Monday, November 26, 2012

Using Technology to Transform the Classroom

Constructivism is the idea that individuals construct their own knowledge and apply meaning (Lever-Duffy& McDonald, 2008). Being a CTE instructor, all of my classes allows for this theory to be practiced. For example: In my wood working class, students learn everything they need to know about tools and the building process. From their prior experience / knowledge, they can the build various projects and enhancing their learning experience.
After all of the instruction and safety practices have been installed, the classroom turns into a student directed environment. As a teacher, I just monitor the class for safety concerns and provide tips. Students are encouraged to complete the project with emphasis on quality and safety.
Lever-Duffy, J., & McDonald, J. (2008). Theoretical foundations (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Using Cognitive Tools to Enhance Learning Experiences

Using Cognitive Tools to Enhance Learning Experiences

Virtual field trips are an excellent way to provide students with a learning experience that may not be financially practical or even possible.  The use of 21st Century technology provides classrooms the opportunity to bridge the impractical to practical. For my assignment, my students are learning about the famous Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Because of the geographic location of his designs and works, having a field trip is financially impossible. Using 21st Century technology, such as the internet and podcast; students are able to explore the mind of Frank Lloyd Wright in detail.  For the assignment, I gave student several different assignment requirements that they have to research. 
The requirements, biography, famous buildings and pictures; needed to be recorded digitally. For my assignment, I used the website to complete the requirements. My students used the Microsoft Word to create a bubble chart and text documentation.  Students found the activity fun because of the flexibility and organization of the bubble chart.  The ability to relate the information to one another using the “paths” gave students a visual road map of Wrights life and accomplishments.
Dr. Orey claims that the addition of pictures to information allows for a higher retention rate in the human mind (Laureate Education, 2010). Following the completion of the assignment, I tested the students on the name of several building that Frank Lloyd Wright designed and I had over 85% passing rate (35 students).  The general feel from the student that they enjoyed using different forms of technology to explore and document their findings.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2010). Behaviorist Learning Theory. Baltimore, MD: Dr. Michael Orey.
My link:

American Architecture:  Frank Lloyd Wright

Monday, November 12, 2012

Behaviorism in Today’s Classroom

Behaviorism in Today’s Classroom

            I believe that drill / practice and remediation and demonstrations have a place in classroom today.  For example, in a wood shop class setting; safety practices must be practiced every second of the day or an injury could result. Repetition and structure is crucial to the learning environment.  Unwanted or negative behavior must be corrected, or the safety of all students may be jeopardized.  Some classrooms may place more emphasis on these particular techniques, but limitation should be considered to diversify the students learning experience and growth.  In classes that technology is accessible, remediation activities is most effective when limited (Laureate Inc. 2010).

For example, when I discuss safety features on a power tool, I explain everything they need to know from A – Z.  I immediately have the student perform a performance activity where I can give feedback and then discuss my observations with the entire class at a later point in time. I use examples of proper tool usage by students and also situations that could lead to potential injury. 

Orey stated that students change their behaviors to satisfy desires they place value on (Orey, 2001).  While building projects in a wood shop setting, students can place value in the hard work and quality of the project. Their confidence and excitement increase as their projects takes shape, in conjunction with positive feedback and quality improving tips. At the end of the activity, they have physical evidence (project) of their hard work that can receive positive feed back from friends and family.


Laureate Education, Inc. (2010). Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction & Technology. Baltimore, MD: Orey.

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieve from