roy D. Pea, Christopher M. Hoadley, Douglas N.Gordin,
Schools today face ever-increasing demands in their attempts
to ensure that students are well equipped to enter the workforce
and navigate a complex world. Research indicates that computer
technology can help support learning, and that it is especially
useful in developing the higher-order skills of critical thinking,
analysis, and scientific inquiry. But the mere presence of computers
in the classroom does not ensure their effective use. Some computer
applications have been shown to be more successful than others,
and many factors influence how well even the most promising
applications are implemented.
This article explores the various ways computer technology can
be used to improve how and what children learn in the classroom.
Several examples of computer-based applications are highlighted
to illustrate ways technology can enhance how children learn
by supporting four fundamental characteristics of learning:
(1) active engagement,
(2) participation in groups,
(3) frequent interaction and feedback, and
(4) connections to real-world contexts.
Additional examples illustrate ways technology
can expand what children learn by helping them to understand
core concepts in subjects
like math, science, and literacy. Research indicates, however,
that the use of technology as an effective learning tool is
more likely to take place when embedded in a broader education
reform movement that includes improvements in teacher training,
curriculum, student assessment, and a schools capacity
for change. To help inform decisions about the future role of
computers in the classroom, the authors conclude that further
research is needed to identify the uses that most effectively
support learning and the conditions required for successful
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