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Using Systems Models and Simulations to Improve Understanding and Problem Solving in Complex Domains
Model-Based Approaches to Learning provides a new perspective called learning by system modeling. This book explores the learning impact of students when constructing models of complex systems. In this approach students are building their own models and engaging at a much deeper conceptual level of understanding of the content, processes, and problem solving of the domain, which is proven to be successful by research from the area of mindtools. Topics covered include the foundations of knowledge structures and mental model development, modeling for understanding, modeling for assessment, individual versus collaborative modeling, and the use of simulations to support learning and instruction in complex, cognitive domains. The thread tying these chapters together is an emphasis on what the learner is doing when he is engaged in modeling and simulation construction rather than merely interacting with constructed simulations.
Model-Based Approaches to Learning is an interesting book for Educators (Instructors, K-12 Teachers), who are looking for forms to use advanced computer technology in classrooms. Also Teachers’ educators who are working on the integration of technology into their teacher preparation classrooms can find new concepts and best-practice examples in this book. This also holds true for all Educators and Researchers who are interested in modeling as an activity to successfully work with ill-structured and complex problems.
Editor: Tony Di Petta
c ICT’s subtle and seductive impact on educational administration; globalisation; curriculum design, development and delivery; and teacher roles and responsibilities has challenged the privileged notion of how education in society is or should be delivered. Most schools and curricula require ICT enabled or supported courses as part of their mission or design. Yet the seeming ubiquitous adoption of ICT has not made the technology’s use any less controversial. There is much that is still puzzling and troubling about Information and Communication Technology and its impact on teachers and learners. The Emperor’s New Computer: ICT, Teaching and Learning presents nine chapters that reflect international points of view on the intersection of Information and Communication Technology and education, pose critical questions about ICT’s use and examine ways of navigating the complex paths that ICT has carved in all aspects of global education, society and culture.
Technologies that Support Navigational Learning
This book is about sequences of learning objects ordered according to time or according to the demands of given learning materials. As users navigate through a learning environment, they follow prescribed trails and create personal trails through their interactions. In digital learning environments, these trails can be stored, evaluated and accessed in a structured manner. Experts from different backgrounds shed light on different aspects of trails and navigational learning. Its chapters contain an investigation on how planning and evaluating trails can support curriculum development, a review of personalised learning and collaborative learning, a model which tackles issues relating to knowledge acquisition and cognitive aspects of trails, and a demonstration of how trails can be visualised. The target audiences are: professionals, practitioners and researchers interested in educational science, e-learning and computer-enhanced learning, computing in education, curriculum studies, instructional design, or computer-supported personalised and collaborative learning.
The Case for Deconstructing Computer Labs in Schools
The dominance of computer labs in our schools is the result of a long struggle among teachers and technicians for control of precious computer resources. As technicians gain power and influence, this is expressed in the ‘row on row of machines’ installed in literally thousands of computer labs in schools around the world. While labs are in some ways, ideal for learning about technology or computer programming, they somehow seem ill equipped to assist teachers with a lesson on language arts, geography or for helping students conduct a scientific experiment. As a result, the huge investment in computers seems like so much wasted potential: labs are not influencing teaching in the ways we had hoped for, and in fact, their use may even be harmful to students. These observations are based on five years of experience as the director of a centre for educational technology at a leading Canadian university and, on the results of three international studies I conducted in Australia, Canada and Malaysia. A reversal of the current ‘techno- trend’ would mean teachers would reclaim computers for ‘their own’ classrooms, and relegate the idea of the computer lab to the scrap heap of history. As educators, we need to discard the ‘once size fits all’strategy which computer labs imply about teachers’ instructional needs. This is reinforced by the apparent failure of computers to transform teachers’ practice despite significant investments in computer technologies. Some critics describe this as a ‘management problem’ as computer labs reinforce ‘top down’ ways of thinking about knowledge. Unfortunately, once such models are adopted, undesirable uses of technology—such as the computer lab—become entrenched in a bureaucratic mindset, limiting the effectiveness of these expensive tools to support teaching and learning.