The Importance Of Computers For Engaging Learners In Critical Thinking

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Grabe and Grabe (2007) explained the importance of letting students do the work when they stated, “schools seldom allow students to do “works of the mind” (Original projects or investigations that are largely the responsibility of the learner)” (p. 338). Because I have been working this semester with a dysfunctional PLC who use multiple choice unit tests that require only level one thinking on Bloom’s Taxonomy, I have been hyper-aware of the type of work we ask students to do. Our readings, too, have influenced me to consider as prime importance for student learning the type of work, and therefore, thinking we ask students to do. I was stuck on this project, unable to come up with an idea for about a week. A light bulb moment occurred for …show more content…
Using Excel as a mindtool allows them to think “deeply about what they are studying” (Jonassen, Carr, & Yueh, 1998, para. 2). Their article, Computers as Mindtools for Engaging Learners in Critical Thinking is going to be an anchor text for me this semester, I can tell already. It influenced me to take a project I have been working on to share data with teachers to this project which allows students - sixth grade! - to design their questions, collect data, organize the data, and learn from the data. Jonassen et al. (1998) describe that the work of learning is not the responsibility of the teacher but of the students. The teacher’s work may occur prior to a lesson or unit or learning activity and then during that activity, the teacher may have little to do. This is a mindshift for me, for teachers, for administrators. We are coming to a point that when an administrator walks into a teacher’s room and see the teacher sitting by a single student or group of students, talking, while the rest of the class is engaged in conversation and creation, the administrator is thrilled and fills that teacher’s evaluation with lots of checkmarks in the 4 column. But getting this message to teachers has not been effective (and of course, not every principal will react this way - only the effective ones …show more content…
Heretofore, the laptops have been used mostly to access our Learning Management System, which is simply a delivery device: Teachers deliver assignments and due dates to students via the LMS and students upload completed work via the LMS. This is not meaningful learning for students, and we need to strive as educational technology enthusiasts to move teachers away from the Substitution level of SAMR to in this case, Modification to transform the data collection, manipulation of data, and conversations about data to a higher level of thinking. My goal was to not build a template for students because there is far too much of this scaffolding-on-steroids being done by teachers in my school corporation. We have to let students learn and do the messy work of creating. I’ve attended sessions this past week on Standards of Pedagogy, and I’ve learned more about the difference between Piaget’s Cognitive Constructivism and Vygotsky’s Social Constructivism (Source: http://www.joanwink.com/vov/vov33-34.pdf). Standards of Pedagogy emphasizes co-constructionism as students work with peers and adults to learn together. The teacher, instead of being the constructivist 's “guide on the side,” instead rolls up her sleeves to collaborate with students as they “create new knowledge and learn strategies to continue learning” (Wink & Putnam, 2002,

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