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Tour Home: How to use the Internet in Your Classroom
Tour Home: The New Teacher Handbook
How to Use the Internet in Your Classroom: Cooperative Learning

Carolyn Hornik 

P.S. 101
Brooklyn, NY

E-mail Carolyn at CHornik@aol.com 

 

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Cooperative Learning
Many teachers employ cooperative learning in their classrooms, either on a regular basis or for special projects. The principles of cooperative learning transfer well to the new media classroom, where the teacher-student relationship is altered to reflect the more active role of the learners. For classrooms that are equipped with only three or four computers, teachers can effectively manage technology projects through use of cooperative learning groups. An elementary school technology coordinator lends her insight on this topic:

Teachers often find it difficult to have students use the computers because there are only four computers in an elementary classroom with 30 students. One technique to address this situation is to teach integrated thematic units and form cooperative learning groups. Within each group students are assigned specific roles or jobs, such as researcher, illustrator, information processor, presenter, or group leader. The teacher might schedule time for each of the four researchers, for example, to do online research or research from multimedia encyclopedias on the computers while other group members are working at their seats. They may be actively working on the assignment using books, worksheets, and other materials relevant to their tasks. Time would be scheduled for the information processors to compile the information into typed reports or spreadsheets, and the illustrators would have computer access to find graphics to illustrate the project. Presenters might share the compiled information with the rest of the class via a multimedia slide show. 

By having the students work cooperatively and breaking down the assignment into various components, scheduling computer time becomes more manageable. Students learn how to make decisions, assist each other, and develop a sense of responsibility and pride for the quality of their contribution to the group.

 

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