I know as I write this I am preaching to a choir of followers. I write this to help my thinking and hopefully someone who reads my thoughts will write a comment and push my thoughts. I am taking a graduate course titled Interactive Design for the Classroom. My focus for the first week is to come up with a definition for meaningful learning and evaluate how technology supports the classroom. My last post was an off spring of all the things that are running through my head this week. To combine my thinking here is to ask the question can the proper use of technology in the classroom enhance meaningful learning and teaching.
Choir’s response: “YES!!!!!!!!!”
I work at a traditional school and I find it very hard to convince those around me. I watch at risk kids stay in the same bubble year after year while other advanced learners go a step further. I go home to an eight year old daughter who finds learning at school boring. She doesn’t hate school. I think if I were to poll the middle school kids at my school I would find the same response.
Traditional schools values paper and pencil tests. They value learning from a consumer’s point of view. They value student’s conformity and rows of desk. They the value of learning from a score one get’s on a test. This is their world of meaningful learning.
Meaningful learning has to incorporate things that students find relevant and interesting and how it affects their lives. Classroom pedagogy has to include purposeful activities that help students achieve a deeper level of understanding and comprehension. Practicing cold text to pass a standardized test does not cut it. Students learn when they have time to think about what they are doing or what they have done. This is what I am doing now and this time I spend writing is so important to what I am learning. Students need these experiences as well. Relevant classroom activities serve to enhance thinking and learning skills.