Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Constructionism in the Classroom

Dr. Orey relates the work of Piaget to the Constructionism theory in which information is not simply transfered from teacher to student.  The students create ideas when they are actively engaged.  Classrooms that follow these beliefs allow students to investigage, create and solve problems with a specific instructional goal implemented, (Orey, 2001).  The instructional strategies that were presented in the readings this week support the theory because the students are guiding their own learning.  There is a specific goal at the end that needs to be me, but how they get there is determined by the student.  Technology plays a great role in this.  It seems the  most common technology used may be the Point Point.  Students work on an assigned problem and build upon it through research and gathering information to compile an emd project to display what they learned.  I use a similar process, but with a different "showcase" for their learning.  Glogster (edu, - free for teachers) allows students to make interactive posters.  Same concept, different form.  When I compared the knowledge retained from my students when they researched famous people using books and that from using the internet and creation of Glogster posters, the ladder was greater.  The students were more engaged and they were exposed to so much more material this wasy too.  It only makes sense they would gain more.  I think web quests are a great tool.  Students are required to meet specific goals, but the projects vary and the depth to which they research also will depend on the learner.  I have found it to be a great tool.  With all the afore mentioned activities, guidelines are imperative.  These guideline will keep the students focused on the outcome and allow them to gauge their leaning.  Rubrics are a wonderful tool to do this.  This theory fits seemlessly into the classroom in my opinion.


Orey, M.(Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from


  1. Laura,

    Many of the activities I do in my classroom follow this constructionist model. There is a goal that must be met, but the students do not have to follow the same path to get there. I love using technology to allow my students to showcase their creativity while accomplishing a larger task. When my students created wikis, they had to include information and images for the topic they were given. However, they could also include podcasts, videos, audio clips, and any other media. My students created their own movies using Xtranormal that gave relevant information but also showed their individual personalities. Using something like Glogster can accomplish this same goal by allowing the students to choose their own path to reach the goal at the end. Great idea, I look forward to using this resource with my students. Thank you.


  2. Hi Laura,

    Thank you for a great tool you shared. Glogsters are fun!

    Still, I must agree with you that no matter how good the tool you are using is, the guidance you provide will make a difference between successful and meaningful learning experience and a mediocre one.

  3. Xtranormal is a great tool to use. I also enjoy using animoto with students. We used this recently for biography reports. They students created animotos that represented their famous people. I would like to assign more projects that allow students to use their own path to reach a specified goal. With a lacl of time and resources it can be difficult at times. Thank you for the feedback.


  4. Laura,

    I agree that it can be difficult and often discouraging when you cannot gain access to the resources you need to make these assignments possible.

    I am looking forward to creating another wiki with my students. This time, thanks to the this week's discussion, I have many more resources to provide to my students so they can show their creativity in this assignment.