How Technology can Support Student-Centered Learning
Posted 18 months ago
Student-centered learning allows pupils to shape their content, activities and pace of learning.
In a student-centred classroom you won’t see pupils copying from books or sitting passively while the teacher dictates from the board; instead pupils will interact and engage actively with their own learning. Pupils are encouraged to think creatively and build their critical thinking skills by speaking, listening, writing and collaborating on learning activities.
When class sizes get larger and the teacher becomes busier than ever, providing in-depth individual support to each pupil is a challenge, but with technology you have a way to advance student-centered learning, yet not adding to the burden of teacher workload. Digital tools can be utilised to allow pupils to create and learn independently, increasing motivation, while their progress can be tracked digitally.
Through interactive online activities and self-marking resources pupils can gain a sense of responsibility for their own learning, empowering them to improve and develop their skills with less direct input from teachers. Allowing pupils greater independence can help with the development of a positive attitude towards their education, while teachers gain back time to provide valuable guidance and feedback.
Challenging pupils to explore and investigate situations, whether real-life or imaginary, is the key to active, pupil-centered learning. Guidance is still a requirement to keep discussions on track, but with a learner-centered approach pupils will explain, debate and work through ideas independently and collaboratively.
Getting pupils to interact with each other to solve problems in teams is a great way to promote student-centered learning, though these active discussions do not necessarily need to be face to face. Using a safe platform, such as DB Primary, you can encourage your pupils to discuss questions via forums and blogs.
Asking pupils to debate the solutions to problems and raise new questions promotes deep thinking and effective communication. Groups can then create presentations using video and imagery to discuss their ideas and share them with the rest of their class.
In contrast to deductive instruction, which involves teachers describing a rule, such as a grammatical concept, and then providing examples to prove the rule, the inductive method involves pupils figuring out the rule in question. Pupils are presented with examples of a particular rule or idea and students then find the patterns, and in doing so refine their skills in problem solving, evidence gathering and analysis.
Online communication allows these hypotheses to be actively discussed between pupils and classes outside of school time, with pupils working together via forums and direct messaging to induce the correct answers via collaboration.
Student-centered methods are believed to aid retention better than traditional instructional teaching. By giving pupils the opportunity to think for themselves and draw conclusions through creative thought, whether individually or in groups, means they are not just repeating information but gaining a real understanding of the topics in question.
Does your school use pupil-centered learning methods? Let us know about it!