Technology Enhancing Project Based Learning Essay Example

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    Undergraduate
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Technology Enhancing Project Based Learning

Technology Enhancing Project Based Learning

Introduction.

The importance of technology in the modern world cannot be neglected. Evidently, the past two decades have been witness to considerable concern that in this new global, information-rich, technology oriented world, it is difficult for a student to lead a fulfilling life depending on own thinking skills, motivational deposition and knowledge.

To higher education as a whole, technology facilitates the search for real data, communication between real people and information sharing through appealing artifacts.

In the field of project based learning, Information Communication and Technology systems has a myriad of importance:

Information Communication Technology has made contribution to the task of providing important tools to optimize project work (Bacon & Mujkic, 2016). There are various forms of technology that make Project Based Learning features effective through strengthening interactions between parties, making communication smooth, facilitating work and in providing an interdisciplinary approach and education based on real problems. All these help in provision of skill oriented teaching (García-Valcárcel, 2015)

Technology has also facilitated constant and timely communication between students and teachers, this has eliminated time and logistical barriers that were evident before the technology era.

Project Based learning models have four important components

  1. A long-term and authentic driving question that investigates the design project. This should include worthwhile content that is meaningful to students and is centered on a real-world problem.

  2. Production of real and relevant artifacts at the end of a learning activity, this should involve research and artifact development that provide learning opportunities for students to apply information and represent knowledge around the driving question (Krajcik et al. 1999).

  3. Collaboration with any group of a learner’s community including teachers, students or members of society.

  4. The use of a cognitive tool like the internet to support the inquiry process (Blumenfeld et al., 2000)

According to Blumenfeld et al. (1991), technology can help inform teachers about project-based learning and help in project implementation in various ways:

Enhancing interest. Technology enhances challenge, variety and choice through provision of many levels of task to match student knowledge and proficiency. Access to numerous sources of information promote inquisitiveness among students and offer many possibilities for product production.

Technology provides access to information. When doing project based learning, students need to find key ideas, concepts, topics of the subject matter and other forms of information. These are made easily accessible by technology.

Active representation, through several media students can be able to manipulate and construct their own representations with ease.

Structuring of the process. Through technology students can be able to know the steps to follow in project work, ways to record information and the presentation of the final product of a project, this has provided strategic support. (Bacon & Mujkic, 2016)

Managing complexity and helping in production. Project based learning requires students to provide a range of intermediate and final products, technology has helped in minimizing physical work and the mental input from students.

Various research works that have been done in the past have confirmed the important role technology plays in increasing student motivation and engagement. Through thoughtful utilization of video, audio and other forms of media instructions and information to students can be differentiated and diversified and the learner has a choice of the best suiting method hence increase in motivation (García-Valcárcel, 2015)

Technology can also be used to diagnose student strengths and weaknesses, this helps in the formation of a basis to improve strength and minimize weakness in learners hence improving motivation to learn. The use of educative games for computers and phones has encouraged learning among students (Blumenfeld et al. 2000). The use of technology in education has improved retention and understanding among students. The role technology has played in aiding teachers prepare for lessons and update on relevant issues concerning project work has also been easy, technology also facilitates the reaching of information fully to every student.

With the growth of technology use in many aspects of life, and the huge influence technology now has on people, it is important to consider the integration of technology into learning environments and processes. Technology has an important role to play in project based learning hence the need to utilize technology to enhance project based learning.

Studies have shown that technology can be employed in several aspects of project based learning; theses aspects are categorized in literature into vertical learning which involves the accumulation of the subject matter knowledge and horizontal learning which involves generic skills like attitude, project management and collaboration (MacGregor, 2004)

The integration on technology into project-based learning leads to innovative development both in technology and in education. Other studies have shown that the integration of technology to higher learning has helped equip learners with important skills of the 21st century like decision making, critical thinking and collaboration.

Conclusion

From the information provided in the context above, it is evident that technology has enhanced project based leaning as a subset of higher learning by enabling communication, providing infrastructure for communication and information sharing hence adding value to the learning process. This then leaves the stakeholders of higher learning with the task of ensuring full integration of technology to project based learning since this will maximize the output of the learning process.

References

P. Blumenfeld, B. J. Fishman, J. Krajcik, R. W. Marx, and E. Soloway, «Creating Usable Innovations in Systemic Reform: Scaling Up Technology-Embedded Project-Based Science in Urban Schools,» Educational Psychologist, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 149-164, 2000/09/01 2000.

J. S. Krajcik, C. Czerniak, and C. Berger, Teaching children science: A project-based approach. McGraw-Hill College, 1999.

P. C. Blumenfeld, E. Soloway, R. W. Marx, J. S. Krajcik, M. Guzdial, and A. Palincsar, «Motivating project-based learning: Sustaining the doing, supporting the learning,» Educational psychologist, vol. 26, no. 3-4, pp. 369-398, 1991.

Y. Lou and S. Kim MacGregor, «Enhancing project-based learning through online between group collaboration,» Educational Research and Evaluation, vol. 10, no. 4-6, pp. 419-440, 2004.