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Individualized student learning through the use of Web-based learning software reflective rigors of new state standards Accelerated learning through use of user friendly Interactive programs Use of mobile devices as platforms to conduct research, create products, and share resources inside and outside of the classroom Implement virtual Classroom platforms for teachers, students and parents Support the needs of English Language Learners through innovative software applications Interactive activities can stimulate student interest and improve academic achievement. Multiple representations and models clarify complex concepts and procedures. Technology-rich environments foster self-regulated learning. Scaffolded practice helps students solidify skills. Multimedia learning environments enable students to apply knowledge in real-world contexts.
Education researchers agree that engaging students in interactive, multisensory activities that promote elaboration, questioning, and explanation can simultaneously improve student engagement and academic performance.
Games and simulations can be particularly powerful tools to help students activate prior knowledge, apply knowledge in new settings, test hypotheses, search for patterns, use evidence and logic to make arguments, solve problems, and learn from their actions.
This kind of active engagement enables students to take ownership of their learning and improves retention of information. Research confirms that students are better able to grasp complex concepts when key information and tasks are explained using a wide array of modalities (verbal, visual, graphical, and symbolic) and instructional formats (video lectures, graphic displays, audio files, and simulations).
Digital learning environments foster critical thinking and increase the accessibility of content by offering learners more options for applying knowledge and skills. Experts agree that self-regulated learning—the capacity to monitor, evaluate, and control thinking while completing new tasks—helps support critical thinking and transfer of knowledge.
By providing extensive modeling, coaching, scaffolding, and problem solving, technology offers learners richer opportunities to build metacognitive skills.
Effective digital learning environments not only model the thought processes that underlie specific strategies, but also emphasize the conditions for applying a body of factual or procedural knowledge. Cognitive research suggests that extensive student practice is a vital component of learning. Online and blended learning environments provide more opportunities for students to experiment and practice skills and concepts. These experiences help foster critical thinking by transferring knowledge from short-term to long-term memory—an essential process that helps learners remember and apply information to new settings. Studies confirm that providing real-world applications of problems that stress student understanding and application of subject matters can increase student achievement.
Experts posit that presenting problems in real-world contexts can make digital learning more meaningful and accessible to students by helping them see the importance of what they are learning. In addition, by allowing students to connect theoretical ideas to everyday experiences, critical thinking is strengthened.
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