Engaging Learners with New Strategies and Tools

educ8842 mod 4

The mind-map above shows three types of tools: those that build on content knowledge, allows for social collaboration, and allows for real-world problem solving as a social group.

The technological tools used over the Internet can transition into educational uses by allowing the sharing of knowledge content where interaction occurs to solve meaningful problems.  Lectures and the use of text are decent for sharing content knowledge, but this does not demonstrate that learning occurs authentically.  When was the last time an employer was seeking to hire someone who can take notes and get a high grade on a test based on material given a few days ago?  Durrington, Berryhill, and Swafford (2006) noted that learning takes place when students are engaged and respectful in solving problems together.  Programs that make use of student collaboration to solve real-world problems are thinks like wikis, Google Documents, and Adobe Anywhere.  Wikis allow students to post their document, make changes to their document and others, and leave comments and suggestions on any of those documents.  Google Documents work the same way, but Google takes it a step further and allows edits of spreadsheets and presentations.  Adobe Anywhere tops the list by having individuals make simultaneous edits to video files and leave comments for others.

Students need to learn with new, dynamic content with social interactions as opposed to one-way lectures and textbooks.


Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190−193.


Commented on Ena’s website: http://ena-spoonfulofsugar.blogspot.com/2013/07/module-4-educ-8842-engaging-learners.html

Commented on Jennifer’s website: http://jenniferpiner.blog.com/2013/07/23/module-4-communication-collaboration-content-graphic-organizer/



4 thoughts on “Engaging Learners with New Strategies and Tools

  1. I agree that teachers need to take advantage of the many online programs that assist with content, collaboration, and communication. I think your graphic organizer is covers a lot of the main programs, and is thorough. However, teachers need to take time and explore many of the upcoming programs or those less popular. I believe sometimes all it takes is one individual to view a program in a different light, and it is forever changed. I have not experimented much with Adobe Anywhere, and to be completely honest I do not think I have ever heard of it. Have you ever had to use it for a class or assignment? If yes, how did you interact with it?

  2. Hi Sanjay,

    Awesome detailed diagram depicting instructional strategies for engaging learners in distance education! This is my first time coming across virtual museums. This reminds me of the virtual village concept in that individuals will be able to visit virtual museums. Virtual museums and virtual villages are most definitely linked to constructivism. Constructivism is one of the main theoretical foundations for most distance learning environments (Palloff & Pratt, 2005). Do you see any other theoretical foundations (such as cognitivism, connectivism) that some of these instructional strategies and tools might be based on?


    Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

    • Hi Ena,

      Educational tools are starting to place an emphasis on teamwork and collaborative efforts toward learning. This reminds me of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory that states people learn from each other through observations, imitation, and modeling. There is less emphasis on individuality and learning from static web pages. Focusing on social interactions, we also have Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory and Lave’s Situated Learning.

  3. Sanjay: This graphic organizer is easy to understand and very relevant. I would also add that Wikispaces is anthor useful tool for collaboration among teams of students.
    I think that your citation of the class reading was apt.
    You effectively created a convincing argument that the use of these online tools create a better learning environment than a F2F environment. I appreciate your work. Please let me know what you think of my graphic organizer depicting the different avenues for creating a dynamic learning environment at http://edtechdiffusionbydevonee.blogspot.com, and provide me with your feedback. Thanks, Devonee


    Durrington, V. A., Berryhill, A., & Swafford, J. (2006). Strategies for enhancing student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching, 54(1), 190−193.

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