Monday, December 05, 2011

Knowledge Building tools

I've done some more reading on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) literature today and need to do a brain-dump (with the help of my notes).

What is a tool
  1. A tool is something to help us solve a problem.
  2. Scaffolding is a tool or assembly of tools designed to decrease the cog. load required to do an activity.
  3. Procedure vs. Principles: Procedures and routines help students learn how to do something new/complex and can help transition activities.  However, as those introductory things are mastered, it becomes urgent to develop new, more flexible scaffolding (is this like the gradual release of responsibility?).  The community needs to reference itself and its operations to the principles of KB, not to procedures simplifying KB.  As they say, "The challenge is to ensure that idea improvement rather than the completion of a specific task or routine is at the centre of the educational enterprise."
  4. Innovative learning environments need to support individual as well as collaborative learning, yeah, and KB as well.
Kinds of tools
  1. Wow! lots out there.  The Chinese have created something called Learning Village (LV) which I believe is a MP game and specially scaffolds KB.
  2. Molecule Workshop is somewhat similar to PhET but some differences: It is a series of 'slides', each one can have interactivity to it, also can have questions/answer space embedded into it.  it can do more things, is more involved, not so easy/appealing.  BUT, there's a tool you can use to create your own 'slide-show' simulations of whatever you want!!!  Also, the tool is open source and you can save your simulations on line!  http://mw.concord.org/modeler/index.html
  3. An
Use of tools
  1. One group of researchers compared a group of students making concept maps on evolution with another that collaboratively corrected a few, pre-created concept maps with specially designed errors in them--these errors relate to common student misconceptions of evolution.  They require less time to gain somewhat superior gains in dealing with the misconceptions, supposedly.
  2. With respect to using computer interfaces, it also is known that as cognitive load increases with task difficulty, users spontaneously shift to interacting more multimodally.  Thus the need for cmaptools-like apps.
  3. The affordances of tools are not always appropriated the way one expects.  And that affects how KB interact.
  4. The concept of ‘affordance’ asserts that learner and tool are mutually constitutive and inseparable (Gibson, 1979).
  5. It's helpful to think separately (also) about the interaction of learners with the tool and interaction of learners with each other via the tool.
Random but interesting thoughts
  1. Some roles in a KB dialogue are more productive of KO and of learning.