Web 2.0 plus Smartboard: does that fit a constructivist approach?

Blythe suggested that web 2.0 will be unlikely to be used effectively in the WA system for a while, both from lack of resources and from lack of teacher appreciation of the potential of the tools.

In many schools there is limited access both in time and in computers, but more are getting a smartboard per classroom.  I am interested in the use of smartboard plus net access to allow large groups access to the expressive aspects of the web 2.0 approach.

Especially if the teacher is unsure of the students’ grasp of nettiquette, this could be a powerful way to demonstrate the decisions a user makes ( by voicing the choices and discussing the class’s preferences), and to provide a model for appropriate behaviour (by explaining why a suggested option is not to be in the range of choices). Modelling, turn-taking, and accountable conversation are buzzwords to drop in here …

In fact, for introducing the technology to teachers or students or both at once I can see it being preferrable to having the students go onto individual computers. If the teacher is unsure and the class is cooperative, a brave teacher might accept the interesting situation of all learning together – on a “safe” site.
This sounds very social constructivist to me.

However, as a life-long learner, I would say that  the objectivist basic skills/knowledge  transfer must be integrated into the process – time is so short in school,  the lesson plan should include essential and desirable new learnings to be covered before and  during the exploration, and how the outcomes are to be assessed.    I had a good tutor who showed us how to avoid time-wasting errors, but set the activities up so that we were likely to make errors with a strong learning outcome, and I’d like to try to do that for students eventually.   (If they have  used a hammer and you want them to work with self-tapping screws, give them a screwdriver and show them its basic use: saves having screws hammered into expensive wood, they can spend their time learning the techniques of angle, grip, and pressure. )

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2 Responses to “Web 2.0 plus Smartboard: does that fit a constructivist approach?”

  1. Mark Pegrum Says:

    I think your suggestion of using a smartboard to allow supervised group access to web 2.0 is a very good one – and very practical in schools where there may only be one or two computer labs, which are likely to be heavily booked.

  2. Matt Outred Says:

    I’ve seen this happen in a school frequently – teachers have gone to the computer lab to do a lesson, but have found it booked. Usually what happens next is the teacher returns to the classroom and conducts the lesson without using the computers, thus revealing that the computer aspect wasn’t vital to begin with. At Gooseberry Hill Primary there are SmartBoards in every classroom, so this isn’t a major issue, once again it’s all about how the computers are used to enhance lessons, not to teach them. Do teachers in schools with limited access to technology avoid using the available computers because they’re simply not integral to lessons, or do they make the most out of using the technology so that the students gain the maximum benefit from a limited timeframe? Food for thought.

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