Several years ago (before I began my current job) I created a diagram for Instructional Technology to help categorize various types of software for the Constructivist Classroom. That diagram placed educational software tools into three main groups – data acquisition, data analysis, and data sharing. The focus was on software tools, not the kill-n-drill types of programs for remediation. As with any concept, revisions must be made as new tools are created. Therefore, here is my updated diagram…
Generally, the definitions for the categories still hold true.
- Acquisition – Internet resources, database collections, various CD and online encyclopedias, etc. It also includes probes and measuring devices for gathering observed data.
- Analysis – Tools such as Access, Excel, and Inspiration for manipulating and visualizing data gathered through Acquisition.
- Publication – Word Processing, desktop publishing, Powerpoint and other presentation software, web publishing, or any other software that puts the conclusions from Analysis into its final format for presentation to others.
Not much different from my original. However, using Web 2.0 technologies, the lines between these categories get blurry very fast. On top of these three, we now add Collaboration. This is the process of giving and receiving feedback during each step of the process. E-mail was one of the first examples of collaborative software.
In this new model, Collaboration is integral to each step. Also, using Web 2.0 technologies, the lines between these categories get blurry very fast. Someone may use wikis to gather new information during acquisition, as well as using it to publish their findings. All the while, the information is open to editing and comment by way of the wiki software.
Blogging, syndication, and podcasting can all find a place on this new diagram. Podcasting and syndication could fit in as publication, but they also have collaborative aspects. Blogging can be used as a reflective tool in the analysis stage, allowing students to float trial theories with feedback.
My new diagram is more flexible, and allows for this cross-category blurring. Of course, it could be that I just got carried away with pretty colors and fonts on my image editing software.
[tags]Instructional Technology, Web 2.0, Constructivist Classroom[/tags]