Working group of the 5th Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE 2000,
In the working group we will discuss the effects if introducing computers in different learning environments for science and technology education. The working group will especially look after introduction of new technologies that make learning active, co-operative, cumulative, constructive, situated goal-oriented and self-regulatory. This kind of learning can also be considered as a problem solving activity. We believe that new technologies can enhance the methodological profile in teaching of science and technology. On the other hand, we will discuss concrete tools and equipment (web, database, measurement systems, control technology kits, ...) that can be utilised in computer-based learning environments for science and technology education. The previous topics could be discussed on all levels starting from school up till university education in order to evaluate the basic features that are required to make their introduction in the curriculum effective and innovative.
We will pay special attention to the following themes: Computers helping in data acquisition and data processing in science laboratory work, as well as Internet as a two-way medium of communication in science teaching and learning. Communication can take place between learners or a learner and the teacher, but also between a learner and an interactive tool. Even these topics will be discussed on all levels starting from school up to university education.
The concept of the learning environment was introduced to underline new roles of a teacher and students. The teacher is supposed to be transformed from a disseminator of knowledge to a person who plays the role of a tutor, a co-ordinator and a facilitator or a consultant in a learning environment. He is one who guides and supports students' learning. Correspondingly, a student is seen as an active organiser of his or her own structure of knowledge, skills (e.g. creative, co-operative and especially cognitive skills), and personality in real study contexts.
The term active learning refers to strategies that highly engage students, such as project work, problem solving and discovery activities, creative writing, use of computers, investigations and research. We are also interested in all possibilities to promote authentic learning, whereby the questions to which the students seek answers are the students' own questions and not only the teacher's ones.
According to the ideas of active learning, learning is an activity of a learner, but also an activity that develops in the full socio-cultural context (e.g, Vygotsky 1986). Co-operative learning (teamwork) is an effective form to organise social interaction and it is assumed to stimulate students to engage in activities promoting different skills such as higher order thinking skills, social skills and problem solving skills. Working in teams is significant also for the creativity and originality of solutions produced in problem solving activities. The proposed working group will therefore explore the contribution that the introduction of computers and other new technologies in the learning environment can give promoting active learning, referring in particular to education in specific content knowledge areas (physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and technology).
The following persons have indicated interest in the working group:
Jari Lavonen, Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 38, FIN-00014 UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI, FINLAND, firstname.lastname@example.org
Giacomo Torzo (Physics Dept.,University of Padua, Italy - email@example.com)
Barbara Pecori (Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Bologna, Viale B.Pichat 6/2, 40137 Bologna - Italy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Veijo Meisalo, Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, Veijo.email@example.com, P.O. Box 38, FIN-00014 UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI, FINLAND,
Matti Lattu, Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, P.O.Box 38, FIN-00014 UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI, FINLAND, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maija Aksela, Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 38, FIN-00014 UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI, FINLAND, email@example.com
Ilta-Kanerva Kankaanrinta, Ms., M.Sc., Lecturer in Distance Education Didactics, firstname.lastname@example.org , University of Helsinki, Department of Teacher Education, P.O. Box 38 (Ratakatu 6 A), FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland, EU