Monday, March 29, 2010

Social Learning and Technology Linked Together in the Classroom

According to Dr. Orey, the social learning theory states that learners cannot learn by themselves. They need the aid of an outside source such as a classmate, teacher or computer to construct meaning (Laureate Education, 2009). The cooperative learning strategy as described in my textbook “Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works” supports this theory. “Technology can play a unique and vital role in cooperative learning by facilitating group collaboration, providing structure for group tasks, and allowing members of groups to communicate even if they are not working face to face” (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn & Maleonoski, 2007). Multimedia projects and web resources may be used to support the social learning theory.

Student-created multimedia projects encourage learners to work together building knowledge. Students research, analyze and make conclusions together as a group. I have my math class complete a stock market multi-media project. Students are divided into small groups that act as an investment company. Each student within the group is assigned a different task. The students work independently to complete their part but have the group members to help them as needed. The members depend on each other to complete his or her share. Students are learning about the stock market and the roles and responsibilities of corporate employees.

Web resources also support the social learning theory. With the unlimited amount of access to outside sources and people via the internet, students can interact with others. Students can blog and create a wiki space with students that are from a different part of the world. They can share information through an online calendar. I use an online website to communicate grades and a schedule of assignments with my students and their parents. Web resources allow students to seek information and respond to others creating an online environment of continuous learning.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2009). Constructionist and Constructivist Learning Theories. Baltimore: Dr .Michael Orey.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


  1. Jennifer,

    Good for you for bring in a real world application and using cooperative learning to make it more meaningful. I could use this activity in my Spreadsheet class. Thanks for the idea. I would love to read more about this assignment in greater detail. I use our school website to communicate information such as class assignments and club activities to students, but I have to print out student progress reports to keep students informed about their grades. It is great that students can go online to see their own grades, and I wish our school had the capability for students to access their grades online.

  2. JLowe,

    I currently use but it does cost. I previously used which is free. It is also nice because I can communicate with parents via email through the online grade program. I will send out a mass email to all parents the night before a test. I have received so much positive feedback from parents. I find that the parents just want to be kept informed and students like to know where they stand.

    Jennifer P.

  3. jparker119,
    Great idea about assigning different areas to different students. I think that would definitely help students understand things better as it comes from the other students in the group. You are right. Some students learn better from their peers at times. How do you make sure that some of the students work is not just one intelligent student's ideas?