The Use of Computers in Technological Studies: Signifi cant Learning or Superficial Activity?

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The intent of this study was to investigate the impact of introducing computerized means, mainly simulation and the Internet, on teaching and learning electronics in Israeli high schools. Computers in electronics studies are, at the same time, part of the subject matter learned and a means for teaching and learning. Data were collected through interviews carried out with pupils and teachers and by examining pupils' laboratory experiments and projects. Computerized means only slightly influence teacher-controlled activities, such as class presentations and discussions. Teachers and pupils still prefer conventional lessons as the major framework for learning theoretical concepts. The use of technological means for tasks that are only partially controlled by the pupils, such as standard laboratory experiments, can enrich methods of information gathering, analysis and presentation, but do not change the nature of pupil learning by working on these tasks. The question is how to avoid turning 'playing' with computerized means into a pseudo symbol of serious learning and a cover-up for superficial activities. Using computers and communication technologies in learner-controlled tasks, mainly projects, is likely to increase motivation, promote deeper learning, encourage cooperation and knowledge exchange between pupils, and foster a joint development of ideas
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)329-346
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004


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