Module 5 Blog: Engaging learners through the world around them

Throughout this week’s module, we discussed Cooperative Learning and Constructivism. I have found Cooperative Learning to be an approach that applies quite well in my video production classes. Although this strategy holds merit all on it’s own, the reason that I first started using was out of necessity. We had limited materials in our computer lab, which means that students had to work in groups to complete projects. However, the challenge when working with technology is that it is difficult to divide tasks when there is one computer to split between three students. I found that assigning students with different tasks and roles helped them stay on task, and have an individual goal to focus on as well as the overall group goal. Dell’Olio and Donk (2007) referred to Performance Indicator 10 by stating, “Collaborate with peers, experts and others to contribute to a content-related base by using technology to compile, synthesize, produce, and disseminate information, models and other creative works” (p. 273). These action words are the goals of collaborative learning and I see how students can proceed in these actions with technology to further their learning.

John Dewey’s article, “My Pedagogic Creed” presented a very interesting viewpoint as he articulated his beliefs of the roles of education. One quote that stuck with me is, “I believe that the only true education comes through the stimulation of the child’s powers by the demands of the social situations in which he finds himself” (Dewey, 1897, p. 2). I agree with these thoughts because students learn best when they are able to apply their newfound knowledge to the world around them. We discussed this concept in our small group this week and found that society does of course influence knowledge. If this is true, how can we as teachers use the trends of society to make knowledge more impactful in our students’ lives?

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