“Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.”
William Butler Yeats quotes (Irish prose Writer, Dramatist and Poet. Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. 1865-1939)
Your final project will involve the creation of a learning project; let’s begin a discussion on this important approach.
In Chapter 1 of our book Meaningful Learning with Technology, the authors argue that the currently dominant driver of instruction in our nation’s public schools is Standardized Testing and resultant efforts to produce impressive “scores”. They argue further that in this “testing” context the type of learning that results is not meaningful. Furthermore, they indicate dimensions of learning that in their opinion are missing, things like Active Learning, Constructive Learning, and Authentic Learning. They follow this line of reasoning with the question “How does technology facilitate learning?” They list ways they feel technology should be used fruitfully for learning and the ways it fosters learning.
In Recapturing Technology for Education: Keeping Tomorrow in Today’s Classrooms Scarecrow Education (January 28, 2005) I included a section titled “Reinvigorating Learning with Technology” which was excerpted in the article The Truth about Professional Development http://www.edtechmag.com/k12/issues/summer-2005/instructional-tech.html (scroll to the bottom). This is my own list of ways I feel that technology profoundly impacts teaching and learning.
All this theory is well and good, but will be best understood by reviewing real world examples of student projects (an approach that the authors of Meaningful Learning with Technology highlight). I’d like to offer the following examples of technology focused and supported student learning projects:
If you’ve entered teaching in the midst of the standardized testing focus, you may not be well grounded in the theory behind student learning projects. Take a look at these links to get a quick idea of what it’s all about:
In what ways do you feel Project-Based Learning as an approach to instruction is especially useful? In what ways do you feel it presents challenges to teachers?
Do you see this as an idea that will become important down the road or an appealing fad idea that will go away? Why?
Please feel free to share your reactions and react to those of your classmates. Also, can you share with the class an example of a student learning project (not listed above), preferably one that is supported by technology? Use the comments function of the blog to enter into the conversation (participating in this discussion may count as a required discussion participation).