Technological Developments In Using Web Based Applications Education Essay

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Introduction

Considering information technology developments in using the web based applications has gone through dramatic changes in the pass years this has lead to many people considering looking into the changes in technology by formulating lesson plans that can be used to monitor the changes in technology. Paper 1 consists is made up of programming languages used and Paper 2 focuses on technology use in business.

The developments in web based applications allowed the look into Paper 1 concerning use of programming languages. This is so because there are many programming languages that are being taught which make it necessary for students to be familiar with the programming language that is being used in many web based applications that are available in this present day. The examples of some of the programming languages that are being used in web based applications are script languages e.g. Java and VBScript (Scriptol, 2010). Paper 2 focuses on the advantages technology has brought to the business. This will look into how teachers will be able to use the technology in order to improve their teaching methods to students in the particular business the school will be operating in.

According to a literature review by Ross, (2002) humanism, personal responsibility orientation, behaviorism, neo-behaviorism, critical perspectives, and constructivism are all important facets of, and perspectives on, adult learning theory. The most common treatments of the research of these areas of self directed adult learning are learning projects, qualitative studies, and quantitative measures. Collins, (1991) explores adult learning as the interactive relationship of theory and practice. In basic terms, the adult learner studies a particular theory and then puts it into practice when presented with the opportunity to do so. Thus, the understanding of an adult learning theory can prompt practice and practice can prompt adult learning theory revision.

There are two main lesson plans that are being looked into which have both different approaches and strategy used in teaching the same lesson. Looking into these two main strategies they are considered as being used in different lesson plans that we are looking into. In lesson plan 1 5 E's of constructivism learning theory and for lesson plan 2 conditions of learning theory is used.

There will be a look into student behavior and ability, the goals and learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities, reasons for choosing the theories, explanation of strength and weakness of each teaching strategy, the beliefs in teaching the subject, and a discussion on teaching strategy with an effective method for students. All of the above areas will be looked into in this article which looks into the information technology developments in using web based applications. Further on in this paper there will be a comparison of both lesson plans that are being mentioned.

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson plan 1 is based on student centered cooperative where the teacher controls the teaching and learning processes. The teacher plays the role of a guide rather than a facilitator. The teacher will be using teaching aids while giving the explanation and making sure that the students understand the way in which a programming language will be used when designing a web based application. The teacher will ask the students to try and also come up with their own web based application after getting all the relevant information on how to use the particular programming language. The students then develop the web based application that they will show the teacher no how well it will be working. The student will use all of the information the teacher give them to develop the application using the programming language.

The learning outcome of the lesson plan is to see if students can be able to understand a particular programming language and being able to design a web based application system. Looking into this learning plan 1 its following the learning theory of 5 E's Constructivism, which looks into engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate.

The teach will provide students with an exercise in practical use stage where students will be asked to develop a working system for themselves to test their understanding of the subject that was being taught to them. This will be carried out in pairs as there won't be adequate time for the students to work on their own and finish the exercise in time. When this is finished the teacher will ask the students to show there working application to the teacher for allocation of marks. The teacher than ends the lesson after he or she sees all the work that the students would have managed to do within a given time frame.

Lesson Plan 2

The lesson plan 2 is teacher centered drill where the teacher will be the one passing out the information which the students will be looking into and try to follow the methods that would have been made available to them by the teacher during the lesson. The teacher's aid will be technological and business books as well as a worksheet where important information can be noted. The lesson has models that student have to develop after the lesson to show the understanding of how each model could be used to improve the competitive advantage of the business when using the new technology.

In this plan the teacher is the facilitator where more information will come from the teacher and the student will follow or use that information to develop the required outcomes. The teacher guide the student on how to develop models that will be necessary for achieving business objectives with will be competitive advantage. In order to acquire the knowledge the students will work on their own to develop the models.

To be able to complete the task in class the students would be working as a group which will speed time than working alone. The students will be exposed to collaborative learning which shows that they will be using Conditions of learning theory.

Reason for choosing the theories

In coming up with these lesson plans it was noted that there are two theories connected to the lesson plan. These learning theories are 5 E's Constructivism theory according to Miami Museum of Science, (2001) and Conditions of learning theory according to Gagne, (1985).

In lesson plan 1 learning theory used is 5 E's Constructivism. The 5 E's Constructivism is used as it promotes the following things engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. These are all necessary as they help students in constructing and designing the required web based application by the teacher that will be teaching them. 5 E's Constructivism when looking into engage it help students in laying their groundwork for the task, and trying the new and unknown way to develop a web based application that meets their requirements (Miami Museum of Science, 2001). It also helps the student in identifying the areas of relevance that should be looked into in developing the application. The explore help the student to work as team by sharing their ideas with one another there by building knowledge as to how the application can be improved (Miami Museum of Science, 2001). The philosophy about learning, that proposes learners need to build their own understanding of new ideas, has been labeled constructivism. Much has been researched and written by many eminent leaders in the fields of learning theory and cognition. Scholars such as Jean Piaget, Eleanor Duckworth, George Hein, and Howard Gardener have explored these ideas in depth (Miami Museum of Science, 2001).

