Tech as Pedagogical Tool

Bransford, and Brown.“Technology to Support Learning.” How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000. 206-230. April 2008.

What has not yet been fully understood is that computer-based technologies can be powerful pedagogical tools—not just rich sources of information, but also extensions of human capabilities and contexts for social interactions supporting learning. The process of using technology to improve learning is never solely a technical matter, concerned only with properties of educational hardware and software. Like a textbook or any other cultural object, technology resources for education—whether a software science simulation or an interactive reading exercise—function in a social environment, mediated by learning conversations with peers and teachers. (230)

Strong pedagogical tools. Not just an encyclopedia, but a way of learning.

Extending human capabilities, by enhancing our ability to access memory and information in different ways.

Creating social contexts for interactions that support learning. Blogs have worked like that for me in my classrooms, though right now I use them primarily in my graduate classroom.

Using technology to improve learning requires that we have a good understanding of learning and what makes learning possible or fruitful. Iterations can be built into quizzes on computers, for example, to help students go back and learn what they didn’t know when they took the quiz.

Technology also requires that students have stronger critical analysis skills, which is one of the reasons rhetoric can play a significant role in classrooms outside of English, too. What is this website trying to say? How is it saying it? Is it legitimate, accurate, reasonably balanced?

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