Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Incorporating Technology into Cognitive Learning

As educator’s we strive to maximize each child’s success in the classroom and in life. In order to maximize cognitive learning we must find a way to help children create lasting connections within their long-term memory. Several teaching practices can help achieve these lasting connections. To begin with, students have three different types of memory as discussed by Dr. Orey in Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction and Technology. By using elaborative techniques and using meaningful images to tap into the dual-code, we will enable students to move sensory inputs into long-term memory.

Using cues, questions and advanced organizers is one way to bridge this learning theory. Our campus has had extensive training in the thinking maps models. We use graphic organizers to help children connect the “nodes” of information that Dr. Orey refers to. These thinking maps create a visual extension of knowledge and provide a conceptual map for students to work with when dissecting information. The topics on an advanced organizer can go from single letter recognition in kindergarten to the Declaration of Independence in high school. One of the great things about using these techniques is that you can incorporate them into a variety of technological mediums. In Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction and Technology they used excel spreadsheets to interpret data. However, many different types of advanced organizers can be used including charts, graphs, bubble maps, cause and effect maps and flow charts. Templates for these advanced organizers can be created in Word, PowerPoint, Keynotes or Excel and students can use them to develop the topics being taught. I have also used a cause an effect map to track behavior incidents. For example: what inappropriate behavior occurred (throwing rocks on playground), what caused that to happen (I was bored), what is the consequence because that happened (I have to miss recess for 2 days). There are endless possibilities for how to use advanced organizers, cues, questioning techniques, taking notes and summaries.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology. Baltimore: Dr. Michael Orey.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using Technology with Classroom Instruction


Linzie said...


I have found that when my students use a graphic organizer, they are more apt to remember the information. I think the fact that they see all the important information in one place really helps. It is also a great thing for them to learn to do independently. As students make it to the upper grades in elementary school, the one thing we find that they are often lacking in is notetaking skills. By filling out a graphic organizer, students learn how to identify the main information and find out what information is irrelevant, which is a fourth grade skill. I am excited to continue to use these organizers as well as try the Inspiration Software.

Hayley D said...


Graphic organizers and thinking maps are essential at our school. One of the greatest obstacles for students from lower socio economic groups and abusive homes is having a way to organize the many thoughts in their heads. Giving them an outlet to organize information is like organizing a room. You are more likely to remember where you put something in a well organized room. Graphic organizers can seem so basic, yet they are extremely helpful for children.


Beau Garrett said...


I also agree that graphic organizers are a great way to help students learn what information is important and help them work independently. Even my high school students have trouble deciding what information is the most important. I also like your idea of using cause and effect mapping to track behavior incidents.

Jonathan Garrett

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