Teachers are able to teach for understanding when they use instructional strategies that enable students to create multiple connections to the content. According to Dr. Orey, one way to make these connections is to use dual coding. This is when students see an image and a label. When teaching, technology can be utilized to show and information about the image. The brain can only take in about seven pieces of information at a time. Images are a way to help the information go in multiple places.
In my classroom, I often use Brainpop.com to introduce a new skill and create meaningful connections to the learning. There are activity pages linked to the videos where students can complete an organizer while they watch the clip. Tim and Moby are engaging to students and offer strategies for students to use in the classroom. Giving students a skeleton organizer prior to a lesson, allows them to take meaningful and organized notes during the class. Kidspiration offers many templates for note taking with students. These templates are a great way to chunk information for students. Dr. Orey reminds teachers that students are only able to process about 7 pieces of information at a time.
Another strategy to help students recall information is to create episodic memories. These are memories of an event. Virtual field trips are one way to create these memories. Students can use a concept mapping tool to answer an essential question as they go on a field trip without every leaving the classroom. This type of activity is powerful and keeps the learner engaged. A Google search for virtual field trips will turn up multiple sites. I found that the best place to start looking for guided field trips is http://questgarden.com/search/.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program five: Cognitive learning theory [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from http://laureate.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=5700267&CPURL=laureate.ecollege.com&Survey=1&47=2594577&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=0&bhcp=1
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program six: Spotlight on technology: Virtual field trips [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from http://laureate.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=5700267&CPURL=laureate.ecollege.com&Survey=1&47=2594577&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=0&bhcp=1
Novak, J. D., & Cañas, A. J. (2008). The theory underlying concept maps and how to construct and use them, Technical Report IHMC CmapTools 2006-01 Rev 01-2008. Retrieved from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition Web site: http://cmap.ihmc.us/Publications/ResearchPapers/
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.