Learning with Web Tools, Simulations, and Other Technologies in Science Classrooms
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This position paper proposes the enhancement of teacher and student learning in science classrooms by tapping the enormous potential of information communication and technologies (ICTs) as cognitive tools for engaging students in scientific inquiry. This paper serves to challenge teacher-held assumptions about students learning science ‘from technology’ with a framework and examples of students learning science ‘with technology’. Whereas a high percentage of students are finding their way in using ICTs outside of school, for the most part they currently are not doing so inside of school in ways that they find meaningful and relevant to their lives. Instead, the pedagogical approaches that are most often experienced are out-of-step with how students use ICTs outside of schools and are not supportive of learning framed by constructivism. Here we describe a theoretical and pedagogical foundation for better connecting the two worlds of students’ lives: life in school and life outside of school. This position paper is in response to the changing landscape of students’ lives. The position is transformative in nature because it proposes the use of cyber-enabled resources for cultivating and leveraging students new literacy skills by learning ‘with technology’ to enhance science learning.