Notes for Grabe & Grabe Chapters 1-5
Chapter One - Key Themes and Issues for Using Technology in Your Classroom
- There are many misconceptions (11) surrounding the use of technology in the
classroom; many believe technology isolates students from each other and the teacher. In
fact, technology is a tool, and is not responsible for any isolation that might occur in
- Technology such as educational computer software allows for students to discover
material rather than be passive recipients of teacher-dispensed knowledge. Assignments
such as electronic portfolios (10) and tutorials (17) allow for students to work together
to integrate course knowledge.
- Technology allows students to get a deeper understanding of course material through
case studies (12). A good example is the Sociology instructor’s assignments, requiring
students to go to cultural events and describe them on the computer.
- Computers can be programmed to facilitate course material as tutors or tutees (17).
Tutor programs allow for computers to guide students through course material and review
as appropriate. Tutee programs allow students to show what they have learned and can
input into a program.
- Classroom technology can be programmed to inform students when they need to review
material, or students can decide when they need review based on computer assessment of
- Even though there has been a strong push for the use of computers in schools, most
teachers report that students spend very little time working with computers on a weekly
basis. Some reasons for this include inequity in resources and access (18) to information
- In order for computers to be successfully integrated in the schools, teachers will need to
be flexible regarding their changing role. Rather than teachers giving information to
students in a measured manner, students will need to accept more responsibility for their
learning (20) as they use technology to help go from concept to concept.
- Metacognition (47) is becoming increasingly important in schools, and it basically
means thinking about how you think/learn (being aware of your thoughts in the present
and what the thoughts say about how you think).
Chapter 2 – Meaningful Learning in an Information Age
- Cognitive models (39) help us understand how students learn, including how they
read and write and problem-solve.
- Learning occurs in short-term memory, conveniently known as working memory
- Play phases (41) are necessary to enhance learning; they allow students to “play”
around with computer software to understand how it works and how it can help
them learn material without the stress of academic expectation.
- Drill-and-practice routines (42) are easily learned on the computer, because
computers help review skills like driver’s ed, typing, etc.
- Long-term memory (42) is where material that has been successfully learned
goes; this is the goal for any educator and student.
- Declarative knowledge is the sum of all facts that we know, whereas procedural
knowledge represents how much we know about how to do things. (44)
- Computers are based on network models, which show memory in terms of links
and nodes (former are cognitive units, links are relationships between the units)
- Meaningful learning (52) is learning tied to previous knowledge; discovery
learning is learning that needs to be “assembled” from small units by the student.
- Cooperative learning (66) is when students work together to further their
- Project-based learning (70) takes advantage of cooperative learning and the
school learning community to build on previous knowledge.
- Hypermedia projects (71) include things like Powerpoint presentations, and are
an efficient and effective way to learn. These projects combine student knowledge
about subject matter and computer technology to teach others.
- Technology allows us to use higher-order thinking skills (69) and metacognition
to create our own learning; this goes back to the teacher/student shift in Chapter
One, where teachers need to allow students greater responsibility for their
Chapter Three – Using Tools: Word Processors, Databases, Spreadsheets, and
- The tools approach (80) is a philosophy that takes advantage of computer
applications to help students learn computer tools, perform many academic tasks
more effectively, and learn skills like writing and problem-solving.
- Word-processing applications (81) help students practice writing, helping them
get better at this fundamental skill.
- Formatting, editing, and special tools like the spell checker (85) allow students
to focus on comprehensive skills (content) rather than distracting but necessary
details (underlining, line-to-line text, etc.)
- Word-processing programs help teach the writing process approach (drafting,
revising, publishing) (88).
- Computers also help teach keyboarding (89) and aid in the creation of electronic
- Spreadsheets (94) help students learn how to store information for successful
retrieval later, a skills important in many academic areas.
