Today's learners are different from any other generation of learners. The incorporation of technology is crucial to engage these learners. In addition, they need hands-on involvement through project-based learning. Today's students are multi-taskers, and they should not have to sit there while their education happens to them. They should be involved. Constructionism is an answer to the needs to today's students.
Constructionism is student learning that takes place through the creation of artifacts or something else that can be experienced by another person (Laureate Education, 2011). To begin this creating process, the students need to know what they think the outcome will be. That is their hypothesis. Next the student must decide what kind of problem it is and then plan how to get to the desired outcome. After following through with their plan, they have to confirm, deny, or adjust their hypothesis. In this process, students can create something to help explain their outcome. The artifacts created aid the student in fully understanding whether or not they achieved their hypothesis. Constructionism and hypotheses are very similar. The students are working on finding the answer, instead of just being told what the answer is.
Of the technologies discussed in this week’s reading, the one I found most intriguing is under the Web Resources, where they discuss simulations. The story of Dave McDivitt and how he used a simulator to explain to outcomes of World War II is quite interesting to me. It is not possible for his students to live the actual war, as time-machines have yet to be invented, but they are through this simulation "living" the war. They could watch a dozen movies and still not understand the emotions behind the events that unfolded. As Mr. McDivitt explained her could here the students strategizing in the hallways (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007). They were feeling the events of that war. That is an amazing learning experience for them. I am very excited to try out some of the websites listed in the book. As a resident of California I am especially interested in the SmogCity.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program seven: Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved on March 21, 2011 from http://laureate.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=5700267&CPURL=laureate.ecollege.com&Survey=1&47=2594577&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=0&bhcp=1
Pitler H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction
that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.