Briefly, this learning approach as it relates to science can be summarized as follows: Learning something new, or attempting to understand something familiar in greater depth, is not a linear process. In trying to make sense of things we use both our prior experience and the first hand knowledge gained from new explorations. Initially, our curiosity about a science topic is stirred, as we are stimulated by some intriguing phenomena, such as a rainbow, we've noticed. We poke, probe, inquire about and explore these phenomena until it becomes less mysterious. As we begin to investigate new ideas we can put together bits and pieces of prior explorations that seem to fit our understanding of the phenomena under present investigation. In the case of the rainbow, for example, we may realize that there is an association between sunlight and water vapor (Miami Museum of Science, 2001). Piece by piece we build knowledge. Sometimes when the pieces don't fit together, we must break down old ideas and reconstruct them. We extend our conceptual understanding through discussions and creative efforts. We validate our theories as we solve problems. In our rainbow example, we may realize that if we position ourselves properly, we can create a rainbow by spraying a water hose in sunlight. The clarity we've gained in understanding a concept gives us the ability to apply this understanding to new situations and new mysteries. It is a continuous and a very individual process. We bring to each learning experience our developmental level, our personal story and our personal style. It is up to the teacher to facilitate the constructivist learning process. The structure of the learning environment should promote opportunities and events that encourage and support the building of understanding (Miami Museum of Science, 2001)

When looking into explaining this is self explanatory but for interest sack this is used in passing out necessary information among groups to work within the application. The clarification needed on areas that may require the teacher's help if there is a failure to implement the system in a working environment and also use of verbal or creative objects in developing the system as well as when having the class. Elaboration this is when the lesson learnt is applied to a situation where the students will have to develop a web based application using the programming language taught.

The evaluation is the process by which the teacher checks the work that is done to see if it is ok which is necessary for the teacher to see the understating of the topic area by the students. Evaluation is of importance as this will show that the students have understood what was being taught during that time.

Engage

Students encounter the material, define their questions, lay the groundwork for their tasks, make connections from new to known, and identify relevance. In the stage Engage, the students first encounter and identify the instructional task. Here they make connections between past and present learning experiences, lay the organizational ground work for the activities ahead and stimulate their involvement in the anticipation of these activities. Asking a question, defining a problem, showing a surprising event and acting out a problematic situation are all ways to engage the students and focus them on the instructional tasks. If we were to make an analogy to the world of marketing a product, at first we need to grab the customer's attention. We won't have their attention unless they have a need to buy the product. They may be unaware of a need, and in this case we are motivated to create a need

Explore

Students directly involved with material, inquiry drives the process, teamwork is used to share and build knowledge base. In the Exploration stage the students have the opportunity to get directly involved with phenomena and materials. Involving themselves in these activities they develop a grounding of experience with the phenomenon. As they work together in teams, students build a base of common experience which assists them in the process of sharing and communicating. The teacher acts as a facilitator, providing materials and guiding the students' focus. The students' inquiry process drives the instruction during an exploration.

Explain

Learner explains the discoveries, processes, and concepts that have been learned through written, verbal or creative projects. Instructor supplies resources, feedback, vocabulary, and clarifies misconceptions. The third stage, Explain, is the point at which the learner begins to put the abstract experience through which she/he has gone /into a communicable form. Language provides motivation for sequencing events into a logical format. Communication occurs between peers, the facilitator, or within the learner himself. Working in groups, learners support each other's understanding as they articulate their observations, ideas, questions and hypotheses. Language provides a tool of communicable labels. These labels, applied to elements of abstract exploration, give the learner a means of sharing these explorations. Explanations from the facilitator can provide names that correspond to historical and standard language, for student findings and events. For example a child, through her exploration, may state they have noticed that a magnet has a tendency to "stick" to a certain metallic object. The facilitator, in her discussion with the child, might at this stage introduce terminology referring to "an attracting force". Introducing labels, after the child has had a direct experience, is far more meaningful than before that experience. The experiential base she has built offers the student an attachment place for the label. Common language enhances the sharing and communication between facilitator and students. The facilitator can determine levels of understanding and possible misconceptions. Created works such as writing, drawing, video, or tape recordings are communications that provide recorded evidence of the learner's development, progress and growth.

