Mindtools (Productivity and Learning)
Early in the evolution of classroom-based computing technologies, Taylor (1980) described three roles that computers could play in the classroom: tutor, tool, and tutee. In the tutor role, the computer teaches the student, a role fulfilled nowadays by Web-based tutorials, information sites, and drill-and-practice. Computers continue to be very powerful productivity tools, including word processing and organizational tools such as databases and spreadsheets. The most constructivist application of computer technologies is in playing the role of tutee, where the students actually teach the computer. One way in which computer technologies can serve as a tutee is by enabling students to construct models of what they are learning. Science educators have long recognized the importance of modeling in understanding scientific phenomena. Humans are natural model builders, constructing conceptual models of everything that we encounter in the...
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