It’s a long road – but it’s worth it!

A child has a natural instinct to learn. The teacher’s role should be the leader in the classroom and set goals for students. Children are extremely curious about new technologies that are being used in today’s society. It is not uncommon for a young child to already know how to operate an iPad or any other type of technological device. This makes it crucial for educators to know the best way to integrate technology within their classroom. Thus, choosing the correct path to make sure integrating it is as beneficial as possible.

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Vygotsky was extremely interested in the role of social interaction on cognitive development and argued that development first takes place socially.  This means, children observe the behaviour of the adults around them, listen to their speech, actions and interactions and then try to imitate them. Vygotsky proposed that a students’s learning ability differs between occurances in which they try to solve a problem alone and when another student or adult assists them. He refers to this as the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978). If a child is learning to complete a task, such as building a bridge with blocks, and a more competent individual provides assistance, the student is able to move into a new zone of development and problem solving.  This process of assisting can also be refered to as scaffolding. This helps to link a student’s current level of problem-solving and their potential for more complex problem solving. Overall, this means that as students learn through imitation in a classroom environment, teachers should guide them, correct them and provide challenges.

Vygotsky states cognitive development stems from social interactions from guided learning within the zone of proximal development as children and their partners co-construct knowledge (Vygotsky, 1978).

 I think this can be related to my metaphor because as a teacher educates the class how to use technology, the students are constantly watching and mimicing every step. As teachers, we should never expect students to fully understand a new idea without some sort of stuctured and supported framework. This is why it is so important to make sure they are always guided along the right path (yellow brick road). Educators can also use scaffolding to boost creativity and allow students to think critically. It can also be used if a student is having difficult understanding a certain aspect of what they are learning in hopes they they will have an “Ah-Ha” moment. However, if a student sees their teacher is constantly on Facebook or doing things on the computer that would not be considered appropriate for the classroom, the student will think that is okay to do that in their class time. It is extremely important to have a balance of what is appropriate and what is not.

For Vygotsky, the environment in which children grow up will influence how they think and what they think about (Vygotsky, 1978).

Based on the reference above, the way that teachers introduce technology to the classroom environment will influence how the student will view using technology in their future life. If a student has always had bad experiences with technology, they might not be able to use technology to it’s fullest potential as an adult. It is essential for the educator to make sure everyone is on the same page as they are introducing technology-based things in the classroom. There will definitely need to be use of examples and scaffolding to make sure the information is transmitted in a comprehensive way.

References:

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Retrieved from: http://www.childdevelopmentmedia.com/play-the-work-of-lev-vygotsky/

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