Distributed Cognition Blog Post

I chose to watch the video Effective Teaching with Technology: Grade 3, English Language Arts for this blog post. I thought this video showed a really effective use of technology in a project based learning environment.  In this video they showed many ways that technology is integrated across the curriculum for this project based learning classroom. The classroom has an incubator to show the students the life cycle of a chicken from egg to full grown. The teacher then makes the lesson a cross curricular one by bringing in  a language arts element. She did this by creating a project that had the child make a persuasive argument, convincing an audience to purchase their poultry products. For this they have a ton of technology integration. They write up a script, looking up persuasive language on laptops they then have several options for how they complete their project. The students can make a poster or presentation in google slides, they can use an online poster making program called Canva, or they can make a persuasive video using imovie.  

There are quite a few effects with technology in this lesson. The students are working with the technology to create their persuasive presentation. They are the ones putting their own words and information into the programs, the programs are just there to enhance the work the students have done. The incubator is more of an effect of technology as it is doing all the work to heat and keep the egg living until it hatches.

 Some of the teaching is offloaded onto the technology as the students are all broken up to work on the projects. Some learning is offloaded onto the incubator and egg, rather than the teacher having to describe the life cycle of a chicken, she can just show it in real time with the egg and the incubator. Some of the work is taken off the kids as well, especially with the poster program, as they do not have to put in all the work of hand making their own poster. The final assessment of the project also has some elements of offloading, as they present their completed project to a public audience. The teacher works as a monitor going around and making sure the students understand what they are doing and have a grasp on how to run the programs, as well as write persuasively.

I feel as though the technology integration does help to make the students smarter and learn throughout the project. They used their own knowledge and understanding of writing persuasive papers, the technology is just there to enhance what the students create using their own intelligence. The intelligence did not come from the technology but from themselves. They used what they knew to create the outline of a persuasive project, and then plugged all that into the programs or videos. The intelligence of the technology is seen in the smoothness of the design it creates and its organization capabilities. This lesson shows distributed cognition in the fact that the students use not only their intelligence, but the intelligence of the technology that they have access to, to form their project

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