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How Can Schools Can Provide Computer Supported Learning February 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — leahdewhurst @ 5:54 pm

               I think schools could implement computer supported learning in ways that authentically transform teaching and learning by approaching technology as integration into lessons and not as an add-on.  The literatures I have read say that schools need to provide an environment in which computer technology is used as a cognitive tool.  Students need to construct knowledge with technology as opposed to merely obtaining information from computers.  So as schools we need to provide meaningful activities that support the construction of knowledge. 

                Collaboration is one key area I believe can be supported by computer supported learning.   An example of collaboration I use in the classroom is literature circles.  I find the process allows my students learn through the interaction of others.  They work together and combine their knowledge to find the solution to the problem. I find the dialogue that takes place between the students during literature circles allows them to refine their understanding of the topic at hand.  Even though literature circles could easily be done without the use of technology, I find when students are interacting with their own classmates as well as with other students online, they seem to be more engaged and motivated. 

                In order to implement computer supported learning, schools need teacher support and expertise (leaders).  In order to provide authentic experiences for the students, schools need the support and expertise of the available tools and which ones will provide that meaningful experience for the students. As said earlier, we don’t want technology to be an add-on, but to be integrated within the lessons.

Here is a link to the voicethread of the forms I use for literature circles. 



3 Responses to “How Can Schools Can Provide Computer Supported Learning”

  1. Michelle Says:

    What do you use when students part take in these literature circles online? Do all circles have the same problem to solve or does each circle have a different problem? Lastly, what are the groups sizes for the circles? Sorry for all the questions.

    • leahdewhurst Says:

      I use skype. Each circle has their own book that they talk about. We use the Willow Award books. Each group has six students, three of mine and three from the other school. There is a lot of organization involved at the start. Each group member has a job (discussion director, artful artist, summarizer etc.) Its just like regular lit circles except its done online with another classroom. After we have gone through the stories we set up a voicethread for the students to share which book they like.
      I don’t have any of the skype conversations video taped, but I will share a voicethread link of the forms they share with each other.

      • Michelle VG Says:

        Thanks for sharing – does that mean each student has their own Skype account? Or do you create the accts for them. Not sure if you are interested in recording the Skype conversation – there is a plug in that will do that – can’t recall of the top of my head.

        It sounds like a great way to get kids motivated to read!

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