Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Constructionism in Practice

     The new challenge in the classroom is develop lesson plans that the students can become self sufficient and the teachers can become more facilitators.  Many teacher try to use constructionism in their classroom to make there students build their own artifacts that can be shared with others. 

     What is the difference between constructivism and constructionism?  According to Dr. Orey “constructivism is theory of knowledge stating that each individual activity constructs his or her own meeting.  Constructionism is a theory of learning that states people learn best when they build an external artifact or something they can share with others.  An example would be firsthand experience or getting involved with building stuff.”  (Laureate, 2013).  Teachers today tend to use constructionism more because it allows students or encourages them to create material.   In the video from today’s reading it discussed the use of PowerPoint as a good example for constructionism.  Power Point is a good tool provided by Microsoft that allows students to get on easy and navigate through the different options to create an image of their learning.  In my classroom we also use power point for two reasons one I understand that the students I deal with are emotional disturbed and can navigate the software easy and also the students still see this as a challenge to create something different each time the software is being used.  In chapter 9 of our book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works the author tells us that students who generate and test hypothesis by engaging in problem solving have a clearer understanding of lesson concepts" (Pitler, Hubbell and Kuhn, 2012).  Problem solving also allows students to critically think about problems when given to them to solve.  

     Technology has allowed students to become more independent on mechanism of learning (assimilation, accommodations, equilibrations, and scheme) to the point where teachers are now taking a step back and becoming facilitators.  In constructionism teaching strategies such as project-based, problem-based, and inquiry-based learning theory are all used to allow the student an opportunity to build his cognitive mind though research, critical thinking.  In constructionism teachers tend to find their roles change from instructor or educator to a facilitator or mediator with the development of student independent learning or self -sufficient learning. Other technology tools I use in my classroom include Microsoft word, excel, power point and graphing help students receive the best education possible.

It is important to remember that when student  are constructing they try to authenticate the material.  In my classroom I provide a rubric that will help them understand what we are looking for it is up to the students and the technology being used to create a finished material.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program seven: Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video webcast].Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works. (2nd ed).

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