Cognitive Learning Theories

Cognitive Learning Theories
Ponder the Concept Mapping and Virtual Field Trip tools. How do they correlate with the instructional strategies and cognitive learning theories?
The cognitive learning theory is based on information processing and input information into our memories. We have a short term memory, a working memory, and a long term memory. Different instructional strategies help our memory collection.
In the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works we were assigned to explore different tools that aid in memory retention, the first being cues. Cues should be straight forward and provide students a preview of what they are about to learn. Teachers should simply tell students what content they are about to learn. Often teachers start with a KWL chart and discuss what they know and what they will learn. After they learn the new information they come back and add to the chart what they have learned.
The next tool the book discussed was concept mapping. Concept mapping is basically a large graphic organizer. Adding the technology piece is an interesting way of getting students involved and working on a graphic organizer together or when students are more comfortable with computers by themselves or in a small group. The most important part of concept mapping is asking an essential question and then asking students to use background knowledge to answer that question. Then when teaching a lesson teachers use the concept mapping too to look for opportunities to activate students’ background knowledge and a place to seek further exploration.
The virtual field trip is taking students where they physically can’t travel in a standard field trip and adding to your current curriculum through the use of technology. Students are able to explore history, other countries, museums and so much more in a new way, on the computer screen. This technology provides visual aids and multimedia tools that appeals to different learning styles.
Dr. Orey discussed that students need to be cognitively immersed in their learning and these tools provide a way of building that memory.

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

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