Let's take a look at how we see technology being used in many of our classrooms. Remember one of our earlier questions - How prevalent are constructivist learning strategies in our classrooms presently?
Rather than report on my observations of classrooms in several states, let's address this question by setting forth a few key concepts of constructivism. As you read through them, answer for yourself whether or not the use of technology in the classroom takes any of these concepts into consideration.
The teacher must first help students build a foundation of skills and knowledge, but simultaneously allow and encourage students to use their creative abilities to solve real-world problems with the acquired skills and knowledge.
Students and teachers collaboratively negotiate both the means of instructional strategies and the content of the course.
Teachers approach instruction with two or three main ideas, rather than a long list of skills and objectives to be covered. And those few ideas are 'explored" rather than "covered."
Social discourse is important in learning: social interaction with others with language playing a central role.
The role of the teacher changes from information provider and test creator to guide and problem and task presenter.
Unless your experience and observations are different from mine, I suggest that the current use of technology in the classroom takes few, if any of these concepts into consideration. Instead, we see excessive use of drill and practice, absence of student interaction, and the lack of real-life problem solving activities. In more cases than not, the student at the computer is so far away and disconnected from the teacher that they could well be in different rooms.
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