Sunday, April 30, 2006

How do use technology to scaffold student learning?

Jamie McKenzie's writing on scaffolding http://fno.org/dec99/scaffold.html

made me realize that there are two types of scaffolding: 1) to successfully learn a concept and 2) to climb up levels to more complex learning about a concept.


We can have students go to website in which they practice a certain math formula through breaking the formula into its subparts. The website scaffolds the process so that they can correctly use the math formula. The students have succeeded in learning the formula.


We can have students go to another website where they have to figure out which math formula to use and apply it to real life situations. If students want help (scaffolded learning), they can go to a section which asks them questions about each formula and its use. The students have succeeded in learning information at a higher level through the scaffolding.


Another image is between a web scavenger hunt for facts and a higher level thinking webquest in which students compare and contrast information.


How do we use technology to scaffold student learning? To learn the lower level of a concept or to explore the higher more complex level of the concept?



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