Sunday, April 15, 2012

Reflection on Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology

Teaching our students about technology is so important!  This video that is now several years old illustrates this point beautifully, and doesn't the tech in it look so outdated already?  It's amazing to me the rate of change in technology - I had one of those moments this week when I was using my iPhone as a calculator, and just though, "I never would have guessed 10 years ago that I would be touching a small screen for a calculator, that was also my phone, calendar, social connector, camera, blog updater, entertainer, video camera, and so much more!"  Our kids are using their parents outdated iPhones and doing the same thing everyday, but not in school.

The first week of this course, I stated that my personal theory of learning is Constructionism where students learn best by making things and problem-solving (Han & Bhattacharya, 2001).  This theory comes naturally as an art teacher, and I am constantly encouraging my students to try out the projects we do in class at home as well (and many of them do!).  This course hasn't made me change my feelings on my learning theory, but it certainly has deepened my knowledge of other, sometimes conflicting, learning theories.  I have also found some theories I want to steer clear from whether it is from how that theory was first studied, or the lack of creativity involved in some of the technologies linked with that theory (Excel - yuck!).

I plan to integrate much more technology in my room to strengthen my student's brain connections to the topic we are studying as Dr. Wolfe recommended (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011).  I have already tried out many of the tools with my classes such as SpiderScribe and Virtual Tours, and I'm still awaiting more information on my iPad request from the school board (fingers crossed!) which will greatly impact the inclusion of technology in my classroom.  I have discovered new tools as well that I'm looking forward to using such as Prezi and I know many more will be available to use in the next few years.

One of the long-term goals I have for my classroom is to get in the computer lab more with my classes.  Right now, I am limited with the number of students who can work on a computer at a time because there is only one in our room and it's at my desk.  We do have an ActivBoard, but even then, that's two students at a time on the board when I would like so many more to work at the same time.  Hopefully, adding another computer lab as my principal is trying to do will alleviate the stress on the lab we have (which is used almost exclusively all day every day for testing or test prep) so I can get more time in the lab for digital art projects.

My second long-term goal is to keep up a blog for my parents to see what we are doing in class and provide feedback for students on their projects.  I have attempted to do so this year, but it's a lot of work, and recently blogger changed their policy so I can only upload one picture at a time, which makes uploading artwork extremely time consuming.  Next year, I also want my students to be involved in the blogging process with me by making recordings and videos that we can place on the website for parents to enjoy.

I am thankful for the tools I learned in this course and I am looking forward to gaining new knowledge from the upcoming course at Walden University.


Han, S., and Bhattacharya, K. (2001). Constructionism, Learning by Design, and Project Based Learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved April 15, 2012 from

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program one: Understanding the brain [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from