In this lesson, we shall discuss four types of IT-based projects which can effectively be used in order to engage students in activities of a higher plane of thinking. To be noted id the fact that these projects differ in the specific process and skills employed, also in the ultimate activity or platform used to communicate completed products to others.
It is to be understood that these projects do not address all of the thinking skills shown previously in the Thinking Skills Framework. But these projects represent constructivist project.
Key Elements of a constructivist approach:
a) The teacher creating the learning environment.
b) The teacher giving students the tool
c) The teacher facilitating learning.
Now let us see four IT-based projects conducive to develop higher thinking skills and creativity among learners.
I. RESOURCE-BASED PROJECTS
The teacher steps out of the traditional role of being an context expert and information provider, and instead lets the students find their own facts and information.
The general flows of events in resource-based projects are:
- The teacher determines the topic for the examination of class.
- The teacher presents the problem to the class.
- The students find information on the problem/questions.
- Students organize their information in response to the problem/questions.
TRADITIONAL AND RESOURCE-BASED LEARNING
Traditional learning model
Resource-based learning model
Teacher is expert and information provides
Teacher is a guide and facilitator
Textbook is key source of information
Sources are varied(print, video. Internet, etc.)
Focus on facts
Information is packaged
In neat parcels
Focus on learning inquiry, quest, or discovery
The product is the be-all and end-all of learning
Emphasis on process
Assessment is quantitative
Assessment is quantitative and qualitative.
II. SIMPLE CREATIONS
In developing software, creativity as an outcome should not be equated with ingenuity or high intelligence. Creating is more consonant with planning, making, assembling, designing or building.
Three kinds of skills/abilities:
· Analyzing- distinguishing similarities and differences/ seeing the project as a problem to be solved.
· Synthesizing- making spontaneous connections among ideas, does generating interesting or new ideas.
· Promoting- selling of a new ideas to allow the public to test the ideas themselves.
The five key task to develop creativity:
- Define the task- clarify the goal of the completed project to the student.
- Brainstorm- the students themselves will be allowed to generate their own ideas on the project. Rather than shoot down ideas, the teacher encourages ideas exchange.
- Judge the ideas- the students themselves make an appraisal for or against any idea. Only when students are completely off check should the teacher intervene.
- Act- the students do their work with the teacher a facilitator.
- Adopt flexibility- the students should be allowed to shift gears and not follow an action path rigidly.
III. GUIDED HYPERMEDIA PROJECTS
The production of self-made multimedia projects can be approached into different ways:
- Instructive tools- such as in the production by students of a power point presentation of a selective topic.
- Constructive tools- such as when students do a multi-media presentation (with text, graphs, photos, audio narration, interviews, video clips, etc. to simulate a television news show.
IV. WEB-BASED PROJECTS
Students can be made to create and post web pages on a given topic. But creating new pages, even single page web pages, maybe tool sophisticated and time consuming fort the average student.
It should be said, however, that posting of web pages in the Internet allows the students (now the web page creator) a wider audience. They can also be linked with other related sites in the Internet. But as of now, this creativity project maybe to ambitious as a tool in the teaching-learning process.