- Spreadsheets help compare and contrast (99), an important standards-based
- Databases (101) help students create a record for their projects, and can come in
handy when students are learning about different countries or need entries to
- Data collection devices (106) include things like PDAs, data loggers, and
calculator-based laboratories (CBLs), and help students to measure and store data,
and help teach scientific method.
- Data collection can be used to facilitate higher-order thinking skills by helping
students identify patterns and relationships between data.
- Geocaching (113) is an activity where objects are hidden and hunted for using
GPS technology. This type of activity is naturally intriguing for younger students,
and involves the combination of many important academic and functional skills.
- Data are clearly presented with the various computer technologies, so students are
pressed to consider the meaning of the data, making any activity more
Chapter Four – Using Instructional Software and Multimedia for Content-Area
- Computer-based instruction (CBI) or computer-assisted instruction (CAI)
(122) is where the computer functions as a tutor, guiding students along with class
material and concepts.
- Different kinds of tutorials include linear tutorials, branching tutorials, and
simulations (125). Simulations allow for students to understand material in real-
time, placing them in environments controlled for learning certain concepts.
- Educational games (133) allow students to have fun while learning conceptual
material taught in class. They are a popular and effective medium.
- Multimedia (147) include things like DVD’s, talking books, online
encyclopedias, and other instructional resources. These are helpful and easily
accessible resources for students.
- While not a substitute for classroom instruction, multimedia are a wonderful
supplement to core curriculum. There is a high degree of participation and
motivation on the part of students when interacting with multimedia.
- Dual-coding theory (153) is the idea that students learn best when they are
exposed to different media to learn material. The usual combination is visual and
auditory material. Computers do a good job of teaching curriculum through this
kind of theory, because students are exposed to images, sounds, etc.
- There needs to be more research on CAI before an evaluation of the effectiveness
of computer-based instruction is arrived at. At this point, research says CAI has
had moderate success.
- It is important to choose the right CAI program for the specific purpose of
instruction; this impacts how effective the instruction will be.
- CAI and constructivism (164) can be combined, but instructors need to be
careful how software is chosen and implemented in the course. If students are
given a good prompt, the activity can very much be a student-led exercise.
- Exploratory environments (166) allow for students to take responsibility for
their own learning in a specific academic area.
- Hypermedia (166) has many applications to different concepts, which is helpful
when the instructor wishes for students to make connections between concepts.
Hypermedia go hand-in-hand with exploratory environments.
Chapter Five – The Internet as a Tool for Communication
- The internet is based on a type of computer-to-computer transfer of information
called transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) (171).
Different computers have different IP addresses.
- The internet is part of higher-order thinking skills in that it allows for students to
problem-solve and find information for inquiry (174). The internet can also be
used as a tool for construction, in that it can showcase student productions.
- E-mail (178) is a wonderful tool that allows students access to a free method of
communication, where they can write to others and store information. Students
also have access to mailing lists (179), which allow them to stay in touch with
- Conferences (180) allow students to interact with others in real-time, and
facilitate their access to material contributed by others, including the instructor.
- Chat rooms and instant messaging (182) allow students and the instructor to
interact in real-time to communicate about course curriculum. This kind of service
provides an alternative to asynchronous (time has to elapse between outgoing and
incoming messages) communication.
- Videoconferencing (184) is an adventurous form of communication where
students need to create their own medium related to course content. Sound and
image can be challenging.
- Computer-mediated communication (CMC) (185) refers to online
communication. Advantages include the possibility of many students using this
communication at the same time, and de-emphasizing the teacher as a figure of
authority. Problems include a lack of cues and online conduct problems.
- Collaborative argumentation (193) refers to students intelligently debating
topics on which there are many differences of opinion. CMC facilitates this kind
of structured communication through messaging and allowing the input of many
students at the same time.
- Instructors need to decide how to evaluate and grade online responses. It is
important to stay consistent with the grading guidelines.
- It is important to realize that the quality of online responses increases as students
become more familiar with the formats involved.
- Instructors wear many hats when facilitating online discussion, ranging from
collaborator to technical advisor to instructional expert.