Student-Centered Teaching with Constructionist Technology Tools: Preparing 21st Century Teachers

Student-Centered Teaching with Constructionist Technology Tools: Preparing 21st Century Teachers

Kathryn Kennedy, Jeff Boyer, Catherine Cavanaugh, Kara Dawson
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-788-1.ch022
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Using the theoretical framework of “craft” highlighted by Richard Sennett (2008) in The Craftsman, this chapter focuses on constructionism and the implications of project-based learning in an undergraduatelevel pre-service teachers’ technology integration course. The chapter evaluates an approach to teaching undergraduate pre-service teachers to teach children to use constructionist technology tools, including Web 2.0 technologies – wikis, blogs, podcasts, etc. Data were collected and analyzed to document preservice teachers’ experiences with these tools as well as to gauge their level of confidence in teaching with the technology in their future classrooms. Data collected included pre-post concept maps, pre-post preinternship interviews, and learning artifacts. Analyses show an increase in pre-service teachers’ complexity of knowledge and awareness of Web 2.0 tools and skills, and a moderate impact on their beliefs about student constructionism in their future classrooms.
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This section highlights the broad definitions that support the value of project-based learning with constructionist technology tools. The first subsection explains the theoretical framework of craft as it pertains to this topic.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Constructionism: A pedagogy centered around learning by making. Coined by Seymour Papert.

Pre-Service Teacher: An undergraduate or graduate student preparing to be a practicing K-12 teacher.

Web 2.0: The read-write web where anyone can contribute to the Internet in a social way.

Wiki: Hawaiian for “quick”. A Web 2.0 tool that allows anyone to create a collaborative workspace on an easy-to-create website, uses WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get - easy editing) editing mechanism, collaborators can contribute to the space at anytime, from any place.

Blog: Short for web log; a Web 2.0 tool that allows the student to create a journal-type log, where the student can reflect on experiences in the classroom.

Digital artifacts/objects: Digital representations that learners create in order to represent their knowledge and understanding of a concept.

Podcast: An audio file created by a student that can be distributed and shared through the Internet and played on MP3 devices and personal computers.

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