Distributed Cognition Post #2

The first time I saw technology being incorporated in the classroom, was for a math project. For this project, students were put into groups by my cooperating teacher. The task that students had to complete was to create a math game that was connected to what they were currently reviewing in math, which at the time was multiplication facts. The students were able to use the laser cutters and/or the 3D printer to accomplish their task. The best way I can explain this project is through an example of one group’s work.

One group chose to create a multiplication Jenga game. In order to pull a block from the tower, the student would be able to see a math problem, and would have to answer the question correctly in order to pull the piece out of the stack. This game was created using laser cutters to cut the pieces of wood necessary to play the game.

I believe that this is an example of effects through technology because in this case, the material the students were learning and practicing was reorganized. Taking math problems, that easily could have been put on a worksheet to complete, were instead incorporated into a math game. The same end goal, the practicing of math facts, was achieved. The only difference is students were given an opportunity to practice these skills in a new and exciting way, or a reorganized way. It is projects such as these that makes students excited about their education.

Martin states “The most basic requirement for coordination is that systems must be connected in some way. That is, it must be possible for information to pass between the systems, whether actively and intentionally through explicit messages, or passively and incidentally, through shared connection to some sort of intermediary” (Martin, 92). The teachers at Gesu have achieved this with the math game project they created for students. The information of multiplication facts are being passively passed through the form of a game. Students now play these math games during indoor recess, which proves that they view this creation as a game instead of a chore. I believe that students would feel much more hesitant to practice their math facts if they were presented in the form of a worksheet.

Sources:

Martin, L. (2012). Connection, Translation, Off-Loading, and Monitoring: A Framework for Characterizing the Pedagogical Functions of Educational Technologies. Technology, Knowledge & Learning, 17(3), 87-107.

Salomon, G. & Perkins, D. (2005)”Do Technologies Make Us Smarter? Intellectual Amplification With, Of and Through Technology.”In: Robert Sternberg and David Preiss (Eds.).Intelligence and Technology: The Impact of Tools on the Nature and Development of Human Abilities. Mahwah, NJ : Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, Publishers. pp. 71-86.

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