Technology Scaffolding

5. Technology scaffolding helps to deepen understanding

      OLEs heavily rely on technology.


       On one hand, learners construct, evaluate, interpret and revise their understanding with the help  of technology. OLEs provides learners with  abundant available source materials and tools (processing tools, communication tools, etc),through which  learner have opportunities to amplify and extend cognitive capabilities. OLEs may include human and/or technological partnerships(Hannafin & Land,1997) .The Internet has also been used to provide students with direct access to high-quality (and therefore scarce and expensive) tools like telescopes, scanning electron microscopes, and supercomputer simulation models, allowing students to engage personally in research.


     On the other hand, OLEs often provide the conceptual scaffolding and means (resources, tools) to promote personal and individual reflection. In this sense, technology tools "provide models, opportunities for higher level thinking, and metacognitive guidance . . . in a learner's zone of proximal development" (Salomon, Globerson, & Guterman, 1989, p. 620). Individuals can be guided during learning if designs are situated in authentically complex contexts and proper guidance is provided (Pea, 1993; White & Horwitz, 1987). Xun Ge and Nelson Er(2005)introduced PSSS system to scaffold complex, real-world problem solving activities in open-ended learning. One of the highlights of the PSSS system is the sequencing of instructional events to scaffold problem solving processes, which is deemed an important and necessary issue in instructional design (Xun Ge & Nelson Er, 2005).


     In OLEs, tools, resources, people, and designs profoundly shape, direct, and constrain how learners think.With scaffolding or guidance enhanced by technology, effective choices could be made by learners to deepen their understanding.



***Web2.0 tools, featuring the interaction of users could effectively  help learners to evaluate, contribute and deepen their understanding. Learners use socialmarking tool such as Delicious & Diigo to collect ,store, organize all the resources and share.  Learners can easily get introduction to almost every topic from You Tube . Pictures would easily be searched through Flickr if needed, In Blog, Wiki or Facebook the learners could get scaffolds  from people with different expertise in one-line communities, experts, teachers, even the  parents. The guidance helps learners to evaluate their learning process and make effective choices of resources and strategies Meanwhile, with Web 2.0 tools learners are also contributors in the process of building knowledge.






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