1) How do teachers use technology to promote problem solving and inquiry learning among students?
Well, with this form of learning teachers present students with real-world situations and issues to engaged the students actively (159). Problems are worth answering, in so answering the age old questions of "why are we learning this". Because real world issues can be servilely complex, and considered ill-structured problems, computer apps and games can be a better way to come up with real-world application to work. With the multitudes of games and apps out in the world students can changed the level and are free to reset if they realize their first idea was wrong and can see more clearly where they went wrong. This also lets the student use surface or in-depth thinking (160).
While this can also be done with simple handouts, or reading books, computers bring out the active parts of the students brain. The students know that they are solving math and science problems when they play River City, however, they don't realize that they are also learning about economic and social outcomes of those problems (160). Teachers aren't lecturing, or assigning work. They are asking the students in many cases to play games which make the students eger to get on the computer and creates a more active classroom.
Tech Tool 7.1 :Discovering Learning USing Squeak and Scratch (page 167)
In this Tech Tool section the textbook talks about a website called Scratch. This website is a "tool" kit to help students create their own games, animations, or art. It has 2D/3D graphics, images, text, sound, video, and everythign else a webmaster could desire and more than enough for the average web user. This help students create their own way of learning or presenting the information. This relates back to our discussion for week when it relates back to how teahcers can help ELL students. Many of the responses, including my own, talks about allowing students to use clip art and other pictures to help the students get their point across while they still learned the information. This website would be a great deal of use to old students who understood the true purpose of multimedia and all that it could to do.
In this chapter we are talking about how teachers can use technology to enhance the experience of problem solving and inquiry learning through games and apps; along with the different kinds of programs available. First we start off with the basics: what is problem-based learning and inquiry-guided learning? Well it is wel students investigate and research a problem or issue and find questions for it. There is no "right" answer because it all depends on the how the student asks the questions and what point they are trying to get covered from the problem (159). The steps are as follows: 1- understnad the problem, 2- use the problem-solving strategies, 3- check results (159).
Following the books talks about hardward and software and what the differences are. Hardware comes on the device (the basics) and software tells the hardware to do. There are many different software: system, application, standard, and open-source softward. Open-source software is when it is open to the public to use, copy, and recreate with no to little funds needed to do so (161). The main goal in using any type of software or app is making sure that the student is in charge of the computer, rather than the computer being in charge of the child.
This is a picture from the opening page to chapter seven which I think gets the point of students controlling the computer point across. (pg 157)
Then the textbook talks about Blooms's Taxonomy when it comes to lower-order and higher-oder thinking. Low-order describes basic recalss and interpretation of information. High-oder describes comparison and evaluation of theories and perspectivesn (163). With this in mind teahcers can use software and apps with there students to present both forms of thinking. The example given in the book on page 163 are vocabulary or spelling words. Remembering these words is part of low-order thinking. However putting the words into a skit of poem correctly is using high-order of thinking.
When it comes to problem-solving and inquiry-learnign softwares there are a few different ones available. These include: composing and calculating software, building, inventing, and creating software, and visual-thinking and concept-mapping software. One of the examples that is highly known is Google Earth. This is considered to be a part of the building, inventing, and creating software section because it helps creat the mood and setting for many different things (166).
Finally we come to another age old topic of discussion, what is the purpose of video games? Well we took a major idea from the gaming world when we decided to give groups points because they have done something. This is called gamification (169). I honestly think that gaming can be helpful. It is a great way for children to rid themselves of stress. If done right parents will balance the amount of education and fun video games their children play. However, teachers should take advantage of any education video games they can give to their students because it keeps their student more engaged rather than just have them sitting there doing a worksheet, they are sitting on a computer that is interacting with them as they figure out probelms.
When using games to teach students though, you must keep in mind four things. Teachers must watch out for games that just focus on one subject or skill. Make sure that a multitude of skills are being teasted and used. Also pay attention to how much the games focus on win or lose based on points. Students will add more stress to themselves and could lead to online chatting with others in the gaming universe. Make sure you talk to students about the games you have them playing, and their content. Perhaps even talk about some they play at home. Guide them into playing games that are on age que for them. Finally and most importantly, play the games together. The students will love to watch their teacher play, and you can also see what you have you students doing so you cna better help them if they need it (175-176).
Textbook- Maloy, Robert, Verock-O'Loughlin, Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.