Can a school use field trips, projects, design, and virtual reality as effective tools to cultivate a better learning environment (yes kids get to use real tools with adult supervision and by grade 10 independently)
Vincere what do you think about field trips, tools, and designing, and building being key parts of learning.
The potential is there but you have to be careful not to fall into the trap of using technology in education just for the sake of using technology in education. Everybody gets excited about using VR, tablet computers, smart boards, etc. in a classroom environment, but few can describe exactly how it will improve learning over more traditional methods.
I'm not saying it's a bad idea, just that most school districts operate on a tight budget, and they should make sure students are actually going to benefit from this stuff before they drop a buttload of taxpayer money on it. Otherwise you're just spending public funds to give the appearance of a modern, innovative education without actually delivering tangible improvements.
I agree however which sounds more educational a lecture or slideshow on the Devonian era or a virtual field trip to the Devonian same length and same material covered. How about a smart board packing a pioneer wagon game instead of reading a list on paper or coloring a picture. When you can pack interact and make choices and see the outcome. Yes decisions should consider if any new tech will improve education enough to be worth the cost. A pilot program can be run and if the experiment classes assuming 4 classes in a grade 2 each group one higher level one lower level learning. All variables as close as possible except the tech variable if the tech classes do better by enough to justify the cost then school wide implementation is called for if the school shows it working the program can expand district wide.and the findings published.
Yeah I think that'd be the way to do it. Test everything thoroughly, using control groups etc., and only implement what's proven to work.
Field trips and other types of hands-on learning sound great too, but again districts should just make sure everything they're doing on a large scale has strong empirical backing.