Portfolio Purpose and Educational Philosophy
Reflections about Technology
At this point into the 21st century, there is no doubt that technology is becoming part of every discipline. In some places more than others, technology in education fails to catch up with other areas in life. The reason for this is that the benefits of technology are not obvious when “traditional” teaching methods are used. Technology dictates new ways of work and study which hold the potential for benefits both ways. The computer facilitates a diverse range of learning styles, in particular those that are discovery-based and constructive. Seymour Papert best described this in Mindstorms: “The computer, simply, but very significantly, enlarges the range of opportunities to engage as a bricoleur or bricolleuse [ed: someone who tinkers] in activities with scientific and mathematical content.” For the first time, computers enable young students to participate in the content as well as the form of adult activities with relative ease. With the promise of this new technology and the prospects of professional growth that young tinkerers can gain, I set my goal to start an after-school club that prepares students to handle future work with confidence. The club’s mission is to create an alternative learning environment by using technology to help students create their own computer-based products while exploring their own ideas, developing new skills, and building confidence in themselves. It also teaches students to benefit from working in groups that form around common interests, to excite kids to the endless possibilities by exposing them to models of technology as tools for design, and to provide students with a wholesome support system that consists of professionals, mentors, student-mentors and groups. In the four years since I established my after-school club, I enjoy rediscovering that technology keeps my students engaged, curious, and up for a challenge.
Jean Lave, Etienne Wenger, Roy Pea, Christian Heath (Editors): Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation
David H. Jonassen's Modeling with Technology
David H. Jonassen's Learning to Solve Problems with Technology