Software Goes to School

Software Goes to School : Teaching for Understanding with New Technologies

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Declining test scores, burgeoning drop-out rates, poor showings in international comparisons-the malaise of public education seems to grow everyday. In this context, technology has emerged as one of the hopes of a renewed educational enterprise. Yet modern information-processing technologies have proved far from a panacea for the ills of education. Software Goes to School describes why that is the case in its consideration of three broad themes. The first part of the book addresses the question of what it means to understand. What constitutes understanding something? What are our principle resources in teaching for understanding? The second part of the book focuses front and centre on what technology can offer in teaching for understanding. Individual chapters examine how technologies afford new ways of representing complex concepts and make available new means by which students can manipulate abstract entities in a "hands-on" way. The last part of the book discusses the complexities of realistic educational settings, explores what happens when technology-based innovations are introduced, and examines the means by which a pedagogy of understanding can take root and thrive.
Authored by an eminent group of researchers, this book offers numerous practical guidelines on how computers and software can work together for the betterment of the teaching process. Students and professionals in educational psychology, developmental psychology, and educational computing-as well as concerned parents-will want to read this stimulating new work.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 162.3 x 242.8 x 25.7mm | 622.06g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • black and white photographs and line figures
  • 0195089383
  • 9780195089387

Back cover copy

As American students confront the multiple challenges of standardized tests, international comparisons, and drop-out pressures, educators and policy makers are seeking bold new teaching approaches with increasing urgency. One such approach - the introduction of innovative computer technologies into the classroom - has met with enthusiasm among students and instructors alike. Software Goes to School brings together leading experts to offer an in-depth examination of how computer technology can play an invaluable part in educational efforts through its unique capacities to support the development of students' understanding of difficult concepts. Focusing on three broad themes - the nature of understanding, the potential of technology in the classroom, and the transformation of educational theory into practice - the contributors discuss a wealth of subjects central to any efforts that intend to improve our schools. Topics range from the difficulties students encounter when learning new ideas (especially in science and mathematics), to how the right software allows for hands-on manipulation of abstract concepts, to the social realities of the educational environment. Lively and engaging, the book is must reading for students, researchers, and professionals in educational psychology, developmental psychology, software design, and for others who hope to see new technologies have a positive impact on our schools.
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About Martha Stone Wiske

David N. Perkins is Co-director of Project Zero, Associate of the Educational Technology Center, and Senior Research Associate, all at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.Judah L. Schwartz is Professor of Engineering Science and Education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Professor of Education and Co-director at the Educational Technology Center at Harvard.Martha Stone Wiske is Co-director of the Educational Technology Center, Senior Research Associate at Project Zero, and Lecturer at Harvard.Mary Maxwell West is Senior Research Associate in the Program Evaluation & Research Group at Lesley College.
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