Computers as Cognitive Tools: No More Walls: Theory Change, Paradigm Shifts, and Their Influence on the Use of Computers for Instructional Purposes - Vol. 2

Computers as Cognitive Tools: No More Walls: Theory Change, Paradigm Shifts, and Their Influence on the Use of Computers for Instructional Purposes - Vol. 2

Computers as Cognitive Tools: No More Walls: Theory Change, Paradigm Shifts, and Their Influence on the Use of Computers for Instructional Purposes - Vol. 2

Computers as Cognitive Tools: No More Walls: Theory Change, Paradigm Shifts, and Their Influence on the Use of Computers for Instructional Purposes - Vol. 2

Synopsis

Since the publication of the first edition of Computers as Cognitive Tools in 1993, rapid changes have taken place in the uses of technology for educational purposes and in the theories underlying such uses. Changes in perspectives on thinking and learning are guiding the instructional design of computer-based learning environments. Computers as Cognitive Tools, Volume II: No More Walls provides examples of state-of-the-art technology-based research in the field of education and training. These examples are theory-driven and reflect the learning paradigms that are currently in use in cognitive science. The learning theories, which consider the nature of individual learning, as well as how knowledge is constructed in social situations, include information processing, constructivism, and situativity. Contributors to this volume demonstrate some variability in their choice of guiding learning paradigms. This allows readers the opportunity to examine how such paradigms are operationalized and validated. An array of instructional and assessment approaches are described, along with new techniques for automating the design and assessment process. New considerations are offered as possibilities for examining learning in distributed situations. A multitude of subject matter areas are covered, including scientific reasoning and inquiry in biology, physics, medicine, electricity, teacher education, programming, and hypermedia composition in the social sciences and ecology. This volume reconsiders the initial "camp" analogy posited in 1993 edition of Computers as Cognitive Tools, and presents a mechanism for breaking camp to find new summits.

Excerpt

Since the publication of Computers as Cognitive Tools in 1993, rapid changes have been made in the uses of technology for educational purposes and the theories underlying such uses. The introduction to this book, "Breaking Camp to Find New Summits," addresses my reconceptualization of the camp analogy used in Volume 1 to stimulate thinking about how researchers situate themselves within specific theoretical perspectives and to guide the development of computer-based learning environments based on such perspectives. Although many of these perspectives still exist, the analogy may have outlived its purpose. The introduction addresses this issue with regard to the influence of learning paradigms on the design of computers as cognitive tools.

Changes in perspectives on thinking and learning are guiding the instructional design of computer-based learning environments. Learning theorists are considering the nature of individual learning as well as how knowledge is constructed in social situations. The chapter authors in this book demonstrate some variability in their choice of guiding learning paradigms; consequently, readers have an opportunity to examine how such paradigms are operationalized and validated. Some of the paradigms represented are information processing, constructivism, and situativity.

This book has four parts. Part I addresses issues of individual knowledge construction and learning in social situations through the use of technology. Akhras and Self (chap. 1) specifically address ways in which situated learning theory can be operationalized computationally. They provide examples of situations and how learning can be assessed within situations. Examples of technologies for supporting knowledge building in distributed learning contexts are presented by Sugrue (chap. 5); Derry, Gance, Gance, and Schlager (chap. 2); Greer, McCalla, Cooke, Collins, Kumar, Bishop, and Vassileva (chap. 3); and White, Shimoda, and Frederiksen (chap. 4). Sugrue examines uses of the Internet from several theoretical perspectives that support cognition: information processing . . .

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