Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Social Learning

Dr. Michael Orey states when children are engaged in social activities meaningful learning can occur (2001).  This is called social constructivism.  This week I was able to revisit the importance of cooperative learning. Cooperative learning focuses on student interactions (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007).  Cooperative learning is a tool which can be used to support social constructivism.  The text gives many examples of cooperative learning ideas that involve technology.  The most applicable tool for my kindergarten class would be keypals, or email pen pals.  Go to ePALS to find penpals for your class! Not only with this enhance my kindergarteners writing skills it will enlighten them on other cultures and places. I especially like this site because it also gives information on cyberbullying. It dedicates grade specific messages boards for discussions on dealing with cyberbullying.  Go here to check it out… STOP CYBERBYLLING!

Watch this short video about using ipads and ipods in a reading classroom.  3'Rs in Reading 

Although, this video if focusing on the technology it is easy to recognize the student collaboration within these lessons. There's no doubt in my mind that these students are engaged and learning from one another.
 Here’s another video of first grade students who use ipads to learn collaboratively in their classroom.  IPad in 1st! 
I believe that in kindergarten and first grade these type of projects are feasible for our young learners.  I am currently using an app called Story Kit with my class.

My kindergarten students work in pairs to create stories.  This app allows all students to be successful as they can draw, write, record, and take photos to create pages to a story.  When the story is finished it can be uploaded and emailed to parents. Click below to read a past post on Story Kit.  You can even hear an example of a story by my students! http://kindergartenipads.blogspot.com/2011/11/story-kit.html
 Now that my students are familiar with this app and creating stories I plan on introducing a story rubric.  This will allow the students to know exactly what is expected of them and to insure all are participating in the process (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007).

I believe the social learning theories are very important to today's students. As teachers we must ensure that all students are able to communicate and learn with one another.  We can do this by incorporating technology along with group work within our classrooms.

Here is the link to my VoiceThread that I created http://voicethread.com/share/2492132/  . I am excited to see what ideas my students come up with for finding out information on other customs!  

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Main_Page

Pitler H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


  1. Melissa,

    I really enjoyed viewing the videos you incorporated into your blog to show students using technology and voicing their use of it and how they see its advantages in education. Students definitely learn more and are more eager to learn when they are involved in a process that will make learning enjoyable. As far as your voice thread is concerned, I think you did a good job of incorporating the Christmas holiday into your VT because all children are excited about the upcoming holiday. Asking questions throughout the VT will get students to think about the holiday and what they know about it and it also introduces new ways to celebrate the holiday that they are not already familiar with. The clipart that was shown was clear and gives students a good visual of things they may not have seen before. I think that students will be intrigued to learn about different customs and how people celebrate the holiday differently.

  2. Melissa, your classroom seems to be a place of constant learning through collaboration and interaction. It is great that you have access to the Ipads and so many technology tools. Students love experiencing technology, and especially together. Most students in my district won't have opportunity to see or touch any tools until they come to school. The exposure you afford them is priceless. I think Stacey Jackson also uses E-pals, this is a great way to teach students to stay in touch over holiday and vacation breaks. I am going to introduce them to E-Pals. Cooperative learning has been such a great unit, even in getting us, the cohort members, to indulge more.

  3. Melissa,
    You again created a great post. I love how you use videos of your students using the technology in the classroom. By the way, how many Ipads do you currently use in your class? And what technique do you use to choose which students get to use the ipad? I love your VT and how you were able to use the xmas holidays and asking questions. I also chose to incorporate what are learning in class with my VT. In first grade we are learning about ways different countries celebrate Christmas. I think I am going to check out the E-Pals as well. It must be an excellent source cause it seems like many people are using it.

  4. Melissa,
    Thanks for sharing with us your students' experiences. Watching them performing their own videos about what is going on in their classroom is great. Every time I see them I run to find the app they are talking about. You have created a meaningful learning environment for these kids. Congratulations!

  5. Tricia, I currently have 5 ipads in my room. I wrote a grant and will hopefully be getting 5 more! When I only had one it was more difficult to decide who used the ipad. I did a lot of whole group (I would put the ipad under the document camera) to show apps and model how to use it. Then during centers they took turns. I've found that they are much more willing to take turns for the ipad than they are for a board game or other activities. Now that I have five I do a lot of partner work. For instance, I had 10 kids creating stories on the 5 ipads and the other 11 kids were working in their seats. This week they will change roles and the other set of kids will get to use the ipads.