ICT and learning by projects: how and why they energize your classes

From this blog, more than once we have talked about the pedagogical benefits offered by the so-called learning or project work. A methodology still in the process of being settled from a general perspective, but which is increasingly widespread in a growing number of schools and which consists, in general terms, in research processes carried out by students around a specific topic whose Conclusions can only be reached through the learning of certain knowledge and skills. What, in turn, implies greater and better assimilation of contents thanks to the significant learning that emerges from this educational methodology in vogue both in its face-to-face mode as well as remotely through e-learning.

Tell me and forget, show me and remember, involve me and I understand

Despite their many points in common, learning by projects extends what has already been pointed out by learning from the resolution of problems while the former exploits areas of knowledge tangential to the objective of the research, the second of these two typologies focus only on learning the knowledge that allows solving the problem in question. Despite being a relatively new methodology, learning by projects is rooted in educational constructivist theories of the early and mid-twentieth century, such as those that emerge from the writings of Jean Piaget (1896-1980) or John Dewey (1859-1952) and that contemplate learning as a result of an action. That is, something that occurs through the subjective experiences of each of us and that generate different mental patterns in those who experience them through two processes that complement each other: the assimilation of knowledge and, later, its accommodation in the network of previous knowledge and experiences. A double process in which, due to its environmental nature, social and cultural aspects have a great impact.

But once the framework in which learning by projects is developed, what aspects of the personality of students can develop this methodology?

  • Competence aspects, through the increase of the level of knowledge and abilities on the part of the students.
  • Research and informational skills, necessary to establish the bases and development of the backbone of the learning process in question.
  • Derived from the previous point, the learning by projects develops the analytical capacities of the students to know which is the best approach and possibilities of incidence on one or the other project.
  • Commitment to the project to be investigated, developing in passing and through motor skills such as the effort in achieving objectives.
  • In the case of learning by projects carried out through the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), development of digital literacy. Something essential to be able to successfully carry out the project you wish to undertake.

But let’s stop at this last technological point. Taking into account the characteristics of this methodology rooted in experience as the basis of all learning, what specific benefits does its implementation offer through ICT?

ICT projects

Although its use is already widespread among the population, at least in its most basic and functional aspects, one of the greatest misgivings about the use of ICT in project learning is precisely the degree of knowledge of students to handle These tools, as well as the inequality in digital skills that may exist between different students. But, on the contrary, its use not only solves this issue, but it also offers a series of specific benefits for learning by projects. They are the following:

  • As previously mentioned, it encourages skills related to digital literacy, including information literacy and, in many cases, audiovisual media.
  • It links digital activity, often understood as inconsequential, with students’ real life, turning ICT into a tool capable of influencing the reality of people. What, in turn, instructs codes of good conduct on the Internet (or netiquette ) and can be useful in order to introduce issues related to cyberbullying.
  • Students should collaborate with each other so that those who are more skilled in the use of ICT can help those who are not so, reinforcing collaborative learning and group cohesion among them.

Although to achieve the development of these skills in the classroom, it is necessary to use digital tools such as Activa, offered by aulaPlaneta; that has a series of stages of creation to plan the projects, a generator of challenges and, also, a space in which the professors can share your projects and impressions among you. A set of elements that, surely, will make the project that you choose to energize your classes a particularly invigorating one for your students.

Have you ever used learning by projects through ICT in your classes? Share your impressions with us and this post with all your contacts.

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