This week’s reading, from Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works (Pitler, Hubbel, Kuhn, Malenoski, 2007), explores various forms of technology in the classroom that can be used to enhance the cognitive learning theory. Cognitive learning theory is the belief that students process information using sensory registers which include visual and auditory modalities to process information into long term memory (Orey, 2009). The more avenues that we make available for students to make connections to information the better equipped they will be to retrieve information.
The instructional strategies of cues and questioning help trigger the memory in order to access information that is in long term memory (Pitler, Hubbel, Kuhn, Malenoski, 2007). When educators prepare meaningful, thought out questions related to subject matter, we are helping the students retrieve information. These strategies relate to the cognitive learning theory by creating pathways in which information may be accessed through long term memory.
Advanced organizers are also strategies that aid in creating pathways for information to be moved from short term memory to long term memory. Advanced organizers help the student organize information using visual and auditory methods. This type of strategy is related to the cognitive learning theory by the ability to connect a pictorial representation of information. Students are able to organize and understand information using graphic representation which allows information to go into long term memory.
Summarizing and note taking are strategies that focus students synthesize content information. Students make connections to information if they are able to concisely extract information from content information. These strategies correlate with the cognitive learning theory by allowing the student to elaborate on information and keeping the information chunks limited to roughly seven plus or minus (Orey, 2009). These strategies also allow students to process chunks of information and focus on important facts which support information going into long term memory.
The technological tools virtual field trip and concept mapping are excellent resources for students to use when presenting content information. These tools are a great resource for providing students with memories and organizing the content of these experiences. Concept mapping tools are ways to graphically represent data which organizes and links ideas together visually. The cognitive learning theory is closely linked to learning information in this fashion. Students can then use these concept maps to formulate information in outline form (Orey, 2009). The virtual field trip is a wonderful way to allow student to create episodic memories by having them experience different places. . In the cognitive learning theory, memories are a strong way to input and recall information. Students are visually immersed in the learning environment when experiencing a virtual field trip.
All of these strategies discussed above will increase the understanding of content material and enhance the ability for students to recall information. When using these strategies students are able to make rich connections to content material and derive deeper meaning from the material. Teachers and students can use a variety of technology to make connections to content material and strengthen understanding of information while making learning fun.
Orey, M. (2009). Cognitive Learning Theories. (Laureate Educational, Inc., DVD, 2009 release).
Orey, M. (2009). Spotlight on Technology: Virtual Field Trips. (Laureate Educational, Inc., DVD, 2009 release).
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.