Elaborate

Learners expand on their knowledge, connect it to similar concepts, apply it to other situations can lead to new inquiry. In stage four, elaborate, the students expand on the concepts they have learned, make connections to other related concepts, and apply their understandings to the world around them. For example, while exploring light phenomena, a learner constructs an understanding of the path light travels through space. Examining a lamp post, she may notice that the shadow of the post changes its location as the day grows later. This observation can lead to further inquiry as to possible connections between the shadow's changing location and the changes in direction of the light source, the Sun. Applications to real world events, such as where to plant flowers so that they receive sunlight most of the day, or how to prop up a beach umbrella for shade from the Sun, are both extensions and applications of the concept that light travels in a straight path. These connections often lead to further inquiry and new understandings.

Evaluate

Is an on-going diagnostic process that allows the teacher to determine if the learner has attained understanding of concepts and knowledge. Evaluation and assessment can occur at all points along the continuum of the instructional process. Some of the tools that assist in this diagnostic process are: rubrics (quantified and prioritized outcome expectations) determined hand-in-hand with the lesson design, teacher observation structured by checklists, student interviews, portfolios designed with specific purposes, project and problem-based learning products, and embedded assessments. Concrete evidence of the learning proceed is most valuable in communications between students, teachers, parents and administrators. Displays of attainment and progress enhance understanding for all parties involved in the educational process, and can become jumping off points for further enrichment of the students' education. These evidences of learning serve to guide the teacher in further lesson planning and may signal the need for modification and change of direction. For example, if a teacher perceives clear evidence of misconception, then he/she can revisit the concept to enhance clearer understanding. If the students show profound interest in a branching direction of inquiry, the teacher can consider refocusing the investigation to take advantage of this high level of interest.

Lesson Plan 2 reasons

In lesson plan 2 the learning theory used is Conditions of learning where the issues of business comes to play when looking into this as this also counts when one consider the condition in which he or she might be learning as well as the availability of all the required resources during the time when one is learning. This theory stipulates that there are several different types or levels of learning. The significance of these classifications is that each different type requires different types of instruction. Gagne identifies five major categories of learning: verbal information, intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, motor skills and attitudes. Different internal and external conditions are necessary for each type of learning. For example, for cognitive strategies to be learned, there must be a chance to practice developing new solutions to problems; to learn attitudes, the learner must be exposed to a credible role model or persuasive arguments (Gagne, 1985).

The following list shows some of the principles of condition learning theory by Gagne, (1985):

Different instruction is required for different learning outcomes

Events of learning operate on the learner in ways that constitute the conditions of learning

The specific operations that constitute instructional events are different for each different type of learning outcome

Learning hierarchies define what intellectual skills are to be learned and a sequence of instruction

Gagne suggests that learning tasks for intellectual skills can be organized in a hierarchy according to complexity: stimulus recognition, response generation, procedure following, use of terminology, discriminations, concept formation, rule application, and problem solving. The primary significance of the hierarchy is to identify prerequisites that should be completed to facilitate learning at each level. Prerequisites are identified by doing a task analysis of a learning/training task. Learning hierarchies provide a basis for the sequencing of instruction (Gagne, 1985).

In addition, the theory outlines nine instructional events and corresponding cognitive processes (Gagne, 1985):

Gaining attention

Informing learners of the objectives

Stimulating recall of prior learning

Presenting the stimulus

Providing learning guidance

Eliciting performance

Providing feedback

Assessing performance

Enhancing retention and transfer

The strength and weakness of each teaching strategy

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 2

Strength

The learner is able to interpret multiple realities

The learner is better able to deal with real life situations

The learner can be a problem solver

Weakness

The learner may have divergent thinking and actions that may cause problems

Strengths

Allows individual participant to be able to recall what would have been learned in class

Encourages cooperation among students as team members

Weakness

Redesign of the course relevant for the new learning environment

Requires a diverse educational background

Beliefs in teaching the subject

Based on the elaboration stated in the strength and weakness of two lessons plans it can be noted that lesson plan 1 is the best teaching particularly in this topic where students has to show the understanding of the programming languages used. According to the theory learning is collaborative and interactional where by the teacher provides the lesson and the students do the practical work based on the lesson that would have been carried out.

The teacher in lesson plan 1 act as the facilitator making sure that the students have been able to know the programming language used in class by the way they will be developing the web based application and also from other previous studies carried out in the topic area. The teacher will not interrupt the students as they will be doing their work but he or she will be just monitoring that there are doing the correct thing. Adult learning theories in and of themselves have very little consensus amongst them. There is great debate on an actual determined amount of theories that are even possible, as well as labeling those theories into groups like Hilgard and Bower stimulus-response and cognitive theories as large categories of their eleven theories. Another groups dynamic labels theories as mechanistic and or organism. Overall it seems that the theory of adult learning is broken down into two elements; a process that creates change within the individual, and a process to infuse change into the organization.

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