Van Gogh

Van Gogh

Sunday, September 26, 2004

The distinction between constructivism & constructionism (my understanding so far)

While both constructivist and constructionist approaches rely on the idea that knowledge is built by the learner based on his/her prior knowledge and new personal experiences, the latter is more concerned with sharing that new knowledge with others. It is also more concerned with "making" something based on this knowledge. Computers and new modes of literacy and communication help in the construction of new knowledge, constructionits say.

Considering this distinction, it is clear then, that constructionism is more compatible with multiliteracy frameworks, as it considers different modes of presenting and demonstrating knowledge as valid. Being multiliterate means being competent in the use of technology to learn and share new knowledge.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Constructivism vs. Constructionism

Here are some quotes that helped me understand the difference between these two leraning approaches:

"Constructionism--the N word as opposed to the V word--shares constructivism's connotation of learning as "building knowledge structures" irrespective of the circumstances of the learning. It then adds the idea that this happens especially felicitously in a context where the learner is consciously engaged in constructing a public entity"

(retrieved on Sep. 25, 2004)

"Constructionism differs from constructivism in that it looks more closely than other educational -isms at the idea of mental construction. It attaches special importance to the role of constructions in the world as a support for those in the head, thereby becoming less of a purely mentalist doctrine."(p.143)

"Papert's philosophy of learning and his constructionist approach rely on the computer for realization. He posits that the computer, and particularly, its future development, will change 'children's relationship with knowledge' producing a revolution comparable to that of the 'advent of printing and writing'. He imagines a machine he refers to as 'The Knowledge Machine' which would allow children a rich exploration of the world. Primitive examples of this Knowledge Machine would include 'interactive video', 'electronic books' and 'virtual reality'.

(retrieved on Sep. 25, 2004)

"The constructivist assumption in cognitive science is that knowledge is an interpretation of experience [Resnick 1991]. This assumption implies that what an individual can know is both enabled and constrained by prior experiences and interpretations. Constructivism in education is based on Piaget's doctrine that knowledge cannot be "transmitted" or "conveyed ready made" to another person [Papert 1993]. This perspective on human understanding is individualistic, implying that we each live in a world of our own making".

"A dilemma for constructionism is that, on the one hand, it postulates that our understandings of the world are essentially private - our knowledge is built upon our prior experiences. On the other hand, it is clear that people are able to build a shared understanding of the world that enables them to cooperate and communicate".
(retrieved on Sep 25, 2004)

Becoming multiliterate

Sometimes I feel I'm being bombarded with so much new information- there are some MANY tools and things out here in the "netspace" that to become a real netcitizen not only the technology and the willing to do so are needed but also TIME.
A reminder: devote sufficient time to download software programs and "go around" before any scheduled online event.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Multiliteracies & Colaborative Learning

A summary of what I saw:
I have to admit that this is the first time I see the different "programs" (are these software programs?) that allow learning with such technological tools. In the title of the lecture, Good announces that these tools are (1)synchronous, (2) collaborative and (3) academic. As they are synchronous and collaborative, they must offer text chat, voice, presence (we have to be able to see when others are online and when if they're available), instant messaging, and they should have the capacity to invite more than two people at a time. As they are academic, they should also offer file sharing and signaling. Goods also mentions some criteria to evaluate these technological tools before buying: rapid response, cross-platform, customer support, price and try-outs.


Now, what is multiliteracies in Collaborative Learning Environments?
I think multiliteracies in these kinds of environment is being aware that these technological tools exist, identiying their features and taking the most advantage while using them. This just means to use them effectively. So if a program offers, for example, the capacity to take notes while in a lecture, the multiliterate person would then take notes.

How do I think multiliteracies might apply to collaborative learning environments? The tools indeed offer people the opportunity to interact and construct meaning together. Learners can exchange ideas through, for example, text or voice chat.

A thought:
After looking at the prices of the different examples, my worries about multiliteracy increasing the gap between the wealthy and the poor grow.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Multiliteracies (definition & reflection)

This is something I found on literacies:

"In light of changing economic and social realities ( Castell, 1996, 1997a, 1997b; Reich,1991) academic textual literacy has become one of many literacies that Canadians need in order to function in a global economy. The multiliteracies that have become increasingly important in our technologically-evolving, globalized economy include information, communication and media technology, as well as culturally specific literacies required to function in a culturally diverse pluralistic society (New London Group, 1996). "


My own definition:
What I understand of being multiliterate is being able not only to read textual messages, but also be competent in interpreting symbols and images, and in using multimedia and other technological tools, such as the internet, all of which allow us construct meaning, learn and interact with others. Being multiliterate also embraces understanding multiculturalism and showing respect to diversity, which reflects in effective interaction.

A thought:
Although the concept of multiliteracies expands the vision of knowledge, it might perhaps as well increase the gap of those who have access to the different "literacy means" and those who don't. Our positions, yours, being able to read this post online, and mine, being able to write and publish it, is indeed different from many others' who are struggling to have an opportunity to learn to read and write in paper.