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


  1. Jeremy,
    I fully understand the dilemma of the financial impracticality of a physical field trip even if it is to forego the incredible opportunity for a real time visit to Wright’s mind. I also have the same issues teaching in a school at a distance from major museums. With this new technology, students can be a step closer to walking the sidewalks through the Mt Laurel of Mill Run to Falling Water, or investigate a better well-studied path to an art museum.
    In either case, the use of a virtual museum provides the student with an opportunity to search for knowledge in the quiet where research occurs without the high energy of a real time visit that can cause the student to lose focus on learning. The neutral environment of the screen helps the student gain a firm grasp of the subject matter particularly if the material is visual, and also provides for a more focused investigation if the student is fortunate enough to travel to learn real time.

  2. Jeremy,
    I love the idea of a virtual field trip about FLW. I was planning to visit his Falling Waters home this past October, but we never made it. Maybe next year! I went to look at your concept map, but unfortunately was unable to view it because it is not made public. Just a heads up. Virtual Field Trips are and excellent way to be able to give our students ways to explore things that are not always feasible and they can give us a chance to let our students explore without having to write grants for money to go on a real life field trip, go through administrators for permission, and all other sorts of obstacles to provide our students with memorable experiences. Showing students that things like this exist will hopefully inform them and open their minds to the world around them. Great post!

  3. Amanda, it should be public now. Thanks for the heads up.