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LESSON 12:

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN
SUPPORT OF STUDENT-CENTERED
LEARNING
The idea of student-centered learning is not a recent idea. In
early 20th century, educational educators such as John Dewey
argued for highly active and individualized pedagogical methods
which place the student at the center of the teaching-learning
process.

The Traditional Classroom


It may be observed that classroom are usually arranged with
neat columns and rows of student chairs, while the teacher stands
in front of the classroom or sits behind his desk. This situation is
necessitated by the need to maintain classroom discipline, also to
allow the teacher to control classroom activities through lecture
presentation and teacher-led discussion.
However, after spending so many minutes in lesson
presentation and class management, students can get restless and
fidgety. The teacher has also to management misbehavior in class
as students start to talk among themselves or simply stare away in
lack of attention. To prevent this, teachers often make students
take time individually on worksheets can help the situation.

The SCL Classroom


John Dewey described traditional learning asa process in
which the teacher pour information to student learners, much like
pouring water from a jug into cups. This is based on the long
accepted belief that the teacher must perform his role of teaching
so that learning can occur. This approach is generally known as
direct instruction.
The problem with direct instruction approach to learning, is
that the worlds societies have began to change. This change may
not be strongly felt in many countries in which economy longer
depends primarily on the job. The traditional classroom and the
direct instruction approach to learning conform to this kind of
economies.
In individualized societies we find knowledge-based economies
in which workers depend on information that can be assessed
through information and communication technologies (ICTs). To
gain effectiveness, efficiency and economy in administration and
instruction, schools in these developed economies have also
adopted the support of ICTs. Students have now become active not
passive learners, who can interact with other learners,
demonstrating independence and self-awareness.
The new school classroom environment is characterized by
student individually or in groups:
Performing computer word processing for text or graph
presentation.
Preparing power-point presentation.
Searching for information on the internet

Brainstorming on the ideas, problems and project plans.


As needed, the teacher facilitating instruction, also giving
individualized instruction to serve individual needs.
Observably, there is a departure from traditional worksheet,
read-and-answer, drill-and-practice activities. Students also no
longer need to mark the tests of peers since the computer has
programs for test evaluation and computerized scoring of result.
Given this new trend in teaching-and-learning, it must be pointed
out, the traditional classroom activities-especially in less developed
countries-will continue to have a strong place in the classroom.

LESSON 13:

COOPERATIVE LEARNING WITH THE


COMPUTER
Singapore has a set the global pace for student-centered
learning with a 2:1 (2 pupils with 1 computer) ratio in its
masterplan for IT in Education. This shows that even in other
progressive countries, the 1:1 pupil-computer ratio is still an ideal
to be achieved. Reality therefore dictates that schools face the fact
each classroom, especially in public or government schools, may
not be equipped with the appropriate number of computers.

Defining Cooperative Learning


Cooperative or collaborative learning is learning by small groups
of students who work together in a common learning task. It is
often called group learning but to be truly cooperative learning, 5
elements are needed:
1. A common goal
2. Interdependence
3. Interaction
4. Individual accountability
5. Social skills

From several studies made on cooperative learning, it is


manifested that cooperative learning in its true sense is
advantageous since it:
a. Encourages active learning, while motivating
students
b. Increases academic performance
c. Promotes literacy and language skills
d. Improves teacher effectiveness
In addition, there are studies which show that cooperative
learning enhances personal and social development among
students of all ages, while enhancing self-esteem and improving
social relations between racially and culturally different students .

Cooperative Learning and the Computer


Researchers have made studies on the learning interaction
between the student and the computer. The studies have great
value since it has been a long standing fear that the computer may
foster student learning in isolation that hinders the development of
the students social skills.
Now this mythical fear has been contradicted by the studies
which show that when students work with computers in groups,
they cluster and interact with each other.
The students generally wish to work together is computerbased and non-computer-based activities. Psychologists think the
computer fosters this positive social behavior due to the fact that it
has display monitorjust like television setthat is looked upon as
something communal.

Therefore researchers agree that the computer is a fairly


natural learning vehicle for cooperative (at times called promotive)
learning.

Components of Cooperative Learning


Educators are still vary about the computers role in
cooperative learning. They pose the position that the use of
computers do not automatically result in cooperative learning.
There therefore assign the teacher several tasks in order to ensure
collaborative learning. These are:
Assigning students to mixed-ability teams
Establishing positive interdependence
Teaching cooperative social skills
Insuring individual accountability, and
Helping groups process information
These are in addition to assigning a common work goal in
which each member of the group will realize that their groupwill
not succeed unless everyone contributes to the groups success. It
is also important for the teacher limits learning group clusters so
that there can be closer involvement in thinking and learning.