“Cognitivist focus on learning as a mental operation that takes place when information enters through the senses, under goes mental manipulation, is stored, and is finally used”(Duffy & McDonald, 2008, p.16). Technology has given educators tools that support cognitive learning theory.
This week I have spent a lot of time investigating many of the resources found in Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, Malenoski, 2007). With the use of technology, cues to check students’ prior knowledge do not have to be just verbal questions. Now a teacher can have students recall information from images, words and sounds presented in a power point presentation. Using many of the senses to get back information supports the cognitive theory that information is stored in multiple parts of the brain and retrieval is triggered by several senses.
In this week’s DVD, Dr Orey explains to us that three different types of information are stored in the brain; declarative/facts, procedural/how to do things and episodic/events in your life. Many schools have had to eliminate their field trips because of budget cuts. The number and variety of virtual tours available to teachers has increased. Although the virtual field trip is not an actual event, the use of them in the classroom can create lasting images stored for future reference. With a little creativity a teacher can make a virtual field trip that is a declarative, procedural and episodic memory.
James Hartley has identified some key ideas of learning that are based on cognitive theory. Hartley believes instruction should be well organized and structured (Smith, 1999). Advanced organizers such as mappings and spread sheets help teachers present material to their students in a very clear and visual manner. Teachers can use this tool for brainstorming, presentation of material, learning students’ prior knowledge and reviewing information before a test. Students can use advance organizers to help plan a research paper, note taking and organizing a group project. Organizers are useful tools for education.
Learning about the technology applications available to enhance student learning makes me envious of the teachers who have the hardware available to them at school. A handful of teachers at my school have the technology in their classrooms but I can see that it is not being used to its potential.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Program 5. Cognitive Learning Theories. [Educational video]. Baltimore: Author.
Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J. (2008). Theoretical Foundations (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with Smith, M. K. (1999) 'The cognitive orientation to learning', the encyclopedia of informal classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD
Smith, M. K. (1999) 'The cognitive orientation to learning', the encyclopedia of informal education, Retrieved March 11, 2010, from www.infed.org/biblio/learning-cognitive