INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORTING OFSTUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING PREPARED BY: DE JESUS, SHELAH FERRER, MARY JOY REYES JOANNA
The idea of student-centered learning is not arecent idea. In fact, as early as the 20th century,educational educators such as John Deweyargued for a highly active and individualizedpedagogical methods which place the student atthe center of the teaching-learning process. In addition, suggestions shall be made on how astudent-centered classroom (SCL) can be supported by information (IT).
The Traditional ClassroomIt may be observed that classrooms are usually arrangedwith neat columns and rows of student chairs, while theteacher stands in front of the classroom or sits behind hisdesk.However, after spending so many minutes in lessonpresentation and class management, students can getrestless and fidgety. Often enough, the teacher has toalso manage misbehavior in class as students start to talkamong themselves or simply stare away in lack ofattention. To prevent this situation, teachers often makestudents take time to work individually on worksheetscan help the situation.
The SCL ClassroomJohn Dewey has described traditional learning as a process inwhich the teacher pours information to students learners, muchlike pouring water from a jug into cups. This is based on the longaccepted belief that the teacher must perform his role of teachingso that learning can occur. This learning approach is generallyknown as direct instruction, and it has worked well for obtainingmany kinds of learning outcomes.The problem with the direct instruction approach to learning,however, is the fact that the world’s societies have began tochange. Of course, this change may not be strongly felt in manycountries in which the economy longer depends primarily onfactory workers who do repetitive work without thinking on thejob. The traditional classroom and direct instruction approach tolearning conform to this kind of economies.
In contrast, in industrialized societies we findknowledge-based economies in which workersdepend on information that can be accessed throughinformation and communication technologies (ICTs).Desiring to gain effectiveness, efficiency and economyin administration and instruction, schools in thesedeveloped economies have also adopted the supportof ICTs. Their students have now become active notpassive learners, who can interact with other learners,demonstrating independence and self-awareness inthe learning process.
Generally the new school classroom environment ischaracterized by student individually or in groups:1. Performing computer word processing for text or graphpresentations2. Preparing power-point presentation3. Searching for information on the internet4. Brainstorming on ideas, problems and project plans5. As needed, the teacher facilitating instruction, also givingindividualized instruction to serve individual needsObservably, there is a departure from traditional worksheet,read-and-answer, drill-and-practice activities. Students also nolonger need to mark the tests of peers since the computer hasprograms for test evaluation and computerized scoring ofresults.
Given this new trends in teaching-and-learning, itmust be pointed out, however, the traditionalclassroom activities – especially in less developedcountries-will continue to have a strong place inthe classroom. In spite of this setback experiencedin some countries, the option has now beenopened for the modern teacher to shift gears tostudent centered learning.